A couple of weeks ago, on our Friday night family night, we watched Facing the Giants with the kids. I had seen this movie a bunch of times before - but this time I cried through the ENTIRE movie. The movie isn't about things going the way you want in the end... but more about allowing complete brokenness and desperation to draw you to love God FIRST. Before wins, gains, success, or people's approval... and in spite of loss, failure and persecution. And just really about loving God through the valley and praising him no matter what. Of course it says it's about football and infertility, but the real story line is God - just like in real life. You should watch it.
Last Tuesday, I was at Sam's pre-op appointment for his tonsils and there were quadruplet 5 year old boys in the waiting room. I talked to the mom, who said she was surprised because they were completely natural and not because of fertility treatments. As she told me about the ultrasound she had for them and how the tech got really odd on her, my mind went back to my ultrasound with Rachel. She said she finally asked "Is my baby okay?" I had asked the same thing with Rachel and got silence... but her tech said "Yes, I'm just trying to count them." She told me of their shock and how she couldn't believe even still that it is real at times. I could relate, in a different way.
I left that conversation at Sam's appointment, and was on my way to the store, I found myself lost in thought... I had thought about how the anniversary of my positive pregnancy test for Rachel was coming up - just 3 days away - and how if I was pregnant this month, I would have another Christmas baby. I found myself thinking "I wonder if God will ever give me a Christmas baby I can keep..." and I glanced out my window at the car passing me and as it got in front of me I saw the license plate 4L3. But all I really saw was the 43... and I just knew, one day.... I started laughing out loud. Sam asked what was funny and I couldn't answer him, I was giddy, like a kid on his birthday.
The next day, I saw an advertisement on the side of Facebook for mother's bracelets. I have been wanting an updated one with E included... so I clicked on it and made a bracelet to see what it would look like and how much it would cost. I added another December birthstone just for fun - and when I saw the total, I just knew....God is up to something. ♥*Hi Rachel*♥
|I love that I took this screen shot and you can see the date.|
So, the next morning on April 16th, two days before I was even due (and the day before Rachel's test had been positive 5 years ago), I saw two pink lines on a home pregnancy test again. And my heart immediately swelled with love for this little life inside of me. I didn't even think twice, I was just plain excited.
Suddenly crying through the old movie made sense.... hormones already in effect!
I went to the dr that day for my cold and they gave me a test and got a negative on theirs. So they sent me for blood work which confirmed that I am with child ♥ I made my first prenatal appointment and the first available they had was for 4/30. ♥*Hi Rachel*♥
That was 11 days ago and we still feel like its not real. But we are so excited. Our kids are more than excited. I feel so unbelievably blessed and undeserving of the title of Mama to all these sweet babies. I feel humbled at the idea that God trusts me with them. I feel overwhelmed at the task of raising them to be followers of our Lord when I fail so very often and struggle with sin daily. But mostly, I feel constantly awed by the truth that God is enough. He is enough for us financially, emotionally, spiritually, physically. He is enough and He is always good and there are no mistakes in His world. This baby has a beautiful purpose.
So, as with the last two babies, I have felt the need to cautiously tell people or not tell them altogether.... because most think we have enough kids already or that with Rachel having anencephaly and my health this past year, another baby just isn't worth the risk. Others think that you need to give each child their own room, sign them up for every activity available, and be able to pay their way through college or else you shouldn't have them. Some think I'm too old. Some think our house is too small. Some think it's not fair to the kids we already have. Everyone has an opinion. I have mine too. And while mine don't line up with most of that, I am still sensitive to other's words - and also saddened that people would look at a child of mine as a bad choice or a hindrance to our lives, or our children's lives... or extended family members' lives... because they are anything but. They are a gift from God and the only (yet biggest) gift that so many people look at like a death sentence. I wish more people believed what the Bible says about children, which is that they are a blessing and a reason to rejoice. And if you don't buy that one, how about the call to rejoice with those who rejoice!?
That day on the way home from the store, I heard a song on the radio. The Voice of Truth. I tried to sing along, but my voice was not working at all because of a cold I had. As I tried to use my voice, and couldn't, and listened to the words "The Voice of Truth tells me a different story, the Voice of Truth says do not be afraid. And the Voice of Truth says this is for My glory, out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth." Tears started to fall....
Later, I played the song for Matt on You tube and I was telling him that I had heard it earlier and how it was speaking to me about this baby and he said "When I went out tonight, I heard that song too... and right after it was Word of God Speak." (Which as most of you know, is the song that played when Rachel was born). Both of us hearing the same song at different times in the same day, just by 'chance' because we had to run out randomly for things, and him hearing Rachel's song too, really felt like God was confirming His hand in it all and reminding me....
It's not about me. It's not even about my children. It's not about if they live. It's not about if they die. It's got absolutely NOTHING to do with what anyone thinks about the Aubes growing by another person... or burying another person. It's not about if I die giving birth. Every single thing that we do and the only reason we live is for HIS glory. And I'm not trying to sound careless or like we are being unwise and expecting God to catch us if it all blows up - but rather to tell you that God Himself has created this baby and He HIMSELF will write the story for baby and for us and that He has confirmed in a hundred ways these last couple of weeks that this is His plan. I'm telling you this to say that we TRUST Him. And that no matter what happens, we will live for His glory - we will proclaim that HE IS GOOD. We will praise Him. And for me, in this, this means facing MY giants in the midst of it all...
