Both of our children were knit together in my womb during Bethel's Worship School in Redding, CA in July of 2011 and 2013.
So naturally, because I'm looking for God to redeem the recent loss of our daughter Goldie, I thought getting pregnant while teaching at Worship School a few weeks ago would be the perfect icing on my redemption cake. And according to my ovulation calculator app (oh yes, I have an ovulation app), I would be Fertile Myrtle on the exact days we were in Redding.
Which just happened to be our 7th wedding anniversary.
And we got married on 7/7/07.
In front of almost 70,000 people in Nashville at The Call.
And on 7/7 a few weeks ago, I was teaching my first Worship School class at 7 pm.
And the title of that talk was ‘The 7th Day: Working from Rest.'
And 7 is the number of completion and perfection.
I mean, come on. How could anyone NOT hope and expect to get pregnant on that day with a story like that?
I bought a pregnancy test months ago just waiting for an opportunity to use it, and had calculated the earliest date I could take the test as July 19th—the morning I spoke at Jesus Culture Los Angeles. I had it all planned out in my head, had the pregnancy test set out and ready to go in the bathroom the night before, and felt like a 5-year-old waiting anxiously for Christmas morning to finally arrive.
Surely I was pregnant with all the numbers, dates, and oddities lining up that way. Surely this was going to be my ‘God redemption story.'
On the night of the 18th, Studhubs went out to hang with a few of his best friends that we rarely see, and I stayed in the hotel room with my sleeping Moses to go over my talk one last time before speaking the next morning. But because I have a hard time going back to sleep if I wake up in the night, I decided to run to the loo one last time before slipping off into a sleepy coma. I stumbled through the darkness into the bathroom, and after turning on the light, my heart sank into my stomach.
I definitely wasn't pregnant. And disappointment fell on my shoulders as heavy as the weight of the world.
I crawled back into bed and curled up into a little ball as big crocodile tears soaked my pillow. Oh Jesus, this hurts, I whispered. I thought for sure this was how you were going to redeem this whole thing. And with that, I proceeded to cry while feel sorry for myself under a heavy sadness that seemed more tangible than the blanket laying over me.
After about ten minutes of feeling like a victim, my heart heard a voice as clear as the night sky.
“Christa, do you want to know what I have to say about this whole thing?”
I immediately sat up in bed, wiping my tears in the darkness.
Yes, Father. Of course I want to hear you!
And with that, the God of the universe—who holds time in His hands—who sees the beginning and the end—who knows the full story before it's written—this God began to whisper to my heart, unfolding His plans for my life. He told me how He knows exactly what we need to accomplish everything that's coming in our near future. He promised me that He will knit more children together in my womb, and that He's strategic with the timing. He talked to me about how my husband Lucas hasn't been ready to be pregnant again—how His heart needed more time to heal, and that there were things that I could do to help him heal. He explained why it's dangerous to set my hope on things He hasn't told me—even when the circumstances seem good. Even when they seem like God. He told me how much He loves me, and reminded me that He does, in fact, work all things together for good.
And would I trust Him, the Creator of life, with creating more life in me?
I laid back into bed and pulled the covers up around my chin, a soft smile stretching from ear to ear. I was a completely different woman than I had been just ten short minutes before. Did I still want to be pregnant? You better believe I did. Did I still ache to carry life? Of course—I'm a mother who just lost her child. But this woman had heard from heaven, and in my sadness and longing, I was no longer a victim. I was a woman of faith who had hope.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (NAS)
The situation hadn't turned out exactly how I had envisioned. I wanted to be pregnant again at Worship School because that's how it had worked with my first two children. But maybe my vision had been blurry. Maybe my vision had been filled with what I thought was best, as opposed to asking the one who knows what's best. I hadn't asked God whether or not He was going to knit life in my womb on my 7th anniversary. I had hoped for it without asking, and looked at everything lining up as a sign. And when I'd finally stopped to listen, He told me things that He probably would have told me all along.
When I heard, my heart trusted.
When I heard, it sure was a lot easier to have faith.
There have been so many times in my life where I've wanted things to turn out a certain way, and been grossly disappointed when they didn't. And many of those times, I never asked God what He thought. I never asked Him what He was doing. I never asked if the enemy was involved. Many times, I just looked at the situation and simply felt sorry for myself. But in doing that, I wasn't acting like a friend of the King—I was acting like a servant.
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 (RSV)
Beautiful one, we can be friends of God who hear. In fact, we have access to the one who knows everything, because He lives inside of us! Why in the world would we need a Counselor if we didn't need to be counseled through this life? And when we do position our hearts to listen and receive, it sure is easy to rest.
In the past week since I heard God clearly speak to me, there have been moments where my vision returned to focus on the fact that I'm still not pregnant. And every time that I do, grief wants to come and choke my heart with despair. But all I have to do to move back into peace is to simply look up, and remind myself of the promises of God.
The situation that once overwhelmed my heart with lack begins to pale in comparison to how overwhelmed I am with the abundance of my King.
So dear friend, what situation do you need to hear from heaven about today? Are you disappointed in a circumstance, but you haven't stopped to ask Him what's going on? Have you stopped to listen to His whispers, letting the Counselor lead and guide you on this road of life? If you're in a stressful or painful situation, stop right now and ask God what He sees. Ask Him what He has to say about it. Ask Him for a strategy. Ask Him for peace that passes all understanding, to guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
And for those of you who want a soundtrack while surrendering, try this: