Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Longing Fulfilled

The following is a part of a series of posts that will take you on a (very personal) journey with me through the story of our family. If you are just now tuning in, take a minute to start back at the beginning and catch up: 

Post 1: A Journey
Post 2: Love Awakened
Post 3: Hope Deferred

Thursday, October 18, 2012 started off like a typical morning. My alarm went off at the crack of dawn and I stumbled into the bathroom to put on my work out clothes. But on that particular morning, something broke up my normal routine. I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive! 

No one who has been trying to get pregnant as long as we have ever expects to see the word “pregnant” on that test. Hope for it? Absolutely, every month. But expect it? No, we lost that expectation long ago. I have no idea how many times I’ve taken a pregnancy test only to let out a sigh at the disappointing results.

I was at a complete loss of what to do. I wanted to tell Andy is some brilliant way but instead I just walked back out of the bathroom and stared at him while he was still laying in bed. He looked at my speechless expression and was suddenly wide awake. He said, “What?! Are you pregnant?” I couldn’t even speak. I just excitedly nodded my head and jumped back into bed. 

The first words out of Andy’s mouth were an expression of relief as he said, “Oh, wow. Thank God!” We laid there hugging and crying and praying. After 56 long months of hoping for another baby, we could have received no greater news that day!

Later that morning as I was about to read my Bible and spend some time alone with God, I decided I wanted to start off by journaling about the events of the morning and the joy that was bursting out of my heart. All morning a certain verse kept coming in my head: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12) You see, every month for those 56 months, that was the verse that popped in my mind after discovering that I was not pregnant, again. But not the whole verse. Just the part that says, “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” I understood that. I knew all too well exactly what those words meant. 

However, on that glorious morning of October 18, I could claim the second part of the verse as my own: A longing fulfilled is a tree of life. 

As I sat down to write in my journal, I paused to look up the reference for that verse. Wouldn’t you know, in the Providence of God, that verse was in the section of Scripture that I would have read that day for the daily reading plan that I was following. When I discovered that, tears flowed down my cheeks again. Only God could have timed it so perfectly.

I imagined God looking down on my joy-filled, overwhelmingly thankful heart the way a parent feels watching a child open the best Christmas present in the world. The excitement of the child is rivaled only by the excitement of the parent. I thought of God up in heaven watching this plan unfold and felt sure that He must be laughing with joy! Squirming with excitement in His throne as He watched me discover that I was pregnant. Clapping His hands with delight as Andy and I rejoiced together. Grinning from ear to ear as He thought, “I’ve got one more little surprise for ya...Go get your journal and Bible and see what little nugget I stored away for you today!”

We didn’t make a public announcement right away (only our families and the South Bay staff), but I was shocked that everyone in the whole world couldn’t immediately tell that I was pregnant. I felt like a different person. Wasn’t I floating instead of walking? Wasn’t I glowing at all times? Did the radiant smile and permanent good mood not give it away? 

I discovered that our due date would be some time at the end of June, which could not have been better timing for our family. June is probably our most relaxed month in the rhythms of church life. That also gave me a month and a half before homeschool started back up to just enjoy the baby and try to get on some type of routine. And the cherry on top was that the birthday was nicely spaced away from other family birthdays and Christmas. Ahhh, so perfect!

The people we did tell were all well aware of our long-term struggle with infertility and had all been praying on our behalf. Their reactions to our good news were priceless. Several of my friends burst into tears. One almost fell while holding her own child! One friend couldn’t stop jumping up and down. Another told me later that she felt like a huge burden was lifted off her shoulders when she heard the news. She said, “I didn’t even realize that it was there, but I guess I’ve been carrying this with you ever since I first learned of your struggle.” She learned of it four years ago. 

I told my mom, “If ever someone knows how to be thankful for a pregnancy, it’s me. You will never hear me complain about anything regarding being pregnant, even if I’m puking in a toilet or can’t get out of bed.”

Every night as we go to sleep, Andy prays for us. For as long as I can remember, those prayers have included, “...and please bless our family with another healthy baby.” (Often he threw in there “baby girl” just for clarity’s sake. :-) ) Now the prayers changed from supplication to thanksgiving, and then back to supplication again. Every night, “Thank you so much for blessing our family with this precious gift. Please protect Stacie and the baby as he/she grows in Stacie’s womb. We pray that this baby would be healthy and strong and a world-changer in Your kingdom.” 

And then we would fall asleep with our hearts full. Thankful? Oh, there was so, so much that we were thankful for...

Happy Thanksgiving, Folks! The journey continues tomorrow... 

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