I always encourage my writing friends to blog. The more we write, the better writers we will become, and blogging is an excellent writing exercise. Not only will we hone our writing skills, but God may use our words to inspire others.
Last week, our oldest daughter, Rachel, shared about her ectopic pregnancy on her blog. She and her husband were devastated when they lost their first child. Rachel doesn’t claim to be a “writer.” She’s just a young wife and mother sharing on her blog how God has been faithful to her. Her words brought comfort to many other women who read her blog and are facing their own difficulties. Rachel’s blog is a perfect example of how God can use our story to encourage someone.
I felt I was to share Rachel’s story with you today. I hope it will ignite the writing fire in you. So without further adieu, I would like to introduce you to our firstborn, Rachel Michelle Phillips Nolt.
The Bag that Faith Built
The year was 2008. I was at this dark place. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t rainbows. In fact, it was hard and yucky. There was pain like I had never experienced before. And I was crawling through it. Hardly holding on, struggling for each breath.
I raised my eyebrows and resisted her instructions. “I don’t know, Beka.”
She spoke in soothing tones. “Rachel, this is going to be your “faith bag.” Every time you see it, you’ll be reminded of hope for the future.”
Sounds fun, right? I’m not going to lie. It was hard. I was in excruciating emotional pain. And the pain didn’t ease as I went through the motions and picked out a bag. But then I chose two blue newborn outfits, and I felt my heart heal a little bit. A seed was planted, but when I got home I hid the bag. I couldn’t put the outfits in a cute dresser drawer and get excited for the growing baby inside my womb. Mine was gone . . . taken from me before I knew if my baby was a boy or girl. Gone before I ever held my little one in my arms. I was at a loss.
Months went by and I didn’t look at the bag. I forgot about it and walked through depression I had never experienced before. Months passed and I hadn’t conceived. Everyone else was having a baby, but my womb was empty, painfully empty.
Finally, nine long months later, I was pregnant. I dug out the bag from the bottom of my closet. When I opened it, I wept. In my faith bag were the two winter newborn outfits. And here I was, pregnant with a little one who would need newborn winter outfits.
Easton Paul was born and fit perfectly in his little “faith” outfit. Every time he wore the outfit, I was reminded how God turned my sorrow into joy. Not only was my baby boy growing, but my faith was growing as well.
Seventeen months after Easton’s birth came Lincoln Hunter. Joy filled my heart when I stuffed our ten pound newborn baby boy in the “faith” outfit.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about that little outfit and how it will be a keepsake and reminder of God’s faithfulness. God used my “faith” bag to build faith in me. As I look back, I realize the first time I picked out the outfit a healing process began. I didn’t realize it completely because I was in so much pain. But slowly, ever so slowly, that little seed of faith was growing. But sometimes faith has a way of staying hidden and quiet. It shows itself at times and hides when you think it’s completely lost.
With Easton Paul, my faith was growing. I still had fears and sorrow, but my faith was stronger.
Then when I saw Lincoln wear the little outfit, something in my heart screamed, “I’m free!”
Will trials come? Yep. Do I want them to? Nope. They are not fun. But I know my Redeemer lives.
And He works when we don’t think He is working. He’s planting tiny seeds of faith in our lives. We can trust Him fully because He is wholly true.
So if you are facing sorrow today, go out and buy yourself a bag and fill it full of faith.
Years later, your heart will sing! Great is His faithfulness!
The babies in the faith outfit . . .