As if the anticipation were bad enough I have a countdown app on my phone.. yes 13 days 03 hrs 3 min 15 sec give or take a few hours…or days. Who really knows! I take comfort in my little countdown but really as I sit on the couch with my Braxton Hicks it reminds me that I am not in charge. Neither is she for that matter, God knows the hour and He will supply us the courage and grace we need exactly when we need it. I do imagine my water breaking and panic setting in sometimes. Any normal pregnancy with the second baby there’s the confidence of ‘I’ve done this before, I know what to expect’ but with this there’s not. But we’re doing the best we can. The last few weeks I have acquired a bassinet, a co-sleeper and we’re getting the car seat ready. I need to buy a pink outfit. In all this prep there has been so much peace. Like a blanket, just surrounding us. Grace and rest..and I just have to remind myself that I simply have to trust Him and the rest will take care of itself.
Leilah is not the only arrival we have coming. My mom, sister, sister’s fiancé, best friend and husband are arriving a few days before the birth to help out and be here for us. I keep making plans in my head like oh we could take the boat to Alcatraz or shop at Ghiradelli Square or the zoo! Oh wait- no. That’s not why they’re here and I definitely am in no shape to hike around Alcatraz- waddle around yes, hike no. I am touched by their willingness to be part of this event, it takes courage, I am blessed to have them.
So last Tuesday I met with my midwife. Tomorrow we have another appt. Leilah continues doing great, very active, strong heart beat, head down. Once again having a midwife that has faith, that prays with me for a miracle – its just an incredible blessing. I’m still in awe that God worked that out.
On Wednesday Nick and I head to Redding for Healing conference with Bill Johnson and Randy Clark. The conference will teach on a variety of healing aspects but the two that struck Nick and I were ‘The Thrill of Victory’ and ‘The Agony of Defeat’. Each night there will be an alter call for those in need of healing, I will be first in line getting all the ministry I can for my baby girl.
- The Conference, Thursday and Friday. We are not going just to seek healing for Leilah but also to be loved on and to love our God. We desire/expect a radical encounter with Papa God. We want to be sewn to His heart and not to our circumstance. That no matter the outcome we want to have a fresh fire and revelation to keep us anchored in.
- For Nick & I’s time together at the conference. I just want a joy filled, life giving time with my hubby. We are great friends and our love language is quality time, something that has been missing the past month with our busy life. We have 3 days together at the conference and then we have 4 days until our guests arrive, 12 until she comes. And some great sleep would be nice too…
- For B, my handsome, active little 19 month old. That his heart would receive all that God has in store for him in the next few weeks. This is affecting and will impact him whether or not he’s really comprehending what is happening. He’ll be at his grandparents house quite a bit during this so I know he’ll be loved on. But I just pray for a special time for him. Also I pray that we as parents would demonstrate that we serve a Good God who has no limits. I want that to echo in his heart and set the course for his life. That he would have crazy faith!
- Financially, having a baby isn’t budget friendly. If we end up needing hospice care or anything extra please pray that we continue to see His abundant provision. The last two months we have been incredibly blessed and humbled with anonymous checks in the mail- to whoever you are – THANK YOU! You have no idea what an immense and timely blessing those were.
- Our family and friends. Please pray for the hearts that have been softened and drawn towards the Lord. We want lives to be impacted for Christ regardless of the outcome.
- And lastly, the birth itself. Quick, natural labor with a healthy beautiful baby girl at the end.
The Holidays are over! I’m not sure whether I’m happy or sad. I don’t know if this year was just busier than usual or if being very pregnant and chasing an active toddler made it extra tough. Physically and emotionally I am thankful to be back to regular life. The week of Christmas was tough for Nick and I. We both had break downs. His was a momentary one, I wasn’t so lucky..
Christmas Eve I spent the morning cleaning. My M.O is doing the dishes and listening to Bethel Sermons. This day’s sermon hit me hard. Like I probably should have rewashed the dishes because of all the snot and tears that infiltrated the sink. The sermon started out with a testimony of a 4yr old little boy from Norway with ridiculous health problems, he was slowly dying, in a wheel chair, unable to eat. He had an encounter with the Healer. Here’s the link if you have a couple minutes it’s amazing – http://documentedhealings.com/bethel-church-healing/. After their testimony Bill called for anyone with Cancer or some sort of terminal, incurable disease to stand up for prayer. While people were standing someone asked about ‘standing in the gap’, which means that person stands up for someone they know who needs healing for those things. That reminded Bill of a testimony he recently heard about an infant who had cancerous tumors around the heart, someone stood in the gap and received prayer for that baby and the tumors and cancers were gone. The baby was healed completely. So back to people standing for terminal diseases, praying that impossible conditions would be reversed, breakthrough would happen. Of course Leilah was rolling around and making her presence known as I was listening (and she is now as I re-listen to the sermon). It was just one of those moments when everything that was being said applied deeply to my life. I wasn’t at the sink doing dishes -I was at church. As Bill said these testimonies of the God we serve doing the impossible I cried ‘Of course!! THAT’S WHAT YOU DO!’. None of that surprises me. He’s a great and powerful God, capable of anything. As tears and snot ran down my face my heart’s question was ‘What if you choose not to act?’ Then it all came tumbling down on top of my head…fear, dread, hopelessness, loneliness…it was a rough few days to follow.
Now normally I have a few hard hours or 1 day but I couldn’t shake this. Everyday seemed to get worse. I couldn’t imagine a baby shower, she’d move and I couldn’t talk to her. I didn’t want to leave the house or be in public because I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. I could burst into tears or worse at any moment. At our family gatherings I pretended to chase B around so I could avoid conversations. I wasn’t the nicest wifey I could be- I had moments of wondering if she dies will our marriage even make it. I felt scared that if she dies my faith won’t survive. I felt like all my prayers hitting the ceiling. I hate to admit this one but jealousy, bitterness and anger crept in as I met the new baby that was added to our extended family. Anytime I’ve thought why me, why us, immediately it’s been rebutted with why not me, why not us- but this week I pondered it a little deeper. It’s just not fair. I was even angry towards teenage girls on reality shows that didn’t even want to be pregnant in the first place but go on to have healthy babies. Anger towards anyone who has ever taken for granted a healthy pregnancy.
I told Nick on Sunday afternoon that I don’t think people can handle when I am unable to handle this. I really don’t think people want to know the nitty gritty. He couldn’t even handle it! I was just going to suffer in silence until the storm passed and try to keep my poison inside. But in true Jesus fashion HE saw that I needed encouragement. HE heard the prayers I was sure were hitting the ceiling. On Sunday night 3 people facebook message/texted me saying they were praying for me. Their words were for His grace to cover, empower, encourage and strengthen me. For His courage to be in my heart. One sent me a voice memo of scriptures reminding me to think about the things of heaven not of earth, to rest in His peace, to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.
People – PRAYER WORKS. Monday morning I woke up and the ‘fog’ was lifted. No more hopelessness, I felt joy, deep joy and courage to hope. Strength to pray. Love for my wonderful hubby. A new embrace for this journey and a refreshed ariel view that HE WILL USE THIS for His glory, no matter the outcome. I fell asleep Tuesday night holding my belly as she kicked and moved, from the depths of my heart I told her I loved her, that I want her to live, I imagined what the baby shower will look like. A night and day difference from the days before. I am so thankful for the support and amazing warriors God has placed around us. I’m thankful for a God that hears and acts even when I don’t feel He’s listening. He sent help before I even asked for it.
So as we walk through the final weeks of this journey, 5 to be exact, I will do my best to be more transparent. Hard days are coming stronger and more frequent, kinda like contractions…I think sometimes I forget that I’ve never been through something like this, I don’t have directions or a game plan. This whole Holiday season our family and church has been singing All the Poor and Powerless by All Sons & Daughters. The children sang it in our church’s Christmas program, as a family we sang it at our company party, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The lyrics remind me that I am powerless, He is God. Sometimes I sing this with all my heart and change the lyrics to He is GOOD.
Go on scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses
That He is God
We will sing out
I am powerless to do anything but surrender my heart and trust my God. I will scream it to mountains, He is God and He is Good.