Christians, in general, have given themselves a bad name for their lack of grace when others seem to stumble or simply not measure up. Unfortunately, I must admit that I am not only guilty of stumbles and temptations, but also guilty of throwing rocks in glass houses.
Welcome to my glass house! If you find it necessary to throw any stones, feel free. I’m slowly learning that once I show humility and repentance for my wrongdoing — maybe even apologizing to a mass of witnesses for my indiscretions — that once I’ve released that shame and actually have left it with Christ, the problem one has with my sin is no longer my problem, but theirs. My glass house then becomes shatterproof. That’s not to say that if my sin has left a trail of disaster for me to clean up that I simply leave the mess in my house; I am to accept full responsibly and take consequences for my actions. I am to clean my house; no one should live in filth.
Now, before you begin to think that this blog post is really a sermon or a how-to on house cleaning, stick with me. I’m just working myself to the ultimate goal of surprise and excitement. And I am not a preacher—by far… nor a house cleaner. I am quite the clutter-queen.
I am 36 years old and I am marrying a 27-year-old man. Many find this amusing, some find this disgusting, and then we have our fans who are either un-phased by our age difference or are shocked that I am as old as I claim to be… and trust me, I despise admitting the truth about my age. It’s a woman thing. Matt and I plan to have children of our own. I have two awesome boys from a previous marriage (Divorce – something else that I have been “stoned” for among Christians a time or two). We were going to start trying to add to our wonderfully blended family next year when he would finish his Master’s program. I would finish my Master’s shortly after, as well. Still we had a concern that getting pregnant was going to be a somewhat tough battle to overcome due to the simple fact that it’s easier to get pregnant in your twenties than your thirties – not to mention late thirties. I have also had a pregnancy mishap in the past that could be a reoccurring issue. But to us, it is worth the try. We want children together. And quite honestly, my other two minions are more than encouraging to us to give them a baby brother or sister (preferably sister, to Minion #2).
As I mentioned in my previous post, Matt asked me to marry him on Easter this past Spring and I eagerly (beyond eagerly) said, “YES!”
Wedding plans have been underway. We didn’t want a long engagement and wanted to be settled in a routine family life in our new place so that Minion #1 and Minion #2 would be better prepared for the new school year in a new place—change can be hard, you know? I started a diet and even started exercising. By the end of April I realized that I hadn’t lost a pound but instead, had gained five pounds and even a few inches around my waistline. It was the worst time to realize I had no control over or didn’t understand my own body! Finding a wedding gown became virtually impossible. I wanted to slit my wrists (not really) at the size of dresses I was having to try on and when I would finally cave in to the idea of a dress, I would go back to find that it, too, no longer fit! It was devastating to say the least. Practically begging Matt to cancel the wedding altogether and just go to the Justice of the Peace, he refused stating that we had too many friends and family who have waited for too long for us to unite as husband and wife… and I admit, he was right.
I was stressed and was becoming resentful with my own wedding. And as we all know, stress can sometimes mean more weight gain and so, I gained more.
Fear not! There was a solution! (Nope, this isn’t a Body by Vi pitch either.)
Two days before Minion #1’s tenth birthday, I was given an encouraging word from a very spiritual woman in our church. She assured me that I needn’t worry about my wedding or the dress. That I was going to be beautiful! And that my baby was well favored with the Lord.
*record scratch* Say wha—?
I laughed (think of Abraham’s Sarah) at the promise and said, “I’m not pregnant, I’m fat.” Then I gave her this huge spill about how I’m having the hardest time losing weight and that I’m actually worried that getting pregnant is going to be a trial because of my irregular cycles and age and past trauma. Clearly, she was embarrassed with her “word” of my pregnancy and back-pedaled immediately, claiming that maybe she just heard the Holy Spirit wrong — maybe she was supposed to assure me that getting pregnant would be easy after Matt and I got married because God had so much favor on us and our union. This seemed to be an acceptable answer to me for about 5 minutes until I walked away from her and told Matt. Know that this woman is highly anointed by God in the prophetic and I can honestly say that I have never heard her pass on a “prophetic word” without any truth attached to it.
Maybe she heard the Holy Spirit right and I was the one wrong? So I went home and took the fourth pregnancy test since February….
