Happy New Year! Can you believe we are already a week into 2018?
This is my first official post. It's hard to know where to begin...I have found my faith unfolding in more ways than I could have ever imagined over the last 10 years. Though I don't want to make this a "mommy blog" or all about fertility, it is a huge part of my story. So I'm going to start at the beginning of my mommy-unfolding journey.
Nathan and I have been married for 13 years! Our dream was to live on a farm, have three children and live happily ever after. Have our dreams come true? Mostly...partially...slowly!
We started trying to build our family a couple years after we married. Infertility wasn't even in my vocabulary. But it quickly became apparent that yes, it would be a large part of my vocabulary and my world.
Not long into our marriage came all of those wonderful inquiries and we found ourselves trying to graciously answer the ever looming question, "When are you going to start a family?"
How do you answer that? "We're trying," followed by a plastered on smile. "All in God's time," with an attempted gesture to nonchalantly brush it off. "Oh, whenever God says so," turn around, walk away, hold back the tears.
Been there? We were there for years! And even now..."Do you want more children?" "Are you ever going to give Nuriah a baby brother or sister?"
Yes. Yes we do. We want more children. We believe we will have more children. Nuriah is desperate for a sibling...
But again, we plaster the smile on our faces, stifle the bitterness that is trying to rear it's ugly head, and graciously respond with, "All in God's timing."
But the point of today's blog is not to complain or allow bitterness to take root. No, the point of today's blog is to give hope...which will be the point of EVERY blog.
When the Lord Speaks...
In many of my posts, you will probably hear me talk a lot about hearing from the Lord, or referring to prophecies spoken over me or my family. I want to take a quick moment to share why.
I have had many personal words of prophecy. If you have not, I encourage you to specifically ask the Lord to bring others into your path who have the gift to prophetically speak into your life.
At our church, we are privileged to receive at least one prophecy a year! On your birthday, you get sung over, prayed over and prophesied over! These prophecies are words of encouragement and meant for us to hold on to, to ponder and to remind us of the hope we have through our relationship with Jesus, Who came to reveal the heart of our Father.
When you do receive prophecies, I encourage you to transcribe what was said and keep your prophecies in a notebook or journal to look back on. I also encourage you to write down testimonies of both when prophecies are fulfilled and when a prayer is answered. We need to both look back at what God has done and look forward to what He will do.
And He WILL do! Even without a prophetic word, I hope you know that God has heard your prayers! Whether it is a prayer for healing, reconciliation, financial stability, a husband (or wife) or for a baby...He knows your heart! Have hope!
I want to encourage you with my personal testimony and prophecies of what God has done and what He will do in my life.
This is Our Story...
A story of God's faithfulness, His love, His guidance and His perfect timing!
My husband and I had been trying to conceive for several years. In June of '08, I first truly asked for others to agree with me in prayer for this. The first time was with my small group - a group of wonderful young ladies who I believed would be faithful to pray!
One evening we met on a hill overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. It was beautiful evening! No rain in sight - just some big, beautiful clouds. These three girls and I were praying and singing as our hearts felt led.
I asked the girls to pray - to truly pray that God would bless us with children. As soon as the girls started praying, I looked up and saw a huge, bright, beautiful rainbow! As they continued to pray, another one appeared and then a third! Three rainbows! What a miracle!
The girls and I agreed that those rainbows were a symbol of God's promise to me. I believe on that day that God promised me three children (the the girls joked that maybe I would have triplets! No, thanks!)
While they were praying, one of the girls had sensed the Lord was saying to sing out to Him every chance I could, which led one of the others to Isaiah 54 that says,
"Sing, O barren woman, you never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor..."
As soon as the girls were finished praying for me, the rainbows disappeared!
The next day, I was outside working in my yard and I recalled what was said about singing. So I burst into song (I think it was "Be Thou My Vision") and just as I started to sing, I turned around and there in the sky was another brilliant rainbow!
10 months later...
I bet you think I am going to tell you I was in labor! Nope...
That spring, in April of '09, I was struggling. Why hasn't this happened yet? What was taking so long? Lord? Can you hear me? In desperate need of prayer and encouragement, my husband and I called his mom to pray. While she was praying, she received from the Lord the number 12 and the word wisteria. We were not sure what it meant, but knew that the Holy Spirit would reveal it eventually.
