THE RAMSEY'S - WiH FOUNDERS
Why exactly are they passionate about helping others and using their story for more, for a purpose? Through Waiting in Hope and finding purpose in their painful journey, it brought hope and healing to their own hearts, so they wanted others to experience the same thing. Through years of waiting, infertility treatments, surgeries, miscarriages, road blocks, adoption dreams and a calling to step out and share, the Ramsey's Infertility story is full of ups & downs.
Read about their own journey below and what ultimately led them to start Waiting in Hope Ministries.
Infer-what? Part 1: Baby fever, but no Baby Bug
feb.16.2012 (originally from their personal blog)
As many of you know or may not know (for which I am truly sorry that we are informing you like this), Justin & I have been trying to get pregnant for over a year and a half now. It should come as no surprise that with all my “other” health issues this would be complicated too. Although it has been a tough journey thus far, we both would agree that we have been more blessed already through it than we could have foretold.
Around May at my regular OB appointment I mentioned that we had been trying for 6 months and that when I had tried ovulation sticks they were unclear (I had never seen a clear positive). My doctor assured me that sometimes that can happen, but that I could be not ovulating and with my medical history I should go see a fertility specialist. I left that doctors appointment confused and anxious, wondering… could there be something “wrong with me?” As any woman can probably relate, our greatest fear is usually that we won’t be able to conceive. As if it is our “God-given” right as women to bear children. Where does God promise that? Maybe we get this notion from our culture, or even more so from our very fertile Christian culture where it seems like babies are born by the second or that pregnancy is an epidemic that’s in the “Sunday morning orange juice, coffee or donuts”. (And believe me I’ve had some of each, well maybe not the coffee, but I still haven’t caught the baby bug)
So we met the specialist and began fertility testing in early June. After which we were informed that I had abnormal hormone levels. Basically my estrogen level was too low to be ovulating each month even though I was consistently having my period (which after research is really quite common). We also were thankful to find that Justin tested very healthy, which he of course was ecstatic about. Our doctor then proceeded to tell us that I would need treatment to ovulate and get pregnant. He shared all of our options and the % of success rate with each. Honestly I was lucky Justin was there because all the medical jargon was overwhelming, plus my emotions and mind were racing with those “fears” again. Our doctor at Houston Fertility Institute also informed us that my recent hysteroscopy looked good and healthy, giving him full confidence that he would be able to help us get pregnant.
We were thankful to have been sent to the specialist so quickly and to know this information now rather than much later – although it still didn’t make it any easier. As with any important expectation or goal that is drastically changed or hindered, there is a grieving process. A time for us to process that this pregnancy thing might and probably won’t be as easy or as immediate as we had previously hoped or expected. It would be a journey and one that we didn’t know many couples experiencing. I had to bring my heartache to God numerous times. I wrestled with the constant questions “why me?” and “why can’t we be like everyone else?” and “is this happening because all I want is to be a mom?” I wondered “will we have a child of our own?” and “will this be like my migraines that they can’t figure out?” Each time God would graciously reveal to me new nuggets of hope in His scripture to cling to and rest upon, like…
“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God ” Mark 10:27, Luke 18:27
Psalm 20 was written by David as a prayer for victory in battle, and to me was preparation for our challenges. David knew his trust had to be placed in the Lord more than in human power. And honestly my human power desperately wanted to take over in this situation, but we know how that usually goes…like a school girl kicking and screaming for her own plan. Instead I found a desire to trust the Lord, His plan, timing, purpose and not my own efforts to give myself “my hearts desires”.
Psalm 20 (in my own paraphrasing from my journal 9/13/11):
"May the Lord answer you when you are in distress, may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help...grant you support...may He remember your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May He give you the desire of your heart and make you all your plans succeed. We will shout for Joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of Our God. May the Lord grant all your requests. Now I know the Lord saves, he answers from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand (Christ)." Vs 7 "Some trust in chariots and horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord Our God... we are able to rise up and stand firm!"
Genesis 22:13-14 [Abraham Sacrificing Isaac] "Abraham looked up to see a ram... the place (became known as) The Lord Will Provide (Jehovah Jireh)". God's provision for this sacrifice was the ram, waiting in the bush until Abraham fully committed (trusted) God with his son (future, hope).
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.”
These were (are) my heart’s deepest desires and cries, that I would know the Lord better in and through this… since I realistically (and thankfully) have NO Control.
