Promises

Well, I haven’t heard anything from the doctors yet.  For someone who is known by her lack of patience, this silence has actually settled in quite nicely.  It allows me to drift into the world of possibility without the inconvenient confrontation of what may not be good news.  It allows me to remember who God is, and to revel in this moment a little while longer. I am at peace.
Right now, I am sitting on the couch while Todd goes to the airport to pick up his best friend, Dan.  Todd has all of the girls with him (including Kate, who is wearing her pink Target flower boots, pajama pants, and a padded infant swimsuit. People, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried…). Audrey and I are just chatting about life (pretty one sided at this moment, but she makes herself known when she wants to contribute:)) and enjoying the gift of a quiet house. We are starting to prepare for our trip to Disney, which has reminded me of a prayer request…
I hate flying.
I mean, I really hate flying.  I am somewhat of a preacher, not because I try to evangelize my seat-mates, but rather, because I scream out the name of Jesus.  Loudly, and without much care for people staring at me.  I have also been known to grab the hand of the person next to me with little regard to the fact that he is a) sleeping b) a stranger or c) trying to pry my sweaty hands off of his hands while his wife visually annihilates me. Honest to goodness, this is not a lie.  The irony is that I have married a singer, who travels for a living and wants to pursue his pilot’s license.  Good times.
About a year ago, we were able to travel to Northern Ireland for the third time.  Todd’s group was invited to sing, and on paper that sounded really exciting.  I love Northern Ireland and I couldn’t wait to reconnect with the people we had met and to photograph the country again. If you haven’t ever been, I hope you get the chance.  It is truly God’s country.
As it turns out, you have to fly to get there.  This was a kink in my perfect vacation plan, but the end seemed to justify the means, so I agreed.  A few days before we were planning to leave, my stomach started hurting and my mind started to wander.  I began to think that this whole adventure thing was not such a hot idea.
The day of the flight, I was a wreck.  On the car ride to the airport, I was talking to my daughter Abby and I said, ”So honey, has God told you anything about today?”
“Yeah.”  Thumb back in mouth. Casual, like she hadn’t just dropped a bomb.
My heart stopped.  He talks to them in ways He doesn’t always talk to me, and I had a feeling this was one of them.
“What did He say, Abby?”  I stared at her eyes, desperate to know if it involved fire or falling planes.
“He said He’s going to show you a rainbow, mommy.”
Silence.
That didn’t really answer my question, but okay.  I turned back to the road and noticed that storm clouds were forming.  Remember when I told you about my reaction to flying? Well, that’s on a clear day.  On a day like this one, all bets are off.  
There was no way around it, people were going to get squeezed.
I almost didn’t get on the plane.  There are so many details that make this story more interesting, but I am a pretty slow typist and I’m sure you have somewhere other than this webpage to be, so let me summarize.  Stick with me, I promise there is a point to all this:)
There was an announcement made about “inclement” weather in Newark.  Somewhere between 6B and the ladies room, I decided to hate the word “inclement.”
Fast forward about 45 minutes.  I am crying so hysterically that the pilot personally comes out to talk to me (no, I’m not kidding).  He pulls out his little charty-thing and starts explaining why we might do loops in midair and crash in a cornfield (I am paraphrasing), and then tells me that he has a family at home and that it is his intention to get home to them.
Well, that’s helpful.  As long as you aren’t planning to be on the cover of the New York Times tomorrow….and as long as I’m not in the last row.  It’s creepy back there and the backs of people’s heads don’t help reassure me when that glaring seat belt light comes on, accompanied by the ding of death.
He also told me that this was the last flight to Newark that night.  Last chance to Northern Ireland for 2 days.  I boarded the plane (in my head, every passenger applauded my sheer fearlessness at this point, but I don’t actually recall anything but people staring at me like an arm was growing out of my head).  I made my way to the (you guessed it!) VERY last row on the entire plane.  PEERRRFEEEECCCTTTTT……

