So we took Ellie to IHOP for some prayer. Not because we feel like there are certain places you should go to receive "better" prayer or something like that--but because it was a change of scenery, my God-family lives there, and it was so symbolic to me of all the people who would travel to Jesus to receive healing. Some of those passages are my favorite--they are so beautiful. Obviously, now, we have the Spirit which is the best gift ever--and we don't have to go "find" him...but it just felt so good to take her to him, if that makes sense.
Anyways--my whole family (except my oldest bro and his wifey because they had job opportunities come up and had to drive to GA :) yay!) + my God family +some friends BUT--we had a lot of support and it felt awesome to be surrounded by all of them. Nothing mindblowing and extreme took place..not that we were or were not expecting anything crazy to happen, but God totally just met us where we were, and we've been learning that everytime we receive prayer for her, He speaks deeply into our hearts and really gives us a lot of revelation about the ways in which he thinks about us and carries us. It's really really sweet.
And that's what happened.
Ellie did the usual flipping and wiggling around during intercession time--which never gets old. That girl loves some prayer..it happens every time without fail. But what was so good was that I wasn't really hearing what was being prayed but was hearing really really sweet things from the Lord about myself and Chris. Some of them are super intimate and I won't go into detail, but we just felt so much love poured over us and Ellie. PLUS-my mom had a vision of holding Ellie which was just so sweet and special to me. There's nothing like worshiping with your family..it's so powerful. Also--this was the first time that Chris felt her move by placing his hand on my belly--so it was extra proof of how crazy she gets during prayer. Yes!
Anyways--we just loved on her all weekend and really felt/feel like it's our duty as her parents to continue to ask for healing. Why wouldn't we? We firmly believe there are no sick babies in heaven and we're called to pray for God's kingdom on earth. Makes sense.
Here's where the detailed story comes in:
The next time we had people (like a group of people) pray specifically over Ellie was at our house church and that is a story that I'm going to tell in detail because it was so sweet. As people were praying things over her, God just really impressed this picture onto my heart and mind:
There was a couple standing in front of us who I didn't know--and they were just as pregnant, and somehow I knew that they were going through the exact same thing as us. The same questions, lack of diagnosis, and lack of health for their baby. They were literally going through just what we were. Then God presented a question to me--and He said, "This family is going through exactly what you are, the pain, the heartache, the waiting and wondering. If you had the option to sacrifice Ellie so that their baby could thrive and live life to the fullest......would you do it?"
And the question wasn't condemning or judgmental at all--I was honest in that moment and said "No." I went on to say, "No--I absolutely don't have the strength to give up my child for someone else." I pressed into this further and admitted to Him that I would absolutely watch this family suffer through losing their child so that I could have mine, if that was the other option. I admitted how I am so weak and weary and that the idea of giving up my little girl so that someone else's child could live just doesn't even make sense to me. I wouldn't do it. I absolutely wouldn't do it.
And then He impressed again onto my heart--"Okay then, do you see how much I love you? I'm not condemning you for your answer. I asked because I wanted you to see how deep my sacrifice was for you. I asked you because I wanted you to see how deeply you need me, even though you know me. I wanted you to see how strong of a love you have for your child--that you wouldn't be able to give her up, and then imagine how much stronger my love was for my child because I am perfect. And I DID choose to give him up."
And the truths went deeper and deeper. And I didn't feel condemned, even though this absolutely brought to light the darker parts of my heart. I felt so much love. SO much love. Because it's true--I couldn't give her up for someone else. I want her. I need her and I need to hold her. I'm not strong enough to make that kind of sacrifice.
Isn't that ridiculous?
It's so ridiculous. I told our friends about this and did a bad job of describing it--because how do you accurately describe a picture like that? How do you accurately describe what it feels like to become a mother through pregnancy and to begin learning what it's like to deeply care for a child that was created out of love?
So that's what we've been going through and learning and pressing into. And it's really really rough. And we don't feel strong. And we're very very tired of waiting. And we really really really are looking forward to the time where we get to start healing from all of this. But God has been really sweet to us. Clearly.