Infer-what? Part 2: The Treatment Begins
In mid-August we started our first cycle of treatment with Clomid. Ironically these few weeks happen to fall just as we finished putting our townhouse up for rent. And to our amazement we were hectically moving in less than a week, good for us but not ideal during the few weeks of doctor prescribed “trying.” Ha! Second round of Clomid in September we were more hopeful, knowing that I would be less stressed with more time then previously since the move was over. We were somewhat disappointed to find that although everything developed correctly during the treatment, a pregnancy did not result. Doctors were surprised, which only makes it harder.
For the third round of treatment in late October we decided to attempt a more progressive treatment with follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) shots and IUI (Internal Uterus Insemination) that was being offered as a medical trial, which thankfully meant free meds. Our other thought behind trying this now was that it might be our last shot before the New Year and my medical husband thought “Go Big or Go Home”. After several weeks of shots my pregnancy (HCG) blood test was for the day before Thanksgiving.
We were given a confusing, “we aren’t sure if you’re pregnant, it’s too early to tell” diagnosis. But we would like to see you Monday after the holidays to re-test. So we entered Thanksgiving weekend not sure. Of course when I started even more excruciating cramps than usual and thought I started my period we figured I wasn’t pregnant.
Only to be shocked on Monday when they still tested me and convinced me “I was pregnant!”
We were overjoyed, yet I was still cautious and confused. Over the next week we began to slowly talk about future plans and how we could possibly share with our families at Christmas, even though I was never fully confident or at peace.
Beginning to have painful aches like pinched nervous over the weekend, I even had an emotional breakdown over the weekend, telling Justin “I’m gonna lose this baby, I just know it.” To which he was shocked and worried, telling me “Kelley you are being fearful and not trusting God, let’s pray about this.”
Now, I believe that God was preparing me because Monday at my check up my HCG had dropped and they believed I was beginning to miscarry early (or as they were calling it a biochemical pregnancy), proving that this was one of those times my gift of discernment and intuition was devastatingly correct. After a month of my HCG levels bouncing up and down they had me take shots to dissolve the miscarriage in case it was an ectopic pregnancy.
I truly feel God gave us a month of waiting (when it usually takes a few days to end an early miscarriage) to let us grieve, hurt and hear from Him. Otherwise, in our own plans we would have moved on to the next fertility step without Him and missed His soft words telling me “Let me Use this… give it over to Me. I am Sufficient, Christ is Sufficient” (from a note which fell out of my journal on the Monday news of the miscarriage)
Psalm 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him”
Infer-what? Part 3: More Procedures and New Options
Finally, by the end of December our miscarriage was over and we could move forward (sigh).
But before we could start treatment again, our doctor strongly suggested that I undergo laparoscopic surgery to remove endometriosis. He had suspected this for a while because of severe pain with menstruation, and having this procedure would not only help eliminate this pain but was also the only way to eliminate the possibility that this could be affecting my fertility. Thankfully it was easy for them to remove the few small spots I had, and they assured me they didn’t believe that this was causing any infertility. Although they did let me know during the laparoscopy that they had re-tested my tubes and the dye didn’t flow as easily through as previously with the hysteroscopy (HCG).
However, I didn’t have the ability to think about that because I was well… heavily drugged. Justin & I underestimated (or maybe just me) this surgery. First of all, I didn’t know they were fully putting me under nor did I anticipate the recovery. Who knew 2 small incisions at my belly button and panty line could cause you to feel as if you have NO abdominal muscles at all? It literally felt like I had been ripped open or had done nonstop AB workouts for weeks straight. Luckily, I had my DDS/RN (Justin) on call to and he gently and sweetly carry me from bed to the bathroom all weekend. I guess I foolishly figured it would be a little day surgery and I would be fine in 2 days.
Doctors or nurses please don’t tell women, “Oh it’s an easy surgery, a short 2-3 day recovery” if it more realistically takes longer! Because us women compare ourselves to that “expected” time frame and then judge ourselves when at 3 or 4 days we really are still not back to normal or functioning at all. Give me a break. I mean seriously doctors - you cut me open and scraped scar tissue off major organs, how could I be feeling good?
And ladies, as I learned, let’s give ourselves grace and not expect anything but to rest and recover when you have any surgery. My doctor was kind to later say, “Kelley now you’re not overdoing it are you? It’s going to take a full week or two to be back at your normal speed.” ...So NOW you tell me.
