Mother’s Day is a very special day for me. Not just because I’m a Mom, but because I was told I never would be one. Several doctors said that I would most likely never conceive children, or something like this: “Is it possible? hmmm, maybe…but is it probable? No”. They encouraged me to let it go and not get my hopes up. Give up my hope?!? That’s all I had and I was never giving that up. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a Mom. I was the kid with the dolls and strollers; hugging, feeding and talking to my babies all the time. That desire only grew bigger as I grew older. So, when I was told I had several health issues that would prevent me from ever conceiving or even carrying a child, I was devastated, to say the least. But I wouldn’t listen or stop trying. I couldn’t accept the idea of not having children. It just wasn’t how I saw my life. It was a painful 3 years of infertility doctors, medications, charts, needles, surgeries, diets and many tears. I wish I could say that those years were filled with a steadfast faith in God and a positive attitude, but it wasn’t. It was, however, a journey that tested my faith, changed my attitude & drew me closer to God, the one who gives life and ultimately gave me my hearts desire.
I use to journal a lot, so I bought a journal to write in, specifically for that trial. It had a picture of footprints in the sand with the famous “footprints” poem written on the cover. It seemed appropriate for the cause, but little did I know how significant that journal would be at the end of my journey. I would write in it a few times a week and then maybe a few times a month. My entries were often unfiltered emotions and prayers, as well as sober documentation of the sequence of events, and the cycle of hope and disappointment, with every passing month. I’d write how I felt when I saw pregnant women and Mothers holding their babies. I’d cry out to God on those pages with all my roller-coaster feelings. Some days, I would humbly pray for patience and other days I would scream and cry, demanding answers. Any woman who has dealt with infertility knows the heavy burden of empty arms. In those three years, I went from being happy and social to depressed and withdrawn. But, it was also those three years that God began to teach me some very valuable life lessons: What it means to truly surrender my life, my will, and all my desires to Him, trusting that He knows what is best for me and is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than I could ever hope or imagine (Eph. 3:20). It was in that long walk through the dry desert, that I experienced God in a very real and intimate way. I felt His presence, heard His voice and saw the miracles unfold. It was the beginning of a lifelong lesson of walking in faith, of which I am a student of, even still.
It was April of the third year and I was at my lowest emotionally, but I still refused to give up the hope that I knew I had in Christ. I was nearing the end of the available pages left in my journal and I fought the negative thoughts that began to flood my head. “I’m gonna have to buy another stupid journal”. A few days had passed and I remember one night praying before going to sleep. I was so empty and tired. That was the night I had the most amazing dream. It was so real, that I was able to write it all down in my journal in detail when I awoke the next morning. In this dream, I had just washed up on a shore after being tossed by the wind and waves, almost drowning from a terrible storm. I got up and saw Jesus coming towards me as the dark sky turned so bright, I could hardly see. I felt peaceful and warm. Jesus took my hand and walked with me as we left footprints in the sand. He told me how much He loved me and that he felt my pain, saw my tears and heard my prayers. That was enough for me in that moment. I was so content. But after comforting me, He specifically instructed me to begin to give praise and celebrate, because I would conceive the following month. “Next month?!?” I asked. I turned to Him, but He was gone. “Did I hear that right?”. Just then I woke up. I wanted to go back to sleep so I could ask Him again, but I knew what I heard. As I laid there, the word “Rejoice” kept repeating in my head. I knew it was God. He was putting my faith to the test. If I really believed what He had just spoken, then wouldn’t my natural reaction be to Rejoice? I did believe, but I was afraid of being wrong. “What if I celebrate and it doesn’t happen and people think I’m crazy”? That was definitely not faith talking. I believed it to be true, so I decided that I was going to rejoice! Ironically, the first person I told was my Mother.
It was in that next month, on May 9th, 1999 (Mother’s Day) that I had my very last menstrual cycle and shortly thereafter, conceived my firstborn child. I didn’t know I was pregnant until a day before Father’s Day and my due date was Valentines Day. Coincidental? I think not. Soon after confirming the pregnancy, I opened my journal to write down my last & final entry.. and guess what? There was only one page left to write on, the very last page of the book. Oh, how sweet it was to see the loving confirmation that God’s timing is always perfect.
My story of infertility is now a cherished memory of God’s faithfulness, as I celebrate being a Mother of, not one, but two beautiful girls: Eliana Hope and Emmalia Grace. I now know why we are told to give glory when we go through trials of any kind. Because the testing of our faith will produce perseverance, character and hope. And HOPE will never disappoint us when it is in Christ Jesus (Rom.5:3-5). We will come face to face with pain and suffering, that’s just part of life. We can either give up hope or we can praise the God who gives us hope and a future. It’s our choice. We may or may not understand or know why, but this one thing I DO know…God is always faithful and His timing is always perfect.
The life of faith celebrates God’s faithfulness by giving Him praise before His promise comes.
“Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever hope or imagine…to HIM be the glory!” (Ephesians 3:20).
Happy Mothers Day!