Friday, November 7, 2008

The Story of Hamlin


This past Monday, my dear little one turned three years of age. It only seems like yesterday when he was just a wee infant in my arms, helpless and vulnerable.

Now he runs about under a full head of steam! But still, he has that sweet innocence of baby-hood.



Every time I look into his sweet face, I am reminded that God DOES hear my prayers and that He delights in answering them. I'm reminded that there is nothing too hard for Him.



There is a bit of a story here, and I would like to share it with you.

There was a time in my life when I struggled with an independent rebellious spirit against God and his plan for me as a wife and mother. We can go to the book of Genesis and read how He made Eve to complete Adam~ to be his help meet. We can also read how he made her suitable
to the care and nurturing of children.



I had never given much thought to what it means to be a wife and mother. Life was OK until I decided (in my rebellion) that I was through having babies! Enough was enough! No more children! My hands were full. The End.



Soon I became aware that our family had problems, and they were bigger than I realized. I began to really seek solutions from the Lord.



But first, He began to show me even more problems; those within myself. I began reading my Bible; for the first time in my life I was looking for God.



I also began reading No Greater Joy, and of course Mike and Debbie Pearl always lay it out on the line, not sparing for any one's delicate feelings! From there I went to the only book I had ever heard of at the time regarding the role of the woman. (Me, Obey Him)

I was searching for something that I was unable to find in our feministic culture~ I needed to know how God designed my life to work. I needed Him. I was willing to do whatever it took to get on track.



He began showing me that I was trying to be in control. He showed me that I could never expect my children to be anything that I was not willing to be myself. Ouch.

I began to realize that I must spend much time with God. I must be in His word, seeking Him as for hid treasure. I confess that reading the Bible had always been difficult because I couldn't understand it. But because I had a need to understand it, I sought to understand it.

I also must be God's friend, by praying. Nothing fancy, just learning to adore Him and NOTICE the blessings. Simple things, like the lovely yellow, red and orange, in the leaves that fall; a hug from your child; the kiss of love from your husband; the headache that you don't have today but did yesterday.


It did take time. But the more time I spent with the Lord in the quiet of the morning, the more I was able to understand what I was reading!


It became joyous to open the pages and understand! Our Pastor taught us that the Bible is not hard to understand; it is hard to obey! The real test is what you do with it.

It took a lot of years for my to grow out of my cultural thinking. It has taken even longer to begin to win battles withing my own heart. Self-centered thinking isn't changed overnight, but by God's grace, He is able to transform us into the image of His own Son, Jesus.

During these years, I began to realize that children really are a gift. God is the giver of life, not us. But I have to confess that I wanted to limited these "gifts" because of all it would cost me: my strength, my interests (sewing gardening), my life (fun with the girls, oportunities to do things I enjoyed doing-alone!), my reputation (what will people think of me).

I was really afraid I couldn't handle all the demands. And the truth is, I couldn't. Especially theway I was. What I have had to learn is that God's strength is always made perfect in my weakness.

When our then youngest child was about eight, we began to realize our reasons for limiting our family size was based on our own selfishness. We realized we were not embracing the opportunity to bring up potential servants of Christ, nor had we been willing to love them and give of ourselves for their benefit as Christ gave of Himself.

The Lord gave us the opportunity to undo the decision not to have children. We then prayed for another child. After nearly a year, the Lord blessed us and we found out we were expecting!
At the age of 47, I gave birth to our sixth child, Sawyer Hamlin. I know that God answers prayer!

"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree:
he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those that be planted in the house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bring forth fruit in old age;
they shall be fat and flourishing;
To shew that the Lord is upright:
he is my rock,
and there is no unrighteousness in him."

5 comments:

Miss Lila in Atlanta said...

Good Morning,
What a beautiful story. It made me cry. And your son is absolutely gorgeous.
Miss Lila in Atlanta

Sarah said...

What a beautiful story, Mrs. Castlebury! The Lord is truly faithful, and it was such a blessing to see how He has worked in your life and then to also see your desire to serve Him, love Him, and grow in obedience to Him. What an example you are to us younger ones! Thank you!

By the way, I loved seeing all the photos! You have a precious family.

Paula said...

Dear Sharon,

This is a beautiful testimony beautifully written from your sweet heart! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and all the lovely photos of you and your dear ones. I know Sawyer is such a blessing to you as all of your precious children are! You are a lovely and Godly woman and I was blessed reading about God's faithfulness and work in your life.

A very happy birthday to Sawyer Hamlin!

Love to you,
Paula

Marqueta said...

Dear Sharon,

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Our God is good, is He not? What a special blessing to have another child-I'm so glad that you shared this with us; everyone should read and understand the beauty of the Lord's "Family Planning"!

Love,

Marqueta

Senkyoshi said...

Thank you for sharing this testimony. It was a blessing!