The story of Ava



At Colour 2017 – Ps Bobbie Houston asked us to stand in faith with those girls who were believing for God for a miracle. This was my experience during that time:
“Don’t you dare ask God for another baby”, my mind raced.
 “You have your miracle child.” 
This is true. After 7 years, 6 miscarriages, countless rounds of IVF, finding faith, losing faith, serving every Sunday, worshipping every day – I was the miracle mom of a beautiful, spirited and fiercely loved little Sophia (which is a miracle story in itself).  Everyone celebrated when this baby made her way into our Hillsong Joburg family. She is the church child, the story everyone knows and a walking reminder of the faithfulness of God. And I LOVE that! What more could I possibly want?
However, my heart raced in my chest when Ps Bobbie mentioned that she wanted to pray for ladies who were longing for children, at Colour 2017. I knew the taste of that longing too well. I grew very familiar with it over the years and it consumed me when I saw someone going through it. (Like my friend Anneli, who I have known for many years and have served with in London and now in South Africa.) So in no time, I jumped to my feet and quickly went to stand next her, to pray for her miracle.  She had walked this infertility journey with me. I sensed her longing, her disappointment, the voices of hopelessness that drowned her heart. I knew what being at Colour for another year without a baby does to the soul.  So, in that moment, I rallied on her behalf. I stormed heaven (alongside so many of my friends). I faithfully presented her life, her story and the testimony that is yet to be born, to God. I felt like I was on that mountaintop, pleading and yearning for Anneli’s miracle.  I felt like I was uniquely qualified to do this, as my one year old miracle was a daily reminder of the abundantly generous nature of our Heavenly Father. I so wanted Anneli to experience this for herself. I didn’t know anyone more deserving, and more faithful in all she did. 
As I stood next to Anneli in prayer, I felt a hand on my shoulder. “No, no, no” I thought, “pray for Anneli not for me!” – but my beautiful friend Kona (who I have known for as long as I can remember) was praying for me, and so we stood in the moment presenting ourselves to God and laying bare our souls on the altar of hope, faith and expectation – even if I didn’t dare to dream, never mind ask.  
Ava |the living one [“Death could not hold you, the veil tore before You, You SILENCED the boast of sin and grave”] |Isabella |devoted to God | was born on 2 January 2018.
Unbeknownst to me, I was already pregnant during our Colour moment, when I stood up and prayed for Anneli. God faithfully answered Anneli and Jurgen’s prayers and gave them beautiful baby Jesse, during 2017. How incredible to know, that when I was faithfully standing alongside my friend, God was standing next to me. Knowing the desires of my heart, the ones I didn’t even dare to whisper. 
So, beautiful one reading this: here is my question for you – who is standing next to you? Who are you standing next to? The power of Sisterhood for me, is simply this: I am not alone. Neither are you. God did not create us to do life alone, and what a beautiful living daily reminder the Sisterhood is. We are one, we are many.
This is Sisterhood.

-Renee Luus