2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
Sometimes I think, "Mmmmkay..." I feel like Paul should have said, "For what is seen is real, but what is unseen is better (probably)". How would I know, I can't see it!
It's difficult to explain how faith "feels". It's hard to put into words the things of God. We are a people wanting to see, smell, hear, touch. So testimonies become an important part of our faith-building experience. Seeing God's fingerprints on Earth and watching Him move in a tangible, undeniable way, even if it's in someone else's life, gives us something to hold on to. And one of my favorite things about God is that He's not afraid to show Himself strong.
Kurt's and my best friends just had an amazing little girl named Eliana. She was born July 26, 2010 at 3:17 am. I got to be at the hospital with Abbey from the ER to the Postpartum room. I'm so grateful to have been a part of that incredible experience. Eliana's birth story is one of those awesome God-encounters. Abbey wrote her testimony to share her experiences. She gave me permission to post it here, and I'm excited to share it with you!
These are Abbey's words:
We've waited a LONG time for this day to come. The last few years have been really rough. We've had at least 3 miscarriages. For a while I suffered really deep depression- not wanting to get out of bed unless I had to work. Through all this my faith was strengthened and deepened and I came to know a God who cares deeply for me on a level I never knew was possible. I searched His heart and found promise and protection and grace and abundance.
Most importantly I found trust. God is a God who can be trusted. I gave everything over. All of my worry, all of my dreams, ambitions, what I thought my family should look like, everything. I decided that permissive will would have it so that we'd have to go through medical testing and who knows what else, and perfect will would be His timing and His plan. I trusted that His plan was a whole lot cooler than mine would ever be. So we waited. . . "Be still and know that I am God".
Psalm 37:3-7 3 "Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him"
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
From Day One I knew this pregnancy was viable. I had no fear at all whatsoever. I kept it quiet because I believe in the power of words and I didn't want to take the 'chance' of allowing anything negative to be said. It's amazing how words can become thoughts that are then rooted into our minds and grow into big ugly worries and fears. In the beginning of my pregnancy I was convinced that we were having a boy and we'd had a boy name picked out for as long as we've been together. So at 20 weeks when the ultrasound tech announced that we were having a girl I was at first shocked, and then excited followed by 'oh no is mike gona be disappointed?' followed by 'well what in the world are we going to name her!?!?' over the next week the stress of life really started to mix in with my new found hormones and i found myself quite 'undone'. I remember crying at walmart with Emily saying 'she doesn't have a place to sleep and she DOESN'T HAVE A NAME' just beside myself! haha at this point we'd come up with a possible name that we liked just fine but it just wasn't 'doin it' for me. The name "Annika" seemed like a lot to compete with (to me anyway) So I was at Target with my sister and was talking about this whole issue again and I silently said a prayer, I even remember where I was standing
"Lord you're just going to have to name this baby. This pregnancy is a big deal. Her name needs to have a great meaning. You have a romantic heart and you know all the names and all the meanings and ummm.. so... can You just name her for me?"
So the next night I was on my computer. The name we'd come up with so far was "Alayna" (which no one can have cuz it's still on my name list for future possible use, lol) Every time I put the name Alayna in a google search box it came up a different meaning, and different ways of spelling it brought up even more meanings. I tried one more desperate stab at finding a good result so I put in "Ilaina" or something and google says 'no matches found' and right under that it says "did you mean. . ." and had the name "Eliana" I thought 'No I didn't mean . . .. but. . .thats kinda pretty" so I clicked the link and the definition read: "God heard my prayers and answered." And then the tears came- because in my heart I knew that God had named this baby. What a perfect name for such a little miracle. God is a God worth trusting :) A God worth committing to. And we feel so very blessed by this perfect baby in His perfect timing.
"For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you." Prov 2:10,11