Tanya’s Testimony

I’d like to share my testimony to all the ladies out there. Keep on keeping on, and trust in God with all your heart and soul. He knows the plans He has for you.

Two years ago, my husband and I decided we were ready to start a family. Although we were no strangers to infertility, since we have close family on both sides who have struggled with it, we thought we’d be different. We thought for sure, we’d be pregnant within 4 months.

After a year, it became apparent that something was wrong. We went to the doctor. He made some suggestions. We tried again. Nothing happened. Just when we were about to start on our first round of fertility treatment, I found out I was pregnant. I’ll remember that over joyous, exhilarating feeling for the rest of my life.

I was shaking when my husband came home, couldn’t even find the words to tell him.

Then, at about five weeks, my HCG levels dropped quite badly and the doctor confirmed my fears – I was miscarrying.

I remember crying and sleeping for two days straight without the physical experience of it even having started.

It was during this time, when I was feeling more alone than I’ve ever felt in my life, that I turned to God.

I’ve always had an up and down relationship with Him – more or less every time I needed Him I seeked Him out. So, I turned to Him out of fury, anger and resentment.

It felt like He never, ever granted me anything I’d asked for. I remember reading your blog during that time, specifically the bit where you said you prayed to thank God for the reasons you weren’t pregnant. At first I laughed about it, it sounded ridiculous. Then, as resentment and anger turned to sadness and depression, I felt the need, more and more to talk to Him.

He was the only One who truly knew what I was feeling. So I started praying – every day I thanked him for a list of things I was grateful for in my life, each day adding something new to the list.

Soon, the mist of sadness started to lift, and although the desire still burned brightly in my heart, day by day, I felt closer to the Father who had a plan for me, and who’s plan was always better than my own. I prayed, over and over again for His will to be done, not mine.

And for some time, I felt relief. I didn’t react in anger or sadness every time I saw or heard of someone being pregnant. All I felt during that time, was the need for God’s will to play out in my life and for Him to work through me and touch others.

I’ve always been a shy and reserved person, especially regarding my faith – it’s not something I talk about every day. I like writing though – usually for my own entertainment. But somehow I scraped together the courage and started writing again, giving life to the emotions that I carried with me through the whole process. But it felt good sharing, and suddenly I was flooded with stories of women I knew and adored, who went through such similar experiences that it shocked me to know that there were so many, and that they’ve never talked about it to anyone. I believe this was a time of healing for me and all of them.

Then one day, during December, a close family member shared the news that they were expecting. For some reason, this just totally broke me again.

We always talked about raising our children together.

It felt like I was being left behind.

And although it was a very hard time for me, I refused to let it drive a wedge between me and my Father again. I started diligently reading my Bible, seeking comfort in His word. I got myself a book to help guide my prayers, which I felt were all over the place. It helped, tremendously.

I had good days and bad ones, but mostly felt like I was getting it together again, so when my husband suggested we see the doctor again, I was ready. Went through some procedures, got some medication again. I wasn’t feeling hopeful though – because I wasn’t putting my faith in treatments and doctors, I was putting my faith in God’s plan.

“I wasn’t putting my faith in treatments and doctors, I was putting my faith in God’s plan.”

And then, when I least expected it – one day when I was positively having PMS like symptoms and cramps, when I was bored and I was cleaning out my bathroom… I found a stick. I thought, well, why not? And there it was – positively positive. I am now 21 weeks pregnant.

It was only after I found out and started telling everyone, that I realised how many friends, family and acquaintances were praying for me.

I didn’t know they cared enough.

But God listened, because He hears every prayer, and if we ask in His name, He will grant us the desires of our hearts. In HIS perfect timing and according to HIS perfect plan.

–Tanya,  South Africa


Thank you for sharing this Tanya! Wow, tears fill my eyes. And we rejoice with you as you carry this little one in your womb!

If you’re reading this, I don’t want you to brush over the part where Tanya said she (in the midst of her infertility) began to thank God during her inability to concieve. I know it sounds crazy, but thanking God during infertility was something that brought me such release of joy and freedom from the weight I was bearing. If you want to read more about that, you can click here.


