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!
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).
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
Serving the Lord in the country of Thailand, Alyssa is the wife of missionary Benjamin Hall and mom to five young kids. Each day seems to bring new adventures as she studies the Thai language, homeschools, and ministers to the many little hands that reach for hers. Of course, music is almost always part of the day, whether by listening, singing, or playing and it now echoes through the voices of little ones. Read Alyssa’s salvation testimony here.