"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Have you ever heard a promise laugh?

This is my family. My husband Bob, who isn't really that much taller than me, just one step up on the platform. He is wonderful. The true definition of a gentle giant. He loves me and most of the time I can't figure out why! the best way I can describe him is by a feeling. When he walks into the room, I feel the stresses and emotions of the day melt away. He is my strength and my rock. God is truly generous to me!

the little cutie next to me I guess isn't so little any more. He is my favorite (ok, only but if I had more than one I am sure he would be the favorite) son, Kevin. We are going through a pretty tough season right now. I constantly remind myself that I love him, and that I don't have to understand him, just accept him. He is a great kid though. He is probably the best big brother ever. he is gentle like his dad, a helper and quite cute. He is a great baseball player and has an amazing ability to solve puzzles that I envy! I am so excited that soon we will begin dating...I want him to be as good a husband someday as his dad is now.

Finally, that little pretty princess is Abby. Abigail Kelly to be exact. Abigail means "father's Joy" and Kelly means "mighty warrior". We have given her a lot to live up to. As I study the bible it is very obvious that God puts great meaning into the names of his people. I wanted Abby's name to be something that glorified God. I think we did a great job.

This picture was taken on Father's Day at church as we dedicated Abby to God. Now, if you don't know me or know my story, I have only been walking with God for about four years. My life before that was ugly and out of control. I usually compare that time of my life with being in the rough part of a tornado, not the middle where there is a tiny place of calm, but out there with all the flying trash and junk and not knowing which was was up. My marriage was pretty close to over, I was very angry and emotional, and I was a screamer mom. Every frustration I had was screamed at Kevin each time he failed to live up to my expectation or stepped out of line. My life was just a mess. No other way to put it.

One more thing to add to the story. When I had Kevin I went through a pretty rough time with post partum depression. There were thoughts and feelings that I experienced during that time that made me certain I would never have another child. I didn't want to go through that or experience those thoughts or feelings again. Ever. I was dead set. I swore.

Well, in the last four years my life has changed in a way that only God could accomplish. So much has been changed and forgiven. Jesus is real to me in a way that I can never explain, although I want to...to everyone!
We were broke, trying to pay off a lot of debt, just starting to heal our marriage and repair some of the damage I had done to the relationship with my son and just learning what it means to have true friends. We were working with the youth in our church and I just started a new job as an administrative assistant at my local crisis preganancy center. Our lives were starting to heal. Then, something amazing and wonderful and crazy happened. I got pregnant. Me. The one who was dead set against having another baby, the one who SWORE I would never get pregnant again.

I can't tell you how excited I was during the whole pregnancy. Every twitch, hiccup, nudge and roll was a source of joy and excitement. When we were told we were having a girl, I didn't hesitate. Her name was Abby. I just knew she was going to be a source of great joy for God. She already was. I prayed Psalm 139 over my baby. Trusting God to make her perfect in his eyes. Finally, she was here! How georgous she was! Because of meconium they had to monitor her directly after birth. I didn't get to hold her but I could see her perfectly. I watched her wiggle and look around fuss and sigh. I laughed at her cute fuzzy hair and made everyone tell me how precious she looked. finally! I get to hold her! I laugh as they bring her over, wrapped in a little white and teal striped blanket with a pink yarn bow in her hair. They put her in my arms and I just started crying. I couldn't stop. She was so beautiful and so perfect. The answer to prayer. The completion of a promise that God made to me.

That promise was this...

God told me that he loved me. That I was beautiful and that I was forgiven. He had taken all that had gone on in my life and put it away, never to be again. His grace was more than sufficent. It was abundant. God took my love for him and his love for me, and wrapped it up in a little baby. She is my promise that God trusts me with his love. That he will give the care and growth and teaching of this little miracle to me and my husband. That there was never anything bad enough in my past that he couldn't forgive. Once I gave away the guilt I felt I needed to keep, Abby was given to us.

the day this picture was taken was the day that we as a family stood in front of our church family and promised that we knew that Abby wasn't ours...she is Gods. Completely. But he has been so generous as to allow us to raise her, always remembering and teaching that God is a God of love and grace and mercy. she is our promise to God, and his to us. Have you ever heard a promise laugh? I have. It is the most beautiful sound in the world.


April said...

Shannon, this made me cry too. What an amazing testimony.

Natalie @ I AM (not) said...

He is very gracious to take what we have in our ugly nature and give us a SUPER NATURE!!! WHoop! Whoop!