This flight was followed by another that was just as lovely.  As we descended into Belfast , the plane jumped around enough to spill drinks and rattle trays, and I shot a dirty look in the direction a five year old with the audacity to laugh like we were on a kiddy roller coaster and not a hurling, bucking air-bronco.  In the midst of my panic,  I was mesmerized by how green it was.  I had forgotten the way Ireland looks from the air…just like a postcard.
When we landed, I was actually tempted to kiss the tarmac.  
Norman picked us up at the airport and we began our trip through the countryside.  This is a sidebar, but MAN are their cars small.  As we navigated the windy roads, up and down, left and right, the jet-lag started to catch up with me.  As I drifted off to sleep, I heard Norman telling stories about the political uprising in Northern Ireland.
“Many people have lost their lives…such horrible warfare…”
I struggled to see the green hillside through my heavy eyelids as he continued.
“It is just such a struggle…such devastation…”
I met his eyes in the rear-view mirror and suddenly, a question I hadn’t really even composed in my mind escaped my mouth.  
“Norman, how is the grass so green here?”  It came out sounding like a I was a third grader in science class, but God used it to teach me a life-long lesson.
“Oh, that’s easy, love.  We get a lot of rain here!”  Everyone smiled and I finally closed my eyes.
The following day, our children got so sick that we had to call a doctor to the hotel room. He was about 70 years old, and came complete with a black leather bag full of medical gear from the middle ages, bifocals, and the thickest, most gorgeous accent you have ever heard.  He gave us some “tablets” for what were now near 105 degree fevers, and he left while we discussed the fact that we had fallen into a lost episode of “Little House on the Prairie.”  We all thanked God as their fevers broke a few hours later, and we settled into sleep, all huddled in the same bed, looped around each other like threads in a quilt.
In the middle of the night, I heard the voice of God.
It was one of the very few times that I felt like He was audibly speaking to me.  I sat up straight in my bed.
Thoughts rushed through my mind like a slideshow at a speed I could not control.  I was reminded of the pilot’s voice, the thermometer that read in celsius, the storm clouds, the political wars…all of it, like a movie, and then just a few words.
It takes a lot of rain to make grass this green.”
I started crying like a child.  In a foreign country, in the middle of the night, in the midst of facing my greatest fears, God taught me a lesson about life that has (I promised to tell you!) inspired the name of this blog.  
In the span of a few minutes, I committed to God that I would stop praying for sunshine and start welcoming whatever made the soil rich.
And so, a year later, here I sit.  Many of you have asked how I am so strong.  The answer is that I am not strong, but my God is, and He is in battle for me.  My end of the deal is held up by praising the One who has chosen me to walk this.  And I do.
As for my little Prophetess, Abby? Her words drifted back to me as I cried that night, and they bring tears to me now.  

He will show you a rainbow.

It occurred to me that He had chosen this metaphor before, long ago, with a man named Noah, and He has, for generations, made good on that promise. 
As I recall, Noah wasn’t afraid of a little rain either…
Please praise Him with me in this moment.  Praise Him for being the same God who inspired Noah to hope and to build.  Praise Him for loving us enough to grow a garden with our lives, no matter how much it hurts. 
All my love and gratitude,  
Angie



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  • Melissa P.

    thank you. the lord used you to bless me and remind me of truth tonight. praying for sweet sleep…

  • karen44

    Many girls dream of the day when they’ll find their perfect man, who will put a beautiful diamond on their finger.

    But it’s rare to find that perfect diamond driving to the airport in a minivan with three little diamond chips in carseats!

    I think you’ve found a real gem!

  • courtney walsh

    Your story absolutely made me cry. It does take a lot of rain… We’re praying for you and that little peanut.

    God CAN.

    :) love to you all!

  • courtney walsh

    Angie –

    I was looking for a way to email you – I would love to send you a copy of my book. It’s called ‘Scrapbooking Your Faith.’ I’ve been wanting to send it for awhile, but we moved and I realized I actually didn’t have a single one here. I just got some more in, and I would love to get one to you as I *think* I read that you’re a scrapbooker/crafter?

    You can find me (email me) through my blog. http://www.courtneywalsh.typepad.com I’d really love to send you one.

