Later that summer I discovered I was pregnant again. To be honest, I had not been so excited about a baby since my first child, who we had lost to miscarriage. After confession one evening I was praying in thanksgiving for my faith and my family, and absolutely thinking about this new little one that would join our family, when I heard in my heart, 'This is our miracle.' In my soul I understood that this child would be the thing that would begin to change my husband's heart, that God would use this child to bring about my husband's conversion! And hope just blossomed wild!
In my heart I just KNEW this baby was a girl, because a girl can soften a man's heart in a way that boys just can't. And God knew I had been patiently waiting for a little girl of my own-while living in a house with three little boys! I hadn't felt so happy and excited for a baby since my very first pregnancy!
Shortly after that God let me know clearly in my spirit that something bad was about to happen in my life, and then less than a week later I started bleeding. It was just a tiny bit and I still had confidence in God and His promise. But then on Wednesday it was heavy and I had to go to the hospital where the doctors determined I had had a miscarriage.
I didn't understand!
Why would God tell me this child was our miracle and then take that baby!?! I was completely broken the next day, until Lynn and Dineen sent me what God had been speaking to them as they were lifting me up in prayer through it.
Lynn's message was that God had taken the child to protect me and my family because there would have been severe complications with the pregnancy, and almost immediately I had peace. I was still terribly sad, but I trusted God to know what was best and this alone brought great comfort.
Then when I read Dineen's message, God led me in a strange and unexpected direction. In the message God said the child was not dead but dormant, sleeping, and His last words were: 'so I will restore the child to Gill, the miracle is still to come.'
With this I began to wonder if maybe God had meant 'miracle' in a completely different way! The most I came to understand in my heart was that God wanted to bring my baby (a girl!) back to life and He was asking me to trust Him to do it. Up till that point I had trusted God with a trip, a house and even my heart, but to trust Him to bring my baby back from the dead, this was just, BIG.
And yet in a way, I already did. He is the God of the impossible, and He'd already proven His faithfulness to me over and over again. That night on my prayer hill, still feeling broken, I reached and picked a purple fall flower and the second I pulled the stem I heard the name 'Annabelle' in my heart. Little baby Annabelle in God's hands.
That weekend I went away on retreat and everything God was speaking to me was confirming this course of action, and finally He had me make a bead cross and bring it up to the altar, not as a memorial for my baby in heaven, but as a concrete sign of my trust. And, even after I did this and was sitting in the cafeteria for snack afterwards I realized I was still holding back, my heart still wondering, 'but what if He doesn't?'
I remembered what God had taught me in Texas: that true surrender means being willing to accept the possibility of what you don't want to happen. So I went back into the room with my toddler and, letting a little child lead me, promised again, telling God that this time, for better or worse, I was all in.
And so began a journey like no other.
That was that. I was decided. I knew it was crazy but I believed because I know I serve an awesome God, a God of the impossible! I'd walked through these valleys of trust before and I know My God! He has always been faithful. Where He leads I will follow, because He loves me, and He always has the very best for me and for those I love.
As the days and months went on, many people tried to tell me I was wrong about this and I cried out to God over and over asking if I was still on the right path, His path. But He never said anything to the contrary, just kept asking and encouraging me to keep trusting Him. Several people suggested I take a pregnancy test, but I didn't feel there was much point, I knew even if it came back negative it wouldn't change anything. I was still going to trust God to do what He had said and had complete faith in His promise, but I have to be honest, this kind of faith is NOT easy, and it is nothing I could ever do. It is a gift, to Him and to share with the world- and the fact that I can trust Him, like THIS- it's ALL His grace.
I did end up having a true blood-test at the clinic eventually, and when it came back negative this trust became a real struggle. Then one morning about a month and a half later I felt incredibly nauseous and had been really emotional the day before; my hormones were clearly all over the place. The feeling was characteristic morning sickness, but the next day it was gone again for good, and a few weeks later a test confirmed I was pregnant. To me it was as if the pregnancy, like a computer, had just booted up again exactly where it had left off. And in my heart I knew, this had to be that same baby.
Everyone else said it must be a new baby, especially after the ultrasound concluded we were having a boy, but I would smile inside and tell them they could think what they wanted, God would decide. (This whole thing wasn't up to me anyway!) And so I waited patiently, expecting a new baby girl in the spring, maybe even close to Easter; oh what a resurrection that would be!
I was so sure God would want to do things this way- to finally give me my little girl in such a special way, and what an impact it would have on the skeptics around me when suddenly my baby came much earlier than the due dates expected! Then everyone would know it was the same child, and that God is Lord over all the earth! I refused to confine God to a box where these things couldn't happen.
He'd asked me in my soul to trust Him to bring my baby back, and so I would continue to hold onto the hope of that glorious resurrection. And so, even though the ultrasound indicated I was having a boy, I trusted God that this was still that same special baby (girl) that God had told me would impact my husband, and as the weeks turned to months and it got harder to have faith in this, deep down, I still believed that it was, and we would all see it in time.