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

 

 

Kay’s Testimony: Miracle After Miscarriages

“I would like to share my experience hoping that I could give hope to someone else. And to remind each and everyone’s heart that truly nothing is impossible with God.

Let me start by saying that God blessed me with a beautiful baby girl whom I easily conceived with no problems at all. She was truly a blessing. So, I never thought that giving her a sibling would be a challenge–since I was convinced that I could easily get pregnant.

After a while, I got pregnant and it was unplanned but nevertheless we were so happy! However, unexpectedly, it turned out to be a blighted ovum. We were sad but never thought it would happen again, since they said a blighted ovum is normal.

So after a while, we decided to try again. Soon, we got a positive pregnancy test. We were so happy, but after a week or two, we found out it was just a chemical pregnancy.

I was starting to get anxious and depressed.

We opted to do fertility workups, and another chemical pregnancy happened, then another blighted ovum to which another chemical pregnancy followed again. I was so depressed and anxious, but it was at this period of recurrent miscarriages that I remembered God again.

I was closer to Him and our relationship deepened. We decided to let go and rest for a while.

I was always holding to the word of the Lord, that His plans are for us to prosper and not to harm us to give us hope and a future. (Jeriemiah 29:11) But to our surprise, I got another positive pregnancy test. I was scared, yet hopeful at that time. I was traumatized from my past recurrent miscarriages. But with God’s grace after 5 miscarriages this one was the time were I was able to hear the beautiful heartbeat that i had been praying and dreaming for. Im currently 32 weeks now and everything is going well.

So I want people to know my story, hoping that I could give hope and remind all of you out there that nothing is impossible with our God. He forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases. I give Him all the glory for everything that I have.

—Kay


Thank you Kay for sharing your story of loss and heartache, but also your hope in God and the miracle He gave you. I love that you “remembered God,” in the midst of all of it, and I pray we can all be inspired to “remember God,” and put our trust in Him–no matter what we’re going through. We celebrate this new life within you and pray God gives you a healthy and beautiful delivery to this special baby coming very soon!

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

Lindi’s Testimony: Before the Victory

Thirty-one months…that’s how long we’ve been waiting for God to do a miracle. Is this the longest anyone has ever had to wait? By far not… But for us, it’s been thirty-one very longs months.

In July 2014, my husband and I made the big decision that we’re going to start trying for a baby. I’ve always wanted to be a mom and before we even got married I made it clear that that’s the vision for my life: I want to be a stay at home mom! I felt like that was my calling. Like God made me to be a mother. I had no other big plans for my life, no huge things I was waiting for God to birth in me, I only had that one plan and I was sure that God was going to make it happen and make it happen quickly!

When my then boyfriend and I had started to talk seriously about marriage, I told him that he must “beware”, because I felt that God was saying we were going to have babies real early in our marriage. I felt that even though I was going onto the pill, He was going to do a miracle and we were going to have a baby really soon.

That amazing evening in July 2014, I was so filled with hope. We were at a prophetic meeting at church and someone prophesied over my husband and I saying that they see kids, more than one and that God is saying don’t delay any further. These were just the words we needed to hear. We went straight home, chucked the last of the pills into the bin and (in our minds) conceived our little miracle right then and there.

When my period started a few days later we were disappointed, but also not too phased as we knew a few couples who had tried for a number of months before finally falling pregnant.

Six months passed and my heart started to ache. I couldn’t understand why God was “doing this to me” and what I did wrong to deserve this heartache? I wanted to run straight to the doctor to check what’s wrong with me, but my husband listened to the Lord and said, “No, the time isn’t right yet.” I tried from then to really turn my heart to God and not let the emotions rule my heart and mind.

Months eventually turned into years. Even our friends who struggled to get pregnant had babies one after the other. I really tried to have a good attitude towards pregnancy and all the new babies that were crawling around at church functions. We really went all out to bless our friends and really sow where we trusted that we would reap.

I was genuinely happy for my friends and it was wonderful to bond with their little babies and learn a few tips and tricks. I had good days and bad days, many negative pregnancy tests and fights with the Lord. Nights of making peace with it all, and long days of praying that Jesus would hold me tight through all this.

Then in March 2016, at a family function, my cousin excitedly declared that she’s pregnant. She is 5 years younger than me and had only been married 2 years. They had been trying for maybe 2 months. My period was late and I was feeling super emotional already, that pushed me completely over the edge. I hugged her and pretended to be happy, but went into the bathroom and cried, my only consolation being that at least my period was late and I still had a chance. After my cry, I quickly washed my face and used the toilet and lo and behold, my period had started. Great.

That was a low and very difficult day.

