Before we got married Daniel and I decided that we wanted to wait 3-5 years before we had kids and then have 3-4 about 2-3 years apart, and then God laughed. As I’ve mentioned our first child was born a mere 18 months after we got married. When our son was almost two I figured it was time to start trying for our second. I don’t know if you have moments in time that are forever frozen in history for you, but this is one of mine. I was walking out of our home office and getting ready to head downstairs when God said, “it’s going to be a girl.” I stopped in my tracks. A girl?!?! I don’t know why, but the thought of not having a second son had never crossed my mind. I just assumed we’d have two boys. So right then and there I decided that Justice would be an only child. Girls terrify me. I know this sounds weird since I am one, but I’ve never been a girly girl and never really gotten along with girls very well. All the drama and the emotions and the pink….terrifying.
When I was 14, my brother got married and they asked me to be a junior bridesmaid. I was given a fancy satin dress with shoes dyed to match, hair was done by a professional and makeup was applied. I looked like a princess and everyone kept telling me how beautiful I was. By the end of the night I was in tears and ready to rip my dress off. I hated being so gushed over and all I wanted to do was wash my face, take my hair down and put on a pair of jeans. Not a girly girl at all! And now I was supposed to have one and raise her? Nope, one child would be good enough for me, thanks for the heads up God. Then He laughed again, I’m so glad I can give God such good comedic relief. He put a desire in my heart so strong for a second child that I couldn’t ignore it. So much so that I ended up arguing with my husband for a second child for over two years.
Daniel was worried about having another kid for a couple of reasons. My labor and delivery with our son hadn’t gone according to plan. Daniel had felt so helpless watching me in pain and when Justice got stuck during delivery and his heart rate dropped they called in the emergency pediatrician. Thankfully everything ended up fine but not something he wanted to go through again. At 10 months Justice got very sick. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong and we watched our strong healthy child waste away before our eyes. At 12 months he was 31 inches tall (88 percentile) and 20lbs (13 percentile) and couldn’t walk anymore because he was too weak. I can’t begin to explain the fear of watching your baby fail and not be able to do anything for him. They kept giving him more antibiotics thinking he had pneumonia, or some other respiratory issue. The antibiotics killed his intestinal lining and he couldn’t keep anything in. They sent us to a specialist who discovered he had RSV, a viral infection in his lungs. Took him off all antibiotics and thankfully shortly after his diagnosis we discovered that we was allergic to eggs, milk and a few other items. With the changed diet and the break from the medicine he slowly started to improve. It took years for his immune system to recover and he would constantly get sick and have issues breathing and keeping food down. Looking back I realize a lot of this was also due to the fact that he had Ehlers-Danlos like me. All of that to say Daniel was scared to have another child.
Finally, my persistence paid off and and he agreed to try and see what happened. Unfortunately for him there wasn’t a lot of trying that took place. I instantly got pregnant. I had tried to convince myself that I hadn’t really heard God and that maybe it would be a boy, but deep down I knew we were going to have a girl. We both decided to wait till she was born to find out the sex for sure. This drove our family a little crazy but we both really enjoyed waiting and hearing “It’s a girl!” as she came out. Thankfully labor and delivery was much smoother with her and I didn’t battle with postpartum depression this time. We hadn’t settled on a name yet so after everyone got to meet her we sent everyone home and Daniel and I sat on the hospital bed with our little girl and her head full of hair and got to pick a name for her. This is one of my favorite memories and a time I’ll treasure forever. We decided to name her Faith Megan, and that name has been her life story. I think everyone knows what faith means but Megan has also been extremely fitting. You see Megan means pearl. A pearl is created by an irritant entering the oysters shell. In response it starts covering it with slime (science was never my strong suit) until it’s completely covered and that irritant is replaced with a beautiful pearl.
God really does have a great sense of humor as Faith has been all girl from day one. She loved dresses, pink, princess, and has taken me on emotional roller coaster rides that would make Disney jealous. She loves life with a passion that I find exhausting and exciting all at the same time. She’s joy personified, and when the storm clouds roll in her sorrow shakes the foundations of the earth. She is truly a force to be reckoned with.
My baby girl is now 14 years old and I’m constantly dumbfounded by her faith and her ability to handle lives irritations. She’ll rage against the injustices and then settle into a calm peace knowing that God is in control and she can trust Him. She’s challenged me more times than I care to admit by her unfailing faith in Him even in the hardest times. One of those times was shortly after she had been sexual abused at the age of 7. She was asking me why it had happened to her and I was struggling with the same question so I didn’t have a good answer. I tried the pat church answer of “God will make something beautiful from this,” but didn’t really believe that, nor could I truly explain that to a 7 year old. One day she told me she knew why God had let it happen, I’ll never forget her words. “Mommy, God let this happen to me because He knew I was strong enough to handle it and another little girl might not have been.” And the pearl began to form. Don’t get me wrong it took a long time, lots of counseling, prayers, tears, and frustration, but God has been faithful. To look back and see how that has shaped her into who she is brings tears to my eyes.
We think we know best in our lives and our kids. I thought one kid would be enough, but I can’t imagine how dull my life would be without Faith. We want to so badly to shield our children from all the hurt and evil in the world, and by all means we should do our best to protect our kids. Unfortunately though we live in a fallen and broken world and no matter how hard you try, your kids at some point or another are going to have to deal with hurt, disappointment, heart break, and evil. So instead of worrying about how to shield them from everything why not start equipping them? When you look at your own life when is it that you felt the closest to God? I know for me it’s been in my darkest moments that I’ve felt His presences most clearly. So why don’t I trust Him to do the same for my kids?
Pearls aren’t just a beautiful gems made out of an irritant, they are also incredibly strong. They are 3000 times stronger than the material they are made out of. Scientists are still trying to figure out how that is possible, but I’ve seen this truth in my daughter’s life. With Christ by her side she’s shown that she’s way stronger and can handle way more than I would have ever thought. She’s becoming more resilient and more beautiful than I could have ever hoped or dreamed and I can’t wait to see what God has in store.
As always I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail.