I have wanted a baby, well, for forever. :) I was one of those girls who would have been thrilled to come home from her honeymoon and find out she was pregnant... however, Matt did not share my same enthusiasm for a baby so soon! Now, looking back on the last 4 years of our marriage, I am SO glad we had a chance to just be the two of us. We have had so much fun and have truly enjoyed one another. I know we will never get that time back and I am so glad I was able to wait
patiently for a baby. As usual, the Lord knew what he was doing in having us wait for this precious little gift... I had a lot of growing to do and a lot to learn.
Matt and I decided in 2011 that we would stop preventing getting pregnant... not necessarily "try" but just not, "not try." I had always heard my dad say that my mom got pregnant so easily and so quickly, so I just assumed the same would happen to me. A few of my friends had babies and some were starting on a second. When I didn't get pregnant right away, like after the first time we started "not trying" - I was not very patient!- I started to get so fearful that my life long dream of becoming a mommy would never happen. Fear had always been a stronghold in my life; I was always afraid of something... the dark, a stranger breaking into my house, and, now, not being able to have a baby. This fear kept growing as the months went by and we still had no baby.
In November of 2011 I received an email from my sister. She was at the International House of Prayer and felt the Holy Spirit urging her to tell me a few things. She told me that the Lord loved me so much and was proud of me, that I would never be able to comprehend His love and that he wanted me to no longer be fearful. She said the Lord wanted to drive out my fear and that sometimes He takes us through times of testing, but times of refreshing always come. He is a faithful God. I needed to hear these words so much, but was sort of surprised that Andrea sent me this message because I hadn't really told her about how fearful I was I wouldn't get pregnant. She knew I had always wanted to be a mommy, but that was pretty much the extent of it.
With in the same week, we had a pastor from Costa Rica and his daughter over for dinner. Drew was getting ready to spend the summer in Costa Rica doing mission work with this pastor and he happened to be in Texas. Despite our language barrier, the pastor spoke only spanish and his daughter translated for him, it was a sweet evening of fellowship. So awesome to share such a connection with someone based on your mutual love for Jesus Christ. It was awesome.
Later that evening, the pastor shared with us his testimony and how his daughter was born. His wife had had a very difficult pregnancy and their daughter almost died after birth. As the pastor was telling us his story, he looked up at me and said, "I can tell you have much fear about child birth." I immediately lost it. He somehow knew exactly what I had been fearing. Right then he asked to pray over my womb. So, the pastor, his daughter, Drew, and Matt placed their hands on my stomach and prayed. The pastor prayed so many of the same things that Andrea had mentioned the Lord wanting me to know in her email. I couldn't believe it because I had not even shared the email with Matt yet. He said that the Lord wanted to drive out all my fear with his perfect love and that there is no fear in love. When he was done praying, he looked at Matt and I and gave us a prophecy. He said, "The Lord wants you to know His perfect love is going to drive out your fear and he is going to give you a baby girl that will bring you more joy than you can ever imagine." And that was it. Just like that he told us we would have a baby girl... again, he had no idea that I had always dreamed of having a girl. Of course, I would love to have boys too, but a girl is what I had dreamed of my whole life.
Well, in March I found out I was pregnant! We were so excited!! By Matts request we decided to not find out the gender of baby. You would think it would be a no brainer and we would both just know that baby was a girl, but still I waivered. After the Lord had given such a convincing prophecy and had driven out my fear over the past months, you would think I would be convinced. Matt never waivered and believed baby was a girl the whole time, but I still doubted.
November 15th, at 1:01 am, our precious baby GIRL was placed in my arms.
I hate that I didn't trust the Lord's word spoken over me and that I doubted. But, I know that the Lord has used this pregnancy to grow me. He used sweet Raylee to drive out my fear and show me that I can trust his spoken word and his written word. He is my faithful God. He is worthy to be trusted, and to be believed. I ask the Lord to forgive me for not trusting his spoken word over me, but thank him that he still allowed me to be a part of something so great. That he allowed me to be Raylee's mommy and that he will continue to fulfill ALL of his promises. He does not disappoint and will always come through for me. Praise God for the truth in 2 Timothy 2:12, that even when we are faithless, that he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself!
So, Raylee Joy Hunter was named after her daddy, Matthew Ray. Matt always wanted to name a child using Ray, his dads middle name and grandpas first name. And Joy comes from the prophecy... our little girl that will bring us more joy than we could ever imagine! She has already brought us so much joy in her short little life :) We are praising Jesus for his faithfulness and for sweet Raylee Joy!
Newborn pictures by our friend Rachel Camp... check out Rachel Camp Photography on facebook!!