Sunday, March 22, 2015

gospel community.

It's no secret to most people who know me that the events of January twelfth took us by storm and by surprise. After quickly getting pregnant and blissfully enjoying nine months of great health leading up to our baby's birthday, we were confident that we would have a good delivery and would be home three days later. I can remember waking up that morning to my water breaking at twelve minutes after seven o'clock, calling TJ to wish him a "happy seven sixteen" as I did (and still do) every morning, and then telling him the good news (reminding him not to drive home like a madman). He got home, we put our bags in the car, and off we went hand-in-hand with the biggest cheesy-grins on our faces. Nine hours later, our names officially became mommy + daddy.

Tomorrow will be ten weeks since that day. When I think about all that these ten weeks have held, one of the words that comes to mind is rollercoaster. It has taken me extra long to heal because of all the postpartum events that my body suffered, and every time we thought I was finally going to be on the mend, something else would happen to delay that from happening. I am so thankful, however, to report that I haven't experienced any pain in three weeks, my liver continues to heal slowly-but-surely, and I am close to being back to pre-pregnancy Anna (healthwise, at least). My body wasn't the only thing affected by these trials, though. In fact, while my body is getting back to the way it once was, my spirit has changed drastically. My baby is a miracle, yes, but he is not the only one. The prayers of all the people who were (and many who still are) praying for me were heard + answered, and I will never know just how many people were pleading with the Father for my life to be spared.

My family + friends stepped up their support in ways I'd never seen before, and I remember praying that this would cause us to be + remain closer than before. We, also, received an outpouring of love + support from our church family, and their willingness to do whatever it took to be advocates for hope blew us away. The moment we were released from CCU and placed in a high-risk room, we were greeted by a beautiful familiar face with food for the entire family. After that, different people from our church + community brought us dinner every night for the rest of our stay in the hospital, as well as bringing dinner to our house three nights a week through the end of February. Not only did they bring us food, but they came to visit regularly and were always intentional in praying with us, crying with us, and encouraging us. We even had several ladies offer to stay a few nights with us to help with those middle-of-the-night cries. Honestly, I am convinced that the support we received from our church was second to none, and I have lifted countless prayers on their behalf to simply thank Jesus for placing us in such a selfless, God-honoring Gospel community. Love is not a word, but rather something you do. Something you give. Something you choose to either give away or lose. These people loved love us relentlessly, and Philippians 1:3 describes our response to that perfectly.

Today, on this twenty-second day of March, we will get up + get dressed + get in the car to go to church for the first time as a family of three. I can't wait to see all the faces I haven't seen in months + hug all the people who have been advocating for us in the presence of God, but most of all, I can't wait to introduce Braxton to the people I have been telling him about for so long. I'm grateful that out child will not only hear about what Jesus did + does for us when he goes to church, but that he will, also, see it lived out in front of him.

Where will you spend your Sunday morning? If you don't have a place to call home with friends who are more like family who are committed to loving + living as Christ did, Capstone Church could be that place for you. Just as these people have loved us, they will love you the same.

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
Hebrews 10:24-25

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