It took me a few months to get over the shock of my baby cousin being pregnant, but I did and God really worked in my heart to be truly happy for them. It has been such a long road to walk with our Savior, but nothing has ever changed the fact that He is good and that He has a plan.

In December 2016, we were away with my husband’s family when Jesus really spoke in my heart and challenged my way of thinking.

I have often thought how I would write my story once it’s all over, done and dusted.

How I would praise God for the babies that He gave us and how I would encourage other women walking this path with my testimony. But God said: “Why are you waiting?”

And that simple sentence got me thinking. Why are we so happy to share our stories once the pain is over? Why are we open to speak about our victories, but we struggle to tell the story amidst the fight?

Isn’t the real victory in being close to God and walking this path with him?

I think more people need to see us in our battle.

See how there are daily fights to be fought. And then we can all celebrate together once the battle is won!

So this is me, writing my story, a story that isn’t finished yet. I am not pregnant yet, some days I am still sad and angry, but also grateful and filled with hope. I am still praying that God will open my womb, but that He will make me strong to fight against the despair if I see another month go by without a positive result. I am praying that God will use me in more ways than being a mother. I rest in the fact that God is close to the broken hearted and that I know He has an amazing plan for my life.

I stand against the plans of the enemy to drag me into a hopeless pit and I fight to stay close to Jesus whom I love! I know that victory will come, I can feel it in my spirit, but for now, I share my story before the victory comes.

Thank you that I can share my story, may it give you the courage to share what you’re going through before the victory.


This story isn’t over.

Lindi sent this story to me on February 23, 2017. Because God had told her to write this. He told her to write this “Before the Victory.”

I have chills even as I type this. Two weeks later, I got another email from Lindi. Here’s what it said:

Hi Rebekah,

So to add to the amazing testimony…I found out last week that I’m pregnant! 7 weeks already… God is so faithful!!! Like you said in one of your posts, looking back now the wait didn’t seem so long even though going through it seemed like an eternity!

Thank you for your willingness to share your story and for listening to mine!

Love,
Lindi

God led Lindi during her battle to a place of worship, surrender, and obedience “before the victory.” Not knowing, even as she wrote this, He was already forming a baby in her womb.

How awesome is our God?

Lindi is now 25 weeks pregnant. So let’s come around her and celebrate this life that God has placed in her! And let’s take Lindi’s encouragement to heart–to trust Him, and to share what He is doing inside us, not just our wombs, but our hearts, “before the victory.” Because that’s where the battle is.

I am challenged, as one who only usually writes about things AFTER the victory. But like Lindi said…maybe people need to see us IN OUR BATTLES.

Not just after them.

So wherever you are at today in the journey, God is with you. And He is worthy of your trust and worship before the victory.

Photo credits: Lily Photography @lilyphotography32


If you would like to share your Testimony at Barren to Beautiful, please email me at [email protected] and check out the writer’s guidelines at “Want to Share Your Testimony?”

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?”

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?”

Baby Boy Is Here

After a very long and intense 30-hour labor–our baby boy arrived on December 14th at 10:39 p.m.

We named him Jesse Michael. Jesse which means “gift.” And we are so in love.

I never knew a boy could be so beautiful, but he is.

Oh, it was the hardest day of my life. Laboring with him. Everyone told me their second labor was faster and easier…but mine was longer…and so much harder. But the Lord was with me, and my husband, Brandon. Who again proved himself to be like an angel without wings. Soothing me with his gentle voice, and persistent spirit, he did not leave my side.

By the end, I literally felt like I was at the end of myself. Like I had nothing left. I felt like he would never come. Like I could never cross that finish line. Like he was still a million miles away. So far out of reach.

But he was right there, the whole time. Just waiting for the right moment.

And I listened to that song, “Out of Hiding” by Steffany Gretzinger, and I wept in between contractions.

“Baby, you’re almost home now, 

Please don’t quit now,

Baby, you’re almost home now,

to me…”

And finally, he came. By some miracle, God opened the way. And delivered him. And me.

And when he finally came out, (facing up, so that our spines were against each other the whole time)…he was a whopping 9 lbs. 11 oz.! (Almost 3 pounds heavier than his big sister!)

And they threw him on my chest, and he wailed, and my husband and I, cried happy tears. And my fragile arms shook with this miracle, I couldn’t believe I was at last holding in my arms.

***

 

Sometimes, even when I am so beyond tired…I can’t close my eyes. I lay on the bed and just stare at him. The wonder of him.

The wonder that he is here.

How did he come to us?

How did God form this masterpiece?

This masterpiece we had no idea would be coming to us at this time last year.

But he came. 

Not because we did anything to deserve him. Not because we proved our faith to God.

But because of God.

