Baby dedication is so much more to me than formal gowns and rehearsed prayers. It always has been. Before I had even met Ian, I remember crying with my hands stretched out towards the families during dedications at church. I knew then how much it needed to be celebrated that these families were giving their babies’ lives to Christ. I never quite knew how much it would impact me until I had a child of my own.
When Ian and I first decided we wanted a baby, I would pray daily for our children. Months went by as we tried to conceive, (and for those who may be struggling with fertility issues or who have faced that battle know the pain,) I would cry and pray as Hannah prayed in 1 Samuel, that God would bless us with a child to raise. Then in January 2015, He did. But what I didn’t realize, is that I would give that child back to the Lord much sooner than I expected. In February 2015, we gave Shiloh back to the Lord. For those of you who don’t know, Shiloh was named after 1 Samuel.
“She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.” …. After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh.”
Shiloh means – The one to whom it belongs and also peace. God’s plan for Shiloh’s life was far greater than what my human mind could comprehend, but God gave me a glimpse into His plan when He allowed me to meet and pray for nearly a dozen women who had faced a similar battle to mine. (Six of which God has blessed with rainbow babies or have adopted. Praise God!)
When Cove was born, we knew we would formally dedicate him in front of our family, friends and church. The gravity of Hannah giving Samuel over to the Lord was so real to Ian and I. Our job in raising Cove was to give him to the Lord so that His will would be carried out in Cove’s life. Just as we prayed for Shiloh, we prayed for Cove, and the Lord answered our prayers.
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord. And he worshiped the Lord there.” – 1 Samuel
As Ian and I dedicate Cove, we continue to pray fervently and daily for his heart. We pray his heart would be willing to hear the Lord and serve him. That he would work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. That he would be zealous for the will of the Lord. That he would be hardworking and humble. And that he would love others the way that Christ loves him.
We are so thankful for the weighty job God has entrusted us with, but we know we are only vessels for God’s work in Cove’s life. Thank you so much to the friends and family that surround us, encourage us and desire the same for Cove’s life.