I have a beat up old bible.. I mean this thing should come with hazmat gloves. Truth is, it’s not even mine, I stole it from my parents my freshman year of college for a Theology course. (Stealing a bible has to be the most awkward crime.. am I right?) I love the way it’s old torn pages speak to me in a way that makes the most sense..sure I have other prettier, fancier, much newer bibles but this one just gets me. I was particularly reminded of this while I was flipping through my old journal and came across some notes I took on 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
My bibles takes that scripture and translates it in a way that I like even better.. “My grace is enough for you, when you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.” One day though, I felt curious to see if the words could break down any further into something that made even more sense to me… here is my break down:
Grace= Undeserved Favor
Weak= Inadequate or Imperfect
Power= Ability, Authority, Control
Perfect= Flawless, Unblemished, Spotless
I took these definitions and restrung the words into a sentence that made my weary heart melt.. “My undeserved favor is enough for you. When you are UNABLE my ability is made flawless in you.” Go ahead and read that over and over and over until your eyes get as wet as mine did!
Truth is y’all I am UNABLE.. but thankfully I know my redeemer is MORE than able!
For the past 5 years Christopher and I have prayed and waited, and cried and believed and doubted that we will be parents. For those of you who do not know our story well I will do my best to catch you up to speed and to do that I am going to have to rewind to 2013.
We got married in December of 2013 after 3 years of dating and a lifetime of flirting in the halls in our small town school. A quick 8 days later we were 10.5 hours away from home settling into our new life in Georgia when Chris came into the living room and said the sentence I will never forget.. “We are married now, we could have a baby!.” At first I thought he was just goofing around and then when he didn’t laugh and I realized he was serious, I fell more in love with him that day than I thought possible…and I was absolutely sure we would be expecting a baby that next month.
To my surprise I wasn’t pregnant..confused we tried again.. and again.. until after 8 months we decided maybe there was more to this baby making than happy accidents and I went to the Dr. to see if he could help us connect the dots. He assured me that we were young and healthy and had not tried nearly long enough.
The Army sent us packing as still just a family of two at the end of that first year and we found ourselves frustrated setting up our new home in Colorado surrounded by families of all shapes and sizes. Weary but determined we believed again for a year in our new home until Chris got orders for Afghanistan. For 9 months my heart ached, I missed my husband and I could feel those 9 months slipping away as we longed for our family to grow.
A few months before He returned we decided to start the process of fertility testing because my OBGYN suggested we might have something more than timing keeping us from getting pregnant. I got all of my testing done in anticipation of his return.. we took a trip home to love on our family and returned to celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends and neighbors. One week later I woke up to a MIRACLE. I could barely see the test result through my tears.. my hands shook and I was 97% sure I peed on the test incorrectly.
Just to be sure I sped over the the hospital to have another test done and when they called to say YES I swore I would keep it a secret until I could talk to Chris but I couldn’t take it and told an old lady at the grocery store.. I’m pretty sure she didn’t hear me but man it felt good to say “I AM PREGNANT.”
It took me less than a week to have a box full of nursery decor, books and blankets! When you have dreamed of being a mama as long as I have you know exactly what the nursery will look like! Sadly, at 6.5 weeks I woke up in pain.. I couldn’t get my eyes to open because I knew as soon as I opened them I would be awake and know the truth.
When we made it to the hospital I could barely see through my swollen eyes. I couldn’t breathe..I could only repeat in my mind “Hold me in the palm of your hand.” Hours, days and then weeks passed and my heart refused to heal. I could barely look in the mirror, it was like all the color drained from my world. At my follow up appointment with my Dr. he mentioned how sometimes women who previously struggled to conceive get pregnant quickly after a loss and I decided in that moment I would be one of them.
After 6 months had passed and we had yet to see another miracle my world went dark again. We mustered up the courage and went to a fertility clinic to see if there was anything else we could do. The Dr. ran his tests and then called us in for a consultation. I was already sweating through my shirt when he said according to these results you have a 1% chance of conception on your own without IVF.
I could feel the tears welling in my throat, I just sat and stared and couldn’t make eye contact for fear that I would wail harder than Hannah did in the sanctuary in 2 Samuel 15-16 ” Hannah said, ” oh no sir-please! I’m a woman hard used. I haven’t been drinking. Not a drop of wine or beer. The only thing I’ve been doing is pouring my heart out, pouring it out to God. Don’t for a minute think I am a bad woman. It’s because I am so desperately unhappy and in such pain that I’ve stayed here so long.”….. she cried so hard he thought she was drunk, boy can I relate to that.
When the Dr. was finished giving us all of our options I couldn’t respond. I closed my eyes and prayed over and over for God to tell me what to do. I heard these words in mind as clearly as if someone had spoken them to me “I will do this for you.”
I felt absolutely confident that God had told us to wait and so we walked away from that appointment and waited. Another year had passed before I found myself sitting in second fertility clinic back in Georgia where our longing for a family had began all those years ago. This Dr gave us very similar news and my heart broke all over again. We decided to take a break from Dr. appts and research to focus on our marriage. As you can imagine the pain of infertility can down right drain the passion right out of a marriage.
It wasn’t until 7 months into our fertility vacay that I heard God say “Do you want a family or do you want a family YOUR WAY?”
My flesh wanted to respond.. “My way..thanks!” But I knew in my heart of hearts that His way is always best. I began to pray that God would soften our hearts to want what he wants for us… and after mustering up every ounce of believe and courage I had left we made an appointment at a larger fertility clinic to try again to grow our family.
We sat in our initial consultation and something felt very different… the lump in my throat was missing, for once the poor Dr didn’t have to pass me the tissues and “give me a minute.” It was as if all at once my body released the pressure to do things my way. Truth is.. IVF is so far from the plan I had. I was explaining to Chris on the way home that it took me years to settle into the idea that growing our family was not going to look anything like what I had pictured.. to admit that you can’t do something on your own is a painfully difficult process.
That brings us to tonight where I once again against every proud bone in my body I am admitting that I can’t do it alone.
Now that we have been brave enough to believe again we are facing another difficult hurdle. While IVF is an incredible gift it comes with a high price. (I just feel like I need y’all to know I am seriously STRUGGLING to type these words.) Every part of me wants to do this on my own, clam up & hide..every part of me wants to shrink back, cry and refuse to ask for help.
Not being able to make a baby on our own makes me feel weak.
Not being able to pay for IVF makes me feel weak.
Not being able to fully believe that God can do the impossible makes me feel weak.
but this is where my tattered old bible reminds me.. “My grace is ENOUGH for you, when you are weak my power is made perfect in you.”
We are praying for God to do a $20,000 miracle y’all & we need your help. We need your help believing, we need your prayers and if God places it on your heart we are asking for you to financially be apart of bringing our miracle home. We realize that we are completely undeserving yet worthy of the title of Mom and Dad & we are thankful to serve the God of miracles. If you cannot give.. believe.. if you cannot believe please join us in prayer.
With love & The faith of a mustard seed,