Oh, One More Thing About the Relevant 10 Conference

(Life’s mysterious journey…)

Though I had agreed to introduce Angie Smith, I stood before that room of 200 women and thought, “I am crazy to do this.”

My heart was so aggressively low. I felt like I was in the depths of the earth’s stomach.

I stood up there, behind the podium, and told them that this particular weekend was an anomaly to me. I was originally supposed to be a Relevant 10 speaker. And then, I got pregnant! So, I nixed the conference and had planned on being happily home with my two-week-old baby girl. But then, she died. And, in time, Sarah Mae kindly found a way for me to attend Relevant 10 again. For some reason, after that, the next place God had me journey was up on a stage, empty-armed and bewildered, to introduce a woman whose book had deeply touched me while I was trudging through the mourning process.

There I stood: humiliated in the deepest sense of the word. Oh, it wasn’t my pride that ached. It was my whole being that felt empty. Wandering. Wondering. I was in the depths. I would have done anything to have been introducing Angie Smith for different reasons, for both our sakes. But, instead, we had to face the fact that our lives mingled because of heartache and loss. Yet, it was ordained by God. So, I stood there and hurt for 7 long minutes and talked about the mysterious hand of God through the journey.  All the while, I was squinting through my tears to believe it myself.

How could I have known that, while my spirit sunk to the pit of the earth, my womb was just beginning its swell and welcome to a new life.

Oh, the wonder of it all!

My arms were so so empty.

Yet, my whole being was full! The tiniest of tiny beginnings! Our fourth child!

There are no words, except We Rejoice.

I waited too long to tell you about Juliette. By the time many of you even heard her name, she was gone.

So, this time around, I am telling you loud and clear about the little one who has entered our lives.

We are expecting a baby!

And I implore you, please pray!

My heart shakes with understandable fear; yet my Father stands with unwavering strength.

I keep rolling my fears onto Him. Casting them into His hand. Lugging them onto the cross.

And He keeps giving me peace. Peace. Peace.

But, please pray! Pray that this child will grow and age. That this child will be healthy and strong. That this child will be fruitful in youth and old age to show that the Lord is a rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

I do intend to speak at Relevant 11. And I do intend on bringing our 3-month-old baby with me. I might just hold the baby while I speak; it’ll feel so so good.

Yes. We rejoice!

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45 Comments to "Oh, One More Thing About the Relevant 10 Conference"

  1. Christi
    December 1, 2010 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! God is GOOD! Will be praying for you during your journey.

  2. alta
    December 1, 2010 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I don’t normally comment, but I have to say congratulations! I’ll pray for you and your little one.

  3. Olivia
    December 1, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I just recently found your blog via your article for the CDT and read through the story of Juliette. My heart was just broken for you, but now I’m just thrilled for you!! Will be praying for you and your little one through this time. God is in control!
    ps. I’ve been so encouraged and inspired by your blog. Thank you!!

  4. December 1, 2010 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Joy! I will also be praying for you and your sweet little one, your fourth child!

    Congratulations!

    Love!
    Kathi

  5. December 1, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I admired your courage and grace in introducing Angie at Relevant…your poise was remarkable.. Rejoicing with you over this wonderful news and praying for you!

  6. December 1, 2010 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Oh yay!! I am so happy for you!! I was at Relevant and heard your story. I will be praying. Keep us updated on everything! :)

  7. December 1, 2010 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Oh friend, I am literally in tears right now both because of this beautiful heartfelt post and because of my joy for you! I will be praying! We serve a BIG God! Love you, girl!

  8. December 1, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Oh Laura-tears fill my eyes. I am so happy for you, I wish I could just hug you!!! Praying for sure and following your journey. Love you friend!

  9. December 1, 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Oh Laura, I rejoice with your family! What wonderful news! I’ll definitely be praying! Wish I could hug and squeal with you this morning!

  10. Brooke Clarke
    December 1, 2010 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    What wonderful news! I will pray and ask for God’s loving, lifegiving hand over this child. Be blessed. Brooke

  11. December 1, 2010 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    How exciting! What a beautiful story and beautiful post. Believing LIFE for you and your sweet baby!

