I can think of no other title, but His kindness overwhelms.

Back in August I wrote my heart out sharing my quiet, an often not so quiet, pain that I have felt for the last four years. I wanted to put my thoughts down in words, maybe for the 100th time, but often in my writing I find the real wrestle in my heart. I've struggled deeply with the promise that God is good. I KNOW He is good.... but the "even if not".... the even if we aren't spared from this raging fire in Babylon, even if we lose it all, even if we never receive what our hearts want most... He is still good and its all for His glory and our goodness. I've struggled and wrestled and prayed and yelled and cried for the last four years begging to believe this truth in the midst of isolating, then marital, then family pain desiring for our family to grow. And here is where He has been so sweet.... I've had to wrestle. I've had to admit that I'm struggling believing it (He knew). I had to shepherd my children through that very same pain and confusion. 
And its made me actually come to believe it. 
Though the pain... through the trial... in the wanting, He met me and healed my broken heart by picking up the millions of little pieces in tender ways. Like in our family days, in the moments where I hold my Eleanor and Tripp so tightly and they hold me right back, like in tying my family together because though we wanted more, we know we have more than enough in one another. Slowly but surely, I came to understand His goodness to me - it looked different than I thought it would, but I truly had come to a place where I trusted His plan. And that's all I can remember begging for.... Lord, if this is your answer, prove to me that you are good. Prove to me that this way is better. Change the desires of my heart if you must, slow me down where you need to, but I am begging to believe when you say that you are good. 
And in his tender mercy, I got there this fall. Not perfectly, not completely, but in the wrestle He was so tender and consistently present. I saw the goodness of the Lord so evidently because where for years I would lose my breath, refuse to get out of bed, or harbor bitterness - now in the wrestle I found Him to be near, my peace, my sustenance. 

November 8th... it was a Wednesday before the women's conference at our church. The last calendar event for 2017 after an insanely busy fall. I was meeting with my friend, Holli, to make sure we were ready for our teaching sessions... and I was dragging. Eleanor had just gotten over a sinus infection and I was confident she passed it along to me - mix that with the previous 10 weeks of constant activity - and I was drained. Holli even noticed how tired and fatigued I looked....we prayed that I could finish the weekend strong. 

November 14... Julia and I always go on a birthday lunch date. That evening I called her to let her know I had been in bed all day and would be miserable company and that we would need to reschedule. Because truly, since the women's conference ended, I was in bed or wanting to be in bed. I was dizzy, lightheaded and I felt like my heart was constantly racing. So I made a doctor appointment for the next day. 

November 15... I laid in bed until my doctor appointment at 4:30pm. I begged the doctor to check for infection, for mono (because I had mono in high school and this was so reminiscent of that entire experience), for anemia, for hyper thyroidism... truly, for all the things. And she did. She took 10 vials of blood and told me she'd keep me posted as they tested for every possible scenario. 

November 16... I called the doctor back and said I couldn't keep living this way. While we waited on the blood test results, I needed medicine. She called me in Amoxicilin and BJ started telling me he thought I was dying. 

November 17... BJ and I had planned to go to the French Room for my birthday and we were both looking forward to it. I didn't have the energy to shower, so he took me to DryBar so they could do my hair (I almost told the girl I needed to lay down halfway through), and I muscled up every ounce of strength to go on our date. Big mistake. What a waste of money and time I was.... literally I just complained about how gross the food was, how tired I was and kept checking my resting heart rate every 10 minutes. I was miserable...... and we learned our lesson, don't overdue it when you don't feel good.

November 18-19... Over the weekend test results started to come in but I don't know how to read test results. So instead I slept as much as I could and when I was awake if I didn't eat I would literally feel like I was going to vomit. Overnight I went from Whole30 to Chickfila, Potbelly, Wendy's, La Madeline, Papa Johns.... it didn't matter. I needed food and I needed it now. 

November 20... my birthday. We went to serve at City Square downtown and I had to sit most of the time... and afterwards I ended up at Freebirds then in bed for literally the rest of the day. I had no cake, no birthday dinner, no anything.... BJ even took the kids to dinner without me because I couldn't hang. We decided we would celebrate my birthday the next day, instead.

