This pregnancy was a surprise. So was my Little Toothache. Such an unexpected thing after struggling with infertility and ultimately a successful in-vitro procedure to conceive our beautiful twins. It's not that I don't know how this works. It's just that my body does not follow a "traditional" pattern and so there's no predictability for when peak times are, well, peak.
So, to have one surprise pregnancy was such a miracle. In fact, we have an inscription above LT's bed that says "Believe in Miracles". But, a second! I never saw that coming.
When I found out, I was in total shock. A little bit freaked out. But, amazed that after what we had been through the first time, this could happen all on it's own with no planning or intentionality on my end. Again!
In my prayer time, I had been talking to God a lot about having a fourth. Was it going to be His plan for us to conceive easily? Or was it going to get complicated again? If it was difficult, how long would we wait until we talked to a doctor? Or considered adoption? There were many other questions/worries I had about it. So, when it happened this way, I felt like He was just saying, "Relax, Jenni. I'm in charge."
What a relief.
The day I took the pregnancy test, I was overwhelmed. I remember driving home from errands and calling Andy. I started crying on the phone and was glad that he was working from home that day. When I pulled in the garage, I just sat in my car and cried. Andy finally came out to the car and joined me. We talked together and then prayed together. Then Andy said, "I really hope it's a boy."
I know he's always wanted a boy. He loves his girls and is an amazing dad to them. But, when we would see dad's playing ball with their boys or other father/son stuff, I could always sense that he really hoped to have that someday, too.
And that's when my praying feet came into play. I decided to paint my toes blue all summer long, as a silent prayer and reminder to God that I really wanted a boy.
See, when it comes to prayer, I had always had the mentality that God was going to do what he was going to do. That it was my responsibility to submit to his plan. To pray that His will be done, whatever that may be.
But, last year, I heard a teaching on Moses. How God was so fed up with the Israelites that he had delivered from Egypt that he basically said to Moses, "I'm going to kill them!" And Moses pleaded with God. He asked him to please give them another chance. And God CHANGED HIS MIND! (Read the story yourself; Deuteronomy 9)
That was a lightbulb moment for me, when I realized that I can have a say in this. I can pray bold, faith-filled prayers and God could actually have one thing in mind and then hear my fervent prayers and decide to do something else.
So, my prayers for a boy became the first time that I put this into practice. I would say to God, "I'm asking BOLDLY for a boy!" I prayed this prayer a lot. I wanted it bad.
I would see my blue toes throughout the day and say, "hey God! don't forget!"
People would say to me, "don't you think that's already decided?" And my response would be, "my God is big enough to change his mind any time he wants."
If God chose to give us another girl, I knew I could celebrate that, too. That I had prayed so much for a boy that He must have a big plan for this girl. And that His big picture view of our family was better than my view.
But, the day of the ultrasound came. And as my heart raced and as we felt gratitude for every healthy measurement of his head, heart and limbs, she came upon a site I've never seen on an ultrasound screen before. A penis! He spread his legs proud and there was no denying it. God answered me!
I instantly started to cry. My heart so full of gratitude and humility. I said a prayer and the God of the entire universe heard ME and answered ME!
I knew this was nothing short of a gift. It certainly was not something that I deserved. If it was about who deserved things, I can think of plenty of others whose faithfulness to God should add up to a blessing like this. Like our dear friends, the Shelbys.
God's work makes no sense to me. All I could think of was how I had been given something by my creator that I didn't deserve, and all I could say was "thank you, thank you, thank you!"
After the ultrasound, I sat alone waiting for the doctor and could have cried again just amazed at His faithfulness and love for me and my little life. My awe and amazement of our God has been renewed. My prayer life forever changed.
Sometimes we forget that power we have as believers. That the Holy Spirit is with us all the time and we can call on His help any time of day. We can release angels to do good work. We can pray with expectation and have it be met.
Sometimes our job will be to submit to His will, when His answer is different than our request. But, other times, lifting our hands (and feet) in prayer,we are invited to be active participants in His work. His life-altering work.
"The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with."
James 5:16 (The Message)