Happy Labor Day

"The Lord has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes!"
Psalm 118:23

"Praise be to the Lord, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city. In my alarm I said, "I am cut off from your sight!" Yet, you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. Love the Lord, all his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord!"
Psalm 31:21-24

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!!"
Psalm 30:11-12

"He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."
Isaiah 40:11

It's been almost one year to the day, that I discovered I was pregnant the first time. We were heading into fall, preparing for our student ministries kick-off, and welcoming a much needed change in our schedule. Life was busy and life was full. It was in the midst of that chaos that I realized something was different. I wasn't feeling well, I was pulsing with emotion, and I was so busy I hardly had time to notice. But there was a day, when everything hit me at once and suddenly I was very aware that I was not the same. I was pregnant. And Shocked. And Amazed. And Thrilled. Out of nowhere it seemed, our lives were changed, everything was different. In just a matter of hours, we were planning, dreaming, imagining, and so wrapped up in a new world, a world that involved a baby! It was a wild ride. But as the story goes, just a short time later, that baby was swept right back into the presence of Jesus, taken from us now, but waiting for us in glory. It's been a roller-coaster of a year, one that has seen many ups and many downs. We have grown closer, loved deeper, and learned much. God has been so faithful.

Now I find myself, one year later, reflecting on that time, with a much different perspective. I can immediately take myself right back to that day, and remember all the pain. Yet, the sting has lessoned. I rest in knowing that little one had great purpose in our lives and grew a few short weeks that were not in vain. And I am grateful. God did a great thing. He turned our grief into joy, our sorrow into hope. He never left us, He never abandoned us, yet He didn't give us all the answers. He's led us down a road of dependence and faith that has produced a great harvest and a deeper intimacy with Him. I have learned so much more about my Jesus this year that I wouldn't trade for anything. Even to have that little baby back. Because He knew what I needed more. I thought all I needed was to be a Mom. I thought all that would make me happy was a baby. And I thought I could find all the satisfaction I needed, in the one thing I wanted, but didn't have. Little did I know that He knew better. He saw things in me that needed to be refined. He called me out on my sin, sin that I wasn't even aware of. He rescued me from a pit that I was dangerously close to. And He did it in a way that got my attention. In his great love for me, He took the one thing I was clinging to. He let me feel the loss of something I couldn't control, someone I never knew. And in that loss, He ministered to me in a way that only He could. He helped me turn my focus back to Him, my devotion to His word, and my satisfaction in His love alone. I couldn't see that a year ago. But now I do. And because I see all that He did for me, it makes this day just a little sweeter.

This is a day I have waited upon for quite some time. This is a day I have prayed for with all my heart. This is a day He has given me and I will rejoice in it! This is the day I am happy to tell you, that I am pregnant once again! God in his mercy towards us, has granted our requests and heard our pleas and is growing a tiny little miracle in me. We are overjoyed at this little life already. We are taking every single moment in. We almost can't believe it's true! Our precious baby is around 8-9 weeks and we are marveling at this development every single day. I have much, much to tell you and I look forward to filling you in on every single detail. But today, I just want to give all praise and glory to our God. I am so grateful for this blessing, my heart is completely overwhelmed! When it seemed like this journey would never end, He chose to give us this baby in His timing and in a way that only He could get the glory for. So today, on labor day, I want to give Him all the praise. Not just for answering our hearts desire for a baby, but for knowing what was best for me and for taking me on a ride that was worth every bump in the road. Our God is so GOOD!! Our Provider, our Sustainer, our Rock, and our Peace. He is truly our Faithful Savior. It is my prayer today that this new journey would bring Him much honor, and much glory, and that I would walk worthy of Him now. Not to us, not to us O Lord, but to YOUR name be the glory!! We are rejoicing today over this little life and looking forward to April 12th with great anticipation!! Thank you for your prayers, isn't God good??

"The Lord has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes!"
Psalm 118:23


Kelly said...

Oh Praise the LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are someone I have prayed for SO HARD for the last few months!
I think God has done a huge work in me just being able to pray for so many women and see those prayers answered - it is so amazing!!!
I am THRILLED for you and Travis! I can't wait to follow your journey and I'll keep praying for ya'll through this pregnancy!

all up in each others bizness said...

huge congrats steph.....thats my hubbys birthday!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Steph and Travis. I know it has been a long wait for you guys but the Lord is blessing you for your faithfulness to HIM! Scottie and I are pregnant as well and due April 9th. So I will be sharing this journey with you!

Christy Z.

Faith said...

God is good, indeed! Rejoicing with you over the work He has done in your lives! I am thrilled that the Lord has answered the prayers of His children and has blessed you and Travis with this little life!

I have already been praying for this precious miracle, and will continue to do so. Can't wait to hear more about how your lives change and grow on this journey to parenthood!

Much love, Faith

Matt and Jen said...

so glad everything is still going good. been praying for you guys...for His peace and an excitement even bigger than you can produce!!! i love you and hope to talk soon.

