My heart is full of emotions as I sit and type these words, my favorite fluffy plaid blanket engulfing me and the aroma of my sizzling steak filling the home. Christmas is here in the White home, evident by the soft music playing, the white and gold colors around, and the mini faux pine trees strategically placed around the room.
There aren’t any gifts under the tree, but that’s because his gift to me is more of an experience than something wrap-able, and my gift to him showed up at our door yesterday in full, visible, packaging that he was able to discover when he answered the knock. FAIL! I thought it’d arrive before he was home, and in a concealed packaging. Oh well. His reaction to seeing his brand new 4K TV he’s been drooling over and never expected I’d actually get for him was beyond worth it.
But aside from all the material pleasures, by far, our biggest gift of all this Christmas is one that arrived just a few short months ago — wrapped in the form of a drug-store pregnancy test, a tired wifey, and a tiny little growing womb.
Jut one year ago, our life was in an vastly difficult place, and I could have never imagined myself sitting here typing these words today. I suppose I had the faith, and I certainly clung to hope, but some days things were so bleak that it was hard to feel like it would ever be any different.
Calvin and I have been married for 5 1/2 years now. Out of those years, nearly half of that time has been spent overcoming some incredibly hard things. We have had to endure trauma and grief that no young, newly married couple should ever have to. Although I’m usually an open book with my writing, I’ve kept most of this part of our story quiet out of respect and privacy.
Regardless, a mixture of circumstances in our early marriage and beyond left us reeling. Having two opposite backgrounds and two very different ways of handling things, needless to say it was hard. It’s still hard. And it probably always will be, because we fight a vengeful Lucifer every day who will stop at nothing to destroy sacred marriage.
He takes failure and brokenness and turns it into wholeness. He lifts the weak, strengthens the weary, listens to prayers, and fights for His children. I have seen the power of patience, hope, and just listening to the Lord. His work is far from finished with us. I have been incredibly grateful for His mercy and goodness, and I stand amazed at how He writes our story, with all of its ashes and beauty combined.
The Bible says:
Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find? The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them. Proverbs 20:6-7
Becoming a parent is a terrifying thing. Not only because of the questions, concerns, and usual worries — but because we know that we are sinners, and that we will fail sometimes. And who willfully walks into something knowing that they will fail over and over again?
Someone who knows that our God is a redeemer and forgiver, and that He never leaves us alone to fight our earthly battles.
Just like marriage, which takes courage, faithfulness, and prayer to walk through together, so will the journey of parenthood be. One that we’ve been entrusted too and one that He will equip us for.
We won’t be perfect. We will carry weights and weakness and sinfulness. But we will strive for righteousness, and we will do all in our power to bless this little one with ours and Jesus’ love.
The lesson is cliche.
“Man plans His ways, but the Lord directs His steps.“
We don’t really understand why certain things happen, why we have to struggle through certain pain, why we have to lose things or people we value so dearly, or how sin can so quickly take over. All we can really be assured in is that Christ is our Redeemer.He took the burden of death away from us, forgave us of everything, and continuously gives us new life in it’s place.
This is the meaning of Christmas: our Redeemer, born. Sent to this world, birthed by a virgin, holy and blameless and the Sacrifice for us all.
Our story isn’t over. The fight for our marriage will never end. And now as we take on the journey of parenthood, there will be new challenges. There is no naivety, ignorance, or nonchalantness at the task ahead. We know full well that God’s little [huge] gift carries immense weight and responsibility. But we also know that we have been through hell together, and we have survived…. so we will continue to be courageous and run the race.
Here is our Christmas 2018 pregnancy announcement. (EEEK!)
We racked our brains for awhile trying to come up with a creative concept for our photoshoot. Me being the creative photographer, and him adding the humor, we were able to put our heads together and come up with the exact theme we hoped for (okay, I’ll be honest, it was mostly me that wanted the whole photoshoot thing 😉 .
We wanted to celebrate and make light of our interracial marriage by including a fun, unique theme or “saying,” and we wanted it to be Christmas-themed, cozy, and most of all “us.” Just comfortable and in our element of fun and friendship.
THANK YOU a million times over for all of the love and support we have received so far. I’ll leave you with a few bloopers to show what REALLY goes on when I try to have a cute styled photoshoot with my husband…
** and scroll down for a list of FAQ’s in case you’ve been wondering!!