In 2018, my sixteen-year-old brother jokingly told me, “I’m probably going to have kids before you and Walker.”
“You better not,” I shot back, laughing.
Walker and I had been married for almost four years at the time. We hadn’t planned to have kids until Walker was out of school. A process that I originally thought would take a year and a half from the time we got married. Then he decided to get a master’s degree. Then a PhD.
“We’re going to be thirty before you graduate,” I told my husband one day during dinner.
He paused, fork in the air. “Oh,” he said, and that look of calculating focus came over his face.
“I don’t want to wait that long to have kids.”
So the discussion began.
Our entire lives thus far had been defined by waiting. Everything we achieved, every step forward, signaled the next stage of waiting. Years of education, years of marriage, years of paying off debt, years of saving and waiting . . . for what? This was our life. This moment. Right now. Why were we still living as if our life had not yet begun?
We had a ton of preconceived notions of what we should have accomplished before we started trying for kids, but until the wake-up call of my brother’s innocuous comment, I had not realized that my plan for us wasn’t necessarily God’s.
We had always wanted kids, so why would we wait eight years after getting married? The only real thing keeping us back was our fear of the unknown. Could we really be parents and juggle education, careers, and finances? If we’re relying on our own strength, the answer was of course not. But as Christ followers, we aren’t confined to the limits of our own capacity. This conversation was the moment that our hearts began to change.
Since I launched my editorial business, God has been unraveling (piece by piece) my idol of financial security. I was comfortable living a lukewarm faith with God on the periphery until my stable income was no more. I knew intellectually that I needed to rely on God, but I never had to live it until I began working hard every month knowing I was not guaranteed a paycheck.
Through Walker’s PhD program and graduate assistantship, God has been dismantling my husband’s pride. He has always thrived in academia, but God has been teaching him about humility and the importance of relying on God—the giver of all good things—to persevere when things are beyond our capacity.
What an incredible motivation to help us depend on God! It has shown us that we are not entitled to any wonderful thing, but out of the abundance of his love, God has given us each other and our apartment and the food on our table and our family and friends and our opportunity to earn a living doing what we love.
We trust him with our careers (one talent), so why would we not trust him with much more (ten talents)?
At the beginning of 2020, Walker and I took active steps to trust God to plan our family, whatever that meant or looked like. When the wave of COVID-19 hit Europe and the US hard in March, we drew back a bit, afraid of what the future would hold, falling back into old patterns of self-assurance and protection. What would the isolation and social distancing measures mean for our family? Would I run out of freelance work? Would my husband lose his graduate funding? We didn’t know.
But as the months dragged on and our jobs remained relatively stable, my pandemic anxiety receded as God reminded me in many small and large ways that he was still sovereign over all. The pandemic was just another storm God would bring us through.
Today, we're still living in the midst of the storm of COVID-19. Lockdowns, social distancing, and uncertainty have become more prevalent in everyday life, and there seems to be no end in sight. Perhaps strangely, I am no more or less anxious than I have ever been. I have never been the one in control, and I'm finally learning how to rejoice in that freedom.
Our life doesn’t look anything like I imagined it five years ago. But we’ve prayed so long for God’s will to be done in our life, knowing that he uses our circumstances and our weaknesses to shine Christ’s love into our hearts and enables us to do the same for others.
So I can announce with true joy that Walker and I are expecting the first baby Martin in late January 2021!
I’m not ready. In many ways, I’m nervous about what the future will hold, especially the next three years on the homestretch of Walker’s education. But I also have great peace, because God has been so faithful in every step this far, and he works for our good still.
To our friends, family, and colleagues who have reached out with prayers, words, and acts of kindness during this exciting time, thank you! Your love is invaluable and means so much to us! If you're interested in helping us prepare physically for the bambino, feel free to check out our baby registry here.