Our lives are stories.
Pages, chapters, words written by the Greatest Penman Himself.
The last two years of mine and Michael’s story we’ve held closely to our chest. We haven’t shared publicly the story of our season. It wasn’t because we didn’t want to, but we knew it wasn’t time. We had to grieve, had to process, had to pray. We had to take time to put words to the emotions that we felt and descriptions of the places He’d led us.
But today friends, we want to welcome you into a part of our story so very near to our hearts. We want to welcome you into our vulnerability, our heartache, our tears, our struggles, our journey, our infertility. And as you finish reading that sentence, we want it to quickly be followed with this: As you read our story may you see His love, His care, His plan, His grace, His strength, His glory.
We’re learning (through experiences we never in our wildest dreams thought we’d walk through) to open the grasp we held so tightly onto the pen of our lives. We’re learning, “And if not, He is still good.” We’re learning, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.” We’re learning, “He’s near to the broken-hearted and hears the crushed in spirit.”
We’re learning to fall to our knees again and again and again.
So with care we begin to recount the story He’s carefully, lovingly, thoughtfully written for us…..may it be a testimony of His goodness in the midst of pain. May our lament be turned to an anthem for His glory. May you see how He takes what is broken in this world and rewrites it into something beautiful. And may in a way only the Spirit can, He use this to whisper hope to the heart that suffers in its own kind of pain today…
We begin our story by sharing that we aren’t pregnant. And that it’s at this raw place we believe He has prompted us to write.
As the chapter of our 2016 came to a close and the blank pages of 2017 lay before–something had changed in us as a couple. Before then we talked and dreamt of our family, but schooling or jobs or moving always seemed to be in the forefront of our today’s. But after four years of marriage, lots of prayer and one sweet conversation that revealed both mine and Michael’s hearts were ready–we began trying to start our family.
There was an excitement and anticipation. We began planning how (we were sure, just one positive pregnancy test later) we would break the news to our families. We looked up names and nursery schemes and what I should and shouldn’t eat each trimester. That month I took an early pregnancy test—positive that it would show physical signs of the life I was sure was inside me.
“It was only the first month,” we reasoned. But month after month the results began to show a pattern. And month after month the hope of parenthood seemed to fade a bit more.
As I rehash the feelings and tears that became the normal in that season, two things come quickly to mind.
The first is how often Scripture we’d memorized or studied came back to us in our darkest nights. I know it’s no accident the ways that God seeds the truths in our best days so that the roots of what we know grows deep to keep us steady in the hardest. Things that were head knowledge about His character began to become vividly real in our lives. We knew the truth that He was our Refuge. But when another negative test would appear, we would run to Him as our only Rock. We knew the truth that He was strong. But when another cycle of no’s knocked us to our knees in weakness, He gently lifted us into His strong arms.
The second is the man God graciously gave to me to walk through this life with. I’m amazed at how the prayer we prayed over and over, “Please strengthen our marriage. Protect it from the Enemy. Let it grow strong,” He chose to answer through this journey. We’ve learned as we walked through the trenches together that this was how God intended it. Nights I sobbed in bed, Michael rubbed my back and let me cry. Lunches I was left defeated from another month not pregnant, he gently helped lift my eyes back up to the Lord.
We were months in with no signs of hope for our little family to grow. After eight months we decided to visit the doctor and express our concerns. Because of our age and the length we’d been trying, she suggested to wait a while longer before we started any testing. “It might just be a matter of time,” she said. But that was time that I didn’t want to continue to give.
And so the pages began to bind together and His story for us began to unfold. The next chapter–one that’s hard for us to reread, one full of immense brokenness and dark nights–lay open before us….