She came three weeks early, but exactly on time.
Born August 29, 2019
6 lbs. 4 oz.
19 1/2 inches
“For the Lord comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.”
Isaiah 51:3 ESV
I remember the first time I heard the whisper of her name.
It was five years ago.
I had never even really thought about if God would give us more children after our first daughter, Selah.
But in one minute, all of that changed.
And when I heard it, when I heard the name, I knew.
That’s when I heard the whisper of her name. Like a calling, a wooing. And yet, a mystery.
Because I didn’t know if God would give me any more children. But I knew in that moment, that if He did, and if it was a daughter, her name would be Zion.
Because Zion is something very precious to the heart of God.
Chosen and deeply loved by Him.
I never knew if she was coming to me, all those years.
I never “named and claimed” that God would give me another daughter. But I’d dream, and I’d sometimes sketch her name in the white spaces of my journal.
And whenever I read her name in Scripture, I’d wonder. And if you opened my Bible today, you’d find “Zion” underlined, circled, and highlighted, almost every time it appears on the pages.
One night, when Selah was almost three-years-old, I heard her crying in her bedroom. I went up, assuming she just had a bad dream. But when I asked her why she was crying, she said, “I just really want a sister.”
Tears filled my eyes, because, at the time we were experiencing secondary infertility, and every fiber of being wanted to give her a sister.
And yet, I knew I couldn’t.
We both sat there a moment, crying in the dark. Except, she didn’t know I was crying.
When I took a breath, I told her, “I can’t give you a sister, but you can ask God for one.”
So she did.
When she was finished with her silent prayer, she looked up at me, and to my surprise said, “He said, “Yes!” And with hesitation, I said, “Oh, really?”
I was a little concerned that she might not have really heard the Lord, being only about three. And I wasn’t sure how I might have explain this down the road, if she was wrong.
“Yes, He said, “Yes!” she assured me. And then she added, “But He said…we are going to have to wait a while…she’s coming to us.”
She’s coming to us.
I kissed her, unsure of what to make of it. Then, I went downstairs and told my husband about it, and cried into his chest, because I couldn’t give her what she wanted. A sister.
Later that year, after we had gotten certified to do foster care, and were one week away from receiving placement calls for a foster baby–I found out I was pregnant. We had just set up the nursery for a foster baby, and it turned out that that nursery was actually for a baby already growing in my womb. You can read that incredible story here. (You can’t make this stuff up.)
I remember thinking, when I had become pregnant, maybe this is the sister Selah prayed for!
But it wasn’t.
To my shock, blue dust (not pink) fell over our heads at our gender-reveal party in 2016. And that December, our precious baby boy was born. And we were so happy!
I honestly just thought, maybe Selah’s prayer was answered, but she just misheard the part about the “sister.”
But then, this past January 2019, I found out, again to my shock, that I was pregnant again, by God’s immense grace.
And in March, we had our gender-reveal party out in the snow.
Well, Selah, now six years old, had not forgotten about her prayer. And though we kept prepping her the night before the party, “It might be a boy, Honey, and if it is, we will be so happy for any baby that God gives us. Right?”
I still remember how she so confidently, and yet so politely, turned to me and Brandon and said with a smile, “Thanks. But I already know it’s a girl.”
Brandon and I just looked at each other and hoped she was right.
And I will never forget that snowy March day, when we counted to three and I saw pink dust explode from the cannister, against the white snow. I about lost it. Selah and I erupted with joy, and were literally jumping up and down screaming, “It’s a girl!!!!”https://barrentobeautiful.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/img_0280.mov
Selah was right.
She had heard from the Lord.
And she recieved by faith, what was promised to her.
More faith than I ever had.
Her words rung in my head,
“He said, ‘Yes.’ But we are going to have to wait a little while.
She’s coming to us.”
And my eyes fill with tears, as I hold her tiny body in my arms.
She’s only 6 pounds, but right now the weight of a miracle rests on my chest.
And as I breathe in her newborn scent, I am in awe of God.
She was His whisper after all…
And she was promised, in the dark bedroom of a little girl, who simply “asked God”
…and then believed His answer.
And I have to give Him all the glory.
Psalm 96:3 says, “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!”
On my blog, and in my writing, I am always careful to explain that the first miracle God did in me, was not that He healed my barren womb, but that He healed my barren soul. Because I not only had a barren womb, but a very barren soul. On the inside, I had become so dry, and so thirsty.
And God wanted to show me that He alone satisfied. That He alone could come water the dry, thirsty places of my soul. And I didn’t have to wait to have a baby to find all that I needed, because all that I needed was Him.
And wherever He is there is beauty, and joy, and life. And if you are trying to concieve right now, I encourage you to read, “When God Takes You From Barren to Beautiful.”Because we are all barren apart from Him, and that’s why Jesus came, to quench us with His Living Water, and bring us to life in Him. And I believe wih all my heart, He wants to make you more fully alive than you have ever been.
But one thing I do not always talk about…is the physical healing that also took place in me.
I always fear that if I talk about it, then that will become the only focus, that the healing will be desired, more than the Healer, Jesus.
But as the Scriptures encourages, I must tell of His wonderful works.
And far be it from me, that I should rob Him of one ounce of His glory.
God did heal my barren soul, He took me from a place of despair and joylessness, and made me fully alive in Him.
But I also must testify: He healed my barren womb.
I was a barren woman.
And God, by Himself, healed my barren womb.
He has now brought forth three miracles from my once barren womb.
May He receive all the glory. Forever.
The reason our children exist, is because of God, and only because of God.
And as I stand here today, I can declare with all my being that God does still heal.
How do I know?
Because He healed me.
And He is able.
He is a miracle-working, wonder-working God.
And He does miracles still.
I’m holding one on my chest tonight.
And her name is Zion Joy.
And He still answers the cries of a little girl from her bedroom in the dark.
So don’t stop asking Him.
I don’t know how He will answer…but of this you can be sure…
“whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” Romans 9:33