Sunday, November 17, 2013

Having Faith, Always Praying

We sat with Nana in her dining room, all looking quietly at my newborn son. She shook her head, sighed, smiled, and looked at me like she was going to say something before stopping to look at the baby again. 

"You know," she said after a brief moment passed, "I just don't understand how people can look at babies, new babies, and not believe that there's a God."

Steve and I looked at each other before responding; she had no idea what truth she spoke in our lives that day. 

"Yeah, Nana. I know. Babies are miracles," I quietly said. 

Steve nodded in agreement before also responding. "That they are..."

What she didn't know was that for us, William was an answer to prayers. Prayers spoken, prayers unspoken, prayers on our hearts and minds for quite some time. I had been told that due to a medical condition I had, the best chance we would have of getting pregnant would be immediately after coming off of birth control. When it didn't happen in the first two months, I assumed that God's answer was that we would not be having children and I quietly came to terms with that. After all, sometime's God's response to our prayers is a no.

But then two more months later... we saw two lines on our pregnancy test. 

Will & Mommy (Photo credit RLPhoto, 2012)
I found out several months later that while my husband sat in a lecture at a conference about a professor that videotaped his son's first two years of life to analyze how we learn communicate, he prayed that someday - despite the odds - that we could experience that wonder ourselves. That we could watch our own child learn, grow, develop, explore in those early years. 

I had written off the idea and silently dealt with my disappointment to a prayer I incorrectly thought had been answered no, trusting that God had plans. Steve held on to hope and asked God for a child. 

We were already two or three weeks pregnant when Steve prayed that prayer and had no inkling. Two weeks later we saw those two lines on our pregnancy test. 

For us, William was truly a miracle. William was a blessing that not only enriched our family, but expanded our trust in God's plans for our lives. William taught us to never stop praying boldly for those things we feel urging us strongly in our hearts. William taught us - and continues to teach us - more about God and faith than anything other experience we have ever encountered. 

"I just don't understand how people can look at babies... and not believe there is a God."

Steve and I are in a season right now where we have really felt God moving in our lives via answered prayers. Some of the answers haven't been immediate - but some have. We've had medical issues that looked to be very concerning in our house that have turned out to be minor and manageable after we've prayed endlessly to God about them. We have had decisions to make that after praying about them felt like we were being pulled in a certain direction, and have had situations appear that have confirmed we followed God's lead for where we were going. We have felt Him move in our marriage in ways we haven't before. 

We have friends who literally have hundreds of people praying for them after they went into pre-term labor 5 weeks ago at 28 weeks. At 33 weeks & 2 days, she still hasn't delivered and is leaving the doctors thinking she's a complete mystery. 

The works of God so often are just that - a mystery. And if the fact that she's still incubating isn't a powerful testimony to the power of prayer - I don't know what is.

This summer, Steve and I decided that we were ready to have baby number two. Sometime in mid-July, as we sat in bed talking with God in our nightly prayer, Steve said "God, I think we're ready for another kid. If that's Your will, we're ready for it." I squeezed his hand, and soon after we said "Amen". 

It was never mentioned again. We just let God know - we're ready if You are. Your call, God.

As the math worked out... not long after that, a week or maybe two, we became pregnant with our Little One. Twenty-three(ish) weeks from now, sometime next April, we'll be welcoming a new Baby Athanas into our home. 

Little One at 14(ish) weeks - Due April 2014!
Another miracle. 

Another answered prayer. 

Trust that God has our best interests, that He has plans for us. That He hears our prayers. Pray boldly, pray constantly, trust in His answers. 

"And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for." (1 John 14-15, NLT)

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