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?”

In Response to “Does Missions Separate Families?”

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I never expected that my recent post “Does Missions Separate Families?” would be so widely-read. But in the past week or so, I have had the privilege of a whole audience I never imagined: missionaries.
From all over the world.

And I just wanted to say to these missionaries and your families: thank you.
As I read your comments, I got just a small taste of your daily reality. Your real thoughts, your real feelings, and the real cost of what you are doing. More than anything, that you are real people.

I couldn’t respond to your every comment. Not because there were so many, but because…sometimes I just didn’t know what to say. Reading your perspectives, and testimonies left me often just whispering, “Wow,” and pushing myself away from the kitchen table, lost in thought about you. I had no words to simply “reply” to all I feel for you.

But this is what I want you to know, if you find yourself here and are now following:
I love what you are doing. I love that you are following Christ and proclaiming Him in the darkest places of the earth. Even when that darkness seems to invade every part of you. Even when you feel completely and utterly, alone. Even when you can’t talk to anyone (in English) and just want to scream at the sky. And even when your families, and showers, and clean sheets, and sanity seem a million miles away.

Surely you will be give one hundred times more in the life to come.

The other day, my brother-in-law in Africa (whom I wrote the post about) emailed us and said protests and riots broke out in their city (due to what happened in France.) The next day, the protesters burnt down eighty percent of the churches. And the day after that, he visited one the smoldering churches just two miles from their home.

There he met two men, who said the protesters tried to burn the church down, while they were still in the building—but they managed to escape. Nearly all the teaching curriculum and bibles were burned.

Listen, I don’t know where you are. I don’t know the threats that lurk outside your door. I don’t even know if you will be able to read this. But this is what I do know—Your mission stands. It is of God. And it cannot fail.

They can burn down your churches. They can burn up the bibles. But they cannot take away the Spirit of the Living God. And He goes everywhere with you. And you go everywhere with Him. And His Word is in your heart, like a fire. And He will not be mocked. And this mission, regardless of what you see in front of you today, is not a failure.

My brother-in-law tried to encourage those two native men, who escaped their burning church, but instead they turned and encouraged him saying, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” And then went on to assure him that even though their building was destroyed, the Church still remained.

I was later sent this amazing video footage of the believers from their country worshiping in their church the day after it burnt.

They get it. They know where their treasure is. And that He is faithful, and He will do it. “He will not fail or be discouraged.” Isaiah 42:4

He will not fail or be discouraged.
And I guess that’s the only reply I have for you. I’ve searched it out, and these are the most soothing words I can find: He will not fail or be discouraged.

And neither will you.

Thank you for sharing your stories and lives with me. Thank you for laying down your lives. And for making our family grow. For the day is drawing near, when we will meet, face to face, every brother, sister, son, and daughter at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, and we will all rejoice wildly together at the greatest reward of all. That is, Christ.

For He will not fail or be discouraged.

About My Barrenness

Discovering Barrenness

“At least 2 years!” Is what I begged of my husband. At least two years where we could have sanity. Build our relationship. Discover who we were as a couple. Then the little munchkins could come. When I was ready.

So…we did the infamous Pill. No dreaded “honeymoon baby” for us. That’s what happened to people who didn’t think. Who didn’t plan. And I was determined that would not be us.

Two years came…and I started to “feel ready.” Something just changed in me. I knew I wanted to be a mom. I didn’t want life to be all about me, or my husband. I wanted a baby to love too.

“Trust me, we won’t have any trouble!” I assured my husband with a wink, as I threw that final round disk of 28 pills like a frisbee into the trash can. My mom and older sister both got pregnant in their first year of marriage, and I was sure I would be of the “Fertile Myrtle,” just-look-my-way and I’ll be pregnant “type.”

But that first month “we tried,” I remember so vividly, so naively (looking back), taking that first pregnancy test. Waiting those two minutes. And the shock when it read: NEGATIVE.

If you have experienced this, at least once, you will know the strange sorrow that subtly fills your heart. I cried before I left for work, and my husband hugged me, and assured me everything was alright. It might just take a few months.

Months Waning On & Why God?

The next month came, and so did my period. And the next, and the next. It was just taking a little “longer than expected.”

I charted my periods, fluids, temperature, and anger. I went to the doctor. My husband went to the doctor. I read books, and blogs. And cried. A lot.

Most of my friends were on baby #2 or #3. But I was barren. And no one knew why. It seemed so easy for everyone else. (Especially those teenage girls pushing their strollers down the street.) But not for me, not for us. It felt as if we stood still; frozen, and the whole world kept rushing past us.

It was about two years of this. It doesn’t seem that long now..but it did then. The climax of every 28 days waiting to find out if “this month is different.” Only to be disappointed by the regular flow of blood, or a negative pregnancy test (that doesn’t magically turn to positive after it’s tossed in the trash can.) Trust me..I always checked. Just in case.

