This is a story that begins even before Dougie and I got married almost 24 years ago. I had always wanted a lot of children. When we got married, we waited for children so that I could finish my degree. However, we both agreed that a large family would be great! I prayed and prayed for God to give us many children. I also prayed OFTEN for Him to give us twins! Yes...I prayed for twins...regularly!
In the fall of 1991, we learned that God was blessing us with our first child. We didn't know and didn't want to know if our blessing would be a boy or girl. We were simply thankful to be given this amazing gift. It wasn't twins, but we couldn't have been any more excited! A couple of weeks later, my sister, Becky found out that she was expecting, too...
wait for it...
she was having twins!
Have you ever had that moment when you let disappointment and jealousy over someone else getting what you prayed for rule your life? Oh, I was happy for her! And please don't misunderstand me...I was thrilled to be blessed with one baby! However, I questioned God. Why would he give HER twins when I was the one that longed for them?! Why had he not answered my pleas?
Nine months later (well there about), Brooke was born on June 9. Oh what a jewel! She was (and still is) the prettiest baby ever. She filled me with more joy than I could have imagined! Nine days later, Becky had Austin and Alex. Truly, all of them are miracles! How can anyone look at a baby and not believe in miracles?!
At the time, we lived in a tiny apartment behind my parents and Becky and her family lived next door to them. When the boys were able to come home, Becky and I spent our days at one or the other house taking care of three babies. I still smile to think about all three of them lined up in the floor of our little living room or propped up in the recliner at her house so we could take MORE pictures! Brooke was a big baby. They were tiny! It made for some great pictures! Man...taking care of three babies was hard, exhausting work!
God never took away my desire to have twins. However, let's just say that I didn't pray for twins quite as often! ;)
Fast forward to the fall of 1993. It was November. I had just found out about a week earlier that we were pregnant again. We were so excited. Lots of things were happening in our lives. Brooke was a wonderful little toddler! We were getting ready to build our house. And now, another baby!
The morning Doug and a family friend was due to dig the foundation of our house, I woke up not feeling well at all. Not only was I feeling worse than I had in the week before (my body has always told me almost immediately when I'm pregnant), but there were other signs and symptoms that something was wrong.
I called my doctor, and he wanted me to come in for an ultrasound. A close friend agreed to take me to the appointment. As she drove, she prayed for me. As she drove, I prayed. Please God, don't take this baby from us!
As I said, I was very early along. The ultrasound tech had to do an internal ultrasound in order to see anything. She kept the screen where I couldn't see it. At one point, she looked very perplexed. She looked at me and I could feel myself hold my breath. I could tell she had seen something on the screen that she didn't expect. But what? Oh please God don't take this baby from us!
Then came her question...
"Is there a history of multiple births in your family?"
WHAT? Did you say MULTIPLE? Well, yes. My sister has twins. Doug's family is full of twins! Yes, there is a history!
She turned the screen to me. All that was on it were two itty bitty flashes. She said, "You're having twins!" WHAT? Oh my! Deep breath! Really? Are you sure? She assured me that those itty bitty flashes were two little hearts! Wow! I was speechless! Then...
OH MY WORD! We have to change the house! Wait...Dougie doesn't even know yet. You know that's not really something I wanted to tell him on the phone.
As we pulled into the lot where they were digging the foundation, I could see them already digging. Dougie came over to the car. I handed him pictures and told him we were going to have TWO BABIES! (He turned a pale greenish color at first!) The digging stopped. The plans were changed. And our life has never been the same!
Now, our twins, Blake and Cody, have just graduated from high school and are headed to college. If you were wondering why I started the post with the statement "depending on where you are in the world", it's because currently Blake is serving in the Philippines at Gentile Hands orphanage being the hands and feet of our Lord. That means for the first time ever, Blake and Cody will celebrate their 18th birthday tomorrow apart.
It has caused me to think on lots of things. But mostly, it has just been a reminder of God's faithfulness in our family's life. I prayed for these boys long before they were ever born, but GOD knew His plans for them even before time began! As I've prayed for them (as I pray for all four of our children) over the years, God has been gracious and merciful to them and to us. He has protected them from things that should have killed them. He has healed their bodies. But most of all, He has saved their souls. They are young men on fire for the Lord! Blake has plans to serve somewhere in the foreign mission field. Cody has plans to serve as a pastor. While they have plans, the thing that speaks most to my heart is that they long to be obedient to the call God places on their lives.
For now, this momma that prayed so regularly for twins will continue to pray for our twins as they follow God's directions for their lives!
Happy Birthday, Blake and Cody! I love you both!