The hope of Spring is upon us. The days are getting longer and sunnier, but when venturing outside it is clear that winter is still here in West Michigan. So we must wait a little bit longer. Spring brings with it the reminder of new life, and the joy of seeing God's handiwork come ALIVE! I cannot wait to take Spring walks with Eden, or go to the park or beach as a family! The warm days cannot come fast enough.
This time of year not only reminds us of trees sprouting, and flowers blossoming, but of the new life we are given in Christ. Easter is right around the corner. Although this world tries to ignore it's meaning and instead focus on chocolate and the Easter bunny, the fact is, this LIFE CHANGING truth cannot be ignored: Easter is ALL about the RESURRECTION of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Without Easter, we have no hope. As the Scriptures say If Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead, thus securing eternal life for us all, than we should be "...Of all people most to be pitied" (1 Cor. 15:19). Unlike the ever changing seasons, our souls are forever alive because of Christ. We do not have to worry about them fading away as Autumn leaves. Our hope is built on the Lord, and that is truly something to be thankful for.
New life is a concept that transcends any culture. Nature itself follows a pattern of life and death. It is in who we are as people to rejoice with new life, and to despair when it is lost. I'm sure we would all agree that there is something incredible about meeting a new life. A precious and vulnerable little one, that leaves your heart overflowing with thankfulness to the Lord. For it is in the face of a child that we are reminded of God's most amazing creation: Human Life! Babies have a unique way of making you pause, forget your busyness, and wonder at their very existence.The handiwork of God is incredible!
So it is with GREAT JOY that Mark and I announce to you that we are expecting another child! God, at this very time is creating this new life inside of me, whom we cannot wait to meet! Our hearts are so very thankful. We are hopeful, and continue to ask God to grow and protect this little one. For those of you who may not know, we lost a child in the Fall at 19 weeks, our sweet Noah. We were overwhelmed with heartache, but also have never felt the love of our friends, family, and church family, so clearly. In the midst of the hardest moments God did NOT leave us. So although we must admit fear fills our hearts at times, and we worry that we may never get the joy of meeting this child, we have to remind ourselves that fear and worry will not add an extra minute to this child's life. For his life is securely found in the arms of our great God. He knows what is best, but trusting Him can be so very hard. We cannot imagine the loss of another child, and hope that we will never have to.
It is wonderful to experience the first part of this verse "The Lord gives, and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21). Although, this verse often comes to my mind in the midst of trials. Right now I am so thankful that the Lord has given! He has granted us the desire of our hearts in a way only He could supply!
So for all those curious minds...I give you our journey thus far: After losing Noah Matthew, we had decided that we would begin trying again in January. However, once it was clear that things were physically as they should be. We decided to start trying at the end of December. As God would have it, I conceived very quickly. Early January I found out that I was pregnant. What a mix of emotions we felt in those early weeks. We felt that we couldn't be completely excited; what if we lost this child too? But we didn't want fear to keep us from loving this child with our whole hearts either. During my 7th week we had our first ultrasound. Praise be to God! We saw a flickering heartbeat, but not much else :). Even a week and a 1/2 later (at my first official OB appointment) it was still early to hear the heartbeat externally. My OB suggested I come in the following week so I wouldn't have to wait a month to hear it! So at about 10 weeks I returned. What a joyful moment it was to hear that fast strong heartbeat! 160 bpm! Woohoo! :). It was after that appointment that we more openly began to share the news with our family and some close friends. My heart wanted to wait longer to share this news with the world (all of you :). I knew that I would never feel completely "safe" during this pregnancy though. Last week we had an appointment. Mark and I had the blessing of hearing our child's heartbeat for the first time,TOGETHER :). So as far as we know, things are going well. Praise the Lord!
We are so excited to be on this journey again. But as we reach each mile stone we grow nervous. We already find ourselves at 14 weeks, which is wonderfully encouraging! My quickly expanding waist line, and popping belly would prevent us from keeping in this news much longer. Our precious miracle is due September 20th! :). It is a joy to finally share this news! We will keep you updated as we get closer to becoming a family of 4. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers!
***On another note***
We felt that this blog post should appropriately end with a reminder of where we have been. As we briefly shared above, we lost our Noah Matthew in the Fall. October 29th was by far the hardest day we have faced yet as a married couple. Holding our lifeless little boy, tears streaming down our faces, we fell apart in each others arms. Even in these unimaginable moments we want you to know that God is still so very very good! We had 19 weeks to love our little boy, and although we wanted a lifetime, we were not given that. God knew what He was doing, and we must trust Him daily with that decision. But today, March 22, is Noah's due date. We feel his loss in a fresh new way today. They joy of his arrival has been replaced with the heartache of his loss. We will never forget him. Although we have the blessing of another child to give us hope, we can't help but imagine what he would have been like. Oh, just to watch him run, play, laugh, and grow up. We hope one day to have the joy of meeting our Noah. But for now we confidently walk on. Looking forward to the plan God has for us, and knowing that He holds us ALL in His hands!