If you would like to share your testimony of how God has healed your womb, or how He has healed, or is healing your soul (whether or not you have a baby) please email me at [email protected] and check out the writer’s guidelines at “Want To Share Your Testimony?” I feature a Testimony each Tuesday, you can also subscribe with your email address, or follow along on my Facebook Page.

Love, Rebekah

Bonnie’s Testimony

 

It’s Testimony Tuesday! Bonnie is here to share her testimony with us:

A few short weeks after meeting my soulmate and future husband, we were already planning our lives together. Being an only child myself, we wanted to have both a boy and a girl and had their names already picked. We got married 3 years later at the age of 26 and began trying to start a family.

Much to my dismay, I struggled with secondary amenorrhea after going off the pill for the next few years. After finally seeking medical advice and having every test known to man to rule out any thyroid issues, ovarian cysts, or pituitary gland tumors, it was determined that the only way I’d ever conceive would be through fertility treatments and possibly in vitro.

I was told by the fertility specialist that it would take a “miracle” to conceive without treatments since I wasn’t menstruating, which is a crucial part of conceiving. My husband and I prayed for God’s wisdom and but just didn’t feel at peace about using “man’s” methods over His, and we didn’t feel led to adopt. So, we carried on praying and crying out for a miracle for another few years without any answer from God.

Finally, at the age of 34, seeking only God’s inexplicable peace and trusting Him completely for His plan in my life, I fully resigned to the fact that I would never become a mother.

I also tearfully told my own mother that she would never become a grandmother.

Although it shattered my heart initially, I gradually healed day by day with God’s grace and felt at peace about it.

Then, something completely unexpected happened. I got my period. And nearly 45 days later, I got another one followed by another one, a few weeks later. There was no logical explanation for it apart from God’s perfect timing! Then it stopped, and I found myself feeling incredibly sick in October of that year. I scheduled a doctor’s appointment and found out that I was eight weeks pregnant!

My heart rejoiced so loudly I could hardly believe it was true as I cried tears of joy! I’ll never forget that moment in which I told my mother that she was going to become a grandma! She hugged me tightly as we both cried the happiest tears ever while praising Jesus aloud and thanking Him for this unexpected miracle.

In June of 2015, I gave birth to our healthy precious son whom we named Alexander…just as we had planned nearly 13 years prior. He was and is our own little miracle baby!

But God wasn’t finished showing how miraculous He is.

Nearly two years later, I find myself expecting again…this time with a girl! God is so incredibly good and He makes all things beautiful in His time. If we fully trust in Him, He ALWAYS shows Himself to be faithful. Never give up hope when life throws “impossibilities” because with Him, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!


Thank you Bonnie for sharing this beautiful testimony of what God has done! And we rejoice with you over your son Alexander, and your coming baby girl!

And we also find encouragement to keep hoping in Him, even when there seems to be no hope from our bodies, or from the doctors. Like you said, “Nothing is impossible” with God.


If you would like to share your testimony of how God has healed your womb, or how He has healed, or is healing your soul (whether or not you have a baby) please email me at [email protected] and check out the writer’s guidelines at “Want To Share Your Testimony?” I feature a Testimony each Tuesday, you can also subscribe with your email address, or follow along on my Facebook Page

Love, Rebekah

 

 

Kelly’s Testimony: Don’t Get Lost In The Storm

My journey with infertility started over 13 years ago, in April 2003. My cycles were unpredictable. I eventually learned that my body did not ovulate on its own… or so the doctor said.

Over those 13 years, I internalized my emotional roller coaster and I began to eat my emotions.

At my largest, I was 70+ pounds overweight. So, in August of 2015, I began CrossFit. In the beginning, I went to become healthy enough to carry a baby–but at some point along the way, the journey became less about conceiving and more about being happy with who I am. I began to work out more, eat healthier, drink more water and my cycles became more regular only being off by 4 to 7 days, (instead of months and months apart.) But most of all, I began to live for myself and not for the unborn child that had not been conceived yet.

In November 2011, I re-married an amazing man who stood beside me, encouraged me, and made me feel whole. We did some fertility treatment, but January 1, 2016, the monetary and emotional cost, would lead us to make the decision to let go.

I asked God, “Why?” A LOT. I never really understood the “Why?” but always felt or even knew in my spirit that it would happen. I still believed. I still had faith God would provide. But I needed to separate myself from living for someone whose time had not been appointed yet.