Around the end of February we started another round of treatment. Opting to try again with FSH and IUI, since it did give us results last time, and I still had free (trial meds) we could continue using. Our doctor cautioned us that he wasn’t positive whether my right fallopian tube was clear or not due to the results during the laparoscopy. However, that he did have some inclination that it could have caused the previous miscarriage, which was more likely, an ectopic pregnancy than a bio-chemical pregnancy (since the HCG level fluctuated for so long). He suggested if money was not a concern that we try IVF to bypass the tubes and not have any further complications. We explained to him that "we just aren’t there yet emotionally or financially." Our doctor acknowledged our feelings, decision and then let us know that they will focus on the left “good” fallopian tube and ignore the right as we move forward.
Looking back I'm thankful we had a doctor who valued our pace and leading from God.
Honestly processing that complex news rocked me. Only ONE GOOD fallopian tube. I just kept reminding myself focus on the positive “I am lucky to have one for sure good side, and I know that is more than some women get… I am blessed.”
Not to mention, we were completely surprised to find that 10 days into FSH shots the doctor was shocked at how quickly my follicle growth was occurring. He and the nurses let us know that they rarely see this much success even with IVF patients. Basically, my body and ovaries had developed so many large follicles that it was a "more than" ideal situation for IVF but not necessarily IUI since the growth was sadly occurring in the right ovary (the side we should be ignoring). Our doctor didn’t feel it was safe to let us continue with IUI at this stage due to the possible complications of multiples (which lets be honest my small frame could not handle), not to mention the added risk for more ectopic pregnancies with my possible fallopian blockage. Basically I had over stimulated - yet, another road block...
So on, Valentines Night (of all nights) Justin and I had a BIG life decision to make...
Infer-what? Part 4: God's Will in our Decision
We couldn't help but laugh thinking about how we were for sure the only ones talking about this tonight… or how we would freak out the “bright eyed” love birds surrounding us if they heard our conversation.
So ironically during what should be one of the most romantic and not stressful of nights. We sat at our nice "Valentines Dinner" discussing our SERIOUS CHOICES... We sat there the entire dinner going back and forth about all the options, feelings and choices before us. We would stop and pray throughout the night, and continually bounced from one side to the other in our decision. It was clear that ultimately there wasn’t a “wrong” decision here and that God would be with us either way.
But what was God’s Will for us right now in this next step?
We have been recently learning in “Finding God’s Will” by Gregg Matte (our pastor at Houston's First Baptist Church) book that God’s power always accompanies God’s will. Gregg further explains that God’s Will never lacks God’s supply or put another way God's provisions accompany God's Will. With that nugget of truth we knew financially we were already trusting God with our recent car purchase and didn’t feel at peace with a treatment that we did not have the huge funds for. Fully realizing that if this was God's Will we wouldn't have bought the car few weeks prior and a few weeks later we wouldn't be waiting on our "unexplained late" tax return which would have been very close the the amount we would need. For sure this was an obvious CONFIRMATION for us.
So why did we even debate and entertain the idea? Well we had recently been heavily praying (well…battling against recent spiritual attacks) that we would trust God, follow His leading whether it was our plan or not (releasing control), and that the Lord would give our doctors wisdom in our treatment. So how could we not question and seriously think about the decision when it surprisingly arose?
We decided that since IVF was not an option yet, we would go with the doctor’s other recommendation to end this current cycle and they would allow us to re-try this round in a few weeks without having to pay for anything again besides for medicines, which coincidentally we didn’t pay a penny for during this past round. Wow, thanks God, what an unexpected blessing!
Now we are ready to start another round of treatment (soon) and have peace about moving forward.
…It was probably about a year and a half ago that I remember us talking & praying about how we hoped our marriage would improve from “good” to “great” in the coming years. Little did we know that this was the path he would choose to accomplish that through – a hilly path of infertility that we most definitely would have not chosen unless we could have foreseen the glimmers of goodness ahead of time. I am still amazed at how God always does things in unexpected ways and lovingly gives us these trials to refine and develop our faith, trust and our earnest desire for Him. (Hear me clearly though I believe God allowed this struggle to be sifted through His Hands into our lives but didn't not cause pain or heartache to us - He loves us to much and doesn't want to see us hurt. I believe and have to remember that we brought sin into this world with our choices starting with Adam & Eve).
