Infertility

The Middle: Where He Promised To Be

By Jennifer Edewaard

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The Middle: Where He Promised to Be

It was a moment that changed everything. The list of all that could go wrong with just a small piece of what could go “right” in the end would leave a life of unknowns. It was here I found myself in the middle of a space--a gap really--that I didn't fully comprehend.

Shortly after this moment, my son was born at 23 weeks and with that came so much unknown. There was a middle ground I couldn't see and in the darkest of moments, where I didn't know where to plant my feet, He was there, in the middle where He promised He would be. Right where He promises He will always remain.

I found myself in the middle: a point that is defined as the equal distance from the ends of something. It was a place where years of infertility finally brought life smack dab in the middle of His plan for my life. Where I had to make the choice to release my need for certainty so that I could live in Him.

As I pleaded in prayer with Him to save my son's life, I remember hearing Him whisper, “I will always meet you here. Step up and stand firm where I place you, and I will surely step in.

Through life as a mama of a special needs son--my Red Sea that He has and continues to part for me--I keep placing one foot in front of the other as He parts the way. I tell myself and my son that in this beautiful yet sometimes unbelieving world, we will experience trouble, pain, and sorrow but because He has conquered the world, we get to be courageous.

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Over the last few years, we have worked on many different goals, benchmarks, and therapies. We try one new thing and start over with the next. Ahead lies a lot of work to be done on my part and it has required a “whatever it takes” mindset. I have stayed close to this middle place because no matter what He is orchestrating behind the scenes, He's always working and providing what we need, which is so different than what I want. In the middle of my special needs mama walk, there is one constant and it's Him. And because of that, even in the really hard days, I have His joy. It's a joy that fills me up with the biggest sense of gratefulness. And I wouldn't change any of this. I wouldn't have it any other way because when I lay my head down at night, He is there parting the ways and carrying me.

For a long time, I thought that whenever God needed me, wherever He called me, that I would surely feel equipped and qualified for the task. I had my ideas, and maybe you know the feeling. We think we know what the plan is--we think we have control over a situation. But He is so much more powerful than that; He has His way of doing things and He always has a reason. I am learning each day, really in each moment, that He has gone ahead and prepared the way. Life as a special needs mama is one that I never planned on because I looked at my capacity and knew my qualifications were lacking. He has quickly taught me that I just need to continue to be open to what He wants to show me--what He wants to take and use for His good. So I cling to this verse in Proverbs, when I have any doubt, fear, or anxiety.

A person may have many ideas concerning God’s plan for his life, but only the designs of his purpose will succeed in the end.
— Proverbs 19:21

We are overcome with peace because His peace lives in us. We move forward with the Truth because the Spirit of the Lord is powerfully upon us. We surrender dependency on self because we abide in our faith instead. It's not about what I think I am qualified or equipped for because He never meant it to be that way— it’s up to Him to fulfill and up to us to walk obediently in.

He knew exactly what He was doing when He gave my son to me, with every need that He might have. He knows today as He did in all the days past, and all the days to come, how much I really do need Him. How much you really do need Him. And He doesn’t break us. No, He weaves Himself into us, giving us grace so that we can go and tell others about His glory.

Sweet friend, I don't know where it is He has you planted. Where He might be pruning, growing, or pausing in your life right now. What I can encourage you with is a truth that will remain and that is Christ. Can I challenge you to invite Him into your middle today? I don't know what your walk in motherhood looks like but would you turn to Him? Would you pray and ask Him what He wants you to do, not why? What it is He wants to do here in the middle? What it looks like to live, seek, and stand in His abundant grace, truth, and glory?

The abundance that overflows from the imperfections is not for our comfort but for those passing by or staying for a while--so that they would know and see Jesus. It's this part of self-sacrifice that sheds light on the biggest sacrifice--Him-where we don’t have to fight the friction because we can trust His intentions are, in fact, steadying us.

I stand on these truths, His words, His power and capacity, many times when I feel like I might be fighting the friction where I am planted. Of what is to come.

Friend, He is right there, in the middle with you, where He promises to be.


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Jennifer Edewaard is a wife, mama, and friend passionate about living our His perfect purpose ok making Him known, even in her own imperfection. She writes and speaks while stepping daily into God’s mission to bring Him glory. Jennifer is married and has two sweet little ones, living in beautiful Colorado. She writes over at www.jenniferedewaard.com and you can find her on Instagram.


Faith, Hope, and Infertility

By Lindsey Racz

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Just under three years ago, I wrote a very personal post on a different blog about my behind the scenes struggle with infertility. At that point, I hadn’t yet shared the struggle with many at all. Writing that post and publicly declaring our infertile status provided more healing than I knew it would. So many people’s comments—both friends and strangers—poured in to say, "us too." Suddenly, although still hurting deeply, I didn’t feel so alone.

