"Faith is believing God for something specific. Hope is the safety net that catches you if you don't receive what you had faith for. Hope is more than wishing things will workout. It is resting in the God who holds all things in His wise and powerful hands. Hope is a confident expectation of a guaranteed result that changes the way you live."
More than one friend told us during the 9 months of pregnancy that we were more prepared for having a baby than any parent ever had been. They were probably all right, but how many things ever go as planned? Around month 4 of pregnancy I became absolutely terrified of giving birth and began countering my fear with facts. We spent hours researching natural birth plans, took an online birth class, and had endless discussions about how we wanted to bring our boy into the world. The more research I did, the more prepared and in control I felt, but, of course, I also felt the tug of that word that's been following me around all year: surrender. I began to understand that I could be more prepared than any woman ever had been for birth, but that I still wasn't in control of how it would go. Good thing God is in control no matter what.
As I read books, blogs, and articles about birth I kept coming across the words faith and hope. A friend even coincidentally sent me a devotional about them without knowing they had been popping up in these circumstances over and over. The quote at the beginning of this post is a conglomeration of a few different sources speaking on the topic of faith and hope.
Once we had a better understanding of the differences between faith and hope, we wrote a list of hopes for the birth. It was a long list. At the bottom we wrote “above all else may Gods will be done and may He be glorified through the birth and life of our son”. Of the 20+ hopes we listed in that birth plan, guess which one actually came true?
Benjamin was born Thursday, November 9th and not all in the way we had planned for. There were so many gifts in his delivery though. Labor and delivery were miraculous and I often revel in those moments still. After a sweet two hours with just us, the nurses noticed his breathing had become labored and our boy was rushed to the NICU where he was quickly diagnosed with pneumonia. We went from the happiest we had ever been to the absolute most scared we had ever been. Once in the NICU, the nurses got straight to work, figuring out exactly what had gone wrong and set about healing him. I started reaching out to everyone who had ever asked about our baby, desperately seeking their prayers. Somehow, we slept that night and woke with renewed faith that God's plan was for our good.
The next day was confusing, because some of the pediatric doctors were certain of the pneumonia diagnosis, but one was not. He believed that our boy just had lots of fluid in his lungs that wasn't squeezed out during birth. That doctor's exact words were "Babies with pneumonia just don't get better this quickly. He is too healthy to have had it!"
We know why, after less than a week in the NICU, our boy was healthy and at home with us. It’s because God heard and answered the prayers of the MANY people lifting us up. Our birth plan may as well have been shredded and burned up except for the prayer that Benjamin’s life bring glory to Christ. We serve a mighty and good God whose gifts are overwhelming and whose love is never ending.
Our list of things we were believing God for was forgotten as soon as we checked into the hospital Wednesday night, but our hope in Him was never forgotten. His will is always what is ultimately best for us and we trusted Him with Benjamin's delivery and life even when the specifics we had handed to Him in faith didn't pan out. I hope that we have ample opportunities to share our story with people so that God can be glorified through the birth of our boy and I pray that the rest of his life will be lived for God's glory too.
We found out about Benjamin on my birthday in March and he made it home just in time to celebrate Matthews birthday in November! His life is the best gift we’ve ever received. And speaking of gifts, we were so fortunate to have a sweet friend of ours as my L&D nurse during Benjamin's birth! What a comfort and help that was! We are still praising God for her!