Proverbs 16:9

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    “I’m so sorry, I can’t find a heartbeat.” The room began to spin. I had heard these same devastating words four years prior. Surely this wasn’t happening to us again! We walked to the car, numb, reliving a nightmare we had already experienced. Why, God? We thought this baby was our promise, our rainbow after the storm. Sure, we had two living children to drive home to, but that didn’t change the feelings of loss and grief we found ourselves experiencing for the second time in four years.

    Over the next several months, I dealt with the overwhelming desire to have another child. I would dream that I was holding a new baby, then would wake confused and, at times, angry. I experienced feelings of extreme guilt, wondering why I couldn’t just be thankful for the two healthy children I was blessed with instead of longing for another. Then one Sunday night my father-in-law preached. Following his sermon, he told the congregation, “Tell God what you need.” I knelt down that night and prayed a simple prayer; “God, if it’s not Your will for us to have another baby, I need You to take the desire away. If it is Your will, then I need You to make a way.” I immediately felt peace come over me, and God put a verse in my heart that night as I knelt at my pew. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

    A few months later we were shocked to discover we were expecting another baby. Fear and worry overcame me. This was not our plan. How could I go through another loss? How could I face people who would surely think we were crazy for not being content with the two children we already had? I felt God gently nudging me back to the verse He gave to me. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” I remember where I was sitting in the doctor’s office when I said the words out loud to God, “God, this is YOUR plan. This is YOUR baby. Whatever happens, I will trust You.”

    For the next nine months when fear would overtake me, when I would wait for what felt like hours for the nurse to find a heartbeat, when I would lay awake the night before each doctor visit, trying not to let fear and anxiety overtake me, I would quote my verse. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Then, on August 11, 2017, our baby was born. The doctor was shocked to find that his umbilical cord was barely connected to the placenta. What should have been another loss for our family was instead a true miracle from God.

    I held our baby boy for the first time and wept, repeating the words “God, this is YOUR plan. This is YOUR baby. A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”

    Brianne Buford is wife to Brandon and mom to Zane, Zoe, and Zeke. They live in O’Fallon, Missouri, where Brandon pastors The Lighthouse UPC.

    Reposted from the Ladies Prayer International Newsletter.

    *In loving memory
    Zachariah Buford 5-27-12
    Zion Buford 3-17-16

    “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

    The New Living Translation puts it this way: “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”

    Today we start a new month, the last one of this year. I am sure that we all have plans and ideas for the coming weeks. I believe it is necessary to plan our days, weeks and months. We need to have some goals to work towards. The important thing is that we talk to the Lord as we make those plans and ask Him to guide us in everything we do.

    I am sure we have all had days when we started out with a to-do list and we fully intended to accomplish everything on it before the end of the day. However, other things have come up which changed our plans entirely. A phone call, an e-mail, or even a text, can cause us to forget about the list and go in an entirely different direction.

    I like to start out each day, asking the Lord to direct my steps and to make me a blessing to someone else during the day. As we go about our daily tasks, He will show us who we need to contact, or even just to pray for.

    We can make plans, but the Lord knows what is best for us, and He will direct our steps, and lead us in the right paths.

    Prayer: Jesus, thank you that we can commit our days into your hands, and trust you to lead us each step of the way.

    Devotion by Anne Johnston

    “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 in the King James Version of the Holy Bible).

    Our society places great importance on self-reliance. We are encouraged to dream, scheme and plot our strategy for success. The truth is, no matter how independent I think I am, and despite my best laid plans, none of them will come to fruition without God’s approval. My ideas may sound good to me, but if they are not part of God’s will, they are flawed.

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, You know where You want me to be today and tomorrow. Thank You, Lord, for Your guidance as I plan for the future. Amen.

    Devotion by Julie Long