God's Brave Women - Dominique's Story
There’s not a day that goes by in which I don’t look at my daughter and say, “I’m so glad you’re here.” If I continue this daily routine she may grow up thinking I’m a weirdo. But it’s true though. I hadn’t planned on having children. When my husband and I married in 2015 we decided not to have any kids, which shocked quite a few people. At the time, I thought God had placed this very definite plan in my heart. Instead, He had to uproot me from Chicago to reveal to me the fears that truly drove that decision. Two years ago my husband was offered a job at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. Now I have a confession to make: I didn’t think he would get the job. I encouraged him during the interview process, but secretly thought “he won’t get it, God wants us in Chicago, and He knows I hate hot weather.” When we were dating we initially thought we would live in my husband’s hometown of Nairobi, Kenya, but during our engagement God made it clear He wanted us in the USA. I took that to mean God wanted us to be in Chicago. That all changed when my husband was offered the job at Grand Canyon University. I have a nice husband. He left the decision of whether he would accept the job up to me. He knew how much living in Chicago meant to me. As I prayed about the decision God revealed my hypocrisy to me. God had taught me years ago that my home is in Him. I was more than willing to move to Kenya but moving to Phoenix felt like an even bigger leap of faith. All I knew about Phoenix was that the sun seemed to actively try to kill people with its heat for a good part of the year. In my prayers God reminded me that my home was in Him. And now He said go. He had more for our lives… more that could only be revealed in Phoenix.
"In my prayers God reminded me that my home was in Him. And now He said go..."
When we first moved I hated it. I was off balance. It wasn’t home in the way I wanted it to be, which made me rely on my husband in a new way. As it made our marriage stronger, I said to God, “This is it. You moved us here to strengthen our marriage.” But little did I know the more He had in store for us. In October 2016 we began going to a church that ultimately changed our lives. The first time we walked through the doors, we felt the presence of God thick in the air, calling us to make this our church home. As we built community, I noticed the way children were treated. They were loved and respected as image bearers of Christ. In my line of work this is not the norm. I’m a social worker. Every day I am surrounded by stories of children suffering from trauma and abuse, something that didn’t help when thinking about starting our own family. One night at the church’s talent show I watched as child after child performed their acts with confidence… A confidence that came in knowing they had the love and support of the whole church. It was such a special environment in which to raise children! Sitting there I felt my heart grow, just like the Grinch’s, with a deep desire for a child resting in it. I could see my child on stage. I could see them being raised in this beautiful community of Godly love. And as we headed home from the talent show that night, I turned to my husband and said “Let’s do it. Let’s have a child.”
While we prayed for a baby, God exposed our true reason for not wanting children: Fear and Blame. This world is not a safe place, especially for the vulnerable. I didn’t trust that God would keep any child or children that I had safe. I didn’t trust Him because I felt He hadn’t kept me safe. I was unknowingly holding on to my trauma and blaming God for it. All of my emotional scars were suddenly exposed. They weren’t a secret from God, but He was waiting for me to give them to Him. Now the real work of healing could begin. In many ways I’m still afraid. But God can handle my fears, and He is healing me through them. During my difficult pregnancy God spoke to my heart repeatedly. I was having a girl and this world is not always kind to girls. Life can be dangerous. I had nightmares about my child coming to harm. Yet, in the midst of it all God said “Trust Me. Trust me with what I’ve gifted to you.” As much as I love my daughter, God loves her even more. This doesn’t mean she is exempt from all harm. It does mean that even if something happens to her God is still there with all of His love, grace, mercy and peace available to her.
"This person that God formed in my womb is loved by God in an everlasting way, and I trust Him with her. I renew that trust day by day."
Having children may not seem like an act of bravery, but it was the ultimate act for me. Trusting God with your children is next level trust. This person that God formed in my womb is loved by God in an everlasting way, and I trust Him with her. I renew that trust day by day. I’m the mother of a beautiful little girl named Imara, and I can’t imagine my life without her joyful presence. Thank You God for my child. Thank You God for turning my world upside down so that I could come to a place of true healing in You.
Dominique Mickens is a Chicagoan living in Phoenix, AZ. She is a social worker who has dedicated her career to the care of children. Dominique can usually be found reading or dancing with her husband Njenga and their 7-month-old daughter Imara. You can connect with her via her Facebook page, Dominique N Mickens.
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
And by the way...
Let's be email friends! I would love to connect with you more. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter with recent blog posts, updated resources and a few extra doses of encouragement. As a special thank you, you'll receive the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things You Need to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard for FREE!
Subscribers will also be the first to receive news regarding the BRAVE WOMEN BIBLE STUDY coming out later this year. *insert happy dance here* Sign up for more info and availability.