As I continue to share our journey with updates, thoughts and lessons we learn along the way, please have grace on me and remember our story is different than someone else's (there is no judgement here) and I am not a writer this was a calling definitely not a gifting I naturally have. Please share with friends who might be experiencing a similar struggle or journey in conceiving, it's helpful for them to not feel alone!
Infer-what? Part 5: Treatment Continues with a Redo
It's that time for an update. I'm sorry we haven't given one sooner; I guess we've just been busy. Well we recently started our "Re-do cycle" with FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) shots again. Although this time at a much lower dose, in the hope of stimulating my ovaries slowly, instead of the previous follicle overload.
It honestly feels like the last several days have been so perfectly orchestrated, as only the Lord can graciously do. As we started treatment they noticed I had a large misshapen cyst in my right ovary. The doctors and staff assured me this was probably left over activity from my over stimulated ovary during last cycle. Basically since I had so many large follicles in my right ovary last time, I was given a shot to force my body to ovulate and clean itself out. Technically every follicle is a cyst, which is oval shaped and holds the eggs until they grow big enough to rupture out of the follicle and ovulate. But I had numerous follicles rupture at the same time, hence the misshapen cyst. This seems to have turned out to be a good thing because the right ovary wasn't growing follicles this time due to the cyst, but my left "good" ovary was!
I took the shots/meds for only a total of 7 days before we were told that my body had developed 2 "perfect size" follicles for ovulation, nonetheless in my left ovary. We were surprised yet thankful because this is something that in the past has taken at least 12 days of meds and a much higher dose to do.
Justin and I feel God's hand completely wrapped up in this process thus far. We've described it as feeling all the prayers so many of you have been lifting up to the Lord in our name. You're prayers are powerful, Our God is Powerful and well we know the prayers of many (2 Cor. 1:11) are working together for us now, thank you! We trust His Plan & Purpose even now.
Psalm 77:1, 11-15
I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord...
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are Holy.
What God is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the people.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people.
Infer-what? Part 6: A No, Not Yet, Wait!
So I assume most of you know or probably guessed due to the long delayed update and my recent vacation that we are not pregnant. As we previously shared, we had finished another cycle of IUI this past month (March) and to our dismay it was another unsuccessful attempt at conceiving.
I would be lying to you, which I'm truly incapable of lying (seriously ask anyone close to me), if I didn't admit that we were surprised. Not to mention obviously disappointed to get yet another no not yet, from the Lord!
The evening we found out like previous nights before, we decided to go to our favorite dinner spot and just be together instead of going to small group. This was not an attempt to pull away from others, but rather a choice to allow ourselves to deal with our emotions first. This way ensuring we wouldn't have to act or feel any certain way around others, before we're ready. As alluded at early we aren't the best fakers, what you see is what you get, open books-sometimes to a fault. However, knowing we would need community and accountability we texted friends in the group to share the news and how they could be praying for us. During these past 16 months we've found these kind of attempts at asking for support truly vital. Again if you too find yourself going through tough times, please don't do it alone.
We had a sweet night together full of tears, good food, discussions of why? what's next? what's God doing? and thankfully lots of laughter!
What we decided God was saying to us...
As you previously read he kept bringing both of us back to key scriptures in Psalms 33:20-23, 73, 130:5-8 & 127 always in different ways and different times for both of us. For instance, during my time with the Lord the day of the pregnancy test I wrote in my journal (which side-note I am a avid journaler if you haven't figured that out):
"We wait in hope for the Lord, he is our (only) help and shield. In Him our hearts (truly) rejoice, for we (can only) trust in His Holy Name. May your unfailing love (blessings) rest upon us, O Lord, even as (right now) we put our hope in you (alone)."
*my personal emphasis added
Then the second day after, in my journal I honestly wrote:
** I think for my sake I need a break (although it's not what I want because I want to be doing something - anything to get a result of a child). But I feel worn down and a little tired of being a guinea pig without a final outcome or result... (far too often in my life). I also think that maybe you want/need us to focus on you solely, Lord and seek our next step and path slowly and from you Alone. Maybe that means fasting, kneeling face to the ground praying (seriously) because something else has gotta change. You're asking for more from us! You are saying yet again, NO, Not yet, Wait! My Beloved, please Wait on Me!... Okay Lord so I'll choose to Trust & Wait! For your Will is always worth it.**
Oh God be our portion in this time...
