This past year has been a wonderful season of growth in the midst of patience and waiting upon the Lord. Looking back on 2010 makes me appreciate where I am today. It was not just the preparing for a new chapter in my life, but it was a preparing of a whole new series. As always Aimee and I started the year off excited, but this was different than years past. Aimee and I had just ended a four day One Thing Conference going into the New Year and then attended a leadership training immediately after while we were out in Kansas City. The whole experience pierced our hearts and really shook us up, in a good way. What we had heard and felt caused us to search our hearts and we knew that we could not go back home doing business as usual. There was something bigger going on and we knew He was calling us to it. We felt like the Lord was telling us to step down and to step out into a realm of Faith that we had not previously walked in before. It was not easy, but it had prepared and equipped us far beyond anything we could have done if we had continued down our safe street while driving at the speed we were. The Lord really taught us patience as we waited on Him. I can look back and see His Hand with every step of faith that we made.
The only way we could get to where God was calling us to was by letting go of some things. The fruit from our decisions to let go of some selfish things that we were holding on to began to show almost immediately. By the end of January Aimee and I had found out that we were pregnant! It was joyous news and we couldn’t have been happier. It seemed like the Lord was already getting His plans in motion for us. Not only was our little girl on her way but also her cousin Cambria was just three months ahead of her. Then before you knew it, it seemed like every young couple in the area was pregnant! Yes, God was moving and He was bringing in a new army of HARVESTERS! I can’t even count how many girls were born in the last year. Which is a very cool prophetic picture of how God places a high value on women for the Great coming Harvest.
I was still growing and learning to be a husband (and will continue to do so) and now I had another awesome “job” title in the works. Speaking of jobs, at the time I was out of a job, but I did not let this get me down in the midst of the good news. If the Lord was going to bless us with a child, I new He would lead me to a job…and He did, when I least expected it! It came in March after a last minute decision that we had said yes to when a door opened for us to go on a mission’s trip with our church. We had not planned on going due to Aimee being pregnant, as much as we had wanted to go. Then at the last minute it was like God had nudged us. We took another step of faith and before we knew it, all three of us were in Mexicali, Mexico! It was such a blessing to be apart of. It was our first mission’s trip as a family, it was my first mission’s trip ever, and Aimee was a veteran…only this time she was carrying our little one inside of her. We poured a lot out into the church and children and we were rewarded heavily with laughter and smiles that will always be carried in our hearts. It just so happened that my next boss was on the trip. I had never met him before, but he offered me a job and when we got back home I started working full time again. How faithful is our God!
Time started flying by after that. Aimee’s belly was growing and we were both staying busy with work and family time. The following months were filled with, “Do you have a name picked out.” And us saying, “NO”, then in our heads saying, “Ok, God, what is her name?” “God, could you help us out?” “Well, let us know when you’ve got one picked out for her!” Then…it came! But, was it from the Lord? We read it in the name book before, but there are a lot of names in the name book. Well when we heard it this time it was different. We were on a short get away up in Redding, visiting Bethel during a morning worship set when Aimee looked at me and said, “What about Liberty Rain/Reign?” I loved it! So we agreed that this was probably going to be her name but we wanted to get some more confirmation. We did, several small ones and then the kicker. We started seeing the name Liberty everywhere we looked. It was on cars, chip bags, bedding brands, walls…and all U.S. coins. Ok, so these are pretty common things. Then we were invited over to some long time friend’s house for dinner. We talked and discussed life and they asked us the very familiar question, “Do you have a name picked out?” We responded with a, “Not really.” The night went on and as we were getting ready to leave they wanted to pray for us. We both sat down as they each started praying for us and then they started praying for our baby. The husband started praying and said that he sees that she is going to have a lot of “freedom” with her. Aimee and I kind of nudged each other while he continued to pray. Then he reinstated the fact that she is going to have a lot of “freedom” and…LIBERTY! We started laughing out loud and they were a little perplexed. After saying amen we explained to them the story. He is faithful in the little things!
My brother and his wife gave birth to Cambria in July and this really caused our hearts to pound with anticipation! Before we knew it, the big “due date” was coming around the corner for us. We were as ready as we could be. We just wanted to meet our little Liberty already! There was the possibility that she might even come early. Well time was passing and the pregnant stage was getting a little old. We found our free time being filled with family and preparing the baby room. It’s always good to have family so close when life decisions draw you into a new focus during a new season. Our focus, having a baby; our season, trusting God. Then a few weeks out before Liberty’s “due date” our focus intensified and continued so as we PASSED THE DUE DATE! God really wanted to stretch our patience and trust in Him. One week over due and we were doing EVERYTHING possible to speed this whole labor process up. Still no ding from the oven…another week comes and met us face to face. We were ready 9 months ago, now we were just plain tired. Coming into the second week of being late and we were wondering if she was ever going to come out. She did! It was a very heart warming moment. It was not always easy, but it was WORTH IT! Seeing the hand of God in that surreal moment gave my heart a new hope for the rest of my life. Liberty Reign Atkins was born October 26, 2010, healthy and happy. The faith of a mustard seed moves mountains and that seed bears much fruit!
The year of 2010 has set the course for 2011 and beyond. My life will never be the same and I will continue to pursue Him in a way that will not stop to think about what the “world” has to say. If I am going after Him and laying my life down to get closer to Him, I can’t lose. I want to encourage you all to step out in faith with the big things and the little things this year. I have found more JOY in letting go and embracing Him and His ways. There is nothing in this world that can compare. Pray for me and my family as we go into this year with all 6 legs stepping out into faith. He is faithful to the end!
Blessings in 2011,