PictureBenaiah James Gurley, one day old.
     Welcome back! Now that you’ve read the story about how Bubba and I fell in love, let’s fast forward together a few years, shall we? Let’s fast forward to early 2011. I was teaching at Captain Shreve High School and working toward a teaching certificate in secondary math education. We had just bought a car and were enjoying our life together the two of us. We always knew that we wanted children, but felt like we just weren’t ready financially. Then one day, I just had a feeling. I told Bubba that I thought I was pregnant. I can remember being nervous about telling him, because I thought he would be stressed out. Boy, was I wrong! He was excited and in turn allowed me to have hope that maybe it was true.

I took a pregnancy test after work one day when I could no longer stand it in the Barnes and Noble bathroom. Low and behold, I had a sweet child growing in me! So I of course bought a few pregnancy books, including one for dads, and headed back to our church for revival that night. Once I got there, I texted Bubba a picture of the test that said “Pregnant,” and waited for him to receive the text. Apparently we had horrible service because it took FOREVER. I was waiting and waiting for him to check his phone and look at me and smile, but it just never seemed to happen. After what seemed like hours he finally got the text and we rejoiced and prayed together in the empty sanctuary. The plan was to tell our parents that evening and then slowly start telling other people, but Brandon had told everyone who walked through the door before I could even get a call to my parents! We were both filled with such joy.

Months before I even thought I was pregnant, Bubba told me that he felt like God had given him three names for the three boys we were going to have. (What’s annoying is that so far he has been right!)

The first name was Benaiah James. The story of Benaiah in the Bible can be found in 2 Samuel 23:20. There isn’t a lot of scripture about him, but it’s there. The crazy man chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day and killed it with his bare hands! But the courage, bravery, and determination of the story struck a chord in our hearts. Benaiah means “built by God.” We prayed our first child would live up to his name.

The middle name, James, is after one of the disciples. James and John were the sons of Zebedee, but they were also known as the sons of thunder. My husband may have a complex……[I just want ESPN to have a good story to write when my boys are playing college football!]

After the name was finally decided, changes started happening in our lives. I was transferred to another school which was an awful experience, and Bubba was feeling as though it was time to move on from our wonderful church in Oil City. With all that being said, we ended up moving about 2 weeks before my due date. But through it all, I prayed and prayed and prayed for my sweet baby boy that I would soon hold in my arms. I prayed for his wife. I prayed for his job. I prayed for his salvation and for his character. I prayed for his adult years, his teen years, his child years, and his infant years. And I prayed for his arrival.

My labor was induced a day after the due date, and I went to the hospital a little nervous, but very excited. Everything was going well. I went from a four to a ten in such a short time that the nurse all of a sudden had to run and get the doctor! But by the time it came to push, things started to get a little strange. I do not remember a lot of this, and much I did not learn until much later. Every time I would have a contraction my blood pressure would bottom out and Benaiah’s heart rate would sky rocket. Everything seemed to come in and out of focus, but I was determined to do what my doctor said. I had no idea there were complications, or that he called for forceps. He was nervous that the cord was wrapped around Benaiah’s neck and was causing distress. All I remember was that all of a sudden the nurse was on top of me pushing down on my stomach every time I was told to push. Fifteen minutes after I started pushing, Benaiah came into our world. He was completely healthy, had no cord wrapped around his neck, and as soon as he was delivered my blood pressure leveled out. It was like nothing had gone wrong at all. Here me when I say this. I am so. thankful. that I spent many hours in prayer for that moment. I had no idea what was going on and did not have the wherewithal to pray during labor and delivery. But I had stored up prayers for my son. God heard the cry of my heart, and he answered my prayers.

Benaiah is now almost two (!!!)  years old. It is truly amazing how time flies. Everyone always tells you about it, but it’s not something you can understand until you have experienced it yourself. His baby dedication verse was Joshua 1.9 : “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” We pray this over him daily. That wherever Benaiah goes, that he is strong and courageous. Wherever Benaiah goes, the Lord will go with him.

Benaiah James Gurley is laughter and a temper. He is a jedi and a cowboy. He doesn’t talk a lot, but you can see in his eyes that he is constantly learning, exploring, and planning his next adventure. Herbal tea and coffee are both drinks he loves (and steals from mom!), but he is just fine drinking water. He eats like a full grown adult (literally as much as I do at some meals) and is growing like a weed. He is a doting big brother, even when all he wants to do is wrestle. And he is a loving son. 

We are so thankful for our Benaiah James.

 


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