My husband and I took down our nursery, gave some things away and attempted to sell the rest; however, no one would buy anything….anything!

In October of 2016, we made the decision to buy a new house and some farm animals on 5 acres! The land had not been cared for in many, many years and there was a lot of work to do. Our life had become busy with work, working out, and caring for our land. The pain of being 32-years-old and seemingly barren had begun to slip away a little.

We began to enjoy the freedom of being able to go and do what we wanted, when we want. “2 a.m. run to Walmart? Sure, why not!” We began to realize that we had the ability to go and do, unlike most of our friends. We began to enjoy each other; after all, life was just going to be the two of us…forever.

Christmas came, I decorated every room in the house, every room had its own tree; it was beautiful! Then New Year’s came and went. We had been a full year of focusing on us, our marriage and building a life for two, plus our “fur babies.” We were content. Life was perfect… or so we thought.

Then there is January 26, 2017 at 5:15 p.m.

My cycle was only 3 days late. No big deal. I am used to that. But, I was having some stomach issues, (also normal for me) and I wanted to take some medication for it but knew it would be unsafe IF I happened to be expecting. I asked my husband, “Please stop and get some pregnancy test. I know it will be negative. I would just feel better taking it before the meds.” He happily obliged, knowing that when it was negative, I would descend into a spiral of darkness for a few days. He would be there to hold me, cry with me and we would pick the pieces back up and move forward together…stronger and closer as a couple.

BUT, this was not the case this time….there was a “+”. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There had NEVER been a “+”. I took the test to him for reassurance. There was definitely a PLUS! I finally understood why no one would buy all the clothes and toys we had collected over the year.

After a journey that lasted 13 years and 8 months, there was a tiny miracle in my womb! God had kept His word…His promise. The promise I had stood on for the last 5 years. The promise I reminded Him of daily. The promise that was posted all over our home: Psalm 113:9 “He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord.”

God has been faithful to us! I have prayed for this child by name since December of 2011. Isaiah William is due to arrive September 28. God has filled the desire of our hearts!

God has seen us through the struggle of infertility, provided the miracle of being able to purchase a home we never thought we could afford, put a tiny miracle in my womb and had us in a safe place on April 29, when a tornado destroyed our home and car.

We can see God through the storms… ALL of them! The lesson we have best learned through it all is: Don’t get lost in the storm. Just like Peter, in Matthew 14, if we take our eyes off God, we begin to become afraid and sink in the situation. Keep your eyes on God, praise Him through the storm and He will see you through it!


Thank you Kelly for sharing this beautiful story of how God has carried you through these storms for 13 years! You give hope to us all as you have trusted in the Lord, and we cheer you on now as you are pregnant and give birth this September! May God deliver your sweet baby boy in His perfect time, and His perfect way. 

If you would like to share your testimony of what God has done (or is doing) in your womb, or in your soul, please email me at [email protected] and check out the writer’s guidelines here at “Want To Share Your Testimony?”

Betsy’s Testimony: God’s Got It

 

As I write down my thoughts and dreams, my interactions of each day I can truly see myself as a whole person these days. But it wasn’t always this way …

I can look back into my “diary” and see the transaction from the last few years, last few months, mainly the last few weeks. Just recently I have become the person I had always led on to be.

The strong one. The one who is truly happy for you.

The one who is “OK” she is not carrying the child she has longed for, for years.

I find myself smiling at situations I once cried at.

I find myself dancing and singing in the front row at church.

I find myself carrying on more positive conversations with those who truly care.

I find myself when I look into the mirror – finally.

I once carried myself as a disappointment–rather a true daughter of the Lord. I was disappointing my husband–who wants to be a dad just as much as I want to be a mom.

Spending hours missing work to drive miles and miles because what that one doctor told me, I didn’t want to believe–and what the other doctor told me, I didn’t want to hear.

I thought maybe someone who didn’t know me from my past appointments would say something I hadn’t heard yet. But they all said the same, “We will just keep trying.” “Your next cycle will be different.” “ALL THINGS DOCTORS SAY.”

One day, I stopped listening to what those doctors were saying and listened to what my heart of hearts was saying.

It spoke so loud to me one day, and I knew what I had to do.

I had to cry and pray.

Pray and cry.

