I wanted to write a blog post full of fun pictures of her Strawberry Shortcake party that we will have this evening or a how-to on making the precious banner I made or the recipe of the cake I baked, and maybe I will someday, but first, I wanted to share the very best Eva story of all.
Two and a half years ago, I was not in the best place. I was struggling with bitterness toward my church family. I was struggling with my sister getting married and not being around as much. I was struggling with starting to homeschool one kid while I needed to potty train the other, and Bird had just started a new job that I was less than sure about after being without work for a few stressful months. It was not the time for me to find out I was pregnant. At all.
I had been feeling pretty yucky, and I was extra tired, and I realized it could be a real option. I took a test thinking I was going to ease my mind with a negative, and then there it was.
A big fat positive sign.
I was at my parents' house, and not wanting anyone to know, I walked out to my truck that we had just bought a few months prior that perfectly fit our family of four and I cried. I had a boy and a girl. They had their own rooms that I'd painted just for them. The entire picture perfect life I'd worked so hard to cultivate was crashing down around me. I called my husband and told him, and I was pretty surprised at how happy he was about it. I honestly felt a little betrayed. I secretly wanted him to be as upset as I was, but he saw what I wouldn't see for another 7 months.
My body does not handle pregnancy well. I've never been pregnant and not had some sort of complications. High blood pressure. Terrible morning sickness. Bed rest. Weird pains in my hips. Terribly itchy palms and feet. Every pregnancy got worse.
As I walked through those months, I became angrier and more frustrated. I began to find myself so upset with God that He would do this to me. I knew people struggling to get pregnant, and here I was miserable and huge and pregnant with a baby that I had no plan to conceive. It was such a dark time in my life, and looking back now, I kinda can't believe I wasn't smited down old testament style.
I went through a miserable pregnancy, and after what I'm pretty sure was seventeen years, it was finally time to have this baby.
With my first two labors, I had an epidural, took a nap, and woke up to a couple of quick pushes and bam! baby time. With Eva, I had two veins blow just trying to put the IV in. Then my epidural only took on one side, so no naps were enjoyed by me this go round. As I laid their in that hospital bed fighting the urge to scream every two minutes, I was at the lowest point I can ever remember being. I was so angry that I was even there, and I could not even really think about this baby that I was going to lose sleep over and have to constantly be feeding and changing and cleaning up after.
Labor took eight very long, very painful hours. And then there was an Eva.
As the doctor handed her to me, I looked at her sweet, puffy little face, and I melted. Once we got into our room and settled in, Bird laid down to get some rest, and I just kept thinking about Romans 5:6.
"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly."
The next few weeks were some of the most content, happiest times of my life as I was continually blessed by the reminder of just how in control of my life God really was. Just as He sent His son to die at just the right time, He sent me an Eva exactly when He saw fit. And it didn't matter that she didn't have a nursery for me to decorate. And it didn't matter that I did some days of school on only a few hours of sleep. And it didn't matter that bottles were taking up half of the dishwasher every time I needed to wash the piles of dirty dishes in the sink. And it didn't matter that my life wasn't exactly how I'd planned it. None of it mattered because even with all of those things, Eva constantly reminded me of the love God had for me when He sent me a savior. I was weak and needed to be saved, and He sent His son to do exactly that. Then He called me at just the right time to follow Him, and He gave me a new heart- a heart of flesh- and showed me love. This was something I quickly forgot when my circumstances became difficult. What a beautiful way God chose to beckon my heart back to Him!
So today, I do celebrate Eva. I celebrate her funny, ornery personality and her sweet smile and her curly hair and big brown eyes and her laugh and her cry and her precious spirit.
But more than that, I celebrate the fact that God never lost control of my life- and He never will- even if I can't see that. Between God and I, Eva only surprised one of us.
So happy birthday to my Eva. You truly have shown me God's grace.