A few months later, I found myself struggling once again...wondering, waiting. God! Have you forgotten Your promise to me? But then He led a practical stranger to speak into our lives and to encourage me.
During a yard sale at our family farm, an acquaintance from Nate's high school stopped by. After catching up a little, she left but then returned a half-hour later. She said she kept hearing from the Lord to come back. She turned towards me, looked directly in my eyes and said, "He wanted me to tell you that you are not forgotten!"
This still brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. Whenever I need a little encouragement, I think back to this...God has not, nor will ever forget about me!
Another 6 months went by, but God was not silent. A gentleman from my mom's church heard a word from the Holy Spirit and shared with my mom that the Lord would bless us as he and his wife were blessed. They struggled for several years to get pregnant, but the Lord blessed them with their own child and later were once again blessed by being asked to adopt a child. I have always been open to adoption...so we will see if God has that in store for us!
On Valentine's Day of 2010, God again spoke into our lives through another! After church, a woman, who knew nothing of our situation, came up to me and said that during worship, she saw an image of Jesus holding a baby and He handed it to me. She said the baby was a little girl who looked just like me! I sobbed! One more reminder that God would fulfill His promises to me!
I was no longer leading the small group of young ladies who had originally prayed with me and, in fact, I had begun to really struggle with two of my friends from this group. These two had become pregnant fairly easily and fairly soon after they started trying. It was hard for me to hear of both of their pregnancies and, in a sense, I "unfriended" them.
But that April, the Lord called me to reconciliation. God laid it on my heart that I must reconcile my relationship with these two girls. I immediately emailed them and asked them to meet with me that coming Wednesday. When that day came, I got home from work and the last thing I wanted to do was meet with them. As I sat down to email them and let them know it wasn't going to work, one of the girls called. I knew God wasn't going to let me get away with this one!
A half-hour later, these two girls were sitting in my living room. I apologized to them for how I had treated them. I admitted my hurt, but did not blame them, but felt the Lord leading me to reconcile my relationship with them. It was a very sweet time with these two.
That following Sunday, I shared with my new small group about my story. They anointed me and prayed for healing, which was the first time I had been anointed for infertility. The ladies prayed great prayers over me. While one was praying, she had a sense that the birthing process would be a very spiritual time for me when that time would come.
So there we were, after almost two years of waiting for God to fulfill His promise, but remaining fervent in our prayers and having received many words of encouragement and promises from the Lord. Remember the two words my mother-in-law received - the number 12 and wisteria? Well, in the month of April (when wisteria blooms), 12 months after she received those words, one week after I reconciled my relationship with those two girls and three days after I was anointed, we found out we were pregnant and were due during the 12th month of the year!
Soon after we found out, we shared with our small group that we were pregnant. The ladies again prayed over me and anointed me because I had low progesterone and could have miscarried. One of the ladies saw the image of the Lord's Holy Fire surrounding me and the baby. The enemy cannot penetrate His Holy Fire, which is something I clung to throughout my entire pregnancy.
A couple weeks later, Nate and I were looking up names and we came across this beautiful name - Nuriah, which means, "the Lord's Holy Fire." I believe every time I say her name, I am speaking His great Fire of protection over her!
I would not change anything about my story! He knew what was best for me! He knew the perfect timing and when both Nate and I would be absolutely ready to receive this child and to raise her to be a great woman of faith!
So here we are. Our little girl turned 7 on New Year's Eve! But we still have two rainbows left! That original prophecy has only been 1/3 fulfilled!
We are again in a time of waiting, a time of HOPE...
And a time of FAITH UNFOLDING!
Friend, I don't know where you are in your journey. Are you holding on to a promise? Have you been waiting for a prayer to be answered for what seems like an eternity? Do you feel like you have been forgotten, that God is silent, that He does not hear your cries? I assure you, YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN! He is constantly ministering over you and He most certainly does hear you. Keep holding on to hope.
And keep coming back here...there is so much more to our story that I want to encourage you with!
In the meantime, remember...
And He loves you so incredibly much!