Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Ashley, Our Beautiful Prego Friend from Pennsylvania...

Today is your blog baby shower! Hug:::Kiss:::Kiss! :)

Congratulations, my friend! I am so happy that I can say those words to you! I praise our God for it! I wish that I could see you and laugh with you and give that little belly a pat in real life, but for now, we will use technology to our advantage and share this blessing with you from afar.

I apologize for posting my note so late. I'm just making it seem more realistic, cause if we were having an actual shower, I would undoubtedly be late. :) But really, I have been thinking all day about what to write. What would be encouraging? What would bless you? I've been thinking of myself two and a half years ago, when I was where you are now... and knowing what I know now, what would I say to myself? I would say this:

You don't have to be afraid. Do not let fear muddy this joyous season. God has not and will not run out of blessings for you. He has brought you through many a trial and you are always the better for it. The journey that you are about to embark on will undoubtedly challenge you to the limit; the most vulnerable segments of your soul will be tested and exposed. You will see what it is to die to yourself. It will be shocking and exhausting, but out of you will come the truest worship you have known. Rejoice at this! You will know Him more fully and need Him more honestly. His love for you is relentless, as it is for your child. You can trust Him...even with this!

Maybe this doesn't apply to you, but I remember so vividly that while I was so overwhelmed with excitement, my joy was interrupted by fear. Fear that I wouldn't be a good mother. Fear that I wouldn't like being a mother. Fear that my child wouldn't be healthy or pretty or smart or well behaved. (I'm being authentic here.) Fear that I wouldn't get my figure back. (I'm being really authentic here!) Amidst all my worry and doubt, God remained faithful. He has answered my prayers and for the things that have not gone according to my plan, He is refining my heart. He is always good.

Casey and I are so happy for you and Patrick. What phenomenal parents you will be! Benjamin will be so well loved, as you are so well loved by God and by your friends, both near and far. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. It is just beginning...and you are gonna love it!


Brandi said...

beautiful post, steph!

monique said...

Wow! Steph, I love this. This stirs my soul.