Friday, July 8, 2011

Blessed be Your Name.

Just this past Sunday in church I stood belting out Matt Redman's "Blessed be Your Name," falling into rhythm in the standard "church worship sway." You know, the one that says I would be dancing if I didn't think I'd be tackled in the aisle by someone with a walker and a Southern Baptist disposition. Plus my arms were full with the weight of a baby boy I quickly stole from cousin as she made her way to the seat beside me in the row. And then we hit the "breakout" part of the song, "You give and take away. You give and take away. But my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name." And my thoughts went back to a little shy of one year ago when I sat at the top of a hill overlooking the city of La Misión, Mexico with my cousin, Bianca.

We were in La Misión on a missions trip with Be2Live and about 40 other folks from Bible Fellowship Church. We did service projects throughout the town during the day and at night we retired to our campsite just up the hill from Door of Faith Orphanage to have dinner and sit around a fire reflecting on the day. Each night our pastor, Todd, would randomly call on people to share their testimony and throughout the course of the week we heard stories of heartache, conflict and God's undeniable redeeming mercy and love. This had Bianca and I shaking in our boots. We both happened to be right in the middle of testimony building experiences and didn't quite know how to talk about it... without crying in front of 40 people, that is, (a concept I was much more comfortable with than Bianca.) So we made our way up the the top of the hill to discuss this dilemma one afternoon.

Bianca was struggling with the fact that she was even there on the trip. She had signed up thinking that she was going to be pregnant by the time the trip rolled around and would have to gracefully bow out. She thought, for sure, God would do that for her after everything she had been through. Not that she didn't want to be involved in missions and that she wasn't completely excited about work we were doing in Mexico but her heart's desire was for another child. And being on this trip meant that desire hadn't been fulfilled. Just a year and a half earlier she and her husband and son were preparing for a world with two more youngsters. She had found out she was pregnant with twins before losing them just at the end of the first trimester. I can't even begin to imagine what this feels like. My heart goes out to any woman out there who has lost a child. Watching my cousin deal with the pain the loss of not one but two lives broke my heart.

God, you take away.

And on the hill top a year and a half later Bianca was still struggling with being able to say "Lord, blessed be your name." It was a continued daily struggle when they had gone another year and a half since the loss without a baby. She knew she had to let it go. She knew this couldn't be "the thing" that stood between her and God for the rest of her life. She knew she must give up her idea and plan for her life and learn to accept a far better, yet mysterious, one that she didn't seem to understand. How do you talk about that in front of 40 people around a fire? But somehow she did, beautifully, honestly and without crying (might I add). And it was there on that trip that Bianca, from the darkness, could honestly sing, "my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name."

Fast forward to one month shy of a year down the road. I am swaying and singing in the church pew holding a precious three month old baby boy that belongs to, you guessed it, Bianca. And for those of you doing the math in your head right now, you guessed it again, Sawyer was with us in Mexico on that hill top and around that fire. We just didn't know it yet.

God, you give.










Best Big Brother, ever! (I mean, besides my big brother, of course.)





Anonymous July 10, 2011 at 7:05 PM  

What a touching entry! So happy for the Humphrey family. Hope to meet little Sawyer soon!


Devon October 22, 2011 at 8:56 AM  

Awesome. Just awesome.

About Caroline

I decided my destiny was to be an artist at age five when I won an honorable mention in a art competition in kindergarten. Ever since then I have been following a dream that has manifested itself in a variety of rewarding and delightful ways. I have practiced in the field of graphic design for over 8 years and recently acquired my Masters in Graphic Design at NC State University in Raleigh, NC (check out my design portfolio by clicking here if you like). But a passion that has stuck with me ever since I got my hands on my first Nikon camera in my undergraduate art education at Florida State University is photography. The instruction I received there was but a seed in what would develop over the next years of my life. Recently I have begun photographing people in their celebrations of life and could not feel any more blessed to be a part of capturing those memories.

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A great american writer once wrote, "If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan my day." EB White penned the thoughts of my own heart. One part of me is a graphic designer working to challenge the world, seeking out problems and striving to create avenues for change. The other part is seeking out the beauties of the world and working to capture them in our memories forever through photography. This is what you will find here. Me enjoying the world. I have been truly fortunate to photograph such incredible people at truly beautiful moments in life. I can only hope that the images I've collected will forever keep alive those thoughts and emotions that swelled in their hearts and minds that day.

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