Story - Emily R. - as told to Holly Poole.
In 2016, Emily and Ricky Ruffino are expecting the most joyous of God’s blessing as they anticipate their first child. Emily reminds me, however, that this is a journey long in the making, in both a heavenly and earthy measure of time. I asked Emily to reflect upon the last year and the journey that she and her husband have walked together.
As many of us do, Emily had things all planned out, including the date in which she wanted to have her first baby. She was so sure that everything would go according to plan. She had not expected that it would be difficult for her to get pregnant, and when the tests came back negative month after month, a part of her was discouraged. But each time she got the negative result, God assured her in a gentle whisper saying, “for such a time as this.” A message that illuminated this past year.
Emily said that this process has brought her closer to God, especially in her prayer life. She says, “God would immediately answer me. As soon as I got a negative report, he would speak to me. I started noticing that when I wanted a situation to be different, complaining wouldn't change anything. But I saw that when I prayed, it did. In the midst of the pregnancy, what God was speaking to me is that He really does hear us. He gives us these glimmers of hope— the fact that he cares so much for us that even if He doesn't answer us fully, He does give us enough to have hope. It made my relationship with him a little more real. Even without verbalizing my prayers, he’d hear me. Though I’ve been a christian all my life, I saw, “God really does hear me.” I wanted to have a baby in August, God knew the details of my heart and thats how it worked out. It was just a great reminder that God knows and wants to give me the desires of my heart."
Emily tells me that she has such hope for her baby’s destiny because God so frequently reminded her that the baby would be born for a specific moment and purpose. She says, “It’s exciting. God chose us for this baby. It’s humbling.”
God’s reminder to Emily is a message to us all in the New Year. During this week of prayer and fasting, there is no greater time to hear the voice of God. As we put aside our old habits and take up new ones at the start of 2016, may we also challenge ourselves to focus less on a list of resolutions and surrender our desires God. Similarly to New Year’s resolutions, things don’t always go as we plan them, especially without God’s help. This year, let us practice a greater dependency on God and search out his voice continuously.