My hope and joy!

I now am the daddy of a 3-year-old.

This time, 3 years ago I was holding my Chasah for the first time. She came in a flurry; only 15 minutes of hard labor. The scene was like a sit com. I’d like to briefly tell the tale…

Chasah at 1 year

At about 3:15am, my wife wakes me up.

A song was playing at that very moment, here’s the words.

“Forever oh Lord, thy word is settled in heaven, Thy faithfulness is for all generations.

Thou didst establish the earth and it stands. And they stand according to Thy laws.

For all things are Thy servants, oh Lord.”

That’s the whole song. But what I remember is that last line. All things are Thy servants. I don’t know that any of us realize just how deep and real that is.

At the time we lived with two other families. (we actually do now as well, but it’s two different families.) My wife’s mid-wife was one of our house-mates. Now, for those of you who have never lived communally, it can be a real stretch of character and endurance to live with other people. None of us here at Rose Creek Village claim to have it all together or to just be perfectly filled with grace for one another. It’s hard.

We had been having a tough time really connecting with this other family. Our midwife was part of this other family.  It wasn’t any one person’s fault. It was very, very different personalities clashing. (*** see note below***) But any who really follow Christ know, that this just won’t do. He calls us beyond our personality conflicts, and into a deep love. And this winter morning, all things were the servants of our God to bring us together.

Yvonne was having good hard contractions. I got out a notepad and was timing them and I was excited. I woke up Shiphchah, our midwife. She told Yvonne to take a warm bath and relax. Shiph called one of the other midwives and let them know that Yvonne was probably in early labor, and that today would be the day. But none of us, except for Yvonne maybe, realized just how soon this would all play out.

My wife relaxed in the tub, and the contractions did slow and get less severe. But then, she got out, and they were back with a vengeance.

We knocked on Shiphchah’s door again. She told Yvonne to lay down and relax, and just try to breathe and keep calm. Yvonne was doing her best to obey, but had that urgent look on her face.

It was approaching 5am. We were in the living room. A friend came by, looking for one of the other guys in the house. As he was coming in, Yvonne asked me for a pillow. I came out with one and playfully tossed it to her. When it landed on her, she let out this moan… those of you who’ve had kids know that moan. It’s almost a song, almost a whale call, and very guttural.

The guy standing there heard this and said, “Hey, I think I’m gonna get going.” And he quickly made an exit.

The moan happened again.

I was quick to Shiph’s door.

Now, the rest is sort of a blur for me. I remember Yvonne saying something about wanting to push, and Shiph saying something about, “NO!” Yvonne’s pants were still on. She was on the couch. No one else was there.

Just a side note- Yvonne had this big plan for this birth. We were gonna do a birthing tub, for a water birth, and certain friends were invited… But man (or woman) makes their plans, but God truly does direct his/her steps. All things are His servants.

At one point, Shiph was telling Yvonne to hold back on pushing, and it came out to stern for Yvonne’s tastes at the time. Yvonne exclaimed, “Please be nice to me!”

Everything on Shiphchah’s face changed. It was so neat. She totally transformed to be what Yvonne needed. Things were happening fast, it was intense, and God was there, giving grace to all.

Shiph told us that she was going to run in her room and get dressed. At this point she hadn’t even yet had a chance to check Yvonne for dilation and so forth. So she ran off to get out of her night gown. And then…

“I’m pushing!”

I was running to Shiph’s door. “She’s pushing! She’s pushing!”

I came back to Yvonne’s side. Shiph was running out, hiking up her pants beneath her gown. She went to help Yvonne get her pajamas off. Her eyes got huge, “Oh my!” and she looked at me. “It looks like it’s you and me daddy.” There was Chasah’s head. She was coming out RIGHT NOW!

I had put on that same music there in the living room. In that moment, that same song was on. And there again, our dear friend Magdala, a woman who had once lived in this body of believers, but had since gone on to the other side, was singing out to us. “All things are thy servants…”

To me, I saw things freeze for a moment. These were and still are two of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. God’s grace was beaming from them. Shiphchah was there giving strength and courage to Yvonne, Yvonne was leaning on Shiph.  God gave us this moment, and hell could never steal it away.

Now I’m not saying that we never had a struggle again. I’m sure we did, but after that, we could actually see each other. God loves to give us chances to look inside of each other, and really see what He sees. That’s what He did right then and there. Everyone was blessed with sight, and now we were spiritual friends, and not just people trying to live in a house together…

At that moment, Yvonne’s best friend walked in the door at the last seconds as Chasah was coming out. She walked around the now thoroughly ruined couch, saw what was happening and exclaimed, “Oh my! Hello!”

Chasah was born. Chasah means ‘hope.’ Her full name is Chasah Joy Cullimore. God had blessed us with a new life, in a church that lives and dies for each other. We’re never alone. Christ’s hands and feet really are here and they really do reach out and hold you. We had new hope and joy.

I praise God for what he gives us. I praise God for Shiphchah. I just want to praise God!

Christmas time in Atlanta

she conquers gators too!

***Those who know my wife and I, know that living with us can be a challenge. We a bit (tongue in cheek) on the messy side. I’m very very loud. We’re random… and well, odd. A lot of that I don’t know that God wants to fix, a lot of it He does, and is, but just like anyone, we have our flaws. But part of being in the real Church, is that each others weaknesses work toward the growing and perfecting of each other in God. Only in His great love and through His grace can we ever stick together. No doctrine or common belief is strong enough to make anyone love living together, only the Spirit of God.***


2 thoughts on “My hope and joy!

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