Why, O Why, Do We Love Octopi?
We have been asked many times why a little octopus would be so significant in our family and why in the world do we seem obsessed with them?! Our baby girl - affectionately known as Squidgy, collects these adorable animals. Ok...ok....techically we collect them for her at this point - but, if you read our testimony all will be revealed!
It all started in 2007. We had spent 2 years in Vermont working in the ministry and heard the direction of the Lord for our family to move back home to Florida. This was very difficult time in our life - we loved Vermont and ministering to young people - but God really does see the end from the beginning and our next step was crucial for our future. We prepared to return to Florida out of pure obedience to what we believed we were hearing from the Lord. God spoke very clearly to my husband about this move ~ He told him that it was a time of:
- everything would be new and it would be a season of
rest, refreshing, restoration and healing.
Our confirming Scripture verses:
Do not remember the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do A NEW THING,
now it shall spring forth;
shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the
wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Thus says the Lord God,
"In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
During this time the Lord also gave me a revelation about the meaning of our names:
Thomas & Concetta Young
Thomas ~ Double Portion
Concetta ~ Miracle (The Immaculate Conception)
Young ~ New Beginning, Fresh
Thomas & Concetta Young
...a fresh, new beginning of double portion miracles.
So now, we return back home to Florida where God led us to be....He reached right down in the middle of our marriage and did something miraculous - He caused us to have a deeper level of love - a place never imagined even existed and could probably never articulate in the true measure of what God did for our family! After so many years of marriage (17 at that time) we were back on our honeymoon again! Only God can really make a new beginning - can bring healing in such an intense capacity - can completely transform and go above and beyond all that we can ask or think.
Out of this new beginning a life was created - a life that would never have been if we did not cry out to God for guidance - and obey even in the face of extreme heartache and confusion of lost dreams and vision. This little person would never have been - that brings me to my knees when I think about it - this baby is a miracle!
The night I found out I was pregnant was a Sunday. It was only 6 weeks after returning home and we were struggling with our emotions of all that had taken place in such a short amount of time. Inside of our hearts we felt like we had disappointed God and had not completed what He wanted us to accomplish. My husband and I were sharing this with one of our beloved pastors - pouring out our hearts that we felt like our time had passed and we failed. It was a divine appointment for healing! I spoke about finding a passage in my of my journals written back in 2003 - it was a word that the Children's Pastor had given us. The word was:
TJ and Connie - Jesus left His disciples and said greater things will you do... TJ & Connie - you will do greater things - so much greater. Greater than you ever planned - but you are holding on to the past. No more from this minute forward - everything from the past is gone - it can't touch you. Your future is not dependent on your past - it is dependent on your vision - let go of the past.
So, her I am sharing this and telling her that we had our time to do something great and now it is over. At that moment she said - "We always think when God gives us a word that it is for that immediate moment." Not so. The timing of that word all those years ago is for this specific moment - for NOW - God was preparing us for what He wanted to do in us here and now!!! Our healing, rest, restoration and new beginning.
We fling our arms around each other - all 3 of us - we prayed and thanked God for NEW BEGINNINGS. It is never too late. The enemy is a liar!
When I got home that night I was searching through my journals to find that word again - but I found something else written on top of one of the pages. It was just a random sentence that had nothing to do with my journal entry. I could not correlate why I had written this, but it must have had some significance at the time.
It said: 8 = NEW BEGINNINGS
I ran to my husband to show him that God was yet again confirming what He was doing in our life. I said - "The year 2008 is upon us and look at what the number 8 means!!!!!"
Later that night is when I found out I was pregnant. We began to try and figure out the due date and realized the baby would be born in August - the 8th month - between the 6th-8th day!
By now you all know that:
Gabriella Grace Young was born on 08/08/08.
She weighed 8lbs. 80z.
2008 was our 18th wedding anniversary.
She is my parents 8th grandchild.
I think the number 8 = new beginnings is very significant for our family.
Is God incredible? The greatest and most creative mind that ever lived could never orchestrate anything like this - or even imagine it - God is so magnificent!
That is our story - the story of a love that created a miraculous life!!
Now you know why we love octopi ~ the 8-legged little wonder! Whenever you see an octopus think about us, our little baby and God's tremendous love for His children!