My Very Great Reward
Having been married for a year and a half, my wife and I figured it was about time to start a family. So we made plans to begin trying when we returned from our mission trip to Thailand in 2006.
We didn’t tell anyone of course, but it might’ve been helpful to tell our parents as that would probably have gotten them off our backs. Oddly, when we approached our parents about getting married, both sets thought that we were far too young, but shortly after getting married, they began to ask, “So when are you going to have a baby?!?!” Their line of questioning only intensified in late 2006 as 2007 was the Year of the Golden Pig. I’m not much into zodiac stuff, outside of reading those red place mats to pass the time while waiting for Chinese food, but since it was important to our parents, we figured it’d be a nice thing for them. Besides, I held a faint glimmer of hope that maybe they’d take it upon themselves to make sure their grandchild’s life was prosperous by contributing heavily to his/her college savings plan.
September comes and so does the wife’s time of the month. No biggie, we figured. She’d been on birth control pills, so we figured it’d take a few months or so.
October comes, and again, I’m walking on eggshells around the house. “Sweet,” I thought, “‘Trying’ is fun anyway.” 😉
November comes, and really? Your period again? This getting pregnant thing is harder than we’d thought. “Ah well,” I mused, “Maybe God has a Christmas gift for us!”
December comes, Christmas gifts are opened, lots of laughs–and food–are shared with family and friends, but our family wasn’t going to be expanding, at least not in the next 9 months. Ok, perhaps an awesome gift to start off 2007?!
January comes and I considered buying pregnancy test kits in anticipation. I’m glad I didn’t. What is going on? At this point, we start meeting with couples at church and discussing things. Without getting into far too technical detail, we got some advice from couples that seemed pretty wise. Other bits of advice elicited the following response from us: “Seriously?! You did that?!” Needless to say, it was very creative, but far TMI for this blog.
February comes and maybe a Valentine’s Day gift from God? Nope. Sadly, God didn’t choo-choo-choose February for us to get pregnant.
Alright, now this is getting a bit absurd. What cool connections could I make at this stage? A St. Paddy’s day gift? By this point, I began dreading the end of each month. I hated hearing my wife call, “Honey….” from the bathroom. I felt powerless as my mere words couldn’t do anything to cheer up my wife, who was becoming increasingly forlorn. We probably appeared to be carrying on normally to all around us, but we were becoming more and more hopeless. Proverbs 13:12 – “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” became more real. I considered getting tested to see if there was something wrong with me.
April came, but it was me that felt like a fool. There I was in July thinking that havinga kid would be easy. Is it even worth trying anymore? Maybe we can’t have kids? How much does IVF even cost? Should we look into adoption? Pretty tough questions with very few answers. One day, I felt really hopeless and after work, I decided to head down to the basement to take a nap.
I laid there, looking up at my ceiling, noticing the spot that I was supposed to repaint several years ago, asking God a few questions through tears. And then I had the closest thing I’ve ever had to a vision. You see, I’ve never heard the audible voice of God, nor am I someone who has dreams or visions – my dreams usually consist of me battling Cobra Commander from the GI Joe Animated Series or flying. But this was…different. I saw a little girl, and she shouted, “Don’t worry, daddy. I’m coming,” gleefully. She said it again 2 times and *poof* all I see is that dang spot that I’ve been meaning to paint for the better part of 2 years. Did I make that up? That was probably wishful thinking right?
I don’t know. What I do know is that for the next hour or so, I probably had the most peaceful sleep I’d had in months. When I woke up, I had an inkling to do some research on Abram, a.k.a., Abraham.
1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”
2 But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Maybe it was the Lean Cuisine I had for lunch, but heck, Abram had it far worse than I and he believed and God credited it to him as righteousness; I decided to believe.
In May, the day we expected my wife’s period came and went. It took more willpower for me than trying not to eat freshly baked brownies to wait another 2 days before running out to buy a pregnancy test. Two days later, after 9 long months, the words “Pregnant” appeared.
Nine months later, our daughter was born. So it WAS a girl I saw in the vision, not just a pre-pubescent boy. 😉
Quite often, Christians are inquisitive about visions/dreams/prophecies, etc…how do you know you’re right? How do you know if it’s from God or from something else? What if you end up being wrong? Personally, it didn’t matter to me that I saw the vision “correctly”; what mattered to me is that God saw me in my distress and He gave me what I needed: hope and rest.
My daughter was an incredible gift from God – one I get to enjoy every day. But my very great reward is God Himself, who knows me and loves me. Many times in the old testament, we see God make a point for stories to be recounted to future generations. For example, in Joshua 4: He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ In a little while, I’ll let my daughter know that God loved her daddy so much that when daddy was at an incredibly low point, God brought me back up. In fact, everytime I look at my daughter, I see a testimony of God’s goodness – I see my very great reward.