    (I would’ve written this in my original comment, but I thought I might find an email for you. sorry about that!!) :)

  • Jessica

    Hey darling – I am praying for you all and the big trip this week. Hopefully I will get to hear your voice. Love you so much. xoxo

  • Athena

    i’m praying for you guys… we went through the same kind of thing in 06. our son was born in October and went to be in Jesus’ arms 17 minutes later. God let us have the full 9 months with him, Alex was a beautiful bay, and although we truly didn’t know what was going on,God did. i wrote about it in my blog too. xanga.com/praizeleeder222, i started the blog in August of 2006 when we knew. its hard to explain my fears and struggles. i sang today in church, ALL MY PRAISE. that was a song i clung to. it fit with how i felt now and then. it fit with what praise and worship we had today as well! God is Good! He is Awesome and no matter the outcome of our situations, He will be there!!

  • Carm

    Angie, I won’t forget you since my youngest daughter Angie, is also expecting right now. I won’t share your story with her right now because she is very sensitive at this time, but I will after she has her baby in February. I will share your story with my weekly intercessory group and we will be thinking of you and Audra and praising God for his plan for her. Even tho it’s not easy to be where you are, I believe that you are right where you are supposed to be, in this season of your lives. God bless you my sweet little sis, In the name of the one that is faithful, now, and forevermore. You sister, Carmen Medina, in San Antonio, Tx.

  • Anonymous

    You are an amazing women. I thank God that he has brought such a wonderful teacher to my life. God always gives us what we ask for and what we need just not always in the form we think he will. Thank you for choosing to share your faith. My prayers and my love are with you every moment of every day. Please remember that I am at your service for anything. Love, Tammy

  • Lora

    Angie,

    After reading all of your blogs here (I accidentally happened upon them) I just have to tell you how much I love you. We, obviously, have never met, but I feel so very connected to you. I see a lot of myself and some close family members in you and your writing style.

    Thank you for ministering to all of us through your trials and triumphs. Imagine the possibilities…how far-reaching will this blog be? How much help and healing will take place because you have taken the time to share what God is doing in your lives?

    I want to encourage you to continue. You are being so open, honest, vulnerable, and funny too. God has given you a gift in your writing too.

    You probably get a lot of these requests/well-meaning notes, but it starts out “I have a friend…” (and I really do!) who wrote a book called Reaping in Joy. Kathy Stephens is her name. She is one of those people who seem to have a “direct line” to God. She wrote about her trials and triumphs suffering several miscarriages. Her story continues even now, but I would be happy to send a copy to you. Feel free to message me on http://www.myspace.com/lora_r

    May your family continue to grow deep in our Father’s love as He holds you in His loving hands.

    Blessings,
    Lora
    Jasper, IN

  • Lora

    P.S. Am I the only one who noticed the “fortune” in your doctor’s name? Coincidence? Doubtful. :O)

  • Angela Hart

    Angie,

    You are a brave family! I love your blog and your strong, courageous heart!!!

  • Andrea

    Angie and Todd,
    I wanted you to know that Stuart and I are lifting all of you up in prayer everyday and we know that the Lord will do his will in Baby Audrey’s life!
    When Audra first told me what was going on, pre-blog, I wanted to find the lyrics to the Watermark song, Glory Baby. It really got Stuart and I though the loss of our first “Glory Baby” and I thought you might find comfort in the lyrics, so here they are.
    Glory Baby, You slipped away
    As fast as we could say baby, baby
    You were growing, what happened Dear,
    You disappeared on us baby, baby

    Heaven will hold you before we do
    Heaven will keep you safe
    Until we’re home with you Until we’re home with you

    CHORUS
    We miss you everyday, miss you in every way
    But we know there’s a day when we will hold you, we will hold you
    And you’ll kiss our tears away, when we’re home to stay
    *We can’t wait for the day when we will see you, we will see you
    But baby let sweet Jesus hold you, until mom and dad can hold you*
    You’ll just have heaven before we do
    You’ll just have heaven before we do

    Sweet little baby, it’s hard to understand it
    Cause we are hurting, we are hurting
    But there is healing, and we know we’re stronger people
    Through the growing, and in knowing

    All things work together for our good
    And God works his purposes
    Just like he said he would, just like he said he would

    CHORUS

    BRIDGE
    I can’t imagine Heaven’s lullabies
    And what they must sound like
    But I will rest in knowing
    Heaven is your home
    And it’s all you’ll ever know, all you’ll ever know

    CHORUS

    I also wanted you to know that you are being prayed for in North Carolina and Arizone and I bet if we put them all of the map you having people praying for your family across the globe!! AMAZING! Your writing style in your blog is so great and I hope at some point you will write something that can be published on paper, you truly have a gift.
    Thinking of you often….

