This week marks the three year journey of having children. Since the beginning of August, 2012, I’ve been pregnant, miscarrying or having children. What a hope journey!
Entering into a Season of Hope
As we moved onward from the third pregnancy, we entered a new season of hope. We knew we had to start enjoying the life God had given us, and to find joy in the little moments. Joy, as a fruit of the Spirit, is the one I’ve struggled with the most, and also the one I’ve understood the most. Because God gifted me with a strong will and stubbornness, I learned everything the hard way, including how to find my joy in Him.
Joy in God comes through our trials. James 1:2-4 (NIV) reads, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Not lacking anything—meaning neither joy nor hope during this whole process. God wanted me to hold onto my Savior tightly, and to do so with both hope and joy.
We met with a fertility doctor. Dr. Minjarez at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine was the next step. We explained the situation and went over my medical records. She gave us our odds, told us what tests we needed to endure and what all of it meant.
As we went through each test, we knew we had entered a time of waiting, hoping, joyful anticipation, longing, and wonder. God kept meeting us in between: in the waiting, the stillness, and our brokenness. Rather than wishing away this time of unknowns, I wanted to be present and soak it all in. We knew we were on the right path, even when we couldn’t see the outcome of a healthy baby.
In addition to the fertility tests, I had a food allergy test done to see what was causing my weight gain. We discovered I was gluten intolerant and allergic to yeast. As our tests went on, Dr. Minjarez reviewed the food test in addition to all the other tests. Nothing was wrong with either of us. The doctor told me to get off all gluten, wheat and yeast; to start taking progesterone; and to get rid of the stress in my life. This meant my job. That was going to be a huge transition.
We were left with trying to have a kid on our own or doing IVF. We told the doctor we wanted to try one more time before going down the path of IVF. In my gut, I knew that the amount of stress I was under at work was causing part of the problem. So, we waited until I started taking the progesterone and tried again in October, 2013. It worked!
Our problem was not getting pregnant; it was keeping our babies alive. We asked several people in our inner circles to pray for us because we were pregnant. We needed all the prayer we could get and we only had a 50/50 chance medically of keeping our baby. Our prayer circles prayed. People all over the country prayed for us. Numerous times, God gave us peace during the entire process.
As a result of these prayers and all the changes we made to our lives, we had baby boy in June, 2014! And, God decided to bless us with another child, a girl, in September, 2015! Almost two years after starting the pregnancy rollercoaster, God heard our cries and answered our prayers. In his graciousness, God blessed us with happiness in the middle of the pain. He heard our cry. “Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard” (1 Samuel 1:13, NIV).
“When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try one more time.’” ~Anonymous
This quote and the hope that springs eternal in us, moves us onward. As we question the outcomes of this journey, we need to take into account what’s truly important to us and what we want to happen. A good friend of mine says that God forms our families. And, she’s right. God does form our families, and each family is uniquely built by His hands. No matter what that outcome is, and this is so hard to remember, He has our best interests in His heart. He works all things together for our good.