My husband and I both come from a large family and we dreamed of having a big family, too. Everything seemed so perfect when we decided to have a baby. And then the disappointment set in. Months and months passed.
All around us people were having babies. Then years passed and those people had more babies. We became the only couple out of our family and friends to not have a child. Talk about isolation and despair, and confusion and yes, anger and so many other horrible feelings. It was the darkest time of my life. My heart yearned and ached with all my being to be a mother. Instead, I felt empty and the pain got worse. As silly as it sounds, I even thought that maybe God didn’t love me.
Around the two year mark, we went through infertility testing and learned that there is nothing physically wrong; our infertility is unexplained. At that point we strongly felt it was just a matter of God’s timing and we turned down infertility treatments. From that moment , God’s plans took us in ways that we never imagined.
Over the next year, we bought our first home, then my husband had to have extensive back surgery. He started college at 30 as he felt led to teach and coach high school kids. I went back to school to specialize in an area of nursing. We also moved my elderly grandparents into our home and became their primary caregivers. Not only did our physical lives change drastically but internally God was giving our hearts and minds a makeover too. Looking back I see this was a crucial time and God was planting seeds and growing us individually and as a strong couple. He helped my husband mature and become disciplined and responsible. The love and devotion he showed my grandparents was inspiring and we learned how to work well as a team. I found new strength and faith during this time and grew to cling to God for both. Despite our cries and prayers, I see now that because of His love, He didn’t give us a child during that time! More time passed.
One day, my husband and I discussed it and thought we would pursue infertility treatments. Little did we know, I was already pregnant! I will never forget how excited and overjoyed I was to see a positive sign in place of almost 5 years of negative signs each month. I was shaking as I called to my husband and we both jumped for joy and held each other and cried and hugged. Even our dogs jumped and barked in excitement! We were sobbing in happiness when we saw that little heart beat on the monitor. We sobbed 6 weeks later when we learned the day before our 6th wedding anniversary that our baby had died sometime around 12 weeks.
That was one of the hardest days of our life. How could it be that after all this time we could finally be given something so precious only for it to be taken away? But something happened then. It was a defining moment and it was the moment I can truly say that I fell in love with our Lord Jesus Christ.
In all our pain and in all of our heartache we reached out to Him for peace, for understanding, for comfort. I learned that the deeper and larger your hurt is, the bigger the space is for God to fill it with his presence and peace and love.
Rather than focusing on our devastation and loss, we decided to focus on Hope. We shifted our tears of pain to tears of praise for His grace and love and thanked Him for our baby who did have life, no matter how short. Having been pregnant once, we had hope I would be again.
Amazingly, 10 months later, our beautiful, miracle, daughter was born. Her name is Elliana which means “God has answered me.” We named her just before I was emergently hospitalized my 18th week of pregnancy. I spent the next 5 months on strict bedrest. It was a challenging journey and a time of spiritual growth, a time when God, family, friends and even strangers wrapped us in love and courage. It’s a beautiful testimony to share another time.
What I’d like to share now is for all those couples who suffer from a broken heart and empty arms. I know this pain so well. It’s unfair, lonely and agonizing. But God has big plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11). Where you are right now is where He wants you to be IF you acknowledge Him (Proverbs 3:6.) Believe that! Ask God to help you embrace where you are in life, no matter how sad or difficult. Try hard to be thankful for the present. The story God has written for my life is so much more beautiful than I could ever have planned and much of the source of that beauty is derived from heartache and pain. Isn’t that the basis for the gospel story and His saving grace!?
I’ve learned when you pray big, God answers bigger. Be ready!
Paul tells us specifically to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12). God is writing your story, too. I believe, just as He promises and like He has shown me, that your story is a beautiful testimony of God’s love and faithfulness. You might not be at the part you want yet, but God is working up to it and these chapters have purpose (Ecclesiastes 3). The best part is that even through the hard or sad times, if you ask God to be with you, He will (Jeremiah 29:12-13). During this time, don’t despair! “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will answer the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
We don’t know why or when or how, but God does and He is faithful and mighty. I pray my story glorifies Him and inspires you in peace and joy. He is the awesome creator and author of your life and mine. Trust in Him and His perfect plans and timing.
Thank you Angela for sharing your story! Broken hearts and loneliness are two things I think a lot of us can relate to, especially as we are here talking about infertility and difficulty in pregnancy. You’re so right though, God’s plans and His timing are BEST, as He IS the Author of our lives.
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.