As I hold and rock my baby girl while she's drinking her bottle in the early morning hours, I pray.
I pray for my daughter to grow up healthy and strong. I pray the Lord guards her heart and mind, body, soul and spirit. As she eats, I pray she is nourished physically and also that she one day learns to feast on the truth of Scripture. I pray she will learn to follow the guidance of Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth.
I pray she comes to know Jesus at an early age. That she surrenders her heart to Him and follows Him all of her days.
I pray she grows into her name: Aleigha Rose Evangeline Akins. “Brave One Who Ascends Toward God and Blossoms as a Messenger of the Good News of Jesus.”
And as I pray, I am challenged to become a parent who helps lead my daughter to become that brave messenger of the Gospel. To help her blossom into the woman God created her to be. She was designed with a purpose in mind – we all are. And it is my responsibility – no, my joy – to help her become Aleigha Rose and fulfill the calling God has placed on her life.
Jay and I truly believe that long before we knew our daughter or her name, God was using this journey of adoption to call us into becoming Aleigha Rose, too. As her parents – and as followers of Jesus – we are called to be brave. To pursue God with all we are and all we have. To grow deep roots and produce good fruit with our lives. To share the love of Jesus with all those we encounter.
Quite a big calling for two first time parents…one we certainly don’t take lightly.
But thankfully, we don’t walk into parenthood alone – by pulling up our bootstraps and pretending we have it all together. Instead, we fall face down in surrender to the Lord and ask Him to give us what we need, so that we can be the parents, the husband, the wife…the people we were created to be.
We are all, in a sense, becoming more of who we are every single day. And as messy as it can be, the transformation is truly worth it.
From my heart to yours,
Abby is wife to Jay and mommy to Aleigha Rose. Some of her jobs include: full-time executive assistant, part-time counselor, laundress, bottle-maker and dish-washer. In her spare time she loves writing, composing music, leading worship, getting lost in a good story, and snuggling with her family.