Stephanie’s Testimony: When God Grows Your Family His Own Way

It had been two and half years of trying. Praying. Hoping. Testing. And nothing to show for it.

We made an appointment, and found ourselves in the fertility specialist’s office, eager for answers. It was there we learned of the obstacles standing in our way. Endometriosis, and multiple cysts in each ovary. I immediately began crying, upset at this first revelation that my body was not as healthy as I had always imagined it to be. The doctor kindly scolded me, telling me that our situation was completely workable.

A few months later, I left his office after our first IUI. I should’ve felt excited at the possibility that this might bring about our first child, but I didn’t. I knew it wouldn’t work. It wasn’t that I felt hopeless about the treatments. But, I felt peaceless. This wasn’t the route God was calling us to.  A few weeks later, the negative test confirmed it.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that we were supposed to build our family a different way. On a cold December night, my husband and I were on a date, and somewhere between the appetizer and main course I mustered up the courage to tell him what had been crowding my thoughts for the past three days.

“I know you wanna keep trying the treatments, but… I wanna adopt.”

I expected him to be my cheerleader, telling me that maybe one or two treatments would be all it would take. After all, I knew he wanted “one of our own,” as people like to say.

But he didn’t. He put down his fork, looked me in the eye, and said, “Let’s do it.”

***

A month later we were sitting in a foster care meeting, feeling led by the Lord to take that risky route (where adoptions are possible only 40% of the time) rather than go through an agency where we’d be guaranteed a newborn.

Four months, several home inspections, and multiple interviews later, we received news that we passed the review board, and we were approved foster parents. We also learned right then that there was a seven-week old girl that needed a new home by Friday.

Of course, we said yes.

We brought that 8-pound bundle home two days later, called her Sweet Pea, and immediately began to pray that she’d become our forever daughter. We asked our friends to pray the same.

Thirteen months later, she did.

***

A month after the adoption, I had an afternoon of excruciating pain.  An appointment with the fertility specialist was booked for the following week.

After his examination, he took off his gloves, defeated.

I hesitated to ask the question, but needed to hear the answer.

“Last time we were here, you seemed so hopeful, so positive that you could help us… now it seems like you can’t?”

He looked me in the eye. “Look, I believe in miracles, but… no. I don’t think you’ll be able to get pregnant. There is just too much scarring. I wouldn’t even recommend in vitro at this point. The odds are just not there… if I were you, I’d think about having your ovaries removed sooner rather than later.”

***

The rest of the year was a mess of emotions, both extreme bliss that we had reached forever with Sweet Pea, and yet also a deep sadness as I struggled to accept the doctor’s diagnosis. Even though I didn’t feel confident in the treatments before, it hurt my heart to think I’d never carry a child inside of me.

Six months later, I began feeling terrible. I scolded myself, wondering how on earth I could ignore his advice when it had gotten so much worse in just a year and a half. How could I not believe it would continue to get worse? Maybe I should’ve had the surgery.

Christmas was coming, and with it, a trip to my parents house in California, 700 miles away. I felt very off, and on the car ride out, I let my husband know how I’d been feeling. Weak, tired, losing weight unintentionally, yet somehow, more bloated than ever.

Christmas Eve, I was watching my mom play with Sweet Pea on the floor, and my husband announced he was going to the store. I motioned him close so no one else would hear, then whispered, “Get a pregnancy test. I know it will be a waste of money, but…”

He smiled sympathetically, and an hour later he handed me the box. I went into the bathroom with not even a hint of enthusiasm, knowing it’d say negative as had all the dozens that came before it.

After testing, I stuck the cap back on and walked to the sink to lay it on the counter where I planned to give it the recommended two minutes. Instead, as I watched the little line work its way across the screen to show that it was working, immediately there was the darkest, clearest, most non-vague plus sign staring me down.

Was this really happening??

It was.

What a Christmas gift.

Seven and a half months later, I delivered a miracle.

That miracle just turned two, and big sister is now four. They are my daily reminders of God’s faithfulness and that He does not work on our timetable. Had we gotten pregnant when we originally planned, we would have never gone the foster route and we wouldn’t have our Sweet Pea. God orchestrated our approval on the exact day she became available, not by chance, but by His divine plan. We were meant to be her parents.

Three weeks before our biological daughter was born, God allowed us to move back to California, something we’d be praying and hoping for years. We lived with my parents that summer, which ended up being the biggest blessing as I had an emergency c-section followed by a really rough recovery. My mom was newly retired and available to take care of Sweet Pea 24/7 so I could focus on healing and our newborn. Looking back, it’s so evident all the ways God took care of us.

