Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose.
After 10 years of infertility, God made good on His promise that we would have children. One month after our marriage was restored, we were pregnant for the first time ever! Halfway through, we find out we were having a boy. We seriously considered the name Isaac, because this baby was promised. However, when I found out one of the meanings of Ian is “God forgives,” we knew that was it. We knew God had forgiven each of us for our parts in the destruction of our marriage and we had forgiven each other.
Fast-forward to finding out we were pregnant with our fourth child and second son. At this point, we’ve miscarried two babies prior and were so heartbroken over the losses we were unwilling to keep trying. I’d given all the baby equipment away, and although we’d wanted a second son and fourth child, we’d accepted we were done and were grateful for the three kids God had blessed us with. Now, we were headlong in the leukemia treatments for our second child and had just lost my husband’s father to cancer a few months before. So, to discover we were pregnant while we were reeling from all of this was difficult. My OBGYN said I had PTSD and needed to do whatever I could to remain calm, because, honestly, I was terrified I was going to lose this baby as well. I had been 3 months pregnant when I lost the last baby. Normally, during a pregnancy, every week would bring excitement for how much the baby has grown and the stage of development the tiny fetus is entering. Not for me. I worried if this would be the week the baby’s heart would stop beating. Would I see another ultrasound with a still and silent baby inside my belly? I tried to trust the Lord, but I’d lived through Him taking away the previous babies and I was living through Him taking away the health of my daughter. I just didn’t know what else I was expected to live through.
I remember sitting on the stairs in my house in a daze worried about the pregnancy when I heard, “Rejoice.” Since the restoration of my marriage this has been a trigger word for me. When my husband was busy spouting his devotion to another woman, the Holy Spirit was in the background telling me to rejoice. I would cling to that like a lifesaver in the middle of a storm in the ocean. I learned then, when God tells us to rejoice, we can trust He knows what He’s talking about. It wasn’t about a week later, my husband came back home. So now God was telling me to rejoice about this baby. He was relieving my worried heart and mind. From that day on, I’d cling to His command to rejoice. I wish I could say I was worry free after that message, but nope. I had to cling and constantly remind myself.
Even though we loved the name Isaac and knew we were having another boy, we just didn’t have the heart to name him that. We felt like we had lost too many possible “Isaacs” before. But after that message from the Lord, I looked up what name means “rejoice.” I couldn’t believe it. “Isaac” popped up meaning “I will rejoice; I will laugh!” God, in His way, was telling me so many things that day. He was telling me the baby was going to be okay. He was telling me it was okay to finally name this son Isaac (almost like it had been waiting on him), and He was promising me in all those dark days at that time of leukemia treatments and loss, we would laugh and rejoice again! It was so hard to see that future at that time, but I had to daily choose to believe it.
This August, Isaac will be 4 years old. We just came from Ariel’s oncology check up. She’s doing perfect! Our house is finally built where we finally have enough room to breathe and no longer be on top of each other in the tiny camp. We’ve still had so many hurts and losses since that promise to “rejoice,” but I can honestly say the laughter is slowly returning. I have journeyed through these things grateful for so much, but not rejoicing. I believe that’s coming soon too.
I was looking back through pics of the kids growing up so fast these past few years. I’m gonna confess something. Might as well, since God knows my heart better than I do. There’s a part of me that feels like time has been stolen from me. Time to enjoy my kids while they are little, because they’re growing so fast! Instead, we’ve suffered through anxiety, pain, losses, and cancer treatments. We have been so busy fighting for the survival of our kids, we haven’t always had the luxury to just simply enjoy being their parents. But, what I have learned from God is this: God NEVER steals from us. He only GIVES. It’s been chaotic and crazy at times, but God has a plan for it all. And it’s a plan for our good. God will return that time and heartache 100 fold and way BETTER than what it would’ve been. I know it. He will do it for you as well!