It's kind of funny, sometimes, how things work out. No matter how much we think we are planning our own lives and determining how things will work out, somehow God always has a way of showing us that we only think we are in control of things. I'm not saying that planning isn't good, we've been doing a lot of that ourselves lately. I am learning, though, on a case by case basis that I need to have a lot more trust in the truths God has shared with us about how he will meet our needs and provide on a daily basis. I'm learning to be more flexible, so that I can fit in easier into the plans that He has for us. This is way easier to say than do, especially when we find ourselves in the middle of a 'lesson'.
As many of you know, Jon and I have committed our family to serve in the mission field, specifically Honduras, for the next 3-5 years. We had planned on moving around May 26, 2011. We thought this timing was perfect--we would be here for the whole school year, but then get to Honduras just in time to be involved with the groups who would come work with our mission during the summer. We thought our timing was perfect.
Then we got a surprise! A shock. Our own personal earthquake. On Friday, September 17th, I got a A++ on 3 different pregnancy tests, and a November visit to the doctor confirmed that we are officially expecting our 3rd child on May 25th. The day before we were supposed to move. Wow!
Talk about mixed emotions! I'm going to be real here, because sugarcoating it and saying that immediately I thought this was GREAT news would be a bold-faced lie! This has to qualify close to the top of the list for "Gut-wrenching change of plans" of my life. Those first few weeks were really a roller coaster for me. Kind of excited about a new baby, but really confused and upset about the timing. Upset that this would drastically change the role I would be able to play in the mission field--going from 2 big kids to 2 big kids and a newborn. Upset about facing the choice of either moving much earlier than we had planned, or several months later. Embarrassed that people might think we were irresponsible in 'letting this happen', especially with all the other plans we'd been making. Then, I was upset and feeling terribly guilty about feeling upset about being pregnant. What kind of mother am I, anyways? What kind of mother feels upset about learning that there is a gift from God growing inside her at that very moment? It was an experience I've never felt before.
It actually took me about 4-6 weeks to get to the point that I felt I could even tell my closest friends. Jon was so irritated with me--he wanted to tell right away. I couldn't, though. I wanted to wait to see if I could arrive at the point of being excited about this baby...I hated the thought of telling people that we were expecting but being so sad and upset about it that our friends walked away with the feeling that it was 'bad news'. I had to wait until it really was 'good news' to me!
Over the course of several weeks I came to my senses. I was able to become excited about this new baby...excited about the plans God had in store for this precious little surprise he has gifted us with!
When we told the kids they became ECSTATIC! They started talking about how much fun it would be to have a little baby in the house. They talked about how much they could help and what they would help me do. Lawson said he could feed the baby and Jordan said she could put the baby to sleep. Lawson said he wanted a brother, and Jordan said she wanted a sister.
The first thing Lawson said was, "Well, if we are going to have a baby, we'll have to think of a name to call it!" I said, "Yes, we will!" Lawson said, "If the baby is a girl, I think a perfect name will be Josie, like on that show 19 Kids and Counting, where they say, '...and our latest, tiny, precious addition, Josie...'. If it's a boy, we can name him, um, James." (I couldn't believe he quoted the line from when that show comes on!) I told him, "That sounds nice, but Lawson, your middle name is James." He said, "It's okay. I don't use it very much. The baby can have it too!"
As we've told people the news, God has really used our friends to encourage us and to build us up. We have had nothing but positive reactions and encouraging comments. It really was an answer to my prayers, especially since I was so discouraged at first.
Jon and I are thrilled to announce that we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of this very special 3rd Stacy baby. One day, I wonder how this baby may feel if he/she looks back and sees how I felt when I learned the news. I hope that I will be able to encourage him/her with knowing that he/she was a big part of some lessons God was teaching us at the time. I know that this baby will be a blessing to me, and to our whole family, and I am excited about getting to witness the experience my kids will have of having a little baby brother or sister around. I am definitely sure...this baby is Great news!