  12. December 1, 2010 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I am praying for your darling little one all cozied up in there – how stunning of Him!

    I am so so happy and I am rejoicing with you!

  13. December 1, 2010 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    We are so happy for you, and you’ll definitely be in our prayers! ♥

  14. December 1, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Your seven minutes at Relevant are some of the time that made the most impact on me. I’ve thought a lot about the courage it would have taken to stand up there and share like you did. Your testimony was so much than just words – your whole presence spoke volumes about the God you trust and the story you’re letting Him write with your life. And the deep ache I felt listening to you is so wonderfully filled at knowing what He knew the whole time.

    He makes all things new, indeed!

    Blessings on you both!

    Lisa-Jo

  15. December 1, 2010 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Aww, Laura. God used you to bless me at Relevant10 and I’m thrilled that, Lord willing, you’ll be at Relevant11 with a new babe! Praying that all goes beautifully!

  16. December 1, 2010 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Tears! What joy–and sweetness of a desire fulfilled. Will be praying for you. What a vulnerable position to be in…with One most trustworthy to keep you and His precious little one.

  17. December 1, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Praise the Lord!

  18. Jenny
    December 1, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I love you, congratulations to you, Ryan, Vivienne, and Lia! And I am sure that Juliet is just rejoicing!

    God has been so good to you and your family, my dear sister. Just by reading your blog it is so obvious how close and near our God has been to you through it all.

    I will pray that your baby grow and age—through a normal 9 month pregnancy, experience a normal birth, and that you hear your baby cry. And then, that you’re able to caress, embrace, and breath in your baby. And I will pray that God meet you at that first moment–the moment when you have the opportunity to ‘soothe (your) crying infant’. Oh, I know your heart aches; http://www.10millionmiles.com/2010/06/23/holding-you/

    Oh, and I just knew it ;) I just knew it!

    I love you,
    Jenny

  19. December 1, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    CONGRATS!!!
    This post made my day!!! You are officially on my prayer list!! I love your blog!! I read it EVERYDAY!! :) (No matter what!) You have been on my heart latly and I am so excited that God is working in your life in this way!!
    My daughters LOVE to watch you and yours! :) My Evelyn is 5 and Loves your Vivian! (She now wants Tuna Fish EVERYDAY!! :) Madelyn is 3 and Loves watching your little one Lia! :)
    I Loved you posts on Marriage… Our stories are the same! and God has worked wonders the last 2 to 3 years in our marriage.
    I would LOVE to meet you and talk!!
    If not in this Life… Heaven!
    ~Apryl

  20. December 1, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Praise be to Him.
    Happy for you.
    Praying for you, dear friend.
    I cannot wait to meet your little one….

  21. December 1, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations!! I can’t tell you how much this post touched me. God is so good : ) Praying for your precious little one.

  22. December 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Laura, what a precious blessing you were at Relevant – so poised and graceful as you shared your heartache with us all. And now for this exciting news… God is so very good!! Congratulations! I look forward to, Lord willing, seeing you again and meeting your sweet baby at Relevant 11.

  23. December 1, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! You’ll be in my prayers. I’ll look forward to hearing you speak at Relevant 11 with a beautiful baby in your arms.

  24. Tara
    December 1, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    oh my goodness laura, rayn and girls!! what wonderful news!!! we are soooo happy for yuu and will be praying for you and your new little miracle!!!! what a blessing!!

  25. Kari Swigart
    December 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    No words come, just tears of joy… praying!

  26. December 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    My heart is rejoicing with you. What a wonderful gift this season. Thank you for blessing us all at Relevant.

  27. December 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful post. Congratulations – wonderful news!
    …wanted to say how glad I am to have ‘stumbled’ onto your blog. I watched all the Read-aloud pro ideas and am so happy I did! What seemed hard for me has now turned fun! I love trying to emphasize certain things..and I am sure the kids will retain more, as well. Thanks for taking the time to give those wonderful tips!

  28. December 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Laura! How wonderful, I’ll be praying – I just stuck you name up on my inspiration board to remind me! It will be so amazing for you to be back at Relevant holding a sweet baby next year!