His timing really is perfect.  


God is so mysterious sometimes, espcially when He doesn’t answer the way we want Him to. But so often, that “mystery” we felt at the beginning is later replaced by God’s deep wisdom, as He had a plan all along. God is not anxious, and He always knows exactly what He’s doing, and why. To read more about Stephanie’s story, you can check out her blog, Thank You Infertility.

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?” You can also subscribe with your email address, or follow along on my Facebook Page.

Eva’s Testimony

It has been my prayer that the Lord would receive glory from the story He is writing in my life. I am so overwhelmed by His love toward us that it is truly a humbling experience to tell you now what He has done!

Growing up I always thought I would get married and have kids all at the same time… that’s how everyone did it right!? My husband and I had been married for three and a half years before we thought about trying. Just as soon as we talked about it a missed period and positive test told us we were expecting our first! It was a magical moment and we were thrilled! Life just seemed to be falling into place according to my plan, until…

We started to pray with our firstborn (then 2 1/2) that the Lord would bless us with another child. We also were praying for His will and timing…
I have never waited for something so long in my life. It has been a journey full of tears, hurts, deepening of my faith and coming to the point of complete surrender to the Lord. My life is His and He can do with it whatever he wills. There is a joy and freedom in this like no other.
My life is His.
His story has included some dark and cloudy moments though. After three years of unexplained infertility and crying out to the Lord we were elated when those two lines appeared on a positive pregnancy test!! Shocked and amazed we fell to our knees in worship that God would choose this for us! However, two short weeks later we found that this precious gift was not ours to keep. In those two weeks I let my heart dream all of the big dreams that I had been holding back for three years. Though my heart was broken to pieces the Lord was ever present with us through it all. He comforted us in ways I never knew possible and we experienced His peace in new ways that surpassed our understanding.
My heart was unsure how to move forward from this experience. I knew I wanted to glorify Him with this no matter what and I know He will continue to use this difficult heart-wrenching experience in the years to come. Nothing is wasted with our God.
This is not the end… A couple of short months later a different kind of shock and awe hit us when that pregnancy test was positive again! Oh my. My heart was thrown for a loop. Everything was different now. Am I headed for more heartache? Will I be able to hold this baby in my arms? These and so many other questions immediately flooded in. In all honesty I have to say that I struggled for a week before my heart calmed enough to hear that still small voice say, “I was with you then, I’m with you still.” I’m so thankful for the prayer support He surrounded me with during this time. I leaned into Him again and made the choice to trust. This is His story.
Today I hold a precious beautiful baby boy in my arms as I write this out. My heart was prepared for the Lord to grow our family in other ways and maybe He still will. I had hoped, but was submitted to whatever would happen. Sometimes we are called to wait and sometimes our prayers are not answered the way we had hoped they would be, but God is sovereign over it all. My prayer is that through my experience God would receive glory and that you, my sweet sisters in Christ, would be encouraged and take heart. Our Lord may not always give us what we want, but we can be assured that he is always working for the good of our souls.
–Eva

 Thanks so much for sharing your testimony Eva! We celebrate the life of your precious baby boy and all that God has done in you and through you on this journey!

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 [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

 

 

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?”

What Postpartum Feels Like

It’s April 1st, and my Christmas wreath is still hanging on our front door.

Let that be an indication of how things are “going” in our household.

My Facebook profile picture is still a maternity shot of me…and my baby boy who was born in December, is now 3 1/2 months old. So…

I’m a little (or a LOT) behind on laundry, vacuming, grocery shopping (since the ALDI incident), and pretty much every other area of life right now.

I haven’t been writing, because I feel empty inside. And have nothing to say.

I nurse my baby boy constantly, while my 4-year-old begs me to play Candy Land with her, and watch her magic tricks, and cries when I don’t look at her while she’s talking. (So, she cries a lot.) I fold laundry and cook dinner with one hand. Or not at all.

Sometimes, I forget to start dinner, and pull out the rock hard frozen chicken breast at 3:30 p.m. And it’s a frozen pizza for dinner, instead.

The Keurig light blinks, “Not Ready–Add Water…” And that’s pretty much how I feel right now. Like the canteen is dry, and blinking. And being constantly depleted.

And this is how postpartum feels, sometimes. And the jump from one to two kids is harder than I imagined it would be. It’s so good–it’s just that my weaknesses are showing through more than ever.

My Scripture reading is scant–unless an Instagram graphic counts. And I’m pretty sure just playing the “Bethel” station on my Spotify on my phone isn’t quite giving my soul the intimacy with God I need.

Our house is filled with chaos and noise–a beautiful sound in contrast with the years of quietness and crying out for children.