November 21...
7:02am - Phone call from my doctor that I missed because it was 7:02am. I heard the phone ringing but there was no way I was answering that early. But I heard the voicemail go off so I knew I should take a listen. Truly, BJ and I thought I was dying... I was just sure my white blood count was sky high, or mono was wreaking havoc in my body... instead the message was brief but thorough. "All of the labs have come back and everything is ok. There is no evidence of mono or CMV and your blood count looks fine, BUT...... the pregnancy test came back positive."
7:03am - After I let out the worlds largest gasp, I shook and stumbled my way to the bathroom because I couldn't believe my ears. I'm sorry, the WHAT came back positive? And because like I've mentioned, I've wrestled for the last four years... I have a pregnancy test that I could take. So I did... I fumbled getting it out of the package, trembled as I thought of actually taking the test and then took a big deep breath and did it. Sure enough something I never thought I would ever see on a test again: PREGNANT. I started wailing so loudly and convulsing to much that you would have thought the greatest tragedy of my life just hit. 
I sobbed, I mean I sobbed, my way back to the bed to shake BJ awake. I told him the doctor had called me to tell me my results and I know he feared the worst based on my behavior. Then I shared something I never thought my lips would say again: BJ, I'm pregnant. And I shook and cried and sobbed and heaved for a good 15 minutes in his arms. 

November 22...
I called the doctor because its been six years since I've had a baby and I don't remember much, but I remember getting in to see him to figure out how far along I was. And it was the most surreal call, drive, and appointment of my life. It felt like I was living in the twilight zone... I was back in the office where we first saw Eleanor's heartbeat, where we first saw Tripper's heartbeat, where we had the confirmation that we lost BR #3.... and here I was four years later telling them a blood test and a pee sample said I was pregnant. Dr. Richards doesn't deliver babies anymore, so I went to his son.... and he was so gentle, so patient, so compassionate and so excited for BJ and I. We did the sonogram and saw it clear as day.... your heartbeat. I sobbed, gasped, on the table.... a heartbeat, there YOU are,  growing inside of me. A mercy and kindness I don't deserve, that my heart cannot fully grasp, an abundance beyond what I could have ever dreamed. His kindness overwhelms. 
Thank you, Jesus, for this miracle
I'm overwhelmed in every way. I've got a new understanding of You that I never have had, nor knew I needed, in this life. You are good, but your goodness is so far beyond me getting the desires of my heart. My heart wrestled with this for years, but your tenderness led me to believe it in the wanting. Assuming I would never, ever be celebrating this precious life inside of me. But thank you, thank you so much for your kindness to me. I am undeserving and humbled.

Baby... you are our miracle. Our next miracle. We have prayed and pleaded and begged for you for years.... and all four of us cannot wait to have you in our arms. Eleanor and Tripp don't know about you quite yet, but that's only because you will be their dream come true and we want to make it part of Christmas for them. They have prayed for you for years. They talk, ask, beg for you in so many of our conversations and we can't wait to let them know you are on the way. 
Its surreal. Its overwhelming. Its our greatest joy. 
This past year I have been studying Psalm 139 and I am SO THANKFUL that the Lord gave me that passage to prepare my heart for you. Its the peace I need in all of my fears waiting for you.... verses 13 - 16 remind me that you are HIS. I'm so thankful that the one who is GOOD has made you, knows you, sustains you. 
Today, I pray that for years and years and years and years we will sing testimony of his hand on your precious life. Trusting the One who loves you more than I do. That sees that beating heart in my tummy and loves you, and will love you with a perfect, steadfast love. 

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

Baby, we love you. We can't wait to meet you and its our privilege to continue to pray over your precious life as we prepare our hearts, our lives, and our home in the waiting. You are SO worth it. July 2018.... my heart may burst.

Thank you, Jesus, for your kindness to us. We are so, so thankful and excited.
**Written November 2017


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