One day I woke up feeling not so sad, not so heavy hearted…I felt like me again. The person who I was before all this pressure of getting pregnant, providing my husband with a child, providing a grandchild to my parents.

I felt free.

Yes, there are some days that are easier than others. Yes, there will be days harder to come…but I know where to go on those days – and that makes it all the easier.

I prayed for comfort, for a solution, for something to change my life and the whole time it was inside right there inside of me.

This gift given to us from God, this gift to “The Grinders.”

The gift of peace.

The gift of peace that He has it.

God’s got it.


Thank you Betsy for sharing how God’s gift of peace is restoring life to your spirit and soul as you trust Him! God is surely able to saturate the thirsty soul with Himself, and He longs for each of us, whether we face infertility or some other struggle, to rest, to surrender, and to believe with all our heart: God’s got it. Because He does. 

If you have a testimony you would like to share here on Testimony Tuesdays at Barren to Beautiful, email me at [email protected] ! To check out the writer’s guidelines see my page, “Want To Share Your Testimony?”

It’s Not Your Fault He’s Not A Dad

You saw the way he was beaming at her–as she carried his baby carefully against her chest. She didn’t even catch his glance, her husband’s proud gaze. But you did.

And something shifted in your heart.

And you wish you could give this gift to your husband. The gift of children.

The gift of being a dad.

Because you’ve seen the way he makes kids laugh. You’ve seen the the boyish grin on his face, and the delight in his eyes.

And you know, he’d be good at it.

But there’s a chasm. It feels as wide as the ocean. Between what you want to give him–and what you can give him.

You wish you could give him the world.

Or just, one child.

“He deserves to be a dad,” your heart whispers.

“If it wasn’t for me..”

“If he had married someone else…”

“If my body could carry a child…”

“If I were different…”

Maybe he would be a dad.

Oh, sweet sister. These whispers are not from God. They are not from the Holy One. Who formed you and created you in your mother’s womb.

These whispers are from Satan.

Know this.

It’s not your fault he’s not a dad. 

It’s not. Okay?

You can’t give your husband children. 

Do you know why? Because…

Only God can. 

The pressure is not on you sweet girl. It is not your burden to carry.

It never was.

God is the giver of life.

He gives life.

“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.

The world and all its people belong to him.

For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas

and built it on the ocean depths.” Psalm 24:1-2 NLT

Your friend with the kids–she didn’t give those kids to her husband.

God did.

No one has the power to give children anyone. We are not given this ability.

Every baby born is only born because God has created this life. And anyone who has the incredible gift of children, the incredible gift of being a mom, or a dad, is only because God has given it.

I know, because I have been there. Where you are. I have cried into my husband’s chest. I have said those words through tears, “I’m sorry I can’t give you children.”

But I see now, that I never could.

Today, we have two beautiful children. Selah, who is 4, and Jesse, who is 6 months. They are precious, precious gifts. And my husband is a tremendous father today.

But I didn’t give him those babies.

God did.

He is the Giver. The only one.

“Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

So look to Him. And cry out to Him. And wait on Him.

And as you wait, dear one, don’t apologize to your husband for something that isn’t your fault. Because it isn’t.

The pressure is not on you. This is not your burden to carry. Nor your husband’s.

It’s God’s. He is the burden-bearer.

And He is the giver of life. The only one.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.

The world and all it’s people belong to Him. ” Psalm 24:1

Even you. And even him. 

Gloria’s Testimony

As a little girl, I always knew when I grew up I wanted a big family. As I got older, I feared I wouldn’t have one! I got married at the young age of nineteen to my high-school sweetheart. After almost two years of marriage, we decided to start trying to conceive.  A whole year passed by, but I was still barren, and my biggest fear had become a reality!

We started fertility treatments and nothing.  Infertility put a strain on my marriage and me. My husband and I disconnected and separated for 3 months! We eventually worked things out with a lot of prayers. (Ten years and going strong, he has been my rock!)

We decided to try again. Fertility treatments started and continued for two years. My soul was drained, my body was drained and one day I just heard a voice whisper, “Let it go, I’ve got this.”

So that day I stopped. I stopped the treatment. Stopped the worrying, stopped the doubting , I just stopped! I gave it all to God and accepted that it was out of my hands!

