Kelli never took any time off towards the end of her pregnancy. She told her manager at AEP that her last day would be Tuesday, the 5th of May – her due date. Every day she would walk the stairs during her lunch break to help get herself in shape for her labor. Towards the end, she walked them more times than ever to try to get her to come on out. But Anna didn't come early. On the evening of the 5th, Kelli was a bit apprehensive about what she would do the next day. With no job to go to and everything ready for Anna, Kelli was sure to be a nervous wreck at home all by herself just waiting for the baby to come. Meanwhile, that night I was praying in our room on the bed. Now, I had finished packing my hospital bag, but the one thing I hadn't been able to find was a timepiece that had a seconds hand on it to time Kelli's contractions. As I was praying, as happens occasionally to me, an image came into my mind. This one was of me looking down at a watch or a timer of some sort. So, I immediately got up from bed and started looking for my watch. God did me one better and let me find a brand new digital alarm clock w/ seconds hand stashed away in our drawer. I had to look for awhile, but I knew I would need it soon. The next morning, Kelli went into labor and sure enough, it turns out that a lot of what “fathers-to-be” do during labor is stare intently at a time piece to time contractions.
And so, as efficiently and punctually as she possibly could be, Anna came right on time.
“The Daily Devotional”
So, the next morning, as Kelli was starting her contractions, we were able to squeeze in our daily devotions. We are currently reading through the Bible with one of those Daily Reading Plans, and we happened to be on the following readings: Mathew 28:11-20, Romans 16, Psalms 71, and Deuteronomy 33 and 34. I was very happy to see that on the day of her birth, Anna's daily readings happened to include The Great Commission, a Psalm of hope and proclamation of God's goodness, and the only place in the Bible which actually talks significantly about Asher, the tribe from which the Anna in the Bible came.
Kelli labored for 18 hours. It was pretty intense especially towards the end. She started around 3:40 am, woke me up at 5:37 am, we went to the hospital at 2:30 pm, and she finally was free of her labor pains and looking intently into the precious eyes of her baby at 10:53 pm. I immediately melted like wax when she came out and I finally got to see her. She is amazing and we love her so very very much. And now I remember back to when Kelli would say, “Let's have a baby!”...and I now know the answer to the question that she would ask me...“Well, wouldn't it be fun?”
YES! Yes, it is. In so many more ways than I imagined. She is my purpose and the littlest little love of my life. She is perfect in every way, and we are so very blessed to have her with us.
Now, when I originally wrote this posting, I had been fasting and praying for some time. That morning at church, every time I would close my eyes, I would see a picture of my sweet baby girl. Now, ever since what happened in Uganda, sometimes at church God will give me an image or two of a particular body part of someone at the church that may need fixing (and He has been good to us by providing his healing also). But, that morning all that I saw during the worship time was Anna's face. I was hoping that God would have revealed himself to me that day, of all days, with something that mattered, and so I was disappointed when my selfish Daddy-self took over and all I could see was my baby girl. But as I have been compiling this very long description of Anna's birth, I have come to believe that it was God who put those images in my mind. I have come to see that Anna Marie Bruce is a baby conceived in faith, through obedience, directly after a trip filled with God's healing power and might. The decision that we would have a baby was prayed for in faith by her Grandmother without any knowledge to suggest that we were even in the business of making a baby. And, through a confirmation of her name by Anna herself, a vision confirming the timing of her birth, the daily devotionals happening to land on the scriptures that they did, and God's favor on Anna as evidenced through the images He placed in her Father's mind, I believe that Anna's name fits her very well. Anna actually means “Grace” or “Favor”, and I believe that God's favor is on our little Anna. Anna, I am looking forward to see how God will use you in your life.
And thus, the story of the birth of a prophetess comes to a close. What joy is in my heart that my Lord would give to us such a blessing.