God gives good and perfect gifts.

He came like a gift. Undeserved. Unearned.

But gladly received with great joy.

Received with open arms. And hot and happy tears. And hearts exploding with joy. Our arms and our hearts stretch to wrap around you.

Welcome to the world, Jesse. You are a perfect gift.

And we thank God for giving you to us.

For you are from Him.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17


For more on the story behind our second miracle, Jesse, read these posts:

God Did It Again: Our Second Miracle, On the Way

When God Surprises You Big Time

To the Angels Without Wings

When You Want To Give Your Child A Sibling, But You Can’t

When You Want To Cry In Target

baby aisle target

I was at Target shopping for a birthday gift for a toddler’s Star Wars party, when I suddenly realized…I wasn’t looking for Darth Vader anymore.  I had mindlessly drifted through the Legos, and Barbies, and halloween costumes, when I looked up and suddenly found myself…

in the Baby section.

The baby section at Target always takes my breath away a little. And it always has.

I’m not sure why. I guess it feels like I’m in the forbidden garden, or something.

Because for so many years, I didn’t belong there.

I wanted to. I wanted to belong there.

Those were the days when all my friends were having babies–except me.

And my only ticket to the Baby department in those days, was with a printed blue registry in my hand, trying to match the codes for crib sheets and baby bathtubs.

I’m sure the veteran moms zooming past could tell I wasn’t a mom. And as they quickly grabbed their diapers and butt paste with a toddler in their cart, and an infant on their chest–I was carefully reading the fine print to Playtex bottle liners wondering if I was buying the right thing for the baby shower. And I felt like a 13-year-old in Victoria’s Secret.

I didn’t belong there. And everyone could tell.

At least, that’s how I felt.

Like I was on the outside. Looking through the window at this mysterious world I desperately longed to be a part of.

And that’s why…when I stumbled into the Baby department last weekend, ever so naturally, now with a 3-year-old toddler, and a big rounded pregnant belly, looking at little fuzzy bathrobes, and car-seat covers, and thinking I should probably start a registry for a couple items I still need for our baby boy on-the-way…I suddenly got a big lump in my throat.

Because all at once, I remembered, so vividly, all the years,

I wanted this so bad,

just this.

Just to be a mom.

Just to be here in this aisle, and do this very thing.

And now, I get to. 

I get to. 

Tears blurred my view of the receiving blankets and onesies on the shelves in front of me.

And I wanted to fall to my knees right there, and worship God.

Because He heard me.

Those years ago, from the floor of my bathroom, He heard me.

When the pregnancy tests that I had excitedly smuggled to the check-out earlier that day, sat negative in the trash can, He heard me.

And He is the God who hears. 

And I stood there in Target, and wanted to cry.

Because, I was barren once. 

And I used to stand in these aisles. 

And dream.

And now those dreams have come true.

Because of the God who hears. 

****

To those of you who can’t get pregnant right now…

Who only go into the Baby section to buy gifts for your friend’s baby showers..

Who feel a sharp pang in your heart when you see the baby announcement on Facebook…

Who feel like it’s so easy for everyone else to get pregnant…but you..

I want you to remember this moment.

I want you to remember how impossible it feels.

Right now.

To have a baby.

That this dream will ever come true.

Because one day, you will be standing in the Baby aisle of Target. And you won’t be shopping for someone else’s baby.

You will be shopping for your own baby.

And all of a sudden, you will want to cry.

Because of the God who hears. 

And God has heard you. 

 

I believe God is going to do a miracle in your womb, and speak His very life into you. So that you can conceive and birth a child.

Or,

He is going to do a miracle in your heart, and the womb of your heart will open–to take in an orphan baby. And He will deliver your baby to you in His own way. And this is just as miraculous. For that baby will be your very own. Just as if you had birthed them.

Either way, if God has planted the desire in you to be a mom, if it’s really of Him, then He will also be faithful to carry it to completion, in the perfect way He chooses. In the perfect time He chooses.

And when that time comes,  and you find yourself standing in Target, registering for your car seat, or crib, or bath tub. When you are picking out which onesies you want, or which itty-bitty socks…I hope you remember.

I hope you remember…that you were barren. 

And you used to walk through these aisles

and dream. 

And that dream has come true.

Because of the God who hears. 

I hope you will stand in the Baby section at Target, and suddenly want to cry. Not for sorrow. But because of all His goodness.

Because…

He is the God who hears. 

And He has heard you. 

Your every cry. 

When You Want To Give Your Child A Sibling, But You Can’t

selahonstreet

I heard her crying upstairs in her bed, and went up to check up on her.

“What’s wrong, honey?” I asked.

I thought she was going to say she had a bad dream.

