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The Face of God

This week has been monumental for myself and our entire family. At 4AM Monday morning we were woken by a text that "we are headed to the hospital". So we hurried to get ready and drove really fast through the city of Knoxville to get to the hospital to meet our very first Grandchild. As we arrived Zach met us to share that Alli was in labor but the hospital wanted them to go to their doctor. After a doctors visit it was determined that yes our little lady would be arriving later that day.

I remember sitting in the waiting room and thinking, I'm not old enough for this, Zach is not ready for this, Alli needed relief from all of the pain. Carla is old enough but not ready to be a Granna.( Yes I am in trouble!) So many emotions and so much worry. Then Zach text us from the delivery room to share that Alli was struggling a bit and that they would take the baby. I immediately grabbed Carla by the hand and we prayed for the soon to be mom and dad and our granddaughter. Then at 12:46 we got the text from Zach that at 12:36PM Ellis Ivy Parker had entered into this world and that Mom was doing fine. Zach went on to share that he was in a wheelchair from almost passing out! (Just like his old man!)

I remember thanking God for this baby and having a private moment with my Father thanking Him for His amazing love He continues to show my family. About an hour later Zach came out and got the grandparents. I was like, hey thats me thats me! As we got back to the room each of us took turns holding this precious gift from God. As Carla and Alli's mom both held this beautiful little girl I stood in amazement of God's creation. Then Carla looks at me and ask if I want to hold her. I first told her no because I was afraid I would hurt her or break her. It had been 20 years since I had held a newborn child. Carla would not take no for an answer and placed this amazing child into my arms.

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I will never forget the first time I looked at the face of Katie or Zach when they were born. The beauty that God had created out of two imperfect people. I also thought of the first time I saw the crooked smile of Julian with his little head cocked sideways, or Jadon with his little fat cheeks and such a contagious smile. All of those memories came rushing back to me. As I looked down at the face of Ellis I truly believe I saw the face of God. As I looked at her sleep, her facial features changing, a smile on her face, I was overwhelmed by what God had created. In those brief moments I worshiped God like I had never worshiped Him before. God spoke directly to my heart through this child. The power that our God has, yet the creativity to make us all different. The love He has for us, and the grace He gives and shows us, by continuing to bless our lives.

As Carla and I left the room, I remember stopping a few steps from the room and breaking down in tears, so overwhelmed by our God and His love for us. As I have now held Ellis a few more times, the message does not fade. Tonight I watched my son change a diaper, make his daughter so upset she cried and cried, then he picked her up and held her next to him and spoke softly to her. As he held her, she went from a cry to knowing how much her daddy loves her. As Alli took her and held her, Ellis would look up at her mommy with the eyes of comfort knowing that she was loved. At that moment I realized I am more than ready to be a Grandpa and Zach and Alli are going to be amazing parents. My prayer for all of us is very simple. God I pray that every time that Ellis looks into our lives that she would see you through us. I pray that you would use our lives to bring her into salvation. Thank you God for loving me when at times I can't even love myself! You are an incredible and amazing God. Thank you for showing me who you are through our little Ellis.

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