The second day after the news while TRYING to spend time with the Lord, I noticed I was lost for words and started to become frustrated, praying "please God speak..." He quickly played the perfect song that lead me to what I needed to hear. My Portion by Shane & Shane (please listen to it), which was written straight from Psalm 73 "My Portion".
"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by your right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (vs 28) But as for me, it is good to be Near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds." Psalms 73: 23-26, 28
From the song: Whom have I in heaven but You, I desire none but You,
You are my portion forever, You are my portion forever
Whatever things were gain, I've counted loss, For the sake of my Reward (eternity with you)
More than that I'm counting, everything a loss compared to this,
To knowing Christ my Lord.
Realizing how weeks prior we had said to the Lord "We will Trust you regardless, your pain is better" it was no surprise that he lead me to Psalm 127, which says "Unless the Lord builds the house, it's builders labor in vain, unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain." --- Wow, did you hear that? I know I read it several times, who wants to actively move forward in vain (producing no result; useless, a vain attempt, futile, pointless, to no purpose, hopeless). Unless the Lord does such and such, it will be in Vain.
Since we determined God was saying to us, Wait...
We decided to do just that. Wait. By taking a month break and refocusing. With our new direction and my current freedom before us, it was clear I had a great opportunity to go meet up with my dear friend Sunni in Italy. A trip which only months ago had been a Big joke of an idea and simply a lofty dream. I was quickly reminded God was blessing me, just in a different way then I had expected. I was getting a great travel, life adventure instead of the start of a pregnancy. It is true that He always has good plans for us (Romans 8:28), yet not always in the ways we thought, hoped or planned. But, oh my I was grateful for the gift before me, realizing fairly quickly that it was perfect timing to get away and be refreshed. Not to mention if I had what I so desired and wanted, "a pregnancy," this trip wouldn't even have been an option.
P.S. During this current season Justin wrote a post from what God revealed to Him (us), regarding trusting God in the waiting without seeing the blessings. Click Here.
Bumps, Biopsies and Blessings Part 1
After Italy, I decided it was time to stop continually delaying my annual OB appointment until I get pregnant. Especially since we were currently in a planned “waiting period” and had ultimately accepted the need for the emotional and physical break that came with it. Not to mention the looming fact that the 3 rounds of intense fertility (hormone) treatments had caused me to become consumed with thoughts and reminders of my mother’s breast cancer years ago, which was most concerning to me since it was hormone receptive cancer. It was like everywhere I looked I couldn't ignore the thoughts, sights and reminders of breast cancer, the Lord was obviously getting my attention and potentially directing my path.
With all the feelings I thought it would be a really good idea to ask my OB for a mammogram, even though i am way too young to typically be given one. At my appointment my doctor completely agreed with my concerns and thought that it would be wise and a good precaution to just check. Even finding a small lump, which she was pretty confident was nothing more than a benign cyst, was enough to give her a medical reason to order a mammogram through my insurance so that I wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket.
Three days later I showed up to Texas Women’s Hospital for my mammogram/ultrasound and waited with a bunch of 40-60 year old women who were seriously staring me down. They were most definitely wondering why someone so young, well someone who barely looks 18, would be getting a mammogram...and I don’t blame them. So I've always heard that mammograms hurt but I didn't realize how BAD they HURT!!!! Oh seriously, like I almost passed out, tears streaming down my face, boobs smashed between 10 pound weighted plates (literally). I believe I might still be traumatized. Later realizing that I should have taken the older woman's looks as warnings - they were telling me to run, flee... you shouldn’t be here!
I’ve also decided that if men had to go through this torture they would have already invented a new machine. But women just simply have to put up with it.
One of my good friends, Emily, was quick & witty in explaining to me why it hurt. “It’s because mammograms are meant for older women whose breasts are much less dense and can easily be squished like pancakes,” she said. In no way are mammograms meant for younger women, that’s for sure. This was definitely the first time I've ever wished my boobs were less young and firm. But back to the point... they found more of what my OB had felt, cysts (and a whole lot of them), which are benign and usually come and go with all women during hormonal changes. Also I had some discharge during the mammogram that made the radiologist slightly concerned. So after 4 1/2 hours at the hospital, 2 mammograms & 2 ultrasounds, the radiologist finally let me know that it's nothing to lose sleep over but she would like to do some needle biopsies to further check something she thought could be intraductal papillomas. These are basically small growths in the breast duct that are typically benign too, but can sometimes carry mutated cells that are cancerous. Surprisingly, I was cool and collected during all of this, minus the near passing out episode during the 1st mammogram where they gave me a cold water compress and I put my head between my legs. Ha! Granted I was praying and repeating scripture to myself throughout the entire ordeal like, “God you hold everything together by your right hand and you know the plans you have for me.” I know these truths were what helped me stay calm and not become overly emotional like my normal reactions while they curiously examined and re-examined me.