Some months I was full of faith. “In faith..” I’d declare, “I am NOT buying tampons..because I am trusting this month I won’t need them!” (Only later to go out and have to buy the overpriced ones at the gas station down the road.) Darn.

The Day I Stopped Being Barren

Then it happened. All this time God was trying to lasso my heart, and I remember the day He did. Sometimes that happens. You’re not even looking for it, like swimming with your eyes closed and smacking your forehead off the side of the swimming pool.

I was listening to an online episode of “Adventures in Odyssey” with my 5th grade students. While they finished coloring their homemade storybooks, I sat and listened to a story about a woman who had become blind by an accident. She said for years she “tolerated” what God had allowed in her life, but she never was thankful for it. But over the years, she learned how to actually thank God for what He allowed in her life. This is what He determined was for her greatest good. So she embraced it with both arms, and thanked Him.

For so long “tolerating,” but never “thanking” God for what He was doing. At last, so convicted. Cut to the heart. If God decided it was not time, who was I to say His plan was not good? I ducked behind my monitor and wiped away tears and bitterness. Who was I to quarrel with my Maker?

That was the day, this very small seed began to grow in me. Instead of fighting Him tooth and nail over his plan, I began to thank Him. Begrudgingly at first, but then genuinely. Praying things like: Thank You that You know my body better than I do, and maybe you’re protecting me from something my body cannot handle. Thank you I don’t have to go through morning sickness. Or weight gain. Or (the dreaded) labor. Thank You for no stretch marks. Or a flabby stomach. Or flabby arms. (Ok..maybe my list was slightly vain and trivial..but it was sincere.)

I began to realize maybe God had a different purpose for me, for my husband. Began to think of the extra time we would have together. What this might allow us to do. It was the working of a real miracle in me: I stopped envying all my friends who were moms. Stopped wanting other women’s lives. And I started thanking God that He had a unique calling on me. I kept my focus on the few things He had entrusted me with, (like loving my husband, and taking care of our home, and my job) and tried to do those well.

That seed was growing in me. Life was beginning to fill me.  I stopped seeing all the EMPTY in my life. Started seeing how full it was. Overflowing. Joyful. Unique. And God became close, intimate, and sovereign over this. For the first time: I stopped demanding with clenched fists–and started worshiping with open hands.

As I was leaving my job one day, this song came into my mind. I remember jotting it down on pink post-it notes…and finishing it the moment I walked in the door and crashed down at my piano. It was like this cry coming out of me, that I had to get out on paper, had to sing:

Barren, barren for all to see

Barren, but He’s still beautiful to me

 

I prayed for a baby

For the start of new life

Though I barely know how to be a good wife

 

The doctor’s say

They don’t know what to do

I know in Your sovereign will You’ll choose

To give me life

 

And You say,

“There’s Someone living inside you,

Though not a child, tucked inside your womb,

But my Holy Spirit, who conquered Jesus’ tomb.

He’s alive, He’s alive, He’s alive,

Hear Him roar!

And you’re alive, you’re alive

More than ever before.

 

Do you trust me, Honey?

In My time, In My way

When your womb is barren,

And your hands are empty?”

 

Tears fell over the keys. And a new chord was struck that day, within me. One that had not been played before. I was waiting for a baby to fulfill what only God could. The Life I was longing for.

And I was no longer barren. My soul was full, brimming, overflowing with joy. Gratitude. I was thankful, fruitful. Surrendered. Connected to the Vine. No longer dying..but living. And for the first time…in a very long time: content.

The Baby Blessing

We had rented “The Shadowlands,” and I was scarfing down a bowl of Oreo Birthday Cake ice cream, when I realized I finally had to pee. I had picked up a pregnancy test like I had many other times, and this was nothing new. My period was late..but that didn’t mean anything. This had happened before..to no avail. “Do you want me to pause it?” My husband called as I darted up the stairs. “Noo!” I shouted down. I wasn’t going to let myself be excited. I was just going to be content to “not be pregnant.” No expectations. I peed on the stick and waited, refusing to look at it. Furiously praying as I always did, “Lord. Please let me be at peace with whatever the result is!” (I don’t think there’s ever been a girl in history whose heart hasn’t skipped a beat while waiting those FOREVER two minutes.) I took a deep breath.

Opened my eyes. And to my shock read, “Pregnant.” I shook my head as if to clear it. “Pregnant?” Pregnant. My mind started racing a million miles per hour. “Brandon!!!” I shouted for my husband to come upstairs. I had no words. I just shoved the pee soaked stick into his hands. And he read it. Speechless. Our eyes met. Locked. And we started laughing. “What?!” Hugging. Staring at it.  “Do you think it’s right?!” We’re crying. Collapsing on the bed. Locking onto one another. Could this be real?

And suddenly, the realization, the rush of warmth—God. He did this. In His time, in His way.