Arabella Grace “Yielding to Prayer”

At the end of April, we welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family, just one day before her big sister’s birthday. We marvel yet again at the miracle of life and the incredible way that God forms each person in the womb and brings them safely into the world. This little one has no idea what a crazy family she has entered. Haha! With four older siblings so close to her own age, she is already accustomed to sleeping through much noise and chaos. No need to teach her that!

We found out halfway through my pregnancy that we would be having a girl, and every person in our family was so excited! (Including the boys) For myself, I had gotten used to the rambunctious ways of boys, since the last three babies were little men. How would another girl change the dynamic in our home? Once we knew we were having a girl, we began to deliberate over a name. Benjamin and I both love names that are unique, but not TOO unique. Many nights, I found myself scrolling through baby name websites. Let me just say, there are some veeeery unique options out there!
We came across the name “Arabella,” and I fell in love with it right away. “Yielding to prayer.” Wasn’t this what we desired for all of our children to come to learn? That God is the one that we can go to for anything. That we must make the decision to yield in prayer to God each and every day. We tucked the name away to think about…

As the birth of our little girl came closer, we began to pray about specific things. Our last baby, Judah, was born in Chiang Mai which is about five hours away from Mae Sai. We praise God that he was born a healthy baby, but the birth experience was less than wonderful. I won’t go into all of the details, but it made me nervous to give birth again in Thailand. Would it be the same? As we prayed for wisdom, God gave us peace to choose a hospital closer to home (about an hour away). The doctor there could speak decent English and had experience with foreigners and their “unique ways” (Compared to the way Thai women do things).
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was given a tour of the labor and delivery room. Let me tell you, this hospital is beautiful! Clean, well run, and actually has English signs. Pretty much the exact opposite of my last experience. Taking me around the labor and delivery floor, the nurse chose to only speak Thai with me. Now, I can communicate in Thai, but not fluently! It was a little bumpy as she explained things, and I immediately thought about what it would be like to give birth with nurses that don’t speak English. But in the back of my mind, I thought, “As long as Ben is there to support, I should be fine!”
At my next appointment, my doctor gave me the very difficult news that Ben would not be able to be at the birth because of a sudden rise of Covid-19 in our area (it totaled around 19 cases at that time). I was devastated! I may or may not have shed some tears at my doctor’s desk, and I’m certain she didn’t know how to handle this blubbering foreigner. She kindly told me that she would appeal to the hospital director to have my husband at the birth and that she would let me know at my next appointment. That day, we took it to the Lord in prayer. I was certain that it was impossible for me to do this without Ben! I mean, giving birth is hard enough, but in a foreign country without your husband… I didn’t even want to think about it. But through this process, the Lord reminded me that even in childbirth, He is there. Even amidst a foreign language, He is there. Even in confusing situations, He is there. And that even if my husband could not be in the room, God gave me peace that it would be ok. His strength is made perfect in weakness!

At my next appointment, my doctor shared that permission was granted for Benjamin to be at the birth! The only stipulation was that we would need to take Covid tests at my 39-week appointment and every week until the birth. No big deal, right? We were willing to do anything they asked to ensure Ben could be there. However, another matter of prayer was that we would not contract covid. You see, here in Thailand, if you test positive you are required to spend two weeks in a hospital in quarantine, even if you don’t have symptoms. Talk about timing! I was just imagining one or both of us testing positive (maybe even falsely) and being separated at a time like this! Again, God knew and was in control. Taking it to the Lord on our knees, He gave us peace. Many were praying for these specific things, and God answered with a resounding YES! Arabella came a few days before my 39-week appointment, negating the need for a covid test. Benjamin was allowed to be at the birth, and my assisting nurse spoke excellent English! In fact, after five children, I can say that it was the best experience I have had so far.

So now when I look at my sweet little girl, and I say her name “Arabella,” I think of all the ways that God answered prayer in the way that He brought her into this world. And now I pray that she will one day be able to see answered prayer in her own life as she learns to yield her life to Him in prayer.
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.Jeremiah 33:3


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Comments 4

  1. Beautiful story. We know that every pregnancy and every birth has it’s unique challenges. I can’t even imagine giving birth in another country!…..You are a real trooper. Thank you for sharing that unique story.

  2. God is so good and what a blessing that he gave you and your family. Keep sharing God’s grace in your lives and the love you have for the savior. This is an great example of a Prov 31 woman of God and his mercy. Much love and prayers for you and your family. ❤Dianna

  3. Loved reading this and imagining all the details the Lord brought together for your beautiful birth story! Thanks for sharing your heart…

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