  • THE BOONE’S

    God Bless you and be with you all on your vacation and give you strength to endure the trial part of it.
    Just wanted to encourage you (not that you sound like you need any encouragement) never the less, wanted to say, Hold on to our MIRACLE WORKING… ON TIME, GOD! He is able to do all things, if we pray in faith beleiving and doubt not in our hearts, all things are possible… God can. Giving yourselves, willingly, over to HIS will, is perfection of peace. May God bless you this day,
    my dear sister and brother in Christ, be blessed and keep holding on.
    P.S. I’m still praying (fervently) for you and your family as so many are. Robin B.

  • Anonymous

    Read Isaiah 40:11

  • jmiller

    “When through the deep waters I call you to go,
    the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
    for I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
    and sanctify to you your deepest distress”

    Todd & Angie,
    It sounds like God is at work in you to sanctify to you this deep deep distress. We are praying for you. Thank you for opening up your lives and your hearts to us. God is using you to comfort others. (2 Cor.1:4)

  • Chelle, Mike, Max, and Maggie

    Hi… I found you accidentally, or not. I have had a bazillion miscarriages and then, miraculously, one perfect baby boy who should have died before birth. But he didn’t and he is fantastic! Then I adopted a daughter who was a drug baby and said to have “multiple serious medical issues”. She is now 2 1/2 and also perfect in every way. So hang in there because miracles do happen and you just never know. My prayers are with you and baby Audrey.

  • Jack Hager

    As I read your story (I am on staff of Family Life in New York and one of our ladies passed on the link) the Lord not-so-gently kicked me in the rear for sniveling about minor things. I wept and laughed and wept some more; and also was chastened as I recognized how I let “little foxes” spoil the vineyard of my walk with Christ.
    I will be praying that the God of all comfort and grace surrounds you all.

  • Leslie

    You are trully gifted with words. Trully.

    Baby Audrey is such a blessing, and during the time of this “rain” you are obviously able to be ministering to all of us is incredible. Incredible. God is doing something mighty in you and through you. And we are praying for that precious girl, and celebrating that the God of all the universe HAS the power to heal. Thank you for being so open and honest.

  • Damarys Pulaski

    I wanted to just send a few lines of encouragemet , to let you know that God is with you and your family Deut 31:6 He ( God ) will not leave you not will He forsake you …He has a plan for you for your precius baby and for you family as well …I stumble into you blog by what I thought was a mistake …funny no ?? There is no such thing …Thank you for encourage me today ..I will now keep you and your family (the one here and the one jet to came ) in my prayers …and finaly as my grand mother would had said( she always use to finish everything with a scripture verse ) …Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might…Ephesian 6:10 your sister in Christ Jesus .. Me

  • Anonymous

    God has truly hand-picked you and Todd to be the mommy and daddy to sweet Audrey Caroline. She has been gifted with a family who trusts and seeks God. And you all have been blessed with this sweet daughter who has given you an amazing opportunity to bring Him glory. We love you all and are praying with you that the rain won’t drench you — but will continue to be a source of refreshment and nourishment — bearing much fruit.

  • beth barcus

    God has truly hand-picked you and Todd to be the mommy and daddy to sweet Audrey Caroline. She has been gifted with a family who trusts and seeks God. And you all have been blessed with this sweet daughter who has given you an amazing opportunity to bring Him glory. We love you all and are praying with you that the rain won’t drench you — but will continue to be a source of refreshment and nourishment — bearing much fruit.

  • prissi

    You are amazing… how you can encourage others while you yourself are struggling is beyond my comprehension. God is good. Thank you for the reminder.