Three months later, sitting at work I heard that tiny little voice in my head say, “You’re pregnant.” Of course, I brushed it off. I still had 7 days before my period was due. Oh, it kept pushing, “Gloria, you’re pregnant.” 

So, I took a test telling myself, “This is stupid, you’re not pregnant, you’re crazy!” Sure enough, 3 minutes later there were two faint lines! (After thousands of 1-lines I was shocked!)

I praise God every day for my blessing. I gave birth to my 8 lb. redheaded, blue eyed boy on 7/20/2014!

Through my journey God taught me patience, and increased my faith, he taught me how to let things go that I can not change, he taught me to rest and lay my worries at his feet!

I still struggle sometimes. Recently, I had a miscarriage. I was and still am so heartbroken! But I know my God has me in his arms. I long to give my son a brother or sister, but I know it’s all in God’s timing! If God would have answered my prayers at the age of 20, I would not have my sweet, sweet boy who is perfect in every way in my eyes.


We celebrate what God has done in you Gloria. And we give glory to God for what He has done! May you always hear His whispers over you, even when it seems impossible. 

If you have a testimony you would like to share here on Testimony Tuesdays at Barren to Beautiful, email me at [email protected] ! To check out the writer’s guidelines see my page, “Want To Share Your Testimony?”

Crystal’s Testimony: I Need To Be Enough For You

When I hear the word “barren,” I find it offensive.  Not because I view myself as barren.  I actually don’t.  If I view myself that way, I feel I’ve accepted defeat.  I’ve given up.   I’ve reserved myself to the fear that God has forgotten me and my desire to be a mother.

No, I’m not offended that my physical body is barren.  I’m offended, because I know that my barren spirit offends the Lord.   Each time I find myself feeling broken, hurt, lonely, and empty, I know it’s because I’ve tried to solve my problems on my own.  

One more supplement.  A new medication.  Another doctor visit.  A different procedure.  Surely, more information will shed light on the problem and explain why I haven’t conceived.  There must be something tangible I can do to make my body cooperate and carry a healthy baby to term.  

But over and over again I hear God saying…

“I need to be enough for you.  

When will I be enough for you?”

 

I go through the cycle month after month.  I’m filled with hope and anticipation that this will be it.  Something this time will work, and my husband and I will conceive our first child.  I wait with waning patience. And over and over, the waves come crashing down and I fall into despair.  

Not this time.  Maybe not ever.  The disappointment overwhelms me, and the depression is enough to crush my being.  Anger follows, and I want to shut myself away from the world.  It’s in that moment that I pray, through sniffles and tears, sometimes even without words.

“Lord, why does this continue to happen?  What am I supposed to do?  How do I fix this?”

And each time, the answer is the same.

“This isn’t something you can control.  It isn’t something you can fix.  I don’t need you to do anything.  I am enough.  What I need is for you to trust me.  Your faith has to be bigger than your fear.”

And in that moment, a weak laugh escapes with a shallow breath.  I’ve done it again.  I’ve taken my eyes off of Him.  But each time, He brings me back.  And I pray that His words never leave me.  

I’m listening, God.  I hear you.

I pray that he strengthens my faith and that one day I will realize the joy of being a mother.  But first, I know he must continue the work in me to repair my barren soul.  

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. – 1 Chronicles 16:11


Thank you Crystal for boldly sharing your testimony today. This journey is long, and hard. But thankfully, God saturates the barren soul with Himself. Continue to listen for His whispers. And may He satisfy you more than you ever dreamed possible. 

If you have a testimony you would like to share here on Testimony Tuesdays, email me at [email protected] ! To check out the writer’s guidelines see my page, “Want To Share Your Testimony?”

Karen’s Testimony

When I was a little girl I had no bigger dream in life than to become a mommy. I had it all planned out. I would marry the man of my dreams and we would have two wonderful children. First a girl, then two to three years later, a boy. It was going to be perfect.

My husband and I wed in November of 2002. After being married for a year we decided to start trying for a baby. I have PCOS, so we knew going into it that it might take a while to get pregnant. We were thrilled when just less than a year later we got a positive test. Sadly, only a week and a half after that, we lost the baby just before the 6 week mark. We were crushed.

Over the next 3-4 years I begged God for a baby through negative test after negative test. Through all of that I never felt at peace with the idea of fertility treatments. I felt as though God’s answer to us on that was a firm “wait.”

