Sunday, January 1, 2012

See What the Lord Has Done: It's a Boy!

I wanted to share this as a testimony to the Lord, to His faithfulness and lovingkindness to His people.
Earlier this year (2011), we decided to start “trying” to have a baby.  I use “trying” loosely, because I wasn’t tracking ovulation.  If you don’t know what that is then you either have been blessed with excellent fertility or you may be in for a surprise when you do want to conceive.  The reason that I wasn’t tracking anything was because I had a strong personal conviction that I shouldn’t.  I know myself and I can over-analyze and work myself up over things (which I did even though I wasn’t counting days), and I felt like I was controlling a process which is clearly from the Lord.  Please don’t think that I believe that tracking ovulation is sinful – not at all!  I just felt like it wouldn’t be the best thing for me to do at the time, because I could already feel my heart trusting and hoping in creation rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25).  It truly was a heart issue for me.
A few months went by and I started to worry about whether I could get pregnant or not.  Even though I knew that the average time to conceive for first time moms is 6+ months, I did not think that would be me, mainly because I had never had any female issues and I had not been on any form of contraceptive pill/shot.  I should also probably mention that I had been waiting for my husband to decide that he was ready for children for over a year, so by the time we started “trying” I was READY and already felt like I had been waiting forever.  To be quite honest, those few months of hoping to get pregnant were difficult for me.  I think the most difficult thing was the unknown.  As in, “What if I can’t get pregnant at all and we have been putting this off for awhile and taking it for granted when it’s not even an option?”  
I know several couples who have experienced/are experiencing infertility and have been for months or years, so I knew it was absolutely possible that the Lord may have had other plans for us.  On the one hand, it was a strong desire of my heart to have my own children, yet I also knew that the Lord would work all things for good regardless of the situation (Romans 8:28).  So daily (and I mean daily), I would cling to the Lord and His sovereignty over every situation.  If we hadn’t gotten pregnant yet, then it was for our good and His glory and was part of His plan.  I was determined to praise the Lord regardless of my circumstances.  I would cry out to the Lord for strength and patience as we waited.  One of the principles of Scripture that was particularly encouraging during this time was that waiting on the Lord produces strength and endurance.  I think this is counter to what the world teaches.  Conventional thought is that having to wait for something that you want drags you down or embitters you, but Scripture teaches that our strength comes from waiting, not only in receiving.
“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with    wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31
"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”  Romans 5:3-5
“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”  Psalm 27:14
Of course, our one resounding hope is eternal life in Heaven, but I couldn’t help but be changed in my attitude toward waiting after reading these passages.  And I can’t help but praise the Lord for the life-changing lessons I learned as I waited, and I know that there will be many more times in my life that I will need to be reminded of this.
I would like to interject here and be the first to say that I did not have to wait long, as we conceived even before the 6 month average.  Many, many couples wait years and never have a baby of their own.  We are no different from them.  In fact, secondary infertility is also an issue that absolutely may be in our future as it is with others that we know.  However, what I felt during this time was authentic and I hope it can be used to encourage and strengthen others in some small way.  If you are a young husband or wife, I would encourage you to not take your fertility for granted.  Society and even most Christians teach that you need to finish a, b, and c, before having a baby, but women absolutely have a window of time in their lives when they are most able to get pregnant.  Unfortunately, more and more women are figuring this out at too late an age.  I would strongly recommend reading Start Your Family by Steve and Candice Watters to anyone considering children now or in the future.
Back to the story….So fast forward to July 2011.  Up until this point, we had been praying that the Lord would bless us with a child in his timing.  Earlier in the year, there had been a few things that I boldly asked the Lord for which He had not given us.  What He did give us was even better, but this led me to struggle with praying for specific things, because I only want the Lord’s will for my life and I obviously had been asking for things which were not His will for us.  Don’t misunderstand – I still believed in prayer but mainly prayed for whatever the Lord’s will was for us, instead of asking for things explicitly (I believe Scripture gives us instruction to do both of these things).  I know that God sees children as a blessing, but I did not know when, how, or if this would happen to us, yet I wanted to be faithful in waiting and trusting God to provide as He saw fit.  This was not easy for me as Michael can attest to.
As July came and went, I started to feel strongly that I needed to pray more specifically.  Namely, I prayed that we would conceive a son in August.  Michael also joined me in praying this.  To ask for a certain gender may seem extravagant to some, and honestly it is to me as well, having worked with so many sick children.  Asking for a specific gender almost seems like I’m asking for too much.  Truth be told, though, Michael and I were both hoping for a boy, and the Spirit was pressing on me to boldly put my request before the Lord:
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:16
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.   Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.”  Psalm 37:4-5
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  Psalm 73: 25-26  - This verse was one in particular that would go through my mind often.  I desired these things and wanted these things.  If I wasn’t asking for them from the Lord, who was I supposed to go to?  There is no other.
”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Philippians 4:6
“Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning.  Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray.”  Psalm 5:1-2
August came…and no baby.  By God’s grace, I continued to pray as I had before: that we would conceive a son in August.  Then, in God’s glorious mercy, in mid-September we found out that we were having a baby!  As I tried to calculate back to figure out when I would have conceived, I estimated that I had conceived around Labor Day weekend in September.  When we went in for our first ultrasound, it was determined that I was off in my calculations and that the baby had been conceived August 31st or before.  Glory, glory!!  It was an absolute confirmation to both Michael and I that the Lord had heard our prayer and answered!  Michael even said, “There’s no way this baby is anything but a boy.”  We just KNEW that this was an act of God.
Fast forward to December 2011.  When you’re pregnant, everyone loves to guess what you’re having, and a few people will even tell you as fact what you’re having (I think this is strange but whatever).  Only 2 people ever guessed a boy.   Most people very confidently - and I mean VERY CONFIDENTLY - told me I was having a girl.  I even went in for a quick ultrasound at 14 weeks and the tech guessed girl (not any reflection of her ability – 14 weeks is usually too early to know for sure).  But the entire time I knew that it had to be a boy.  I would even refer to the baby as “he” and then catch myself and say “or she”.  I wanted to be prepared if the Lord had determined a girl for us – which we would have taken with rejoicing.  Of course there were times when I questioned it, but the Spirit kept telling me to trust that the Lord had provided all that we had asked.  I dared hope.  It was too much.  We weren’t deserving of such a direct answer.
And then, on December 27th at our anatomy scan, we finally saw our Baby BOY!
PRAISE HIS NAME!!!!  The LORD has heard our prayer!!  Oh what JOY and awe in what the Lord has done.  What a monumental moment for our faith. 
Please join us in praying that the Lord would continue to bless this baby, this pregnancy, and the delivery.  And more so that even now the Lord would give salvation to our son.  Not our will, Lord, but yours be done.  Both now and forevermore!
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.  
 Proverbs 13:12


sabrina said...

sooo excited for you to experience the joy of motherhood! and I am so glad you shared this story- i needed to be reminded that the Lord desires for us to present our requests to him and that he wants to give us the desires of our hearts!

sabrina said...

oh- and I hope you will blog all thru your pregnancy and keep me updated!

are you guys going to take birthing classes anywhere?

Alex said...

Yes, we're starting Bradley classes in February! Can't wait!

sabrina said...

Oh yay!!! you need to "like" my bradley teachers page on facebook- she links to some great articles:!/AnEverydayMiracle

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