Sunday, November 14, 2010

An Unlikely (or Unexpected) God-Story

Back in January, I was having my quiet time after New Year's and reflecting back on how incredibly different my life is in 2010 versus 2000. Lots of praising God for the immense work He's done in completely 180-ing my life in that decade. I mean, my life was ridiculous in 2000. Didn't know the Lord (for SURE!), didn't live in Austin, wasn't married, was running around with boys, a drunk, materialistic, anti-religious athiest, mom was alive, sister was alive, you name it... Anyway, I was truly marveling and how He can redeem and purify my life.

Then I started forward praying... wondering how He might change my life even more over the NEXT 10 years. What would I be celebrating after New Year's in 2020?! How could He possibly do MORE than He has already done?! (Not that I think I am "complete", but just thinking He's taken care of so many "majors".) So, as I was praying and wondering, I literally wrote: "I guess if You're gonna MAKE us have kids, that would happen sometime in the next decade cuz I am getting 'old'."

As soon as I wrote that in my prayer journal, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper... "How bout you talk to Me (God) about that?" Uhhhh, what?! I was shocked. And a little freaked out. So, I immediately started prayer-journaling (for 7pgs) about all the reasons why I didn't want kids, had never wanted kids (as in, never in my entire life), was scared to have to kids, felt called to not have kids, etc. Page after page, I poured out my heart to God with every rational and irrational excuse I could think of.

When I got the end of my pleading and talking, again I felt the Holy Spirit whisper... "Is that all? Cuz I am bigger than all of that." With eyes bulging, lump in throat, I closed my Bible & journal and went to find Andy in the other room. "Uhhh, Andy, we need to talk."

I started to tell him everything that had just happened-- the whole blow by blow-- and the entire time he's listening, he has this strange smile/smirk on his face. His response was so strange to me that I finally asked: "What's the deal?! Have you been praying for God to change my heart about all this or something?!" He adamantly denied it, saying "NO! I swear!!! ... but God started to talking to me about the same thing just a few days ago in my quiet time." I started bawling (the freak-out kind of crying). What does all this mean?!!?

So we both talked through (really, I cried through) the 100s of reasons why kids weren't for us. All our fears. All our selfishness. All our desires for how we envisioned our life together. But we ultimately couldn't deny God was speaking to us about it with a new agenda for the first time. Andy suggested we both take a week to separately explore it in prayer and the Word and talk to a few people about the potential shift. At the end of the 7 days we'd reconvene on the subject and see what we thought God was saying.

It was a strange and scary 7 days. But ultimately at its close, neither of us could deny what God was saying... He was asking us to have kids. Ouch. This was a total paradigm shift for me and completely foreign to even THINK about! But I couldn't ignore what was plain and clear, His call was real. And I (oddly) had a great peace about it... despite all my fears. If God was calling us to it, then I felt sure I could trust Him, even if it made no sense to me.

I immediately asked Andy if I could "have" 6 months to let the shift sink in before we did anything about it. But in his wisdom, Andy said if God has made His call clear, we shouldn't delay in responding. But in God's great mercy, He gave me 7 months before we actually conceived. In that time, He did a lot of work in me, helping me come to terms with a new game plan.

Now, I'm more than half way through my pregnancy. We are having a little girl in March. I still needed all the time I've gotten so far during pregnancy to continue to process. There is a LOT I am having to mourn & let go of. And there are plenty of dreams I am having to pray about assimilating our kids into. We don't feel a game change in our unique ministry calls. We certainly don't feel kids change our focus on serving the Lord FIRST. But I recognize there is a lot I am gonna have to learn as we go...

So, that's our unlikely story. But isn't it just like God?! I can only find comfort & peace when I trust & lean into Him about the whole thing.


Mama said...

I've totally been waiting on this post...and praying you'd do it...just like I prayed you'd eventually have kids! Wow! I got 2 answered prayers in one year!!!!
Really. I'm thrilled beyond words for you - you're about to get another (different) glimpse into the Father's love for us.
And really...a little absolutely ridiculously fun! I promise! :)

Heather said...

Many congrats and a big hug! I love God's response to you; very similar to ours when we were "fighting" Him about putting our kids in Pickle.

amanda k. brown said...

anna! im so glad you posted this. i am so excited about your little bundle. praise God!

Leah said...

Wow, that's crazy how He put that on both of your hearts! Appreciate you sharing, and I'm excited for you!

Leah Gibson

Collins Family said...

So excited for your family and the plans the Lord has for this little girl. Your obedience and honesty is so encouraging!

Anonymous said...

WHAT?!!! I'm SO excited for you guys! What a blessed little baby girl to have you two as parents! Hang on... parenthood is a FUN ride! :0) And it does still open great doors for serving the Lord... together! That's so cool how God works! :0) love you guys!

Megan said...

I love this SO MUCH!!! Words cannot express how excited I am for you two! You both have been incredible spiritual mentors in my life. Your little girl is so blessed to have such amazing parents! :) ... YAY!!! ~Megs

Katie said...

this is such a great confession and i am so glad you shared it. you and andy are going to make such wonderful, loving parents! i'm so excited to see what God's plan of motherhood has in store for you!