Sunday, December 27, 2009

Looking Ahead to 2010

I certainly don’t mean to be a debbie downer, but I want to be 100% real in this blog. So often we show our strength through our weaknesses, but at times it’s a real struggle to find positivity. As an outsider, I want you to know that Brooke and I are immensely blessed and we know it. We live an amazing life, but we experience lots of pain in our sufferings. I just wanted to share a very candid, frank glimpse into how we are feeling. The holiday’s were wonderful, but they were some of the toughest days this year. Here are my thoughts on 2009:

It’s that time of year when we reflect back on the past year and look forward to what the new year has awaiting us. I always get anxiously excited about what I am going to get accomplished in the coming year and I always get sentimental at what the past year had to offer. This year I could not be more excited to move forward. While I am so blessed in so many ways and 2009 confirmed so many of those blessings, it will always be a year of sadness for Brooke and I. It is honestly crazy that another year has come and gone with no baby Akin. 2009 was particularly difficult because of all the steps we took to grow our family (we basically found Nashville Fertility Clinic to be our 2nd home). We had 2 failed IUI’s, 1 successful IUI that gave us a taste of turning the page to a new chapter, only to see it end as an ectopic pregnancy. I remember so many nights of tears, so many negative pregnancy tests, and so many times when I pleaded with God to get us out of this phase in our life. Just thinking about the struggles of 2009 makes me tear up. This has been the hardest thing Brooke and I have ever faced. As a Christian, I am reminded everyday to “trust in the Lord” or to “not be anxious about anything” or I am gently reminded that the Lord has a plan for us. I truly believe all of those things, but it is so hard to really live that out each day. It is so hard to not feel abandoned or to wonder why we are experiencing so much pain.

I have no idea what the Lord has in store for the Akin’s in 2010 but I know the Lord is good and that he will continue to walk side by side with us on this journey. With a new year on the horizon there are new hopes and new plans awaiting us. As sad as I get in this process, I know I cannot give up and stop trusting God’s will for us. I just ask you guys to please join us on our journey. We absolutely cannot do this alone and we need everyone to pray like crazy in 2010. Pray that the Lord will guide us and give us peace with our next steps. Pray for strength, patience, and positivity for each day. Pray that someone else that is experiencing this can be blessed by reading our story. Pray of course for a BABY! Just keep us on your prayer lists (trust me, I am sick of dominating them). We love all of our friends and our families and we THANK YOU for being the bright spot in our 2009. Thank you for supporting us and your continued support as we excitedly begin a new year, which in our eyes is a fresh start!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Up and Down

A few weeks ago, one of my friends from college ended her life after a year and a half long battle with post-pardum depression. She was a compassionate, selfless, generous friend, wife, and mother of three beautiful children. Since her passing, I have been struggling so hard with the thought that she was in so much pain and suffering, and I didn't even know. I have been trying to keep my eyes and ears more open to those who might be hurting around me, because you never really know what people are going through and how an extra hug or smile might make a difference in their day.
I have also come to truly understand and realize the importance of sharing our burdens and struggles, because the things that this life can throw at us are just too hard to bear alone. God is our Ultimate Comforter, but he gives us each other to help make the load seem a little lighter and bearable.
I truly believe that one of the biggest tools of Satan is to keep us isolated, feeling alone in our struggles. If he can keep us in bondage through secrecy, then depression and sadness have a greater power over us. That is why I think it is stressed over and over in scripture that we are supposed to "carry each others burdens" and "weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice." This life together is what the church was created to be, yet "church" is often the last place that people feel comfortable being themselves. I have no doubt that this life is meant to be shared, so that we can all realize that we are not alone, that our feelings and questions are normal, and that life's primary goal is helping one another experience the love of Jesus Christ.
With all that being said, I want to be completely transparent with you guys right now and ask for your prayers. This holiday season has taken a toll on me and I am having a really hard time. My mind bounces back and forth between feelings of thanksgiving and questions about why we don't have a child yet. Johnathan and I often joke around about how we feel schizophrenic sometimes, because our moods and perspectives on the situation can change about a hundred times a day. Typically, when one of us is up, the other is down, and so we are able to help each other through the hard days...but here recently we have both been in a slump. Occasionally one of us will have a strong moment and share a word of encouragement to the other, but most of our thoughts recently have been those of sadness and discouragement. So far the acupuncture has not really shown many improvements in my cycle, but we know that we must be patient and give it more time.
One thing I love about God is that he shows off the most through my weakness, so I am just putting them out there for Him to use. I am far weaker than I like to think I am, and I have not been doing a very good job of trusting Him lately. So, there it is. We need all of you right now praying for us, because you know that the desire of our hearts is for God to use this whole thing to bring glory to himself...and we don't want to get in the way of that.
We love you all, and hope that you know that we want to help you carry your burdens too. Please don't hesitate to share with us what we can be praying for you about and how we can help make your load easier. This journey is meant to be shared.


Saturday, December 5, 2009


For me, the hardest part of this infertility journey is the "unknown". Questions like these often plague my thoughts...

- How long will this go on?
- Will we ever get to have a child of our own?
- Will I ever get to experience what it is like to have a child growing inside of me?
- Will I ever get to look at the face of a child and see Johnathan's eyes or my nose?
- Will I ever get to pray and read books with my child at night before rocking him or her to sleep?
- Will I ever get to pass down those holiday family traditions that I loved as a child?

When there is nothing you want more than to be a mommy, these thoughts seem to slip in whether you want them there or not. Although these questions still go unanswered and we have no idea what the answers will be or when they will come, GOD DOES. In Jeremiah 29:11, He tells us, "For I KNOW the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." I find so much rest in knowing that although my life seems uncertain and unpredictable, God has a plan and His ways are perfect. They may not seem to make much sense to us at the time, but I have no doubt that I will be able to look back on my life several years from now and see that God knew exactly what He was doing.
One of our incredibly godly friends said to us recently that maybe God is withholding our child until a certain time because he has a specific purpose that only he or she can fulfill. For example, maybe our child has to be born a certain year so that God can place our child in a dorm room at college next door to another kid that needs Jesus. Even Acts 17:26 tells us that "He determined the times and the exact places where they should live." How awesome is that!? We are all put here for a specific time, in a specific place, for a specific reason. I don't know why Baby Akin hasn't come into the world yet, but one thing I know for sure is that God will place them into our care at just the right time...for reasons that we may not know of or understand until we are on the other side of heaven.
When the "unknown" starts to weigh me down or frighten me, I find comfort in the fact that the Almighty has got this whole thing under control. When I start to freak out because I am getting older by the day and haven't had my first child yet, God reminds me that Sarah gave birth to Isaac when she was 90. When I start to feel like it's never going to happen, God reminds me of Hannah who bore Samuel after years of praying and crying out to Him.
"As for God, his way is perfect." -II Sam. 22:31