This has the potential to be a long blog post, but with Harper’s dedication coming up this Sunday, I wanted to share his story with everyone.
Benji and I started trying for a baby in May 2009. We both had a feeling that once he graduated from grad school, we would most likely be moving. With that in mind, we wanted to try and have a baby a few months before his graduation so that we could be in town with the baby a little while before having to move away. I assumed that we would get pregnant right away. Boy, was I wrong!
I had known since high school that I wanted to be a mother, but there was always a fear in my heart that I would be unable to have children. I had no reason to have this fear, it was just there. With each passing month and each negative pregnancy test, this fear began to grow. One night in October, I finally broke down. Benji was at school and I was at home, alone with my thoughts and my fears. I felt a very strong urge to pray, so I did. It was not a pretty prayer, but mine usually aren’t. In between sobs, I told God that I was angry at him. I asked what was taking so long. I also asked why he would give me this heart for motherhood if he wasn’t going to meet the desire. I begged for him to just let me know whether or not I could conceive so that I could stop trying if I couldn’t. Somewhere in the middle of my throwing all of these questions and demands at God, I saw “Isaiah 54” in my head. I decided to look it up in the Bible, all the while thinking to myself that it would either be irrelevant to my prayer, or wouldn’t even exist (I was unsure if Isaiah even had a 54th chapter). In case you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m a negative Nancy 🙂
Anyways, at the end of my flipping, this is what I came upon:
I sat in complete and utter shock as I read the first few verses and then I began to laugh out loud. Eventually I was running around my house, jumping, laughing and dancing. I know I must sound like a crazy person, but that’s okay. It was the joy of the Lord and I’m not ashamed. I truly basked in his love that night. I felt in my spirit that this was confirmation that I would be pregnant and I was amazed that God cared enough about me to give such confirmation.
It just so happened that I had discipleship with my friend Susanna that night. When I went over to her house, I shared with her what had happened. I remember fighting the urge to cry even then because I was still so high on God’s love. I wish I could say that I stayed in that place of security, but I didn’t. It wasn’t even a whole 24 hours before I started to lean back on my own understanding instead of relying on God’s. Later that night, doubt crept back in and I started to “reason” what I had read, instead of believing what my spirit knew to be true. “Sing, barren women.” Was that God’s way of telling me that I was in fact barren? By the time Benji was home and I had a chance to share the story with him, it was muddied with worry and fear again. I remember asking his opinion. “Do you think that God was trying to tell me I’m barren?” He didn’t have an answer.
On October 18th (this date is forever burned into my mind), I attended a worship service at the Vineyard. Occasionally, they will have Prophetic Night, where you come and worship and listen to the Holy Spirit. That’s what this was. I don’t remember how long into the service it was, but Jonathan, the children’s pastor, eventually approached me to give me a word. I must preface this by saying that he didn’t know that Benji and I had been trying to conceive and he also didn’t know about my “Isaiah 54” experience. He stood there for a second, obviously trying to choose his words wisely. After a moment he asked if I question my fruitfulness. I began to cry and said yes. He told me that God wanted me to stop questioning him about this and he ended by saying “you’re fruitful.” After the service was over, he approached me and explained that he had been speaking in code so as not to embarrass me in front of everyone. He told me that I was going to get pregnant and that I’d have lots of children (good thing because I want lots!).
God was faithful –as he always is – and a year later, almost to the date, Harper was born! The night of his birth, Susanna came and sat beside me. She read Isaiah 54 to me and prayed over me. It was surreal. Nothing with his birth went as I had intended, but I felt no fear because I knew that God would keep his promise to me, and he did!
Harper’s dedication is this Sunday at 9:30 AM at the Tuscaloosa Vineyard. I’m so excited to publicly dedicate this little boy back to the Lord. I’m still in awe of the fact that God has entrusted me with one of his children. I feel very blessed to say the least.