The years filled with heartache, tears, and longing for a sweet baby were taking a huge toll on me and I began to feel that I could not take much more. My prayers began to change. Rather than begging God to give me a baby, I started asking that if He wasn’t going to give me a baby, He would ease my pain. Slowly the fog of grief began to lift.

We were still “trying,” but a negative test no longer felt as though the world was coming to an end. During that time, God led me to Psalm 113:9. “He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!” Those words brought me so much peace and comfort over the next few years.

On the Friday before Mother’s Day in 2012, I was driving home from work listening to the radio when they started discussing Mother’s Day. Suddenly, I found myself with tears streaming down my face. Why was I so upset now when I had been doing so much better for so long? I began to pray. I cannot recall exactly what I prayed, but the answer was so clear that it sounded like someone was sitting in the car with me, “Get ready.” My heart soared and I couldn’t wait to get home to tell my husband. We discussed what fertility treatments we would be ok with, what insurance would and would not cover, and what changes we needed to make in our coverage at the end of the year to go ahead with pursuing treatment the next year. We were getting ready.

The morning of Sunday, September 23, 2012 I woke with the realization that I was “late.” For the first time in many years, I actually did not have any pregnancy tests on hand. I told my husband I was going to the store for a test. He mumbled something about me not being pregnant, rolled over, and went back to sleep. That test and all the others over the next few days showed the same thing: pregnant. God had worked a miracle and all without any treatments of any sort, we were pregnant.

In spite of the fact that we were expecting, my husband decided to go ahead with the fertility testing he already had scheduled. When I was about 6 weeks pregnant they called to give him his results. I don’t remember all of the details, but it wasn’t good at all. They basically told him there was almost no chance we would be able to get pregnant without help. He then told them I was already pregnant, but thanks anyway. I think God really wanted to show off what He could do!

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary right at the beginning of the second trimester, and our sweet girl arrived in June of 2013.

Almost 10 years after we started trying for a baby, we held our miracle in our arms. Two years and eight months later in February 2016 our second miracle, a baby boy, arrived. All in His timing, God gave us the children I had always dreamed of. I am so grateful that He first healed my heart, then healed my womb. Praise the Lord, indeed!


Thank you Karen, for being brave and sharing your testimony here on Barren to Beautiful! I am amazed at what the Lord has done. We praise God with you and recognize that He is able to do more than we can ask or imagine.  

If you would like to learn more about sharing your testimony, see my page “Want to Share Your Testimony?”

I Love How God Made You

I was standing in my black bathrobe with sopping wet, just-showered hair hanging down my back, waiting for my coffee to finish brewing, when my 4-year-old daughter said out of no where, “Mom! You’re the cutest one in our family!”

She was gazing at me starry-eyed. Like I was a Disney princess. (And not a Disney villain like Cruella DeVille, which is really who I am sure I looked like.)

“What did you say?” I asked, unsure my un-caffeinated brain heard her right.

“I said, ‘Mom, you’re the CUTEST one in our family!!'” She said with even more passion this time.

And I laughed!

I couldn’t help but think about how ugly I have felt lately. How I turned 30 this year, and am still trying to love my post-partum body (that got stretched pretty good by my 9 pound, 11 ounce baby boy born in December.) And I thought about how I always wear make-up. To cover the dark circles under my eyes, and the acne that’s been there since high-school. And how I often don’t feel very beautiful at all. I’ve even been tempted lately to stop at the local tanning joint, “Sun Your Buns,” to tan this skin, I don’t always feel pretty in.

But before I could think through any more of my many insecurities, she interrupted:

“I love how God made you,” she said.

I love how God made you. 

I looked at her. Her big, blue eyes looking deeply into my brown ones. Her blonde bedhead spilling into her beautiful face. Her gaze, not leaving me.

“I love how God made you.”

Her words echoed. In my thirsty heart.

And, I knew she meant it. With all of her little heart.

Her heart that is often bigger than I realize. 

I bent down, all undone. In my bathrobe and wet, tangled hair and held her little body against mine.

“Thank you,” I whispered, with our foreheads touching.

“But,” I assured her, “I think YOU are the cutest one in our family!” Then I tickled her and she giggled. And I said, “I love how God made you!” She smiled and wrapped her little body around mine. And we stayed like that for a moment. Wrapped in love.

