Sunday, August 19
A Birthday for my Answered Prayer
July was a month full of celebration here at the Hardage house! Not only was July my 32nd birthday and my 10th wedding anniversary (which I will absolutely blog more about later), but it was my sweet baby boy's very first birthday! We had a wonderful party planned and were so excited to celebrate, but sadly, four days before his party was scheduled we discovered he had Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. I am not sure if you have seen this on a child but it is AWFUL! So, on his birthday, we had a little cake (he wasn't a fan) and opened a few gifts, but really saved most the celebrating for when he was feeling better. Finally, after two weeks and a ton of blisters, we were ready to party! Almost all of our friends and family came to our backyard barbeque birthday party, and baby brother loved it! We played hard, ate well, and had a great time! It was just the celebration I had in mind...and this sweet little boy is definitely worth celebrating!
Three years ago, we lived in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and were a happy family of four. I had NO desire for anything to change and my husband and I were certain that our family was complete. Well, as God does to me every time I get to a place where I think I have things all figured out and under-control, He reminds me His plans are greater than mine. I suddenly began to feel this tug in my heart that something in our family was missing...not that what we had wasn't good enough or that I was unfulfilled, I just began to have this thought creep into my mind that was kind of shocking. I kept thinking about another baby. This is strange because my first two are one year apart...a situation that kind of traumatized me when I had a newborn and a one year old running around. I thought the baby-making door was closed, but God decided otherwise. I approached my husband and asked him to pray about it. After sometime he said, "ok...let's do it." So, we did. And nothing happened. For an entire year and a half. I was so confused and frustrated, I didn't understand why the Lord even placed it on my heart to have a baby if he wasn't going to give me one. I was happy with two! Now I was heart-broken. I spent many times on my knees in my prayer closet (which happened to be my actual closet) and I questioned God over and over. Oh, me of little faith...
Finally, the month of October came. I took one last pregnancy test before heading down the road to Branson with my family for my oldest son's birthday. Negative. Again. I had a good cry and then loaded up the van. About halfway to Branson, we were in a car accident that landed my van in ruins, my husband and I in the hospital, and my entire family scared to death. I was silently thanking God for all of our lives, and for the one that had not yet been given to me. God knew what the most likely outcome of a pregnancy would have been in that accident, and he protected me and my future child from that outcome.
The next month, November 14th, I had a positive pregnancy test. Nine months later, my family welcomed it's third and final member, a beautiful baby boy. It was truly amazing to see an answer to a prayer breathing in my arms. Our little baby brother is so loved, and we are truly complete with him here. So, on his first birthday...as I do often...I offered up my thanks to the Lord, for his protection, his faithfulness, and his gift of all my children. I'm so thankful He always finishes what He begins. "I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him." 1 Samuel 1:27