The story of Joel

We often get questions about the large age distance between our middle child and our youngest son Joel. So I thought I would share the story.  Matt only wanted two kids.  I reluctantly submitted and he had a successful vasectomy when Dean was a little over a year old.  About 3 years later I felt the Lord telling me we would have more children.  Because of the vasectomy I assumed it would be through adoption even though Matt had never showed an interest in adopting.  I continued to pray and seek the Lord. During this time I remember I was going through the “read the bible in 90 days” program and was just starting, you know where all the boring genealogies are? Come to find out they are actually very interesting and serve an extremely important purpose. Plus, God used that to clearly show me our next child would be a biological one, not adopted.  This did not make much sense to me since there are so many children around the world needing a family to adopt them.  But Gods ways usually don't make sense to us.  Believe it or not, Matt agreed, and went in for another surgery to have the reversal.  Now thats love! The surgery was successful and we got pregnant on the first try. Were we surprised? No, we were expectant because that is what God had told us to do and we knew He would provide.  What happened 11 weeks later is what surprised us.  At about 8 weeks I remember waking up in the middle of the night sweating after have a dream. A dream that was so real.  I dreamt I had lost the baby.  The next morning I had some abdominal pain so I called the OBGYN to tell them I thought I had miscarried.  They of course thought I was nuts and told me if I wasn't bleeding (which I wasn't) then there was nothing to worry about and they would see me at my 11 week checkup.  So for three weeks I tried to assure myself that everything was ok.  God had made us a promise and this baby would be fine…right?  I went in for my 11 week checkup and asked to have an ultrasound.  They were not planning on doing an ultrasound at that visit and told me my insurance might not pay for it since there was not a medial reason to do it but I insisted and they reluctantly agreed.  As soon as they scanned the baby there was silence. The tech covered me up, told me to get dressed, and left the room.  I was then moved to a regular room and waited for what seemed like eternity for the doctor. When he entered the room, he put his hand on my knee, looked at me, and said the words that still hurt today..”theres no heartbeat”.  All I could say was “I know”. What happened the following days and weeks seem like a blur. I did have to have a dnc because like I said I never had any bleeding and my body was not recognizing that I had miscarried. Leading up to the day of dnc I literally prayed for God to bring that child back to life because I knew He could and I even made them check before the dnc to make sure that there was still no heartbeat…and there wasn't.  God could have resurrected that child, God could have allowed me to carry that child to term, but He didn't.  God called that child home because He loves that child more than me.  God protected that child from this sinful world and all he knows is paradise with his Father.  I named that child Joel and God in His sovereignty allowed me a year later to have another son that I named after his brother…Joel. One of my favorite verses is Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  I certainly didn't think of the miscarriage as good at the time, but God used it for good.  Matt and I grew closer to each other, to the Lord, and ultimately out of that came our calling to missions.  I often think of the song by Laura Story “Blessings” and I truly now tell people that the miscarriage that God entrusted us with was one of His biggest blessings to us.  I don't know what you are going through right now, but have you ever thought of your struggle or heartache as a blessing?  Have you ever thought….Wow, I am so humbled that God would see my faith strong enough to handle _________(whatever it is your going through). Maybe it's time we think of things that way.