Wrapped by full acceptance. Wrapped with our beautiful bodies God gave us, around each other.

Both feeling a little more loved. A little more beautiful. Than before.

Do you want to know something?

Selah’s words stayed with me.

I felt “cuter-than-usual” that day.

Because when a 4-year-old boldly declares (when you have no make-up on and look like a drowned rat) that, “You are the cutest one in ourfamily!!”– you just have to choose to believe her.

And it ministers to the deeper parts of you. The ones you try to shove down. And cover up.

And maybe we are all a little more insecure than we like to admit.

Maybe we all feel a little “ugly” sometimes.

And maybe, sometimes, we just need someone, anyone, (even if they’re 4 years old) to say:

“Hey.”

“You’re cute.”

“You’re beautiful.”

“I love how God made you.”

Because beauty comes from Him. You know?

Beauty isn’t something we achieve by working out, or wearing trendy clothes, or dabbing on more make-up.

Beauty is part of our make-up.

It’s a part of us. It’s instilled in us. By the fingerprints of God. When He made us. When He formed us in the womb. In the secret place.

Beauty…is what God makes.

And He made you. Remember?

 

God created you exactly how He wanted you to be. 

For His glory. And He delights in you.

And you are made in His image. To reflect Him, and His beauty. 

And maybe no one will tell you today, but, I think…

You’re pretty cute.

And,

I love how God made you.


Now, it’s your turn to spread the beauty. So, pass it on. Stop and tell someone how cute they are. And, “I love how God made you.” And see if, (even if they laugh), if their face does not brighten a bit. And they don’t become a little more beautiful as a result.

#Spreadthebeauty

At This Time Last Year…

At this time last year, I had no idea.

At this time last year, I was washing crib sheets in Dreft for a foster-baby we were making room for. For a foster-baby we were prepping our home for. Our daughter for. Our hearts for.

I was having my husband set up the crib. We were just about done turning the guest room into a nursery.

At this time last year, I was praying for a baby I never met. And I saw the words over the crib as I prayed for him or her, “Precious One.”

I didn’t know who the “Precious One” was, just that whoever would fill that crib–would be precious to us. And precious to God. And I wanted to speak that over this abandoned, neglected foster-baby.

Precious One. 

At this time last year, we were just days away from getting our Foster Parent certification. We only had one day of training left…

When my husband came home with a pregnancy test. And I rolled my eyes at him.

At this time last year, I had no idea. God was working a masterpiece in the darkness. In the shadows of the unknown.

Inside me. 

At this time last year, I didn’t know the “Precious One” would be my very own son. 

But he was.

And God knew all along.

He knew all along who this nursery was being prepared for.

We didn’t. We just prepared it–trusting God would fill it with whomever He wanted to fill it.

And He did. 

 

I had no idea a miracle was right around the corner.

But it was. 

I write this for the Barren.

Not to cause you pain–or heartache. Not to remind you of a longing not yet filled.

But to remind you of something—God knows what He’s doing.

You (and me) we don’t always know what we’re doing, but God always knows what He’s doing.

You might not know where you’re going–but God does. 

You might not understand the timing–but God does. 

You might not know what’s taking so long–but God does. 

Because He’s forming a masterpiece in the darkness. 

I don’t know His plan for you. If you will have a child through your womb, or through another way. Or, at all.

But just because you don’t know something is coming, doesn’t mean it’s not coming.

And just because you can’t see Him working, doesn’t mean He’s not working.

Faith is trusting Him even when you don’t know what He’s doing.

And I am convinced He is always doing more than we could imagine or understand. In the darkness of the unknown. 

So don’t lose heart. 

Because David wrote,

“If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.” (Psalm 139:11-12)

Even the darkness is not dark to Him. 

And what does it say next?

It speaks of the womb. 

“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16

He works in secret. 

And His works are wonderful

My soul knows it very well. 

I am praying for you tonight. That you would not be overwhelmed by the darkness of the unknown. At this time last year, I had no idea. And at this time this year, maybe you have no idea. What He’s doing. But don’t be afraid of the dark. Because though it may look dark to you, and the night seems to cover you. Remember this,

The darkness is not dark to Him. 

It shines as bright as day.