before we begin you must know that everything i write concerning our infertility is fact. every experience, encounter & emotion really happened. there is no fiction here. it's important that i preface with this because this story has many amazing faith filled supernatural moments, that if they had not happened to me personally i might not believe them myself. truthfully i contemplated not sharing many of these moments for fear of ridicule but my heart tells me that if i am going to share this story then it is most important that i share all of it. however, i'll spare you the real personal stuff because while i am an open book i do have some sense of shame.
we were married february 26, 2005. i was 22 he was 23 and we had nothing but bright hopes and dreams for our future family. like most engaged couples we had the talk concerning children and our hopes. how many do you want? i want four, and so on. however being that we were in full-time ministry with very little income we decided to wait a couple of years before trying to conceive. i tried birth control pills prior to our wedding night but the side effects freaked me out so i quickly got off of them.
we spent the first two years of our marriage on the calendar method using these exact beads to track my most fertile days. white bead days meant we were to keep away from each other to prevent pregnancy. looking back i think to myself, what a waste, why was i trying to prevent something then that i so desperately want now. hindsight is 20/20.
the summer of 2007 we officially decided to "not prevent". because i'm a free thinker romantic and less of a planner i felt more comfortable with the relaxed approach of free loving on my husband and if a baby happened then it happened. one thing i knew i wanted was to not be planning a pregnancy! the very thought of it stiffened me and stressed me out. conceiving a child was such a romantic notion in my mind. i wanted our children to be a result of a celebration or a moment of passion not the calendar and ovulation stick.
we had no clue about making babies other than the obvious. we truly thought ya do it once without protection and boom you’re pregnant! after all that seemed to be how it happened for the majority of our friends. a year went by of not preventing and still no pregnancy, we thought we just needed to try more on purpose, perhaps we needed to plan things out better. kids were something we felt ready for and wanted but we were in no hurry, we were busy working and enjoying our lives, a baby was most welcome to join us but we were okay with where our lives were at without one. we were at peace ...for a time.
but there was always this nasty fleeting thought that would drift in and out of my mind, what if something’s broken, what if i don't work right? it drifted, but it never landed. it was one of those thoughts you quickly dismiss because certainly that couldn't be the case and besides we have plenty of time to be worrying about such things. i never spoke that thought out loud until after i had an encounter that forever changed my heart.
december 2008, 3 1/2 years into our marriage 1 1/2 years into trying to conceive ben and i lead a team of students to a well known minister's ministry for some Christmas services. i had some reservations about this particular individual & their ministry based on rumors i'd heard and my own judgmental ways. once we arrived and spent the shortest amount of time in their presence i knew my reservations could be put aside. while my taste and way of doing things may look differently than theirs i found their hearts and spirits to be more genuine and faith filled than i'd expected.
it was during a worship service at this particular place that i had an encounter with God that has forever changed my perspective on my future entrance into motherhood. the preacher gave a short message, of what i cannot tell you, i wasn't paying much attention to be honest. my mind was too occupied with skepticism towards this particular person, i remember thinking, is this guy for real? God do you really move through this person or is this all for show? are these people really encountering your presence and experiencing life change? how real can all of this be, i mean really?! at the end of his message the minister gave an opportunity for people to come forward for prayer should they have any needs. i sat in my chair for a while watching other people walk to the front of the room and be prayed for. some responded with tears others did not. however it appeared to me, from the safety and comfort zone of my seat, that people were genuinely experiencing something supernatural. i wanted to go to the front, i wanted to be prayed for too, if God was changing hearts and encouraging people through simple prayers then i wanted in on it.
i remember walking forward hesitantly, wondering what others would think of me, hoping and praying that i could get a bit of encouragement in a gentle way without a spectacle taking place. i just wanted to hear God speak to me in a real way, i was desperate for Him, not a show or spectacle manufactured by people. i wasn't sure what to expect. honestly i thought i'd get someone to pray for me a simple generic prayer, i did not expect what would come next.
as i stood in line for prayer a women approached me and began to pray with me. as she prayed i began to feel the rough skeptical judgmental layers of my heart begin to soften and fade away. i began to feel the warmth and sweetness of the love of God. then she stopped her prayer and paused for a moment. she was quiet as if something had interrupted her thoughts, then she spoke. almost hesitantly and very tenderly she whispered into my ears "i don't know if this makes any sense to you but i feel like God wants you to know the baby thing is under control, nothing is broken, everything works fine, the baby thing is under control." she just kept repeating "the baby thing is under control" to her it probably seemed a bit strange, personal and presumptuous a thing to say to a woman she didn't know. what she was unaware of was that God almighty used her prayers to speak a powerful word of encouragement to a dark area of my heart that had never before been vocalized.
there is no way in this world that woman would have known that i was struggling with wondering if i was ever going to be a mother. she didn't overhear me talking about it and manipulate a prayer to make me feel good. i never spoke those words out loud. EVER!! what just happened was an unexplainable miracle. that miraculous moment stopped me dead in my tracks and turned my attention to the heavens. God was listening to my inner thoughts and fears and chose to reach down and encourage me that day. moments like that don’t happen that often but when they do one would be wise to pay attention. if God said he had the baby thing under control in my life then i would allow myself to rest and wait and see how my baby would come to be.
this December it will have been four years since that prayer. over that span of time there have been sooo many experiences, some just as miraculous as the one above but most have been gut wrenching and very real. honestly i've questioned the above moment over and over again throughout all of this. we've encountered a lot of testing and seen many doctors over this past year that has, at times, had me doubting the first promise. ben and i find ourselves on a path very much unexpected. we didn't plan to be married nearly eight years and still be childless but we trust in the God that keeps his word. i'm very much aware how contradictory this story seems coming from a woman who has yet to birth any children. all i know is to trust in what my heart felt that day and confess what i have experienced. when God gives you a promise you hold on tight and believe what he said to be true. today my arms are still empty but my heart is full, full of a promise, that in the proper timing i will hold my own babies.
this whole process is so vulnerable i am opening up the deepest most sensitive part of my heart to possible cynicism. it is my purpose to share our journey through infertility just as it happens, nothing more nothing less. i stand to gain nothing from sharing other than possibly encouraging other couples walking through similar circumstances.