  29. December 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    This is reason to rejoice and reason to pray. I will do both!

  30. December 1, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi Laura!
    I heard you speak at Relevant and admire your bravery and your willingness to share your story!
    Lord willing I will be at Relevant 11 along with my fourth child as well! I will be praying for you! Yay!

  31. December 1, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Wooooohoooooo!!! Thank you Lord Jesus! I am SOOO happy for you :-)! What a perfect Christmas blessing! Have the Merriest Christmas ever and thank you for telling us!!! We want to know! Congrats!
    Courtney

  32. Krystle
    December 2, 2010 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    I’ve never commented before but I sit in the background trying to gain wisdom towards raising godly girls. So hearing about your previous loss it touched me and I felt sad but to no hear this exciting news I’m wanting to jump for joy and say “YES” I will add that little bundle of growing joy to my prayers. Let God’s Will Be Done! Congratulations.

  33. December 2, 2010 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    I’m crying tears of joy for you right now. Congratulations! Praise be to God!

    My prayers are with you! Sending huge hugs your way!

  34. Rachel
    December 2, 2010 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Dear Laura,
    What beautiful and joyous news! I am so happy for you and for your family.

  35. December 2, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    laura, how stupendously, gloriously delightful! i was hoping that even as you were standing there speaking so vulnerably, that you might even be pregnant. yet i knew that even if you weren’t, God was still good. my prayers are with you as you go into this pregnancy with fears you never had before. even here, his grace will be sufficient…as you know:) blessings:)

  36. December 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I look forward to seeing you – and your newest little one – at Relevant ’11. Praying that God will use him/her to help heal your heart.

    • December 2, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, dear friends. All of your comments have warmed my heart! Thank you for your prayers; thank you for reminding me about God’s goodness. Thank you.

  37. December 2, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I was SO deeply moved by your introduction of Angie and I am SO thrilled for you. God is so good and yes, He would still be so good regardless but yeah…He’s so good.

    Wonderful!

  38. December 2, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh Laura! Congrats!! How wonderful! I have been meaning to comment and touch base with you. I have become addicted to your words. you are such a talented writer and speaker. one night last week I stayed up til 1am watching all of your videos! Just so encouraging! I even sang the obedience song to my youngest this week:) I want to come to visit your farm someday!

  39. December 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    ** a bit of a lurker coming out to rejoice with you. this post brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. congratulations and many prayers for a wonderful pregnancy.

  40. December 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Are guys allowed in here? Just in case they are, . . . Congratulations, dear lady, and your hubby! May the Lord grant you this great desire of your heart to see a healthy, happy little #4 girl! God is indeed good. All the time.

  41. Carole
    December 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    My Dear Laura, What a blessing you are to all of us. Thank you for sharing your pain and your joy. God bless you and Ryan and the girls, Carole

  42. December 8, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Oh, Laura! How happy I am to read this post! I understand your fears…I would have them myself. I will be praying for you as the Lord brings you to mind. I just have to tell you again how much you blessed me when Adam and the band and Jen and I were singing Saturday night at Relevant. As I watched you worship with abandon it absolutely almost did me in. I was facing my own pain of losing my mother, and just seeing all those women worship Him was like balm to my soul. I have to admit that the Lord allowed me to forget for a moment what you had been through. It was only after we were done that my roommate reminded me. I fell apart. I think the Lord was being very kind to me to let me “forget” while I was on stage, or I would have been a bigger blubbering idiot than I already was! : )

    I can’t wait to hear you speak next year (Lord willing I will get to come!) and see your precious little one!

  43. Jan
    December 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Oh Laura!!! I just *had a feeling* you would have news to share, and I am so bursting with joy to read it’s true!!! I pray, pray, pray for your little bean. And I pray for you, that you will have peace, and not fear as you welcome this pregnancy that you would be blessed with a release from anxieties so you can ENJOY and REJOICE in this miracle. Love ya!!!! WHOOOHOOO!!!!

  44. December 22, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    So very, very happy for you!!! God is so good. What a testimony of HIs unwavering love and grace. You shine so brightly for Him.
    God bless you and your little one. :)