Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I’m not a patient person. So four years ago, when my husband and I decided to start trying to have a baby I got down on my knees every day for months and prayed that God would bless us with a baby this month - if it was His will and in His timing. I have to admit I wasn’t wholeheartedly praying the “His timing” part. Miraculously, it only took a few months. I selfishly thought God knew I couldn’t wait too long and had answered my prayer. Little did I know, He knew I would need all the patience I could find in a few short months.
Fast forward 32 weeks. I go to work one morning as usual and soon realize something isn’t right. An hour or so passes by and I quickly realize I can’t ignore it. I drive home, change clothes and head to the doctor’s office. Throughout the morning I stop a few times to Google what might be happening to me and the baby (a very bad idea for anyone having a medical issue!) and then finally convince myself to stop reading and start praying. Right on cue, “This is What it Feels Like to Be Led” comes on the radio.
This may not be the road I would choose for me
But it still feels right somehow
‘Cause I have never felt You as close to me
As I do right now
So this is what it feels like to be led
I remember thinking, “Ok God, I hear you, you’ve got this.” So I prayed and I prayed and I prayed…all the way to the hospital. I put on my brave face, walked myself into the doctor’s office and waited. My doctor confirmed my water had broken (although at that point it was pretty obvious) and let me know I had earned myself a ticket to the hospital. I took the elevator down with the nurse and checked myself into the hospital that would become my new home for the next 19 days.
During the weeks leading up to this event, I had been studying a book on contentment with a group of girls from church. Talk about God’s perfect timing. My sweet girlfriends even came to the hospital for the last week of the study to visit. I had posted Philippians 4:11-13 on the dashboard of my car at the beginning of this study and can’t tell you how many times I recited this verse over the next 11 days.
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Whatever the circumstances, all things, any and every situation. Even sit in a hospital bed and not leave the same room with the same four walls for 11 whole days. You see, I’m not a person who likes to sit still for very long. There was a nursery to be painted, a crib to assemble, work to transition my job responsibilities, a house to be cleaned, a husband to care for – and I couldn’t do any of it – which would normally have driven me absolutely crazy. Only by God’s amazing grace did I survive those days with a total sense of peace.
After 11 days, one steroid shot, one nervous breakdown and one lung maturity test for our baby - we were finally ready. Back to my impatience, I couldn’t wait until the decided induction date, I went into labor all by myself on January 24th, 2010 and delivered a perfect baby boy. I remember the second he came praying for him to cry so I knew his lungs were ok – and boy did he come out screaming! Harrison was immediately taken to the NICU to receive antibiotics through an IV. He stayed in the NICU for eight days. Each day was harder than any part of pregnancy or delivery, but we were so lucky and blessed that he was a strong, healthy baby that we got to take home in such a short time. I am in awe of families who endure extended stays in the NICU and the doctors and nurses that provide their care.
Many diapers, bottles and sleepless nights later; we decided to try for #2. Again, my impatient nature reared its ugly head, and I pleaded with God to bless us with a second child this month. And again, He answered my prayer in just a few short months. Thirty-five weeks later and I’m back at the hospital in pre-term labor – which fortunately slowed down after a few hours. Thankfully, I got to complete my second round of bed rest at home. But, the chaos of a two-year-old with a momma who couldn’t run and play with him caused my impatience to get the best of me on many days during these two weeks of bed rest. Until finally, I remember what I had learned two short years ago. These are His plans, not mine. His ways are higher than my ways. Ok God, I remember, I’m waiting.
At 39 weeks our precious baby girl, Reese, was born, and we got to take her straight home from the hospital with us. No NICU, no IVS, no NeoNatal doctors – it was amazing.
So here we are, trying to survive and enjoy the chaos of our wild 3 ½ year old boy (who is ALL boy) and his sweet, laid back 11-month-old little sister. Most days, I let daily living get the best of me. I forget these stories and how God taught me so much through both of their arrivals. Then, there are moments when I see their perfect little faces and remember how amazing His grace is, and I try to soak it all in. I won’t deny that I still let my impatience get the best of me far too often; it is still a daily struggle. But, I’ve learned through these awesome experiences and a whole lot of prayer that this life is not about me, it’s about Him - my weakness made perfect in His power.