However, once getting home I did freak out a little. It was quite a traumatic experience nonetheless and I felt like I was under attack with fear and new questions. Why was God giving me more issues? Seriously God, hasn't there been enough? I'm trying not to be worried that it's going to be anything serious, although you never know, yet feeling even more frustrated that this feels like yet another roadblock on our path to pregnancy. Obviously I can't ignore the fact that indirectly my breast are being affected by these hormone fertility treatments. So do we keep doing it and continue putting my body at risk?
As you can imagine we spent most of the weekend feeling lost, confused and emotionally worn out. I was thankful for a sweet time together Saturday morning as we had breakfast on our patio listening to worship music, talking and spending time in the Word (aka Bible). We wanted to truly allow ourselves to go through all the emotions you feel with heavy news like this.
In the early part of that morning I was struggling, although we desperately wanted to hear from God and only want His will for our lives. I can say I was a little afraid of what the cost might be? How much would He ask of us, or of me, in this journey?
Poor Justin also had the burden of sharing with me some sensitive news he had been holding for a few days. One of my closest friends was pregnant. Given the tough week we had already been having, this news should have been hard enough. But on top of all that, I had also just recently found out about 3 other friends who were expecting. I was so thankful for my close friend’s kind and sensitive heart in telling Justin first so that he could tell me when the time was right. She lovingly wanted me to have time to deal with my emotions in my own way and timing. I am lucky because she couldn’t have handled it any better. Thank you!
Although it hurt, it was mostly because it was a reminder that someone else is moving forward while we currently felt like we were moving backwards with our news. After a short time of selfishly grieving that “I wasn’t there,” I was able to have joy for them because regardless of my circumstance, any baby is a miracle.
During those sweet morning moments the Lord gently spoke to us through one another and the things we were reading. It was one of those divine moments where you know He is speaking directly to you and luckily we were listening. Obviously, we had a lot of questions to consider and decisions to make about our next steps as we waited for my doctor and the hospital to schedule my biopsy.
My thoughts consisted of: “Do I have something wrong with my breasts, cancer? Am I causing this with hormone treatments as we try to get pregnant? Do we need to stop any and all fertility treatments to protect me? Will we ever be able to get pregnant given this new huge roadblock?” Oh so many concerns and fears that could have overtaken us.
I was quickly reminded by a friend that I was already under attack from Satan, who would love for me to become consumed with fear during this time in our journey. And if fear overtook me, then Satan would win because it would be increasingly more difficult to trust the Lord fully with the next steps. Our best choice in those moments of processing was to express each of them to one another and not let them burrow like an unwanted pest from within. Then later, once when we are able we would work towards surrendering and giving each fear/concern over to the Lord (since He holds it all together anyway).
Walking forward, we were praying for clear test results and that we would have peace, wisdom and guidance from the Lord and the doctors about what to do next. We were feeling as if God wanted to teach us some major lessons about our trust and faith.
To be continued...
Bumps, Biopsies and Blessings Part 2
“I will extol the Lord at all times, his praise will always be on my lips... I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant,... this poor man called; and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angels of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”
Psalm 34:1-8 (broken apart for emphasis)
After waiting almost 2 weeks my biopsy had been scheduled and we received news from my fertility doctor that until we had results from all of it, we were officially on hold. They needed to be for sure that I was healthy and okay and would not do any further treatment until they were sure.
It was finally the day before the biopsy and the Lord had truly done a work in our heart during the time of waiting (see Justin’s post “Worshipping In the Waiting vs. Worshipping to End the Waiting”). At first, I had been at a place of complete fear and worry, given the state of our current unknowns.
I was gently being shown that my fears were a direct correlation of my lack of trust in the Lord. God’s daily wisdom had been the catalyst in helping me realize my deep rooted issues. A recent devotional reminded me that Christ will never let us go, he holds the situations and problems of today in the palm of His concern. He will give us the power and insight we need for today. If we ask, he gives us His perspective on our needs and His partnership in facing and conquering our problems. Those words were a great reminder of the powerful assurance I have in Christ if I really trust Him. I was fearing and worrying about my current situation because I wasn’t believing and trusting the one that I knew “held it all together”. WOW!