But now that they’re here, it’s strange how the barrenness can creep back into my soul.

And I’m reminded again–that it is God, and only God that truly satisfies the longing soul.

Sometimes my daughter leaves the caps off her markers. This week I picked up the orange marker to write down a phone number, but the cap had been off. It was bone dry. It made a mark, but just barely. I tried to press harder–and the color just barely came through.

I’ve felt a lot like that orange marker lately.

Like, the cap has been off for a while now.

I’m pressing hard–but just barely coming through.

And my soul is dry like that marker.

I’ve felt all kinds of different emotions lately. I know part of it is due to postpartum hormones, and nursing an infant, and clutter around my house, and driving my daughter to preschool while my son wails. And being so tired. All the time.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE being a mom. There are these beautiful moments that simply take my breath away.

But there are other moments, that simply take my sanity away.

Like when my baby is crying because he wants to be held or nursed, and I haven’t gotten to eat anything yet and it’s 10:30 a.m. And my stomach is growling. And my 4-year-old daughter is crying because I didn’t let her screw on the cap of the sippy cup, and my son poops through his outfit and needs a bath. And his poop leaked onto the shirt I’m wearing. And when I pass myself in the mirror, I look much like Miss Hanigan on Annie. (Not the new Cameron Diaz version, but the ugly one from the 80’s version.)

Sometimes, all three of us are crying at the same time.

 

Sometimes, it feels like we are at a nut house.

When my son fell asleep yesterday, I put a show on for my daughter and locked myself in my room–just so I could drink a hot cup of coffee and straighten my hair. Just to feel “normal.”

It didn’t really help. But my hair looked better than it has in a long time. 😉

And I finally realized something: my soul is parched.

I am in a season of drought. 

Even as I write this–I am in a season of drought.

But I found some hope yesterday, and I’m clinging to it, wrapping both my arms and legs around it, and not letting go.

During one of my nursing sessions on the couch–I made a very feeble attempt to read my Bible. I one-handedly flipped open my it open to Jeremiah 17.

I have always loved this Scripture–but God met me through it in a new way.

It says, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.” Jeremiah 17:5-6

As I read, I was realizing:

Yes. That is me. Trying to make my own flesh my strength. My heart departing from the Lord. A shrub in the desert. Dwelling in the parched places of the wilderness. 

I might have walked away depressed if I stopped there. But I kept reading. And found this,

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in a year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

And here I find my hope.

Because even the man who trusts in the LORD—goes through times of drought.

And when he does, he does not grow anxious.

He does not fear–when heat comes. (Not if heat comes, but when it comes.)

So, right now, in my dry, chaotic state of mind, as I am parched and weary–I put my trust in the LORD.

Indeed, my trust is the LORD. It has to be. And not my weary self.

Even in a year of drought, I am not to grow anxious.

(I really hope it’s not a full year of drought.) But, however long this drought lasts, I don’t have to be anxious and fearful.

I can’t “feel” God close right now. But He is. My mind is dull, and distracted, and I can’t engage how I would like to.

And I’m thirsty inside.

But in my thirst–I still have hope.

Because He promises to quench me. In His time.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

In my unrighteousness, I thirst for His righteousness. And He will fill me. He promises this.

I hope you know, I’m not writing from the other side of this. I am in a dry place right now.

But, I have to share this, because I think someone reading this might be in a dry season, too. Maybe it’s you.

Maybe you are in a postpartum state. And maybe not. But either way, maybe you too, feel like a dried up marker.

Trying to make a mark, and pressing hard…but just barely coming through.

Who feels depleted. Who wakes up each day like the blinking Keurig. “Not ready. Add Water.”

Who wants to have it together–but doesn’t.

If you are, you’re not alone. Because I am in this place, too.

And then, there’s Jesus… I have to believe He will come for us. That He will meet us in our drought. Because…

He  calls out to the thirsty.

And thirst is good. Because it makes us realize how desperate we are–for Him.

I don’t know when the rains will come. But they will come.

He will come. He has to. 

And though I feel like it has been a long time, in this drought season. I see a cloud. It’s only as small as a man’s hand. But I see a cloud…and rain is coming.

Jesus is coming. For us.

For the dry markers. And empty Keurig’s. And the barren lands. The souls thirsting for water.

I’m not afraid to admit: I’m thirsty. I’m dry. And I need Him. 

Because He will send the rain. He promises this.

“For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalm 107:9

and

“Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3

So let it rain God. 

I am thirsty for You. 

And You alone. 

 


You may also enjoy listening to this song by Kari Jobe, “Let Your Glory Fall.”