Most have heard, but my precious niece was born Tuesday night. I have been in a giddy haze since it all occurred.
I thought it would be fun to share this story, in light of her birth, to remember the goodness of the Lord, and how often He gives me the desires of my heart.
Ashley, my precious sister in law, was one of our leaders during K-Life, the ministry I worked for following college. I came to deeply love and respect her. She was a picture perfect leader, loving on her girls every chance she got.... she was gentle, quiet, sweet-spirited, well-respected, smart, fun-loving, intentional, faithful, loyal...best of all, she loved Jesus.
I remember thinking how perfect she would be for Hal. Embarrassingly, I sat them next to each other at dinner during one of Hal's visits, introducing them saying, "You're medical, he's medical, you all have a lot in common" and then casually turning away to begin another conversation. I am sure they both wanted to kill me. Needless to say, I spent a ton of time praying over this....begging God to let her be the one for Hal.
Hal has always been my best little buddy. We have a exceptional relationship and once we entered the dating arena, my heart so deeply wanted him to have a wife who loved Jesus and adored him...fit him. And Ashley did. Perfectly.
I wanted to remember all this to express the poignancy of Tuesday night. Ashley is not only my sister, but my friend. We talked about contractions and "changes" all day on Tuesday wondering if she might be ready. She had longed desired to deliver naturally and being overdue was putting that at risk somewhat. Her doctor encouraged her to induce, which she and Hal prayed about and decided to do Wednesday, though we were all praying that she would go on her own before that. When Hal called me at 7:30 telling me they were headed to the hospital, my heart was in my throat. I was so excited, seriously, it easily could have been happening to me...I felt it that intensely. So I quickly bathed and put AK down, and headed to their house to get Ashley's pillows she had forgotten and then called Hal to make sure there was nothing else. Hal soberly told me that they had taken Ash for crash c-section, every mother's worst nightmare, especially my sisters. I sobbed praying as I drove 90 mph to the hospital that they would both be healthy, safe. In light of that, I had such a special honor to be the first to arrive at the hospital, waiting with Hal in the empty delivery room. And when I heard they were both fine, I sobbed. They brought my precious niece in minutes later and it took my breath away. I was looking at a piece of my precious, beloved brother and this sweet sister for whom I had so passionately prayed. The only other time I fell in love at first sight was when they laid Abby Kate in my arms for the first time. I am smitten.
So here are some pics of that precious night...seeing God's culmination of blessing and faithfulness play out. Thank you Lord, for always doing immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine.
*A little FYI, I forgot the uploaded the pics in back order so they start at the bottom and end at the top!