Faith, Titres, Miracles and 17 weeks

Baby-announcement_web

I have my 20 week ultrasound in less than three weeks. Part of me can’t wait to FINALLY know whether there’s a boy or a girl that I’ve been feeling kicking around in there, and part of me feels like I can’t possibly be that close to the halfway point already! I’ve been meaning to type a blog post for some time now with an update, but it mostly got lost in the midst of morning-sickness-that-was-really-more all-day sickness, kindergarten registration for a certain soon-to-be 5-year-old, a bunch of newborn photoshoots in recent weeks, and what has been an incredibly busy semester for Sam.

But, I’ve known since we first saw that faint “positive” on the test that this post, in some form or another, was going to come.

Shortly after we moved to New York, and feeling like we’d just made the biggest leap of faith EVER (Sam stepped down from a well-paying job to pursue a PhD out of state because we felt that’s what God was leading us to do), there was a guest speaker at our church on Sunday who spoke on: you guessed it. Faith.

Been there, done that, dude.

“Obedience oftentimes precedes understanding.”

Yep. We know. I mean, come on. Faith is basically our middle name now.

And yet, God wasn’t content to leave it there. As much as I tried to tie the message to the leap of faith we were already in the midst of, my heart kept coming back to something else.

A baby.

As many of you know, my last pregnancy was characterized as “high risk.” (You can read that story here and here and finally, here). Due to the potential complications we faced, Sam and I had decided that even though we really wanted another someday, it just seemed too risky. Too unknown. And we decided not to try for another unless we heard a direct word from God.

But, as “Christian” as that sounds, the reality was that it was a decision shrouded in fear. Fear that would keep me up into the wee hours of the morning if things weren’t exactly on time every month. Fear that would tinge my words when someone asked me if/when we’d have another.

“Well,” I’d say, “It’s a little complicated for us. . .”

And it was the week after this message on faith that I had that same exact conversation with a new friend – and though I’d said them before, this time, even as I heard the words coming out of my mouth, I hated them. Here’s a snippet from my journal that week:

What a way to portray my God!

The God of the universe.

The God that I’ve walked with since I was a child. Who’s power and provision and faithfulness in my life have been unmistakable. Unwavering. Astonishing.

El Shaddai, the LORD God Almighty.

The Lord our provider, the Lord our healer, the Lord our peace.

If I don’t believe He’s bigger than the situations in my life, if I can’t release to Him my fears, if I can’t trust in His plan, His purpose, His power – then why in the world would others want to meet my God?

When did I exchange my faith for fear?

When did I exchange trust in an all-knowing, all-powerful God for a carefully calculated risk assessment?

And, was I really, truly listening for his guidance in this area of my life? Or had I shelved the question of more kids and covered it in a Godly-sounding safety net of “waiting for his will” instead of opening my heart and my life to the plans and purposes of God, regardless of whether or not that meant a call to deeper waters?

I knew I wasn’t. And boy did Sam and I wrestle with that in the coming weeks. Could this really be our answer? Why now – when the timing seemed to make NO sense? When we’d almost decided that two was a good number and our little family of four was very nice and complete as it was.

I mean, we were already IN a leap of faith. Isn’t there some sort of a faith max-out level?

Sam is doing a PhD. People ALREADY think we’re crazy for doing this with TWO kids. Heck, I think we’re crazy sometimes.

And while it wasn’t a definite answer to my questions, I felt God challenging me that day to take a look at my hesitancy. He threw the door wide open and exposed my “wait on God” decision for what it really was. Fear.

And we felt Him asking us to consider what it would look like to walk in faith instead of fear. To give up the sleepless nights and the worrying and trust in a God who’s power knows no bounds.

Fast-forward a few months, and here we are. Three weeks from the halfway point in my pregnancy.

And the antigens? The titers? All the risks from last time?

They aren’t there.

Oh, I still do the monthly blood draws. But after the first couple showed up negative for ANY antigens at all, the doctor ordered a highly-sensitive, specific test to search for just the Anti-E and Anti-Cw, which we knew should already be there.

“I don’t know why,” she said “But even on a highly sensitive test, we aren’t finding even a trace of either one of them.”

Not. A. Trace.

They tell me there is still a chance that the levels could rise. That we still need to bank the right blood in case of an emergency and continue to monitor it through the monthly bloodwork.

But we’re believing in a miracle. That they’ll never find that trace.

This morning at church the words to the worship song on the screen blurred as I tearfully looked down at my rounding belly and could barely sing the words past the lump in my throat:

I will look back and see that you are faithful
I look ahead believing you are able
Jesus, Lord of all
Jesus, Lord of All

Prince of Peace
Perfect Healer
All my life, all my cares on you*

That’s the God I serve. 

 

-Bethany

*Elevation Worship: I Will Look Up.

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