Today is Tammy Jayne Hull Litton's birthday. July 15, 1960, was a day that I can’t possibly remember because I was just two days from celebrating my own first birthday. I now know that this day was one of the most blessed days in my life.
Tammy was born into a very stressful situation. Her birth mother lived in a small Oklahoma town and pretended that this child was her husband’s—but in fact this child was the responsibility of another man. In our fragile human state, powerful secrets require extraordinary effort to maintain. So while her husband was away, the doctor induced labor and Tammy was born.
At this same moment, God knew that another woman named Betty Hull was longing for a little girl. He connected her to a doctor who understood how important secrets can be. Some secrets are bad, but the ones that make sure little girls get born are necessary. Within hours of Tammy’s birth, Betty picked her up with trembling hands and a delight filled heart and beheld an amazing miracle for the very first time.
Within those tiny dimpled hands rested the genius of an accomplished oboist. Within those ears was the makings of perfect pitch. Within those big brown eyes was the vision a tender mother and wife. Her thick dark hair and olive skin was beautiful. In that moment in time, Betty had no way of knowing that the baby would be fun-loving, highly organized and full of joy, with a keen wit and a great mind. She had no idea that this little girl in whom God had placed such desire for Himself would believe His word and touch lives and fulfill the dreams and hopes of others so perfectly.
Betty couldn’t possibly grasp that God would use her to shape the life of one who would shape so many other lives. Only God knew, because He keeps some secrets really well. Until, that is, it’s His time to shout it from the roof tops. Until His genius plan becomes clearer to much slower mortals.
Birthdays are very important days. Days to remember that only God fully knows all things. We can trust him to keep the secrets that need to be kept. We can also trust Him to celebrate the things that really matter.
I conclude that there must be birthdays in heaven. On a day like this, there must be a gathering to celebrate God's creative genius. (What must it be like to live in such a state of perpetual awe?) There must be a daily expression of His unique creativity in the life of one little girl. There must be a moment, if not much longer, likely on July 15th, in which the Lord beckons Tammy to His side and says to the host of grateful souls and amazed angelic throng, "My ways are higher than your ways"—and this is my precious daughter, who often felt disconnected and undone in her birth but now knows the glory of my purposes.
With warm tears bathing my face, I offer blind praise to my God and King for His genius love and great grace marked in time on July 15th. I’ll be forever grateful for this day. Bells must be ringing, joyous music must be played in heaven because God, the author of life, has given life, redeemed life and gloriously granted eternal life to one precious child, Tammy.