Big Changes

Leaning back in the examination room, trying to ignore how full my bladder is, I crane my neck to see the screen. Any moment I’ll get to see our baby. Remembering back to seeing Rebekah for the first time, around 11 weeks along– kicking away like crazy, her little legs like a soccer player. This time all I see are blobs. And the dark, watermelon size balloon that is my near bursting bladder.

Mitch has a better angle. He is totally engrossed. I rest my head back on my thin pillow, hoping for a better view later, or the ultrasound nurse to enlighten me about this strange ink blot drawing before me. “Wait…” The nurse shifts the wand vertically on my stomach. Mitch’s expression changes, like he’s looking at an abstract painting. The nurse takes a deep breath and says quite plainly,

“There’s two.”

Silence. I really craned my neck now. Whaa–Did she say two? As in babies? Not possible. 

“Ha ha. Very funny.” I reply. Fully aware that it nurses probably don’t joke about this. Mitch looks like he’s fallen down a black hole. I’m swimming deep under water.

The nurse begins to  explain the cryptic images. Two heads, two sacks (probably), two placentas, two babies.

Twins.

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We never expected twins. In fact, I joked with the nurse beforehand when she mentioned having twins show up a couple months ago in an ultrasound that she wouldn’t have to worry about that. Yep. You could say God has a sense of humor. 

I tried to take in all the images of our sweet children. But I could hardly see through the tears quietly streaming down my face or think through the thoughts of “How?!” swirling in my head.

Our center of gravity seemed to shift. We were dazed. Colors looked different. Were we upside down or right side up? Excited. Terrified. Overwhelmed. Confused. I kept wondering why God would choose to give us twins. Doesn’t he know I can’t function without sleep? Twins are supposed to be for super moms! Fear and joy both rose up in my chest, battling for control.

Mitch joked that it made sense because my morning sickness, fatigue, etc. has all felt double what it did with Rebekah. It has also stuck around MUCH longer. The nurse laughs and explains that is all perfectly normal with twins. Oh joy. 

It is now a few weeks later, and I am still not sure I’ve wrapped my head around the reality of this. And life seems to crash over us in waves, one right after the next. It is hard some days to catch my breath, slow down, and simply be thankful. Slowly my fear is giving way to excitement. And now my heart only hopes that they both stay healthy so we can see their sweet faces soon.

***A huge thank you to Grace Hurt for taking our announcement photos! As a sophomore in high school, she has an innate eye for beauty and perspective. You should check out her Instagram account ! ***

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announcement-5(Rebekah was obsessed with this rock . . .)

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Our life is preparing to change in drastic ways. But for now, we take it day by day. On the heels of the twins revelation, Mitch decided to step down from paid ministry. Over the past few months we felt this decision blooming in our hearts, but it has still seemed to happen rather suddenly. Moreover, the timing feels a little crazy. We just bought a house last May, and we now have twins on the way.

In some moments, the reality of our circumstances tempts us toward anxiety. But overall, we feel incredible peace. The decision came without bitterness, only love. We love the church and teenagers we work with. Our current plans are to stay as involved as we can be while we are here. There were many factors involved in our decision; but mostly, we want to serve God with no paycheck attached. We want to love and be loved freely without expectations and obligations we struggle to meet. Without Mitch struggling to balance family time, work time, and soon online classes.

God has moved in Mitch’s heart to pursue a Master’s in counseling. Having known him for the past ten years, I can see this gift and calling in his heart. His strengths lie in counseling-related interactions. People go to him because they know he will listen without judgement. Psychology is one of his consistent interests, and his vision of ministry has always revolved around strengthening family relationships and communication. He does premarital counseling for couples simply because he loves to and is passionate about healthy marriages. Mitch also has the unique quality of fully engaging with someone’s pain and genuinely listening, but he doesn’t bring the problems of others home. They don’t keep him up at night. He can empathetically and compassionately engage without internalizing someone else’s struggles.

I say all this to say, we don’t know exactly what the future holds. Right now Mitch is applying for jobs, starting to get called for interviews, beginning to look into counseling programs for this next summer, and even driving for Uber. I am writing, toying with the idea of an Etsy store, and talking with some people about doing temporary in-home childcare before the twins are born. Our church has been generous. And we believe God will provide. But we covet your prayers as we wade through so much uncertainty and battle off the temptations of Satan the persecutor.

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For some of our Christmas recommendations, check out my post 2016 Family Gift Guide

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