I think maybe the whole reason I asked Megan to share on the blog this week was for me. Dang. I met Megan IRL at Created for Care adoption retreat 2 years ago, in the very room and session that God used to open my eyes and bring me freedom to declare that I was indeed struggling with infertility. Megan was there, and she’s been there since, cheering me on, praying for me, and encouraging me. Her story encouraged me greatly + I pray it does you too! Thanks so much to my friend Wynne for allowing me to share here on her awesome blog and for encouraging me to be brave and share some of my infertility story with you.
Like many other little girls, I grew up playing with dolls and dreaming of rocking my own tiny, sweet babe to sleep one day. While I also aspired be a nurse, being a wife and mother were my ultimate goals. I vividly remember the feeling of my heart sinking a little when a doctor told me, “it may be difficult for you to get pregnant one day”. I have always been an optimist though, so I told myself, “okay it may just take a few months or maybe a pill or something – no problem”.
Fast forward several years, I was married to my sweet husband Brandon and had my dream job as a pediatric oncology nurse. We had just moved from our home in the Carolinas to Ohio for his job, and I was ready for babies. I remember our friends helping us move into our home in 3 feet of snow, and our pastor praying for children to fill our home. I was excited, being a mother had to be the next step right?
A few months after trying we went to see a doctor and began our journey with infertility. It proved to be difficult for the doctor to find the right mix and dosages of drugs, and after 2 years and countless medications/self-administered injections, procedures and a major surgery, we switched doctors. Over the next 14 months we went through more treatment including 2 unsuccessful IVF cycles with some pretty scary and major complications. I was tired and frustrated.
I had always felt like my relationship with God was good. I came to know Christ at age 7, I read my bible, prayed, went to church, did all the “right” things my whole life. I had never experienced such loss, such heart-wrenching pain and anger, especially directed at Him. I was downright mad at God. I remember crying out in one of my darkest moments, and telling God I was done. I didn’t understand why He wouldn’t give me the desires of my heart. If He was such a good God, why didn’t He love me enough to give me what I wanted. I was doing everything right … right? I stopped talking to Him, and I let myself wallow in my anger and pain. I hate to admit that, but it’s the honest truth.
About this time we took a break from fertility treatments and began going down the adoption road. We both had always seen adoption in our family’s future, but we had always planned to have biological kids first. See a theme emerging here? My plan. (Side note – we are still adopting, yay!)
About this same time I was going through an intensive discipleship school. My goodness, the Lord used that, along with a personal year-long Bible plan I was doing, to completely wreck me and radically change my relationship with the Him. It was hard and painful, and what He showed me about my heart was often not pretty. I realized that I had so often been seeking the Lord for what He could give me. For how it would benefit me. I wanted something from Him (specifically a baby) more than I wanted Him. It hurts me now to say that out loud, but again, it’s the truth.
Once I realized that, I began to see how God had been right there with me, loving me gently and ever-so-patiently throughout every moment in our infertility journey. He is and always has been a loving, good God. He pursued me even though I didn’t pursue Him. I came to a point where I could honestly say with conviction, “God, I want you more than I want a baby. I will still love you and I know you are still good, even if I never get pregnant.” It was a little scary to say that outloud (and mean it!), but I knew that God knew and cared greatly about the desire of my heart to become a mother, and no matter how that happened, I would trust Him and believe in His goodness and faithfulness to bring about those desires in His time and His way. I began shifting my focus to pursuing God and getting to know His heart.
About a year into our adoption journey, I had to have another major surgery. About 2 months later we found out we were pregnant for the first time in our lives. I will never forget that phone call from the nurse and the overwhelming joy and shock I felt. The Lord continually showed His glory and faithfulness over the next 9 months, including keeping both me and our tiny baby safe during another risky emergency surgery I had while 11 weeks pregnant. This little girl was His plan the whole time. He knew she was coming from the start, and she was going to be worth every bit of heartache, pain and time spent waiting.
|Arielle Elise Photography
November 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm Liv Carolina entered the world – 9 lbs 12.6 oz. and 22.5 in.
|Cream and Cocoa Photography
Her name means “my God is a vow/promise” and “life” – both so very fitting. This girl has been such a beautiful, unbelievable gift. She fills our days with such light and joy, and sometimes it still doesn’t seem real that I have a sweet baby to rock to sleep at night. Being a mother is everything I dreamed it would be and more. I look at her and see I God’s sovereignty, and I’m so thankful for that. She is an absolute and total miracle. Going through what we did has allowed me to see that with such clarity. I cherish every small moment with this girl.
I hope my story encourages someone, wherever you are. For me, there is great beauty that came from my infertility. Taking the steps to begin our adoption journey we may not have taken otherwise. Friendships I wouldn’t have had otherwise. A deeper relationship with my husband I wouldn’t have had otherwise. A more real picture of who my God is and how well He loves me that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.Don’t get me wrong. I certainly don’t think God causes bad things to happen to us. We live in a fallen world, and sometimes we go through things like infertility and it just plain sucks. I do however think know that waiting time is never wasted time to God. My infertility journey was so hard, but going through it brought me to a place with the Lord that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
I read this quote and verse recently in the She Reads Truth Bible plan
, and it is really applicable to my story (and I’m sure many of yours too).
“Who we become and what we appreciate often come from some of the darkest days of life.”
“And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness – secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”
Isaiah 45:3 NLT
We can’t see our whole story, but He does, and He won’t leave it unfinished. God is there in your darkest moments, loving you more than you could ever know or imagine. He is good and sovereign, and although I wish no one ever had to experience the pain that comes with infertility, if you’re there, I hope you can find comfort in knowing that your Heavenly Father knows and cares about the desires of your heart, and no matter your circumstances, they don’t change our loving and faithful God.