A little over a year ago, Noland and I began a journey of believing God for a baby.
We felt like He initiated for us to begin to think about and pray for the family we would raise, and so began this strange adventure that has both refined us and grown us together more deeply than ever before.
I wish I could tell you right now that there’s a happy ending to the story God is writing in our family. I suppose I could tell you that — I certainly believe it’s true. But I know nothing of its ending at this point.
I only know that God has made a promise, and that He always keeps His promises. This I know to be true, more than anything else I have ever known.
In the last month, I’ve been seeing double rainbows everywhere. Literally, thanks to Instagram, everywhere. Friends were posting photos of them in Florida, Texas, California, Canada, Italy, Arkansas, North Carolina, Colorado — I was seeing them almost daily for a while. Finally I started thinking it was a little bit strange.
But one day I just decided I’d claim it as a promise, that a double portion is the reward for all that Noland and I have been fighting for this year. I don’t know it to be perfectly true — it’s just a faith statement, really. Every time I see a double rainbow (a seriously weird normal occurrence as of late), I thank God that my promise fulfilled is coming. I have never known Him to be a liar.
The last time I remember fighting for something that felt this impossible was about 5 years ago. My little sister was walking through a pretty dark time, and she had wandered pretty far from the truth. It was the first time I felt like I could feel a rift between my family members, and it hurt. It felt dark and lonely and honestly, pretty hopeless at times.
I remember wanting so badly to see my sister redeemed and walking with Jesus again. I remember a friend of mine challenging me to memorize some Psalms and pray them over my family as promises from God.
So for two years, that was what I did. I prayed the same words from Psalm 40 over my little sister for nearly 24 months. I knew it had to be true that God would answer my cry. I knew He would pull my family from the pit of destruction and set our feet upon a rock, and that He would put a new song in our mouths.
I knew that I would one day look at all He’d done, and I would proclaim those same words in Psalm 40, “You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us — none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.”
I guess I didn’t know for sure. I didn’t always feel like it was true — but sometimes when you’re facing a seemingly impossible circumstance, the only way to find the light at the end of the tunnel is to keep walking, believing it has to be at the end. What’s the alternative? Sit in the dark? No thanks.
Fast forward about two years from the first day I started praying that prayer, and I’ll never forget the sweetness of my sister telling me that she had decided to follow Jesus. I’ll never forget seeing my dad baptize her in the lake in east Texas on Easter Sunday in 2011.
But you know what’s even better than our ideals of the perfect ending to a story? God’s ideal perfect ending. He always one ups my “best case scenario” expectation. Last weekend, He did exactly that. My little sister married the most Godly, amazing man.
As we started leading up to her wedding weekend, my own journey of struggling to get pregnant was getting harder at the same time. We’d gone through a second round of fertility treatment to help us, and the same day I left for my sister’s wedding weekend, I found out for certain that my body had responded poorly again.
Everything in me wanted to grieve instead of celebrate.
The reality, though, is this: God was going to wave a banner of hope and of His faithfulness over the weekend ahead of me, whether I felt like it was true or not. It’s just what He was doing. There would be no stopping it.
As soon as I felt myself start to get discouraged that day, I had to have one of those out-loud moments of having to put Satan in his place. He could have none of my joy. This weekend was the grand finale, more-than-perfect ending to one of my favorite stories God has ever written — and I was going to celebrate it like crazy.
I had just gotten done telling my little sister a week earlier, as she told me she knew I was having a hard year and that she had been praying for “little Gilmores” daily, that I would be riding on the coat tails of her victory while I still waited for mine.
Oh, friends. It was victorious, indeed.
I could never put words to how beautiful she was coming down that aisle. The most perfect picture of the promise of the wedding we’ll all attend in Heaven one day. A bride, dressed in white, without blemish, to be presented to the bridegroom — who had loved her fiercely and waited to be able to finally spend eternity with her — as it was intended for them.
A Dad, the most proud he’s ever been. He was handing over his prized possession to the only one she was made for. And he would be the one not only to hand her over, but to officiate the marriage ceremony that would unite them together forever.
And there was something extra sweet about my husband’s voice being the one that sang her down the aisle. My most favorite part came at the very end — the bride and groom taking communion together as Noland sang, “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us.”
I wept and I prayed and I thanked Jesus over and over that because of Him, we get to experience these holy moments on this imperfect, unholy earth. These are the moments we live for. The ones where we know, without a doubt, that we have access to a world that is beyond this place we live in now.
And wouldn’t you know it, right in the middle of all of this, that off in the distance, beyond the fields of farm land, painted across the expanse of a Texas summer sky, was a double rainbow.
A whisper from a most thoughtful God said, “Hey, I see you. I know you. I’m here.”
It was perfect. It was finished. There was a sense that my family was complete, and that the completion of one family would release the building of a new one. There was a reminder that God’s timing is worth the wait — and that it is a privilege and an honor to fight with Him and contend in Heaven for the things we want to see on earth.
There was an affirmation of the truth that His promises never go unkept.
And so here we are, embracing a new chapter. I don’t know how long it will be. But I know as sure as a double rainbow in the sky, that I know no other way of living besides to choose to believe that even the most impossible things can happen when God has said so.
My story is authored by a miracle maker. How dare I think it would be anything short of miraculous?
But we have to be willing to be in need of a miracle if we’re going to receive one.