Day Twelve: A Dozen Reasons
I see words everywhere, in random places, at random places. Words are important to me, and my favorite words are from the Bible. No other words can inspire me, comfort me or educate me like the words of God.
I love words. I love reading them, I love writing them. I love it when I have the courage to speak out with my words to help others. I use words to talk to God, and sometimes I have even written personal letters to God. Words are important.
Sometimes though, God sends me words in other ways. There have been notes from strangers, scripture written in random places, and even words on license plates.
License plates? You might just think I’m crazy, and maybe I am just a little off. I don’t quite fit in with most people, but our differences are my favorite things about my relationships with others. Trying to see the world from a variety of different perspectives is enlightening, and the best way to learn how others see things is to listen.
So, let me get back to the license plates. I see messages, sometimes. I truly believe this, and I know how crazy this may sound. Just let me elaborate.
My love affair with license plates began about three years ago. The reasoning behind it is slightly silly, and I admit I am still looking for the very acronym that started this whole business.
On a private group on Facebook, I had joined a group of women that were trying to conceive, and having difficulty, like me. I quickly learned that these groups have a whole slew of acronyms they use, and at first I was completely lost. It was almost as if I was reading an alien language! TTC, DH, DPO, and BFP, were just a few of a very long list of acronyms I didn’t know the meanings of. So I asked questions, a lot. And I learned a lot. Trying To Conceive, Dear Husband, Days Past Ovulation, and Big Fat Positive are a few of the ones I learned early on. Every girl was waiting for her BFP, or her positive pregnancy test.
BFP started it all. I wanted one, just as much as the other ladies did. I was encouraged when other ladies posted that they had finally got that magical BFP.
One particular lady’s story stuck in my head, a woman who had taken a picture of a license plate ending in BFP. She had hoped it was a good luck sign for her, and a few days later it was official. She had finally got a positive pregnancy test.
Secretly, I started scanning license plates as I drove, occasionally at first, more as time went on, I was superstitiously hoping I would see that acronym for myself.
And that is how my journey of license plate messages began. I never saw my BFP (not yet) but I have read some pretty amazing plates.
My very first that stuck out in my mind, was while driving into work one day. I was praying. I like to pray when I’m by myself, and in my car is a good spot. This day, after praying, I asked God if He was listening.
A car passed me. It’s license plate read, HEARDU. (Heard you). I actually took a double take, and laughed out loud. It was cute, and I think God has an amazing sense of humor sometimes. But that’s not the end of my license plate obsession. Over the last several years, I have had many moments like this, at very important times.
At first, I told no one. I knew it sounded kind of loopy. Soon though, I started snapping pictures of these license plates, and I would tell my husband and show him the pictures. He would always smile, and I know he loves how much I truly believe that God talks to all of us, in many different ways.
I even asked him, “Do you think I’m nuts?”
To which he replied, “No baby. I just wouldn’t run around telling people this.” Which made me laugh and laugh. It was him saying, I believe you, but nobody else probably will. And that was okay. I didn’t need confirmation of what I felt in my heart, and his support has always been enough for me.
And then there were more. A random word here, another one there. One morning, asking God if it was even His will for me to have a child, praying sincerely for the trust to understand and to accept His perfect will, I left for work, and pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant I worked at. There, in front of me was the biggest, shiniest, red truck with a personalized tag that read YESSSS. Again I found myself amused, laughing, and joyful.
Things like this happened quite a bit, and I would excitedly text my husband, sending him a picture of each unique license plate that was speaking to my heart. There was BABYYJ, (my husband’s nickname is J) LITTLEJ, ONESON, PRAYER, GIVE2U, and many many more. I had fun with these, snapped away my pictures, and shared them all with my husband. It became a fun little thing between just the two of us. I loved it, and every once in a while he would even send me one that he saw, and that was meaningful to the both of us. This made my heart melt, because my husband does not live with his head in the clouds, like I do.
Out of all of these, one specific license plate is my favorite, and the most meaningful, and it had nothing to do with me. It was a message about another person. It opened my eyes even further to the absolute awesomeness of our God, and how He is so very good to us.
There was this young lady, who I admire very much, who I have watched blossom into a beautiful woman right before my eyes. I won’t use her name, because she can be very shy, but I know she won’t mind me sharing this story.
Two years ago, this beautiful young girl I know, who at the age of twenty, found herself pregnant. She had to grow up very fast, and the changes she made in her life for her unborn child were done lovingly and willingly. She was working very hard to prepare a home and a good life for the baby she would be bringing into this world.
She shared a car with the father of her child, he couldn’t afford to take time off, and this is how it came to be that I was taking her to doctor’s appointments and even to her sonogram. I went with her to every appointment, and when it came time to see the baby through an ultrasound, I was almost as excited as she was!
