There’s something about Judy Douglass that makes you want to be near her: something about her joy, her welcome, and her gift of encouragement. And I think, that when you read this wonderful guest post, you’ll see what I mean…
For baby gifts I give books. Old favorites, new releases, baby board books, picture books. And usually one of several Day/Night You Were Born books.
These birth books are celebrations of the new life that has joined a family. Each recounts in different ways the heavens and the earth, animals and people, all of creation rejoicing at the arrival of this child “because there has never been anyone like you…ever in the world” (On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman)
I’m sure a similar story was told on the day you were born, the night I was born.
You see, God Himself was deeply involved in creating you. Sure, your parents played a major role. But our heavenly Father, through the words of the psalmist, reveals the backstory:
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13-16)
He was there! Choosing, designing, forming you. Every detail: color of eyes, shape of face, height in the future. This from mom and that from dad. Temperament, personality, abilities, gifts, strengths, weaknesses—the whole package “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
The story continues.
The Apostle Paul helps us to understand what God thought and felt on that day, that night when you were born:
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
That word “handiwork” is hardly adequate. The meaning has an artistic connotation. A more appropriate translation would be “work of art” or “masterpiece.”So imagine our Lord’s response as you appeared: “Look at her! She is just what I had in mind. She is perfect, my work of art, truly a masterpiece!”
Let that sink in.
But that’s just the beginning of the story.
God didn’t make just beautiful art, to be looked at and appreciated. He made you for a purpose. He said it right there in that verse: “I made you just the way you are to do the good works I’ve prepared for you.”
Your story unfolds, gradually revealing each new chapter of your journey. Times of joy and fulfillment, periods of challenge and struggle. Growth and fruitfulness. Persevering in the hard times.
He invites you into the storytelling. He offers His very good plan—the one prepared for you from the beginning. He walks with you all the way, giving grace and strength for the path.
But you get to choose—will you follow His way or pursue your own way? Most of us do some of both. Sometimes—or often–we think we have the best idea—or we don’t like what we are seeing of God’s ideas.
My experience tells me, in major life events and in the little daily choices, His way is always better. It may or may not include fame or wealth or a comfortable life. The purpose, meaning and significance may not be readily discernible. Surely there will be joy and peace as well as pain and disappointment.
But that birthday plan goes beyond what you can ask or even imagine. He writes the best story. He makes the promise on the day you are born and brings it to pass every day of your life.
Judy Douglass is a writer, editor, speaker, encourager. She partners with her husband, Steve, to lead Campus Crusade for Christ globally and writes at www.judydouglass.com, connects on Facebook at and tweets @Jeedoo417. And she treasures her seven grandchildren.