Today, 8 months pregnant with our SECOND child since that post was written, I share the original post along with HOPE. To my friends struggling with infertility, I say this: miracles are possible. I don’t know what your story will look like, but here’s where ours began.

Our Behind the Scenes Struggle with Infertility (published 09-2016)

Many of our friends know our story and have been rooting for us. Matt and I love the Lord with all of our hearts and desire to serve Him with our lives. We were both foolish in our youth and squandered blessings in different ways. Each of us survived the shattered dream of a divorce and lived as single parents for a season. And then, in a beautiful swoop of restoration, the Lord introduced us to one another. By this time, we had each grown in our faith and we knew that if we were going to do life together, it was going to be God’s way.  We had a beautiful courtship; one full of purity and hope. Yes, folks, we did save sex for marriage. Gasp. I remember one friend who said “Why are you waiting? I mean, you each have a child already so the cat’s kind of out of the bag!”  But we knew the Lord could restore our purity if we walked in obedience with Him, and again, this whole marriage thing was going to happen His way if it was going to happen at all.  We had a beautiful wedding complete with burlap and white lights strung from high hopes.

We each had a dream on our heart to grow our family. I brought a girl to our marriage. Matt brought a boy. But honestly, I pictured us having at least 2-3 more children together as being a mom is the greatest joy of my life. I came from a broken family and believe I’ve lived most of my life trying to put a family back together—right or wrong, this was our hope.  We were so excited and began trying from month one! Six months went by with no pregnancy. Each month I had a reason to think I was pregnant and in this time frame, I probably went through at least a hundred pregnancy tests. I had a growing sense that something was wrong, but I was calmly assured that these things take time.

After a year of deep hope for that little pink plus sign to show up but instead of ending in a puddle of tears, we decided to seek medical help.  We saw a primary care physician who ran an analysis. We waited to hear back hoping this would give us a clue to what we needed to do next. But the doctor called me a week later—in the middle of my work day—and spoke very matter-of-factly: “You two will probably not have children together. Have you thought about adoption?”

…. “what?”

This is not the kind of news you deliver to a woman at 3 PM on a Tuesday afternoon when she’s getting ready to sit down with her next client. But, there it was.  I responded in some robotic way and set the phone down and shut my office door and sobbed harder than I ever have.

I asked God if this was punishment for being divorced. If this was because of all the mistakes I’ve made. If He was testing me. I cried out to Him.  He was silent.

I went home to tell Matt the news (that the doctor should have called us into his office to share with both of us). I tried to maintain composure, but it was not a pretty night.  For several months after that, I cried daily and tried to imagine never having a child with my husband. Not a big deal, right? We both have a child. So what if we don’t have one together. We share these children with ex-spouses, which wasn’t exactly the original plan, but they are healthy and we are raising them together. It’s fine.

Except for that, it’s not. I can’t let this dream go. My heart aches to grow a family with my husband. To experience him holding my hand in childbirth. To see his gentle-giant hands pick up a tiny life that we’ve created together. To have this bond with one another that is part of God’s purpose for marriage.

We began looking for a second opinion. We met with a fertility specialist who put us on supplements. We tested again three months later, but the outlook was even bleaker. I cried some more. I read a 300-page book on conception and changed each of our diets in drastic ways for six months.

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Twenty-one. That’s the number of months we’ve been married– which isn’t long at all unless you’ve been hoping and praying and trying and crying out to God every month for 21 months to please have mercy on you and bless you with a life you know you don’t deserve.  In that case, 21 months feels like an eternity. We recently went to another specialist who gave a little more hope but stated a surgery would be necessary. Thankfully, this specialist found a problem area that others weren’t able to locate. And here we are. After much prayer, our surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. Neither of us knows the outcome. Matt has been brave and strong as an oak (he’s the one who has to go under the knife!) while I’ve just been an emotional wreck.

I haven’t been myself for at least the last year and a half. This is why. Struggling with infertility was never part of my formula. It took me by surprise and came at a time when I thought I was leaving the worst of my heartache behind. Matt and I are a stronger couple for it. In our first two years of marriage, we’ve survived the dynamics of a blended family along with this monthly roller coaster of emotion. We hit our knees in prayer each night and take it one day at a time. It’s hard to count it all as joy, and yet I’m thankful for a new understanding of what it feels like to face infertility. It gives me another “specialty area” in my counseling ministry; compassion that is only birthed from experience. But most of all, when and if God decides to give us another child, the glory will be all the more to Him because HE IS ABLE even when doctors say “not possible.”  That is the God we serve.

And although I know what I desperately want, I will continually declare that thy will be done.