When Brian first asked me to write “my side of the story,” I wasn’t immediately sure of what I would say. For those of you that know me well or follow me on www.allpointswhole.wordpress.com, know that I typically don’t struggle with expressing myself.
I think one of the first phrases that comes to mind is bitter and sweet. I think this article will take on that old adage.
When Brian and I first married, as he stated, we both felt called and convicted to “trust God with our womb.” We started feeling led and then all within a two week time frame heard it repeated in a sermon by Pastor Tony Evans and then read it in a book by Elisabeth Elliot. These two things along with prayer really solidified the conviction for us. Looking back, I think this was very difficult for Brian, not only because he is more practical than I am but also because he was truly trusting.
Let me explain. To the outside world and to myself at the time, it appeared that I was trusting as well. But, looking back, I sometimes wonder if what I was actually doing was not trusting at all but rather taking God’s promise into my own hands. When I think back, I really do believe God called us to this. But, I wouldn’t credit myself with too much trusting since having a large family was such a strong desire of mine.
I vividly remember being married just one month and praying that we would be pregnant. I think I not only wanted a large family because God designed me that way but also because of a deep need for unconditional love and a burning desire for community. I was longing for the family I never had. These are things I couldn’t see at the time. Only God knows our hearts and this is a good reminder that we can not stand in judgement of other people or get in the way of His workings in other people’s lives.
As Brian mentioned, months turned into years and we decided to foster. Fostering was something we always had a passion for. We prayed about it and took the necessary steps. It seemed God really gave us favor and within a year’s time, we were Foster Parents of the Year, I was President of the Foster Care Association and we were taking in children on a constant basis. Ah- to be young and naive again. Sometimes I miss those days.
At the time, I remember singing to one of our little daughters. She was crying and clawing at her skin in an effort to punish herself for what had been done to her. She was only 4 years old. I remember praying and singing over her and it felt like God was giving me the words as they flowed out. I sang the chorus of “Mommy’s here little angel, mommy’s here” over and over again as I wiped the tears from her eyes. I had an epiphany at that moment. Was I again taking it into my own hands? Was I trying to repair my own brokeness. Was I really singing to myself?
Looking back over that time, I again wonder if I was taking God’s promise into my own hands. If he had promised to give us a large family and we weren’t having biological children, then the logical solution was fostering. We had a heart for it anyway, right? Again, God was definitely with us during that time and I will always treasure those few years as some of the best in my life.
When we moved to Indiana seven years ago, we knew that fostering was temporarily behind us. We were working for a church and were busy focusing on our son Tayler. We really wanted to take time to be intentional with him and make sure that he felt like a priority, safe and secure. We wanted to watch him grow and flourish without the stress of fostering or inner city ministry.
After we had been here a few years, the longing (although it was always present) was growing stronger. I remember Brian coming home one day to surprise me for Valentine’s Day. Excited, he asked if I could guess what it was. I immediately thought he had decided to get tested as this was such a desire of mine. When I answered back with that, he looked confused and said no, I got us tickets to a concert. I was hurt and confused that he could be so off the mark.
Like Brian said, there were many months if not years where I questioned God, got angry, took things into my own hands, wrestled with questions and doubts. So, when Brian decided to finally get tested, I thought this was the miracle I had been waiting for.
We both had to go through tests and sadly on the day of a very invasive procedure for me, he couldn’t come with me. He had a meeting at church and since they didn’t even know about our struggle, he didnt’ feel comfortable telling them. As the procedure was over and I found myself in tears, I felt very angry with not only Brian but ministry in general. If we couldn’t be authentic with our church, what was the point?
As he stated, we did the IUI and as he recounted I was sure this was going to be “it” for us. Maybe God just wanted us to think outside of the box and see how science and spirituality work together. The day came for the test. Brian rented “She’s having a baby” and we watched it in anticipation of a positive result. But, just like so many other times, it was negative.
When Brian’s mom died unexpectedly and I moved on from the adoption agency to a sales position, things were very dark for me. I was hurting, angry and running from people, the church and God. December of that year was one of the worst for us and the most stressful of our marriage. As he said, we threw around the word divorce and I had never seen him or myself look so lost.
But, for the first time ever-I realized that God didnt’ OWE me a baby. In the past, I always believed that since I had given him my child, He would restore that to me. But, somewhere in the depths of my soul, I understood for the first time, that the only thing God owed me was death-definitely not a baby.
In January, out of the blue, I started to feel like it was time..that I was going to be pregnant. I am not sure where this hope came from after all that had been going on. I shared this with Brian and just like he had so many times in the past, he came home from work with a test. I took the test and when two lines moved across, I jumped up and down crying that we were pregnant!
But Brian looked at me, then the box and pointed out that it wasn’t the two lines that meant you were pregnant but rather one line and a positive sign. I felt like I had been stabbed in the gut. I remember feeling utterly betrayed and desperate. I sat in the car in my garage and cried a deep, gut-wrenching cry of grief while on the phone with my sister.
She attempted to comfort me. After all, she said, “it’s not really a good time anyway.” She reminded me that Brian’s work was slow, we just lost his mom, my business shut down and we were fighting like crazy.
Oh how we don’t have the mind of God!
Enter January 26th. It was early morning and I had been dedicated for the last month to really meet Jesus each morning. I would light a candle to symoblize His presence and read the word. I was trying to get “back on track” as I had been turning to other things instead of Him for comfort and knew that I was falling down a slippery slope.
I opened my bible and just like I had the last month, asked God to speak to me. I suddenly heard a voice interrupt my quiet time, telling me to take a test. I argued back that it was ridiculous and that I was most definitely NOT going to take a test. So, I sat for a few minutes then closed my eyes once again. I asked God to speak. Again, I heard the instructions to take a test. Again, I argued back.
I am definitely known for being stubborn.
I finally relented. Rolling my eyes, I found an old test. I ripped it out of its wrapping and took it. It immediately showed positive. To say I was completely shocked is an understatement. I ran upstairs and called Brian out of the bathroom. He wasn’t convinced and made me get him the box to read the instructions. He told me to calm down but once he saw that it was indeed positive this time, we rejoiced together then went on to tell Tayler and our family.
After finding out, each moment I was terrified that this miracle would be taken from me…that it was too good to be true. When Brian made me take a second test a week later, I will never forget the fear I had that it would now be negative. I watched the line move across with such intent that it was almost like I was willing it to be there. Shaking, I was so relieved to see that it was still positive.
I was in such disbelief at times that this could really be happening that I would question my own sanity. But it really was true. God was delivering on His promise.
Just when I thought all hope was lost. Just when I thought that my marriage was failing. Just when I thought that we would lose our home because of our respective job issues. Just when I thought that I would walk away from the church, God and anyone else that got in my way.
He was faithful.
When people ask me what my “favorite” attribute of God is, this is always my answer. God’s faithfulness is more than I could ever grasp. “And be sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6
The day that I delivered my beautiful, blonde-hair, blue-eyed baby Chase is one I will never forget. But, the moment that stuck out the most to me and even brings me to tears now, is when they came into our room to release us. I couldn’t believe that he was really ours and that we really were going to get to bring him home! Instead of leaving empty-handed this time, I was taking home this precious gift in the form of our baby boy.
I was in total awe of my faithful Savior and so thankful for His beautiful promise.
*I know there are many of you reading this that are still hurting, still waiting for for this moment to be yours. I have such empathy for you and I continue to speak out on your behalf-for others and those in the church to understand and not ignore the pain and grief that infertility brings.