Transparent Me (Part 2)In 2009 Julie offered herself as a surrogate for Richie and me. What an offer? Who does that?! We agreed that if it was necessary we'd certainly take her up on it. After many visits to many doctors we discovered that I was diabetic. Once I began taking Metformin, which is often used to cause women with PCOS to ovulate, and changed my diet, I noticed my body changing. I had menstruation issues everyday for 7 weeks straight. And immediately following the resolution to these issues I unknowingly conceived a child in September of 2009 and miscarried. We never really mourned the loss because it wasn't until after the miscarriage that we'd realized what happened. God saved us from that sadness.
I'm sure most of you know about the crazy health issues I had from that point on. In December 2009 I had blood clots and spent the following 3 months in and out of the hospital due to my body's inability to become therapeutic with my meds. Because of the medications and the blood clots I was instructed not to get pregnant but was unable to take birth control. Richie and I decided early on that we were going to live life as we had for so many yearsleaving it all up to God. We truly felt that God had put us in this place of being unable to use any of the medical interventions (including surrogacy) for a reason. I was unable to get pregnant because I did not ovulate, yet was unable to take any medications to remedy the problem.
Last March during our small group Michelle and Eddie announced their pregnancy. They did it in a really neat way and everyone, of course, was excited for them because they'd been trying for over a year for their second child, which coincidently happened to be second and third (twins!). As selfish as this may sound I have to admit to you that I was angry with God. It's difficult to explain infertility to someone who has never truly experienced it. Trying for a year or two before getting pregnant is nothing compared to the whirlwind that Richie and I had gone through. I sat there, in that room full of happy, joyous people and could only cry. I cried for myself and for Richie. I remember that night so clearly. She gave her testimony about having attended the women's conference in February and giving in and giving her infertility up to God. She explained how she'd asked for prayer for healing, physically and emotionally. It was within 2 weeks of that prayer that she conceived their twins. I told God, "You know how badly I want a baby. Why can't I have a baby?" It never occurred to me, not even then, that I'd never actually asked God for a baby. She said, "All I had to do was ask." My heart broke when she said that. I don't think I had ever stifled a cry like I did that night in that room. I could not have possibly felt more alone, more abandoned, more useless and damaged. During prayer Christina got a bible verse for someone, and that someone was me. God spoke to me through this verse, yet I still didn't quite understand. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,'declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' I thought to myself, "What exactly is THAT supposed to mean?" Does that mean we've got greater things planned for us than children? At that point I begged God to remove the desire for children from my heart if that wasn't meant for us. God had us backed into a corner, into a position that if we were to have a baby there'd be no room for doubt that it was his doing, not ours (or anyone else's). God was setting us up and we didn't even know it yet. I know now that the message that night was for me to be steadfast in faithfulness and trust him wholly. He had a marvelous plan for us and needed time to set everything in place just as HE wanted itnot as we wanted it. At the time I didn't understand how this was not to harm us when it hurt so badly.
I didn't feel like I needed to ask God for a baby or for healing because God knows everything and God's WILL always prevails no matter what my pleas may be. That's what we're taught as Christians, right? That God's WILL is what takes precedent; God's WILL is steadfast and who do we think we are to change God's mind about something? God knew I wanted a baby. I shouldn't have to ask God for a baby because he already knew my heart. So, I never asked him; I never really prayed about it. I ignored it altogether and masked it with the righteous attitude of most ChristiansGod will do what God wants to do. "In God's time" or "God's WILL" was always the answer to the baby issue. Somehow I'd deluded myself into believing that by not praying about it I was doing the righteous thing by leaving it all up to God; I was somehow allowing him to handle it all, and I was merely staying out of it allowing him to "do his thing". There was never a lack of faith that I would conceive a child, there was a lack of communication about it. I was the wild horse that God needed to break. I explained it to someone once like this: As a parent you sit at the table with a bowl of ice cream. Your child walks up and says, "Boy I love ice cream!" You say, "I know." The child says, "That's my favorite flavor." You say, "I know." The child reminds you of how hot it is outside; you simply say, "I know it's hot outside!" If the child would only ask you for ice cream you'd give it to them; yet the child does not ask so you don't give them any. As a parent you want your child to ask, if they'd just ask they'd get some ice cream. No use in playing games or dancing around the issue-parents aren't mind readers you know!
I took months for this lesson of the verse in Jeremiah to sink in. I took from March until July for me to realize that I needed to ask for prayer and that by asking for prayer I was actually giving it up to God and that by not asking for prayer I was holding onto that for myself. I had to tell God that I trusted him to handle it. I had to ask God for healing. I had to submit to his will and wishes for me to communicate with him. On a Saturday night in late July a group of us stood about the auditorium after church. Christina, Mary, Mary's mother and I were all visiting as usual. Christina mentioned that she'd felt a burden on her heart that night to pray for my infertility. I had been compelled to ask for prayer but was still quite hesitant and selfish with that part of me. (Despite the pleas from pastor Brian on several occasions throughout the March-July time period that someone with infertility needed healing prayer to become pregnantI continued to be resistant.) At this point, with Christina I heard God loud and clear "Prayersubmit and admit you need prayer!" I explained my pituitary gland issue, my inability to ovulate and said to her, "If you feel like you really want to pray for me then go ahead, I guess." Well, she was lead to pray for me. The three ladies put their hands on me and prayed. It was obvious at that point that not only was the Spirit of God moving but there was an emotional healing taking place for me. I felt good and at peace. Within days of that prayer I was pregnant and didn't know it yet.