Without further ado, Matt and I introduce to you Minion #3!!!
(And that woman of God that gave me the prophetic word, I now refer to as my walking-talking pregnancy test.)
We are pregnant! And I shout this a huge smile on my face. Yes, yes… I am very aware how this came about and that we are not married. “Shame on us” – Am I remorseful? Only for my actions of intimacy. Am I a hypocrit? No, because I’m openly admitting to you all now that I make mistakes. I screw up often. I don’t do it on purpose nor with the agenda of fooling the world.
The Word clearly states in numerous scriptures that sex before marriage is immoral. And for those of you who want to argue with this way of thinking, it’s not up for debate. Our [Matt’s and mine] consciences clearly stated the same when sexual intimacy would occur. We still do not condone it, do not encourage it. There is so much that goes in to intimacy that sometimes we can’t even wrap our heads around it! I blogged at least twice on this issue.
Still, I’m a firm subscriber that God holds his children accountable, wants us to take responsibility so we can mature, like a good Father does. He doesn’t seek out to punish us for our sins; they were all taken to the cross. And He really does all things for our good. It’s not the best timing, sure — that’s our consequence. But He knew and still knows our hearts’ desires—and therefore, He has blessed us with a Minion!!
We are beyond thrilled. And I will proudly display my round tummy in a maternity dress on July 20th when I walk down the aisle. From here on, I’m leaving my shame and guilt with Christ, right on that cross. I love our baby Clyde and absolutely cannot wait to meet this little dude – or chick.
Our counselor reminded us that apologies are no longer required at this point. That with every new apology we issue for this pregnancy, this baby becomes less of a blessed gift. This is something I plan to enforce when I counsel and come across this very situation in the future.
So this will be our last apology:
I am sorry if we have caused you to stumble in your walk someway or have caused you great disappointment. We both work in a church setting and understand the nature of the sin and hurt that has been caused. But from here on, we are focusing on the bright future before us and invite you to take part in our joy as well. It’s how we handle this situation from here on that will speak volumes. Matt and I are very human and oddly enough, I’ve made more mistakes as an adult than I did as a stupid teen. My hope and prayer is that when others see our carnal fall and then our graceful climb back to our feet, they will also see two people they can seek for honest, loving, and confident counsel. Our hearts have been with family minded ministry for a long time – to encourage and counsel – and I believe that this was all part of God’s plan to make us more qualified and understanding to meet others’ needs.
Now, to answer questions that will be asked (I’m sure): No, we have no idea what the gender is. We don’t even know how far along I am. (I haven’t cycled fully since January, have had 3 negative tests since February, and look as though I’m in my second trimester.) Our first ultrasound should be July 2nd. For a girl we’re considering the name Gabriella (“Gabry”) which is feminine for Gabriel. This would make her a “heroine of God”. As for a boy, Brody McClintock — like the John Wayne movie (so Brody would be a hero too). Minion #2 wants a girl and Minion #1 believes it’s a boy AND a girl. (I could kill him for speaking that over me.) I will be registering for baby stuff after the wedding because I haven’t had a baby in eight years and basically have nothing. I don’t even have maternity clothes anymore — “Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”
Now to wrap this post up…
Our families have already moved beyond the hurt and anxiously await the newest addition of the Ellis clan and the first-born Clyde grand-baby. Thank God for our loving family!
We announced our growing family to our church family yesterday and were met with nothing but love and support from them as well. Some even had similar stories of their pre-wedding babies. The church accepted our remorse but better yet, accepted our joy and are now taking part in it. Our glass house hasn’t even a crack in it. I told you — shatterproof, when we truly repent and leave our sin with Christ. Everyone (if they’re bored enough) is now just watching me sweep up the mess, vacuum a bit, and put everything back in its proper place.
Folks, this is real Christianity — God’s people — and I am sorry if you have not experienced it first or second-hand. But I assure, this is how God wants us to be with one another — it’s always comes down to love. Plain and simple.
And our adventure just got bigger… literally.
Oh, and if you find many typos or grammatical errors, I’m going to give you the same excuse I’ve been giving Matt for the last few weeks-worth of forgetfulness and clumsiness… I’m pregnant.