I recently came across this from “Streams in the Desert” by L.B. Cowan another devotional:
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed... Without weakening in his faith.” (Romans 4:18-19) The writer shared a quote from a great man of faith who claimed “The only way to know strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm through severe testing.”
Great faith must first endure great trials. You must trust when all else fails. We scarcely realize the value of our present situations. If you are enduring great afflictions right now, you are at the source of the strongest faith. God will reach you during these dark hours to have the most powerful bond to His throne you could ever know, if you will only Submit.
“Don’t be afraid, just believe” (Mark 5:36)
But if you ever are afraid, simply look up and say, “ When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psalm 56:3)
This was such a great reminder and blessing to me as I was feeling beaten down by the fear and concern of “what God was doing with my life”? He is refining my faith and showing me how without fear I can trust the Lord! Fully trusting the Lord, not for what I think I deserve, need or want but what He is choosing to bring into my life for His ultimate glory - not Mine! Oh my selfish heart so easily gets that one mixed up.
It was the night before the biopsy and we truly were at a good place. For some reason, now knowing my body better and what my body should be doing, I felt as if my hormones had changed. So the morning of the biopsy I decided to take a home ovulation test, just to check.
I was completely shocked to see a positive test! You have to understand that I had never had one in our almost 2 years of trying. That was one of the problems and why I was sent to a fertility doctor in the first place. WOW! I quickly called Justin, actually I sent him a photo of the positive test, it’s way more dramatic that way. And as you can imagine he was just as shocked as me.
God was literally showing us His beautiful grace, ironically on the morning of what could be a very rough day. It was like He was speaking - telling us that even in the midst of us thinking that we might have hit a major roadblock on the fertility treatment path, He still had everything under control. It was like he was reminding us that my life (and body) was in His hands and He could do anything in His power. He was in total Control!
So... with His newfound reassurance and timely blessing, together we went to the hospital and had the biopsies completed. Sadly men aren’t allowed back where the procedures are done which is really a dumb rule, but I was in good spirits.
Our prayer: Lord, I want to know You and glorify You. I trust You to take care of the rest. - Matthew 6:33
Bumps, Biopsies and Blessings Part 3
A week later I was already calling the doctor for updates on the biopsy results, but they told me several times it would take longer than the hospital originally told you, “it always does” they assured. Why do hospitals lie about something like that? Don’t they realize 72 hours verses a week or two weeks are completely different, do they want us to worry?
It was Monday, 4 days before we were to leave for a 10 day vacation to the Dominican Republic with friends and I couldn’t wait any longer. I had decided that I really needed to know results that morning. And all my test results came back negative except one.
We were Pregnant! It was not even a full 2 weeks later when I went ahead and took a home pregnancy test. I had decided that I really needed to know whether I was pregnant or not before our trip. Justin was already at work because if we had any real belief that I would be or could get pregnant this way without fertility treatments, we would have taken the test together. Knowing how busy he was with patients that morning, I texted him and said, “I know you don’t want to be told this way but...” and attached a photo of the Positive pregnancy test, with of course a huge “WHAT?” message after it. In an instant, Justin called me to say “What, seriously! Call your fertility doctor and go in to make sure.”
I called the fertility doctor and told them that I think I’m pregnant. They were just as surprised and told me to come in right away for some blood tests. At about 1pm on Monday they called me to confirm that yes, we were indeed pregnant! Having had a miscarriage already in the past, we instantly recognized that we weren’t experiencing the same fears we had experienced with the previous pregnancy. This was most definitely due to all that God had been teaching us and the new perspective He has given us of realizing that none of it was ours to claim as our own doing. Instead, it was completely God’s hand working and His gift to us. No longer claiming ownership or feeling like this gift was ours “to lose” helped us truly trust and be confident in the blessing of all God was doing!
We know we still have a long way to go, (we are 12 weeks along) but we are trying to enjoy every day of this blessing God has given us. We are so thankful for all of the support that you, our friends and family, have shown us throughout this part of our journey. Your prayers have truly been felt and your encouragement has been just that, encouraging.
We feel completely blessed and in total awe and adoration of all that God has done and is doing. We pray that you will join us in praising God for His mighty work, in His mighty ways!
Psalm 33: 20-23
We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.