  • Jeanine

    I just ran across your blog, and I am so glad I did. I can feel your heart for Jesus as I read your words and I have no doubt that He is working out something beautiful in and through you. I have been blessed tonight because of your sweet little Audrey and Heaven only knows what impact her life will have! I pray for a miracle, for healing, but most of all I pray for God’s perfect will against all odds. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Jeanine

    There is a website that might be a blessing to you…it is noahsteven.blogspot.com. On her site there is a link to an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. I just felt like I should pass that on to you.

  • Danielle

    Hi Angie and Todd. I am so thankful to God this evening that I happened to come across this page. What an encouragement from the Lord you are! I have a dear pregnant friend who needs to read this blog. Her baby is also due in May and is expected (by worldly standards) to have some problems. I believe joy cometh in the morning. I think your ability to write the way God has gifted you is a comfort to all of us who read here. Thank you. I’m praying with you and trusting with you and LOVE that seven years ago I gained another Sister-in-Christ! Bless you and thanks for sharing your heart with all of us. By the way…I am planning on going on a mission trip to France in October and almost gave it up because of my fear of flying. I’m going now…and it’s because you were candid enough to share your fears and hoe our God is bigger than they are. Thank you. Jesus, bring the rain indeed.

  • Trudi

    Hi, Angie,
    I too work for Family Life and I’m looking forward to Selah’s concerts here in a couple of weeks. I laughed and cried through your blog, and I have been praying for a miracle baby for you. Something was teasing at my memory and I realized the similarity between your story and Karen Kingsbury’s story SUMMER which I recently read – and how they celebrated their little one. I just enjoyed your pix from DisneyWorld – what a photogenic little bunch you have! May our prayers buoy you up in the hard tmes, and may God work a miracle that will bring glory to Himself!

  • Vikki

    amazing that God prepared you a year in advance for the rain that was to come.

    I am glad to have found your blog. thank you for sharing this story. I have also been through a lot of rain, unfortunately, without holding Him close. I am grateful for all that He has tought me and I pray that next time I will remember to hold tight to Him

  • Anonymous

    Oh wow that is amazing. In Seattle they have posters showing a line of people under umbrellas and one little girl- face turned to the rain- saying “smile at the rain!”

  • The Rudd Family

    angie:

    i can feel your pain and your joy and your strange peace.

    my wife julie and i discovered last summer that our sixth baby was actually going to be our sixth and seventh. and they were unlikely to be born without complications…they had twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.

    the girls (Abigail and Isabelle) were emergency c-sectioned at 28.5 weeks and spent the first few months of their precious lives in the NICU. on day two, they told us to call our family because Abby would not make it. she did.

    even after coming home, they were still on oxygen and all kinds of monitors.

    five months later, we are up to seven pounds and doing OK. we’ve had some 911 calls, some emergency room visits, some terrifying moments.

    just today my wife was in the bedroom and spilled a glass of water on the floor. she let out a yelp, and i came running. terrified. it seems we can never rest, never feel comfortable.

    but through all of this, it’s become clear to me how fortunate we are. how many billions…yes, billions…of people in this world would LOVE to have my problems? how many billions of people in the history of this world have been in harder situations than i?

    i don’t like God’s plan sometimes, but i see my family getting stronger, i see the people around me being strengthened by my faith.

    i know my God is somehow smarter than me and will use this all in some cool, God way.

    i’ll pray for your family.

  • Kari Dawson

    I am just at the beginning of your story and even though I know how it ends it still reads like one of the best novels I’ve ever read! I don’t won’t to close down this page and go about my life, I want to sit and continue from one post to the next until I’ve gotten to today. I life up prayers for you and stand in awe of your faithfulness. You are a living testament to the renewing of the mind that is possible if we just trust him. Your humbleness (if that is a word) is amazing! You are stronger than you think but even more important you know God is your strength, joy, and refuge! Not to mention how truly stink’n funny you are too. What a blessing to have found bits of humor and laughter in the midst of such a painful circumstance. God provides the medicine we need to get us through each day!

    I do have to run for now even though I’ve only gotten through January but I will be back at the soonest possible moment!

