This past December 2007, as Andy sat before the computer to compose their Christmas letter, tears were all he could produce. Andy and Stephanie hoped to announce the wonderful news that they were expecting their first child. But two years of infertility and a miscarriage finally wore their spirits thin. Tears were all they had . . . and who sends tears at Christmas?
Andy and Stephanie knew the Babe of Bethlehem came to earth to bring salvation, yet the joy of Christmas was dampened by their sorrow. They worshiped Him as King of Kings. But their grief was great. Their hearts were heavy.
Trusting God with their grief, Andy and Stephanie began to accept the fact that they may not produce children of their own, and they began to work with an adoption agency. There were questionnaires to complete, interviews to go through, and classes to learn about how to be adoptive parents. Then, the morning after they completed a weekend parenting seminar on adoption, Andy and Stephanie were surprised by a positive pregnancy test!
Once again, they had conceived! But like others who live with the burden of infertility, their joy was mixed with the reality that another miscarriage may occur. Again, they waited on the Lord.
is here, as Andy sits before the computer this December 2008, he has magnificent news to share. The Lord has given them a precious daughter, Annaliese Joy, who came into their world on November 18th. In their Christmas letter, Andy writes, “She is beautiful like her mother and each day we both fall more madly in love with her. I can better imagine now the love the Father must have for us as His children.”
I am privileged to know Andy and Stephanie as friends. I am grateful for their willingness to be transparent in their pain and sorrow. Although they cried many tears, and their empty arms at Christmas, 2007 was a very difficult time, they never lost the perspective of a loving heavenly Father who sent his Son to earth over 2000 years ago.
In their sorrow, Andy and Stephanie turned to this Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace, to carry their burden, to restore their joy, and to increase their faith. What God taught them about His promises could not have been learned except in the depths of their need. And the beauty of redemption is that it truly sets one free to restore the future, to be transformed rather than destroyed by the pain of the past.
This story of Christmas Present is not about
redeeming the future
because a precious daughter was born into their family. The birth of Annaliese does not take away the pain and grief of the life they lost through miscarriage and the sorrow of years of infertility. Andy and Stephanie began to redeem the future in the
of their grief. It was there, in the dark night of the soul, that the potential existed for this young couple to be destroyed by the loss of the dream of having children of their own. But Andy and Stephanie chose daily, in the midst of their pain, to be transformed along the way. By God’s grace and mercy, they chose to rest in the everlasting arms of God, to trust Him with the losses, and in the process, their lives continue to glorify God and draw others to His Kingdom.
That, my friends, is redeeming the future.
Revelation 21:3-5 promises: And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new," and He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true."
Welcome Annaliese Joy
Precious Gift of God