Because my "giants" grew by hundreds of feet the day I heard the word Anencephaly. Fear. Death. Loss. Pain. Disappointment. I'm scared of them. I am afraid of feeling even an inkling of the pain I felt carrying Rachel and waiting for her to die. I'd rather die myself than to feel even a portion of what it felt like to leave her in the cemetery and wait for milk to dry up for my baby who would never nurse. But I have a new set of giants that stem from my health issues... physical pain, medical emergencies, my kids living without a mom and all that would mean for them... but the more I try to hold onto and protect my own life, the more the fear steals from me. It's only when I truly surrender myself to my Lord that I am ever truly content and at peace.
My giants are nothing compared to the strength God gives me in my times of need. Nor are they anything compared to His provision and faithfulness. Today, I am choosing to listen and believe the Voice of Truth. My God doesn't ask me to face anything without Him. David would not have defeated Goliath on his own. The power of the Lord was with him. And that same power is in me. The same power that enabled me to survive what I did with Rachel. I am never on my own and He has already won my battles. I can face my giants with confident hope that God has victory, no matter what.
The first couple of days, I was in fear because my naturopath has had me off of my folate this month. I have been completely off of the very thing doctors say I need to ensure my baby doesn't have anencephaly. In my head, I was trying to figure out how I would rearrange our headstone to include another name.... I started to think What if the words "This is for my glory" in the song are him preparing me to glorify Him through another anencephaly journey?
That next day, a couple of different people sent me this picture....
That would be a "quadruplet rainbow" as the headline called it. Now, I'm not saying I think I am having quadruplets... lol.. I'm saying it felt like God was saying that my ultrasound would be more like the mom at the dr's office that day... It brought the week into a full circle of God's voice in my life... I won't flood the earth again, He spoke to my heart. Since Rachel, rainbows have had a way of appearing at the craziest and clearly God-given times... like right after we finished her playground. But until this week, I always saw them as God saying to me "No matter what happens, I am with you!" I know Biblically the rainbow is a picture of his promise to never flood the earth again, but I know all too well that as a believer we are not saved from trials, but rather held through them. But right now, I am standing on his promise to not flood my earth again.
This baby's days are already written - and so the only thing worse than saying goodbye too soon is missing the chance to celebrate life while it's here. Technically I could sit in fear every day that one of my other kids will die suddenly or that I won't be able to provide for them everything they desire. But I don't because I trust God in all things.... I choose to trust Him even in this scariest aspect of my life - my babies - and the possibility of painfully losing another. I choose to believe He has my best in mind and hope that it is that I get to keep this Christmas baby.... but trusting that if He does differently, He knows more than I do.
And then comes the real question... the question that the Facing the Giants movie had it's story based around...if it's not okay...if this doesn't end in the way I would ask or want...will I still love God? Will I still praise Him? And the unwavering answer is YES. And I think most people who know me, know that to be true after watching me lose and grieve Rachel. I could never turn my back on or be unfaithful to my God who has been more to me than I have ever deserved. My God who has always been everything I need and more. Who has made beauty from my ashes and brought life out of death. I wouldn't think of it because I need him more than I need anything else on the face of the planet.
Do we love God no matter what? Or just when life goes how we hope? Rachel taught me the better part... the resting in God part... the falling on my face in despair and need for God - and the closeness of Him to the brokenhearted.. the blessings from Him when he makes himself real to us. No matter how the story ends.... She also showed me His goodness like I never knew before her.
I decided that a cute announcement was in order, so I Googled "pregnancy announcement ideas for Christmas baby" and the first article to come up was "How to Avoid A Christmas baby". I clicked on it, just out of curiosity and it said "If you get pregnant on 4/3, you will be due on Christmas day." ♥*Hi Rachel*♥
I guess I never realized that Rachel's life went from Easter to Christmas - or that a conception on 4/3 would give you a 12/25 due date - but now that I see it, I'm all the more certain how perfectly timed she was right between my two most favorite days of the year... and I'm thankful for another chance at the pregnancy dates that Google obviously has had people looking to avoid. After Rachel died, I would have given anything to have a Christmas baby with me. I pray this is God's way of answering the desires of my heart... desires that my earthly self never had until His Spirit taught me about what *really* matters through the death of my little Christmas girl.
|the announcement I made... featuring Rachel's little feet and|
a new pair of booties and a 2nd E ♥
This baby will be called "Baby E2" (as in E the 2nd) for now since we need only one more E name to finish off spelling "DESIRAE" with the first letter of all of our children's names. We do have a girl and boy name already picked, but of course subject to change. We picked and agreed on them the first day though, so that's pretty impressive! lol. They both have significant meaning to us so it would be hard to sell a different idea, but we are still tossing ideas around and open to suggestions for E names if you have them ;)
So there you have it... we have another little Aube on the way and we are so thankful. We thoroughly appreciate every encouraging and positive response we get. Thank you to all who are excited for us. Please keep us in your prayers as we venture through the days ahead! What an amazing journey we're on....
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out His hand
But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy, you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth
Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand
But the giant's calling out my name
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"
But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them lookin' down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me
Here is the song... the verses throughout are perfect, too!