By Carla McDougal
Young. Married. Graduate school. Just enough money to make it through each month. I worked full-time while my husband, Fred, labored diligently to complete his graduate degree while working as a professor’s assistant. Despite our meager income, our relationship strengthened. Just the two of us, satisfied and secure.
From the beginning of our marriage, we set our life plan––or so we thought. After graduation, our goal was to find a job, build a savings account, and start a family.
But hidden deep within my heart was the desire to be a mother. I continued asking God to remove this yearning, during this time of our lives. To suppress it. To hide it. To cover it. Still, the passion for being a mom burned. God knew my heart, and He was in control. I prayed for the day when I would hold my baby for the first time.
Then, the unexpected happened…
Scared, yet excited.
Fearful, yet trusting.
Scattered, yet collected.
How are we going to make it? Fred is still in graduate school. Oh, God, this wasn’t the plan!
After nine months of pregnancy, anxiety surged. Lord, fear is setting in. My thoughts rage out of control. Please show us how to raise our child to know and love You.
Suddenly, an idea popped into my mind. Grabbing my Bible, I started a scripture hunt. With the turn of every page, I prayed for God to show me a verse to pray over my baby. Then it happened. Deuteronomy 6:5 seemed to leap off the page. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. My heart pounded. Praises lifted. Blessings flowed.
Overcome with humbleness, I thought of Fred. He loves You, God, with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength. Tears welled up. Thank you, God, for my husband, our marriage, our baby, and showing me this life verse.
The time arrived and two became three.
I loved watching our baby boy sleep. Words couldn’t express my unconditional love for him. I started praying Deuteronomy 6:5 over him––Lord, help Luke love you with all his heart and all his soul and all his strength. Joy resonated in my heart. A memory forever embedded in my soul.
Through the years, God blessed us with two more boys and a precious daughter. This verse continues to serve as the life verse for my husband, myself, and all of our children. I thank God for the way He directed me to His Word. He receives the glory and honor forever and ever. Amen.
God’s Word refuels our spiritual lives. The Bible is our guide on how to live a life sold out for Jesus. The more we center on scripture, the more we know Jesus and how to live for Him. Ask God to show you a focus verse for your life, relationships, circumstances, or possibly for the year. Pray before you begin the scripture hunt. If you are married, ask the Lord to reveal a focus verse for your marriage. If you struggle with family issues, ask God to reveal a scripture for your relationships. And if you have children or grandchildren, ask Him to give you a verse to pray over them. Relish the moments in His Word through this scripture hunt. Take to heart all God is doing in your life. Reading His Word leads to living His Word, which inspires a life sold out for Jesus.
Award-winning author and speaker, Carla McDougal founded Reflective Life Ministries in 2008. Her true passion is her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It humbles her to realize His love, grace, and mercy go beyond her understanding. She truly believes laughter is medicine from the Lord that breaks down walls and removes the masks in our lives. As a result, God has taken her around the world to encourage others to live every day for Him. Her latest book, My Prayer Chair, won multiple awards in 2013 and is now available in Spanish. Carla and her husband, Fred, live in the Houston, TX area and have three sons, one daughter, and two daughters-in-“love.” She smiles to think of the experiences God has allowed in her life to teach and remind her “He is in control.” Connect with Carla Here… Facebook & Reflective Ministries