MiMi said...

Praise The Lord! I am so excited for you and Travis and I will be praying for you throughout this pregnancy. Can't wait to follow this exciting journey.

amy said...

God is SOOO good! We love you guys and are praying for you all during these special weeks! :)

Jordan said...

Hope you aren't weirded out by a stranger lurking on your blog...but I just had to say CONGRATULATIONS!

I live in NC where you and Travis used to serve and visited Sandy Creek a few times while yall were there. I've been reading your blog for several months and have never commented but just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading it and how encouraging it is to me!

Praising God with you for your news!!

Miz Jean said...

I have been on my knees for you and Travis for the last several weeks. And I kept wondering if God was bringing you to my mind because He was busy working in your lives. Now I can see He truly was. I am so overjoyed for you. SO overjoyed! What a tremendous blessing every single heartbeat is! And though I know you would never wish to have lost your fist baby, I also know that all things have worked together for God's glory. And this is a perfect example of His awesomeness. Praise the Lord!

Jenna said...

I am praising God for His miracles!!! Congratulations!

Meredith said...

YES! I have to tell you that I skimmed the majority of your post with anticipation that I would get to the paragraph/sentence that read, "I am pregnant!" When I did see those beautiful words I yelled outloud "YES!" with my fists in the air! Congratulations you two! We love you both and will continue to pray for God's blessings to rain down on you. Much Love, Meredith

Rebecca said...

I was so happy when I read those beautiful words yesterday, but I couldn't get through the tears enough to comment! I guess its a mixture of just complete joy and pregnancy hormones but once the tears come, its hard to stop!!
Oh my goodness, God is so faithful isn't He? Yay! I am just so excited I already went out and got you something so will you email me your address or send a message on Jeremy's facebook?
My due date is February 18th so we'll be pretty close!!
Have you been sick at all? I wasn't sick the first time with Tate but with baby number 2 it's been a different story. But it's over now and I can EAT again!

I knew in those last few pictures(like at the football game) that there was a HUGE glow on your face and in your eyes...I am just thrilled!! It's such a fun time!

Melissa Stover said...

congratulations! god is good.

His Doorkeeper said...

Just wanted to offer you congratulations and loved your heartfelt praise to Him who is able to do above and beyond all we could imagine

Blessings to you and your husband!

Jesse and Stacie said...

I'm soooooooooooooo excited for you and Travy!! You will be the best parents and I can't wait to spoil my niece/nephew :) Aunt Stacie

Julie said...

I read about you through Kelly's Korner - Congratulations!!!
I am touched by your sweet words of praise to our Father. I rejoice with you and will be praying for you and this baby.
To God be the Glory for this He has done!!!
God Bless You~

Brittani's Holding Little Hands said...

Here by way of Kelly. I am so thrilled for you and so blessed beyond words by the beautiful description of your journey.

I just wrote about my own personal journey with praying for and longing for another baby. (we currently have a 3 yr old son)It is my prayer that when my joyful day of pregnancy arrives again, I will have honored Him in the waiting. Thank you for the encouragement I found in this post.

Immeasurably More Mama said...

I followed the link from Kelly's blog...Congratulations!!!
The words you used to describe what God was doing in your heart during your time of waiting are touching. My experience of waiting on God for a baby allowed me to reflect on what He was trying to do in my heart as well. He knows us better than we know ourselves and knows that ultimately what we need most is HIM!
Praise HIM for this wonderful gift!!!

Jennifer Owens said...

I found you from Kelly's blog today. Your story brought tears to my eyes this morning. Praising the Lord for your happy news!

My husband and I are waiting for a child. Much of what you said resonated with me, because I know that there is much He is doing in our hearts as He prepares us to become parents. It's hard sometimes to cling to the hope and truth that God has a perfect time for us.

I am glad your time is now. Congratulations to you both!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say congrats. I stumbled upon your site. We both live in the Twin Cities...small world. Cheers to you.

Heather said...

Congratulations, Stephanie. I am so happy for you, and you blessed me with your posting with all the scriptures and praises to God. You also have made me think a lot about the "Is God enough?" question. I know I have some more wrestling with God ahead of me on my infertility journey- but stories like yours are so encouraging!
Thanks for sharing it!

Kendra said...

Hi Stephanie,
I found your blog off of Kelly's blog. Thank you so very much for sharing this post. It has meant SO much to me! It sounds like we have walked similar roads...and although the Lord has yet to bless my husband and I with another pregnancy, He is showing me how I have clung to this, to a fault. I have felt the same things you describe in your post...that ALL I want is a baby, that if I could just have a pregnancy and baby, all my needs would be met. And that just simply isn't true. HE is what I need!! And He is helping me get to a place where He is enough for me.
Thank you so much for sharing, and for putting words to feelings I hadn't been able to describe.
Congrats on your little miracle!! To God be the glory, GREAT things He has done!!!!
(Portland OR)