October 17, 2009

How Firm a Foundation

These bookmarks are very precious ~ The pictures are "clickable" so you can see the lovely printing of the sweet little girl who wrote them out for us. The story behind them is precious too...I'm sure you guessed that! I would have to say that I didn't pay much attention to this hymn before Howie and I were given these bookmarks, that is, until our little niece (only eight years old at the time) was so thoughtful to share.

Why? Here is the reason...

When our first born was only six weeks old he was diagnosed with a very large VSD...which in layman's terms is a hole in the heart. It was so large that there was virtually no septum between the lower two chambers of his heart. He was nearly nine pounds at birth, but failed to thrive...he wasn't gaining weight like he should. A series of doctor's appointments led to an x-ray which revealed the potential problem. I was told the news over the phone.

BUT God is so good and He never leaves us...we, as His children, are constantly in His perfect and loving care.

Fast forward nearly one year.

Austin was prayed for, by people we didn't even know (and many that we did), all through that year. We believe he was sustained by the Mighty Hand of God. He "should have" required surgery by about four months old, but it wasn't necessary until the age of one. God is so wonderful and gently leads us along. We live in a sin-cursed world, one with sickness and pain and death, but God is Faithful and is Always in control!

Open heart surgery was scheduled for a week after his first birthday. It was a frightening time, but I can testify that through it all God was there. Not once did He give us more than we could bear...With Him! I could go on and on about every minute detail of those days, but suffice it to say that the Grace of God was there for us When we needed it. All was supplied by our Loving Heavenly Father.

Fears really were assuaged. God carried us through. He also mercifully carried Austin through.

In the days preceeding surgery, our niece was impressed with the fact that this was the hymn we needed for this difficult time. She took it upon herself to make bookmarks for both of us. As you can see they are still treasured and kept safely in our Bibles. Here is the hymn...so precious to my heart!

~ How Firm a Foundation ~

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

"In every condition ~ in sickness, in health,
In poverty's vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home or abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,
For I will be with thee, thy trials to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through firey trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!"

Rippon's "Selection of Hymns", 1787


Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing that. I enjoyed it.....will have to remember that when going through tough times.

Lady Farmer said...

What a wonderful story ~ both about your son and about the wonderful love of our Father.
What a precious gift for the little girl that made the bookmarks. Not that you would ever forget the day, but a very special way to remember just how you have been blessed!
Thank you for sharing!

Susan said...

I enjoyed looking through your blog! Thank you for sharing your story. My husband is the pastor of a Reformed Baptist church in Texas, and I am always looking for new friends. How thankful I am for the firm foundation we have. Thanks for the reminder!

Bethany LaShell said...

Good thoughts. I haven't seen that hymn for a long time, but it's a good reminder for when life feels unstable. Thanks for sharing such sweet comments on my blog! I hope you'll come back for the rest of the paper series!
~ Bethany L.

Camille said...

Tammy (I learned your name from your blog...let me know if you prefer me not to use it) ~ I'm glad you stopped by...and I'm glad you were encouraged. The old hymns are so rich!

Lady Farmer ~ So nice that you stopped by! Thanks for your encouraging words...you are right...the bookmarks are a very special reminder of God's goodness to us!

Susan ~ So glad you visited here! We LOVE the Reformed Baptist churches...you are so blessed to be able to be the wife of a pastor in that association!

We often refer to ourselves as "Reformed Baptists", but there isn't one near enough for us to attend. (The closest one is just over an hour's drive away)...which is prohibitive to mid-week involvement...not to mention getting to know the other families that attend. But God is good and has mercifully given us a place where we can worship and fellowship nearby.

Bethany ~ Thanks for stopping in at "my place"...the old hymns are such an encouragement, aren't they? I have enjoyed visiting your blog and seeing all your great ideas for organization...I'm sure you are a blessing to many!

All of you are welcome anytime!

Nadine said...

What a wonderful treasure! Thank you for sharing your story with us!


The Girl in the Pink Dress said...

Sometimes it's hard to remember God is there, right where He always was in the hard times...as close as we let Him. Prayers from others are so encouraging; as are gifts from all little joy bundles. :D It's so sweet to picture her little hands working on those bookmarks. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Emily said...

Sweet bookmarks. What a LOVELY blog! :)

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I can't even imagine going through a surgery like that with a child so young. Sounds like he has great parents and an even greater God! What a wonderful story and lovely bookmarks. BTW, I Love that hymn!

Camille said...

Nadine ~ Thanks for coming by for a visit...and thanks for reading my story! ;-)

Jerusha ~ Welcome to my blog...I'm glad you stopped by! You are so right...God NEVER leaves us...what a blessing to remember! The "little girl" who made those bookmarks is now over six feet tall! Time waits for no one!!

Welcome Emily Anne ~ I love the name of your blog...somehow it suits you with a name like yours...Anne with an "e"...one of my all time favourite stories!!

Jackie ~ I couldn't imagine it either, but you are right...God is so GREAT!! He gives exactly the strength and grace needed for whatever He calls us to. We were never left to our own resources...and He did carry us through!

Blessings to you all! You have each warmed my heart today.
In Him,

Christa said...

Thank you for sharing your story. The bookmarks are precious and will be a great family heirloom some day. Treasure them always as a reminder of how the Lord brought you through that tough time.

Praise His Name!


Camille said...

Thanks Christa ~

Isn't our God wonderful?? Thanks for the encouragement to hold onto those bookmarks...we are hoping they will last the test of time...very precious.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

You Can Call Me Jane said...

Thank you for sharing your story and the hymn. I haven't sung that one for a long....

Camille said...

Welcome "Thy hand hath provided"...so kind of you to stop by. I LOVE this hymn...for abvious reasons...aren't the old hymns so rich?