    By the way, I’m a mom of five, our oldest is our only boy and we have four girls. I had a miscarriage after our first three were born and got pregnant with twins after the miscarriage. God is also our replenisher! I don’t know why we suffered a miscarriage but I’ve already had one dear friend suffer one as well. If I had to endure a miscarriage just so I could hold my friend Tracy through hers, then it’s all worth it.

    Love & Prayers!
    -Kari

  • Anonymous

    that was by far the most inspiring thing I have ever been bleesed to read.

  • Heather Ledeboer

    It was wondrful to read your post. It seemed as if you learned the same lesson that I did just recently that I posted here http://mom4life.typepad.com/mom_4_life/2008/05/i-expected-the.html What an amazing God we serve.

  • me

    Hi there. Just wanted to you to know that I still think of you and your little girl daily – all the way from South Africa. How are you all doing?

  • Bella

    Angie, I found you through, well I don’t even know who now! But that is the way great blogs/stories are found. I, like you were, am in my search for God and want to learn more and know more about him. I am praying for you and with you. I find myself reading your stories while I am at work and can honestly say, I just had to hold back tears since I am here. I wish you and your family the best and my thoughts are with you.

  • karla

    I found your blog from a link from a link from a link… kind of thing. I have been feeling much pain today from my own journey and trying figure out when the “rain would stop.” Because of you today, I am reminded of why it does rain. He loves us. My own miracle happened when I read your reference to Noah and a proselyting person came to my door today with a message about Noah. I haven’t stopped crying. He does answer our heart’s desires and yearnings in the best way. Thank you for your beautiful and inspired words.

  • Jenny

    Angie, thank you so much for your lovely blog and this wonderful post. By the time I finished it, I realized that I had a death grip on my tissue. It seems I have some letting go to do. You are a very brave woman. Thank you.

    I hope you don’t mind that I’ve linked your blog on my own. http://www.dearone.blogspot.com/ I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to discuss your loss.

    Warmly,
    Jenny

  • The Fabulous Ms. Beth

    beautiful. I just wanted to tell you how beautiful that was. I also wanted to say that since my Charlie went to heaven, I’ve seen more rainbows in the year and a half since he’s been gone, than I’ve seen in my whole life.
    Oh, and flying is certainly not my favorite thing in the whole world either!

  • Angela

    What an awesome God we have! How gracious of Him to prepare you for this trial He knew you would be facing. It testifies to the fact that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. And it testifies to the fact that nothing takes Him by surprise. God sees the big picture; He knows the end of the matter; and He supplies you with grace and strength for the storm. And all so that we might be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing! Praise Him!

    …Just now I’m reminded of the song by Casting Crowns….

    I was sure by now, God,
    that You would have reached down
    and wiped our tears away,
    stepped in and saved the day.
    But once again, I say amen,
    and it’s still raining.
    As the thunder rolls
    I barely hear You whisper through the rain, “I’m with you.”
    And as Your mercy falls
    I raise my hands and praise
    the God who gives and takes away.

    And I’ll praise You in this storm,
    and I will lift my hands.
    For You are who You are,
    no matter where I am.
    And every tear I’ve cried,
    You hold in Your hand.
    You never left my side,
    and though my heart is torn,
    I will praise You in this storm.

  • Chel – An Abiding Branch

    I am breathless and speechless that is the most beautiful rainbow ever!
    Chel

  • Josie

    Angie- I have just stumbled across your blog tonight and have just read a few of your posts but have already cried more times than I can count. I am in awe of your strength and as I read what you’ve written I feel that there is something missing from my life, and from my children’s lives. Something, or I should say, someone, you’re clearly not missing. I was raised in church, got saved in church, but for some reason I’ve just drifted away from God. I don’t know why. I still pray to Him at times, ask for his strength and help to get me through, and He always does. Yet, I feel like I’m off the right path. Maybe reading your blog, which I have to really get caught up on, will help lead me back in the right direction. I just feel like I was meant to visit your blog tonight and I know one day I’ll know exactly why. Thank you for sharing your life and your story. You have a strength I can only dream of and a faith I hope for.

  • Dena

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. I’ve always said that it is our struggles that make us who we are,not the things in life that come easy,but you have said that much more beautifully.
    Blessing~
    Dena