Our Baby Story - Post 4 - Oh How He Loves Us

It's been a while since I posted an update. I feel like I've traveled a million miles in the last 30 days. Our last pregnancy test was a big fat negative. I took it hard. I mean really hard. I never thought I was pregnant during that IUI cycle, and I didn't expect to be bummed out when the official call came. Nothing could have prepared me for the brokenness that ensued. It felt so...final. Brad and I had vowed to "take a break" if we didn't get pregnant but we never defined what a "break" was. So the "you're not pregnant" phone call felt a "You're not pregnant now and you're never gonna be pregnant" phone call. I cried. A lot. For days.

All along this journey I have had a soundtrack playing in the back of my mind. The main song has been "How He Loves Us" by the brilliant lyrical 'theologian', David Crowder.
I've said it out loud a thousand times "No matter what, He loves us. We will serve Him. We will trust Him. We will love Him." Looks like that is all being put to the test yet again in my life. As all this was being ironed out in my tired brain, I was asked to speak to our church on Wednesday before Easter. Our church has an annual "Love/Agape" Feast - it mirrors the last supper Jesus had with his disciples. We eat together and then we all gather for a big worship service. They asked me to speak about God's love for us in light of the cross. So I get the "you're not pregnant" call on Monday and two days later I'm supposed to deliver a message about God's great love for us. UGH! And yet, what an awesome privilege. What church in West Texas lets a woman get up and proclaim the gospel to a thousand people? That's why its the church God called us to serve in.

As I sat reading scripture about the cross, my heart and head were flooded with emotions. I didn't know where to land, what to say - and did I mention that the "audience" was made up of adults all the way down to 3 year-olds. Yeah, sure. Try speaking a relevant message to a 3-year-old and also to an 80-year-old. That became my heart cry, "ok, God, you chose me to give this message. Please capture the mind/heart/attention of the 3-year-old all the way to the 80-year-old through this crazy mouth-piece and help me not to lose it/break down/and be carried away to a hospital for the criminally insane". I really did pray that cuz I really felt crazy. Part of the "downer" of the baby news is the physical aspect of dumping the synthetic hormones out of your system. You go from daily shots and pills to nothing. Cold turkey. It ain't pretty. So I prayed. And I cried. And I read. And I sang. And I prayed and cried more.

Here's what God gave me:
1 John 4:10
"This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins."

Simple isn't it. Yet difficult to understand that it was God's choice. He chose to let His Son bare His wrath for our sin so that we could bare God's love and forgiveness. Oh How He Loves Us!
So that's what I said to them. Plain and simple. God was powerful in the moment. He was gracious over me and I only "lost it" ever so slightly (until I left the stage and fell apart completely against my husband's shoulder).

And you know what the awesome/crazy/scary thing is? The song that was sung as I left the stage...uh huh...David Crowder's "How He Love Us". I didn't request it. It was set up like that when I received the invite to speak...four days before I even knew the results of the pregnancy test. Oh How He Loves Me!

"He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

That He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves."

Jessica Phillips

Jessica is worshiper and follower of Jesus. He rescued her heart at age 6 but he rescued her calling, purpose and direction in her early 20's. Everyday God is still writing Jessica's story. It involves her husband, Brad, her daughter, Emery, their extended families. But the story is a tale of loss of life and dark grief. And the story ebs and weaves and the grief story is followed by weddings and laughter. And what comes next? A Baby! God sends us a baby to shape and teach and grow right in the midst of our loss and realizing that life actually moves forward. We didn't think it would again after he died. But life just did what it was supposed to do...and it went on. And hope is born again. Everything I write is based on this fact: I'm God's child, I'm alive today. So what do You want me to do for You? Because I want my contribution to matter. I want to leave a legacy.