Benjamin shares our big news.
The news came suddenly and rather surprisingly back in early March. After more than two years of trying to conceive our second child, I’d been so used to the same cycle that I expected to hear the same result from my wife Amy and to walk through that same familiar feeling of disappointment that we’d done so many times before.
But this was different. The test was positive. Amy was pregnant with our second child. Praise God!
I almost couldn’t believe it. It felt like it wasn’t real. It couldn’t be possible that after two years of challenges, doubt, uncertainty and tremendous transition that God had blessed us with a second child. But it was true. All of it!
From the outset, we knew we might be in for a challenge. It took about a year to conceive Benjamin, our first child, back in 2010. That was a time of uncertainty and questioning but we slowly learned to trust in God and his timing. We thought that period was hard, but little did we know about the path ahead.
We always felt that our family wasn’t complete at three and knew that God put the desire for second child on our hearts, but some days it seemed like an impossible dream. We’d both been through tests and screenings. Yet, we never gave up hope and we never stopped praying. But for some reason there is sometimes this disconnect that even though you see God’s faithfulness, provision and miracles in the Bible and in the testimonies of friends and other believers, you don’t think he will bless you in the same way. I mean either God is God and we are part of His story today or he’s not.
I’ve learned so much: humility, patience, surrender, persistence and trust in God’s timing. But most of all I’ve learned about endurance, about trusting what God is telling you through the Holy Spirit and not giving up faith. It’s easy to give up, but to endure and finish you must keep moving and keep trusting in God and His timing.
A Reboot backpacking trip in northwest Alabama’s Sipsey Wilderness in March reminded me of this journey. On the first day of trip, me and five other guys hiked about 6 miles through the rain and mud crossing numerous streams on our way to see the very scenic but very rugged Bee Branch Canyon and Big Tree area. It was a pretty tough challenge. We made camp that night very close to our destination, but with the hardest part of the journey still ahead on day two. The last half-mile follows an unmaintained trail to get to the Big Tree. The path is full of tree blowdowns you have to hopscotch over and sometimes crawl under. The terrain that day was very muddy and slick. It felt like walking 2 or 3 miles.
About 30 minutes into hiking this difficult last stretch, it was easy to think about giving up and just turn back. However, we pushed through and only about 5 minutes later, we were rewarded with the awesome and exhilarating views of the canyon and its waterfalls. We were pumped and relived to finally make it to this remote, rugged canyon. We had endured, and this was our reward. A journey of 6 ½ rugged, hard-fought miles was complete.
One of the waterfalls at Bee Branch Canyon in the Sipsey Wilderness.
As we spent about 45 minutes exploring the area, my mind wandered to thinking, “what if we had given up and turned back just minutes before our destination?” Enduring and pushing through 5 more minutes of pain was totally worth it to get to the awesome, scenic reward of the tallest poplar tree in Alabama framed by two waterfalls.
With our second child, what if we had given up hope after a year? What if we’d stopped praying after 18 months? What if I believed and given in to some fears that arose after I had a test done? What if we’d given in to some suggestions offered by a well-meaning nurse? Thank God we trusted Him and followed the Holy Spirit’s lead.
The whole thing finally became less like a dream and more real for me when we were standing in the ultrasound room at Amy’s first maternity appointment. After getting a glimpse at this 6 ½ week miracle with a strong heartbeat, we prayed and gave thanks to God. It was overwhelming. God is faithful!
Now we are on new trail in our journey as a family. We’ve still got a few more months to go the pregnancy and a lot to prepare for before we welcome our second son into the world this fall. There are some uncertainties, but I know this: as long as you as a family put God first and seek after His kingdom, he will provide what you need exactly when you need it.
If you are facing something or in the middle of something and feel like quitting and giving into fear: Never give up hope. Never stop praying. Never stop believing that God the creator of the universe loves you and cares for you. Don’t listen to the voices of fear that tell you lies like it won’t happen to you, that this is a punishment, that you aren’t good enough. It’s not true.
If you don’t know Christ. I beg of you to turn to Him and seek Him. Having a deep relationship with Christ is the most important thing you can have in your life. He is your shepherd, your guardian, your hope, your rock. He will transform your life from the inside out. As this piece hopefully shows, your life won’t be free of troubles, but you’ll always have everlasting and eternal hope.
“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The sovereign Lord is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.” Habakkuk 3:17-20
God’s word always offers a spring of hope.