A Covenant

I was 13 years old, sitting in my room on the floor listening to music.  You know the type of music that came on a bright shiny disc that you had to be SO careful to not scratch.  I will never forget the fear that became so real I couldn’t deny it.

“you will never be a mother”

“you will be barren just like Sarah in the Bible”

The music playing in the background suddenly disappeared.

All I could think about were those words. 



What I didn’t know was that I was going to learn one of the greatest spiritual weapons that day.

I partnered with fear, but instead of letting that became my primary emotion, I chose to do something I had read countless times in the Bible.

““Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you” – Matthew 7:7

That day I entered into a covenant with God.  13 year old me had loved the story of Hannah in the Bible, she was barren.  She was grieving.  She had a sister wife that taunted her about her empty womb…oh yeah…the Bible is full of messy people.  But what Hannah did inspired me.  She took her empty womb and entrusted it to the God of abundance.  Hannah made a covenant with God.

And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime – 1 Samuel 1:11

I will give him back to you?!?

I prayed that prayer at 13 not fully knowing what that might look like.

2 years later I would receive a scary diagnosis and would be told that conceiving children would be a challenging journey and there would be questions on if it would be something I would ever be able to do.

I gave that information openly to my fiancé many years later and we decided to see what would happen when the time came.

October 2007, I was living daily in fear.  Fear was my constant companion.  I was shocked that I was growing life inside of me.  I never questioned the gift and the fragility of growing life.  I had seen and experienced loss.  I couldn’t find joy.  So many what ifs haunted me.

William Cayden Harney was nestled safely in my womb, rolling, kicking, making me sick daily and gave me cravings for Tositinos pizzas, banana cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory (which was conveniently on the way home from work for Richard each day).

I was laying on the couch reading a book alone, Richard was playing frisbee golf with friends.  It was a quiet lazy fall day in sunny Arizona.

Out of NO WHERE comes a loud fatherly voice…

“Sarah…you made a covenant with me”

“you have a little soul growing inside of you”

“I heard your cry and answered”

“are you going to honor your covenant with me?”

W. Cayden – you are my everlasting covenant with God. You are the proof to me that no one should ever question if God listens. I was a scared 13 year old girl. I was faced with the enemy of our hearts trying to take away the inheritance that God wanted to give to me.

15 years I have been your momma.

I have experienced Ma, Mama, Mommy, Mom, Bruh

I have failed, parented in anger, created too strict of rules, slacked in some areas, cried, laughed, put you in time out, just to put me in time out.  I have watched you decide at a young age, showing the real age of your old soul, and go after things that no one your age would.

Training and running your 1st ½ marathon with you at the age of 9 will forever be a cherished season with you. Early morning runs, no music, just you and me and the cadence of our stride. You cried at our 11 mile run, Herring Cove to A&P, the distance seemed unachievable to you. Yet truth be told, you carried us the whole way. Why? Because you weren’t running to prove anything, you were running for your sister Ez.

Naashkaa – your Native name, which means “Keeper of the fort”. 

Cayden. It’s who you are.

You are the protector.  The guardian.  You have a 30,000 foot view of life at all times.  You don’t focus on the small or momentary things, everything is bigger, you can see the ripple effects.  You have wisdom to see what is coming and knowledge and strength to do what is right to keep everyone else safe.

Your leadership gifts were identified in you before you hit school. You could get the neighborhood boys in line and they were all older than you.

You were your 1st grade teacher’s assistant, when you got your work done early, she trusted you to teach your peers.

You were selected time and time again for your competitive soccer team to be the team captain.

You ran trap lines with Joel. Went duck hunting as a little boy with Ken, only to be told that Ken never takes kids, but you proved yourself. You carried and baby wore your countless little sisters and constantly told me to take breaks when life with 5 kids was TOO much for me.

You went on fishing trips with grandpa Dan and proved yet again that you could work harder than any deckhand.

Covid, you memorized the Gettyburg Address so you could get more screen time.

Remember the girl you protected on the plane from the creep?

Mothers day…I have never known one without a hot breakfast in bed because of you and if you are in the car, I NEVER fill up my own gas tank.

William Cayden Harney – things are challenging right now…right?  You have 3 years left to live at home and be a “child”.  Yet we all know you are a man in so many ways.  It’s hard to figure out how to help you grow into the man God wants you to be.  Its hard not making mistakes still after 15 years of being your mom.  It’s hard learning to let you go and make choices that I don’t always like.

But when things get too big for my human heart to handle.  I am gently reminded that you my one and only son are my greatest gift.  When you drew your first breath, when I heard your cry, when you were rushed to the NICU, when I finally held you 2 hours later…I knew that God heard a longing in my heart that I didn’t even know.

I get to honor my end of the deal with God.  I will continue to give you back to Him.  Trusting that you too have heard His voice.  In fact you shared with me times that He spoke to you. 

You are mine, but I am so thankful you are God’s too!

William Cayden Harney – Happy 15th Bday