Or that she needed a night-light on.

Or she had to go potty.

But what she said next, nearly took my breath away…

“I want a sister,” she said.

My heart felt a deep piercing.

“What?” I asked, making sure I heard her right.

“I want,” she said through sobs, “a sister,” she said.

My heart burned. I sat down on her bed and pulled her close to my chest. “Oh, honey,” I tried to comfort her cries. But now tears filled my eyes, too. Tears from this deep hidden place inside me, that I kept trying to bury down. But that night, they came.

We sat in the dark of her room, holding each other, and I watched December snow fall outside her window. And I wondered what she had seen in her dreams.

That made her wake like this.

We never talked about siblings. Though I guess she was old enough to notice, all her cousins had brothers, or sisters. And I didn’t know what to say.

It was a beautiful desire—that suddenly felt too real, and too sacred to dismiss with a simple drink of water and pat on the head.

My husband and I had already been trying for two years…to have another baby. To give her a sibling.

And we couldn’t.

But as I held her and felt her little heart beating against me, these words just came out:

“I can’t give you a sister,” I said, “But you can ask God.”

You can ask God.

I didn’t know what He would do. Or how He would answer. But under the glow of green stars shining on the ceiling from her pillow pet, she asked Him. For a sister.

Or a brother.

With more faith in her young, little heart, than I had mine.

She asked Him. So simply. And put it in His hands.

The only hands,

that can form life.

***

Sometimes you want to give your child a sibling…

But you can’t. 

Since my daughter was born, I have heard so many moms say that the “perfect” age gap between kids is “two years.” (That way they’ll grow up to be best friends, and you’ll get through the diaper stage all at once, and they won’t be spoiled, etc.)

But sometimes you can’t make “perfect” happen. Even though you want to. Even though you want to give this wonderful gift to your child.

And you can feel anxious as you “try,” because every day you are getting older. And your child is getting older. And that gap between your child and any future sibling is getting wider and wider.

People ask you, “Do you want more kids?”

Or, “When are you gonna have another one?”

And you are left fumbling for words.

Because how do you express in a sentence (and often to a stranger) that you don’t get to choose how many kids you have? Or the time in which you will have them? And that when you have a baby…it’s because, and only because, God has done an incredible, unexplainable miracle in you?

I don’t really know what you can do about it.

But…

You can ask God.

Because He will answer you. 

In His time. And in His way.

***

Just four months after Selah prayed for a sibling in her room last December–God did yet another miracle in me. Even though I was faithless; He proved Himself faithful.  And as surely as I write this, I feel the kicks of a baby boy inside me, who I had no idea was coming to us all along. This December.

And I’m in awe of a God who gives life. In His own perfect time. And His own perfect way.

To an outsider, it may not look “perfect.” Selah and her sibling won’t have a perfect 2-year age gap. They’ll be four years apart.

And Selah’s not getting a sister, she’s getting a brother.

It’s not the tidy advice I read in the baby magazines…

But somehow…it’s still perfect.

Perfect for one reason only: it’s God’s plan for us.

***

Dear One, trying to conceive another child…

Who decides what is “perfect?”

Who decides how old you should be when you have a baby? Or adopt a baby? Or foster a baby?

Who decides, how many months or years they are apart? Or what genders they should be?

Who decides if you will have one, or two, or more?

Is it not God?

Is it not the Maker and Giver of all life?

The Holy One…who is perfect in all of His ways?

“As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” Psalm 18:30

His way is perfect.

***

I just want to say that while I was missing all the deadlines for “perfectly” spaced children…while I was failing to conceive…and while my body wasn’t doing what it was “supposed” to…

Something beautiful was happening.

With this beautiful gift we named “Selah.”

God was giving me time with her.

And time is a very precious thing, when you get to spend it with a long-awaited miracle.

I was given time–to spend holding her on my chest, and breathing in her scent, and slow dancing in the moonlight to lullabies. I was given time to build forts, and bake cookies, and fall asleep with her for her nap.

And these were some of the best years of my life.

And I say this with tears…

I would not trade them for anything.

And perhaps “secondary infertility” wasn’t a curse, but was instead a wonderful blessing?

***

I don’t know what God has planned for you and your family. I don’t know if He will give you more babies, or not. I don’t know if they will be 18 months apart…or 18 years apart. Or if they will come through your womb, or through adoption, or foster care.

But one thing you can be sure of, whatever it is…

It will be perfect.

It may not feel perfect at the time. It may not look perfect to anyone around you.

But I assure you: it will be perfect.

Not because it’s your way. Or anyone else’s way.

But because it’s God’s way. 

And His way is perfect. 

“As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” Psalm 18:30


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