The ultrasound was amazing. I was stunned at the quality of the images of her beautiful baby, and excited to learn that she was having a boy. It was a beautiful thing to experience. Even so, and even for somebody like myself who didn’t have much experience with these things, I noticed the ultrasound technician seemed to be taking an extremely long time, and her friendly chatter had even become quiet. Soon, the young lady I was with asked the question that I had been thinking.
“Is there something wrong with my baby?” I could hear the slight fear in her voice.
The technician told her the doctor would go over everything with us. After that, the technician led us to another private, patient room to wait for the doctor.
We waited, and waited. We talked, and I could tell this soon to be new mother was scared. Her hands were shaking. I did the only thing I could think of. I hugged her, and prayed with her.
Eventually, the doctor came in. Very coldly, very clinical, she explained that the baby had air bubbles at the base of it’s brain, and spots on it’s heart. She then explained that these were “soft markers” for down syndrome, or other trisomy birth defects. The doctor told us that she was ordering a more specialized ultrasound to get more details. The only problem was, that the special ultrasound could not be performed for another four weeks.
Wow. I was stunned. I was slightly angry, I couldn’t believe that this doctor’s bedside manner was so horrible, and I was upset that now, this young lady had to go home and worry. For a whole month. It was almost cruel.
I drove her home. Just as I thought she would be, she was a nervous wreck. She looked so scared, so afraid. She looked at me.
“What am I going to do?” She asked me.
“You’re going to pray. And pray. And pray. We both are. And you are going to give your worries to God. Everything will work out, I promise.” I meant it, but I knew her worrying would be nonstop over the next four weeks. Who’s wouldn’t be? I sincerely wished I could carry all her worry for her. She looked so small, so frail, so young.
We prayed on the way home, my right hand holding her left as I drove. Over the next few weeks, we prayed together by phone, through texts, and even in person. She tried so hard not to worry, but she worried. A lot.
Finally, it was time for the second ultrasound. Once again, I drove her. She was scared to death, and again we prayed together. I also prayed to myself. I wanted this baby to be okay, as badly as if it were my own child.
On the way to the appointment I tried to take her mind off the ultrasound.
“Have you picked out a name?” I asked.
Shyly, she smiled at me. “Yes,” she said. “His name is Ryder.”
The moment she told me, a car passed by me, on the left. It was my habit to glance at the license plate, and I gasped.
RYDER, it said.
I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and calm come over me. At that moment, I knew beyond all doubt, that this baby was fine. No down syndrome, but most importantly, none of the other trisomy disorders that could claim this baby’s life.
“You don’t like it?” She asked, so sweetly, so innocently. She had heard me gasp.
“Oh no! I love it! Really! How do you spell it? Is it with a Y or an I?” I asked her, but I already knew. God had told me already.
“With a Y,” she smiled.
Soon she had the other ultrasound. The bubbles along the base of the brain had all but disappeared. There was however, still the spot on the heart.
This doctor was so much more informative, kind, and pleasant. She explained that the spot on the heart was a calcium deposit, which did occur more often in babies with down syndrome, but also occurred plenty of times in babies without that disorder. This doctor seemed upset at the worry that had been caused by the other doctor’s words. She told us that because Ryder’s mother was so young, and because she found no other indication of the signs of any trisomy disorder, that she felt confident that this baby was perfectly healthy, and without a trisomy defect.
I looked over at the pretty, pregnant woman, and I could see the relief on her face. Still, there was a touch of worry. The doctor saw this as well.
“You could have a blood test done,” she offered. “The results might make you feel better.”
“Yes, please.” Ryder’s mother said.
The doctor ordered the test, blood was drawn. We were told the results would take a week, and once again, this kind doctor was so reassuring. I was extremely thankful to her.
I drove this young lady home, we held hands again and prayed. I didn’t tell her about the license plate, because up to this point, I had only confided these things to my husband. Still, I comforted her, and reassured her the best way I knew how, and that was with God’s words. Prayers. Scripture.
A week later, she got the news. I bet you can guess the outcome, and you are right. The results were exactly what we prayed for. Now, we thanked God, together.
Today, Ryder is a happy, healthy, brilliant two year old. He loves his mommy very much, and she is one of the most amazing mothers I have ever met. She tells me she still prays daily, and that makes my heart so very happy.
Still my favorite, special little message from God on a license plate. I know God listens. I know He answers. I know that he has special ways of talking to all of us, and I no longer care if people think I’m silly.
I listen to words. I see words. My favorite words are in the Bible. I listen to God when He speaks to my heart, and sometimes the way He speaks to my heart makes me smile. Sometimes it makes me laugh. Always though, His words bring me great joy.
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For the word of God will never fail.
Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!
2 Corinthians 9:15
Your words have supported those who were falling; you encouraged those with shaky knees.
Job 4:4 NLT
For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does.
Psalms 33:4 NLT
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.