Monday, May 9, 2011

"Our Journey" Snapshot

Hey friends!

This is a video that a couple of our friends made to show our church on Mother's Day. It is kind of our story in a nutshell. You get to hear a little bit about our journey, and even get to see Hudson - our answered prayer! Hope you enjoy!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day

MOTHERS DAY. It's amazing how those two words can evoke feelings of joy or pain (or both) in the hearts of so many people. I don't think any other holiday has the ability to do that to such an extreme.

For the past few years, Mother's Day has been one of the hardest days of the year for me. More than anything, I wanted to use the day to celebrate the wonderful mom that God has given me, with my friends who just had a baby, and most of all, the God who created the whole idea of "motherhood"...and yet, I couldn't pretend that everything was ok when being a mom was what I wanted more than almost anything. I would go to church and listen to the sermons written for mothers, and the well-intentioned preachers also mentioning those who were hurting. Although I appreciated their sympathy, it just served as a reminder that I remained childless. I would sit in my seat fighting back tears, looking around at all of the mothers with their beautiful corsages and kids sitting around them, and wonder if I would ever get to experience what it was like to be a "mom". I wanted to have hope, but that fear always crept in that I would never get to be on the other side of this struggle. It got to the point where I even considered not going to church on Mother's Day anymore. It was just too painful. I'm sure if you've experienced infertility, you know this pain all too well.

Many of you are probably wondering why this is my first post in over a year, since I am a mother now and getting to experience my first Mother's Day! Woo hoo! Well, it's because I can't celebrate this day (which I am to its fullest!), without thinking of all of my friends out there still hurting. Just because I finally have a baby doesn't mean that I don't remember the tears I shed and prayers I prayed to get him here! :) I also wanted to use this post to give all of you out there still waiting - HOPE!

WAITING. That's another word that's hard to swallow. I think "waiting" is one of the toughest things God can have us do. It requires patience (which is not one of my virtues!) and complete trust in God's timing. Urghhhh. Easier said than done!

However, I want to encourage all of you by saying that my baby was worth ALL the wait! I never knew exactly what God had in store for me, but I am so glad that He knew what was best for me all along. He taught me so much during my time of waiting and shaped my faith in ways that never would've happened had I not gone through the difficult days, and months, and years.
And let me tell you, the waiting makes the reward so much sweeter. Every moment of my pregnancy was blissful, because I had waited so long to get to experience it. When other girls were complaining about their weight gain or their belly button popping out, I was delighting in those moments. When other girls were dreading maternity clothes, I was running into Motherhood Maternity ready to try on everything they had to offer! When I had a sudden wave of nausea, I was so excited that the baby was growing and my hormones were changing! Every ultrasound was like getting to witness a divine miracle, because I was just in awe and overflowing with excitement about this little life growing inside of me. As my belly grew, so did my JOY! It was one of the happiest times of my life! (I am not trying to downplay pregnancy here or say that those of you who have had rough pregnancies didn't appreciate them. I know that several of you have had extremely difficult pregnancies and handled them beautifully. I just happened to get lucky and have a pretty easy one.)

And then, just when I thought life couldn't get any sweeter, I got to experience my little boy (Hudson Grant) coming into the world. Once again, life took on a whole new meaning. I am not going to say that parenthood is easy, because it is by far one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I feel like mine and Johnathan's perspective on the difficult days/nights was quite different because of what we had been through. The poopy diapers, the sleepless nights, the uncontrollable cries...all precious reminders that we had a baby in our home. I can't even tell you the number of times we have just stared at him in disbelief that he is our son. We soak up every cuddle, every bathtime, every smile and giggle, because we waited so long for this. (Once again, I am not saying that those of you who got pregnant easily don't delight in your babies or cherish every moment with them. I just feel like what we went through made me appreciate every little thing to its fullest!)

I say all of this to encourage those of you who are waiting to not give up or lose hope. When God answers your prayers on His timing, it will be SO WORTH THE WAIT! Most things don't make sense until later in life when we can look back on them and see what God was doing. I know its easy for me to say all of this now that we have a child of my own. I used to get so frustrated with people who already had kids telling me that everything was going to be "ok".

It would be much easier for all of us if God would just tell us what His plan was and the timing it was all going to happen. But I believe that He doesn't do that because He really wants us to learn to trust Him and to experience life's ultimate suprises! He will answer your prayers...maybe not on your timing or in the way you think it should happen...but He hears you and sees your tears and wants to give you the desires of your heart. One of my favorite verses while we were struggling was Psalm 27:13-14: "I am still confident of this. I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

Hang in there, dear friends. And know that the waiting will be all worth it. Your time of deliverance will come, and you will savor every moment of the experience just like I have because you have prayed and waited for so long. (This time of waiting can really be applied to anything you have been praying for...a spouse, a job, a passion, etc.)

For awhile now I have been thinking and praying about what to do with this blog. I still want God to get all of the glory for what has happened and continue to use this blog to help and encourage others. Therefore, I have decided to continue this blog by posting insights, words of encouragement, and stories to help those of you still battling with the bully of infertility. Even though I have gone on to have a child, there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about those still struggling and remember what it was like to be there. When I hear of another couple going through it, my eyes fill with tears as I remember the pain all too well. It is still an issue that most people keep private and not many people want to talk about. So, I will continue to post things here and there to help those of you feeling isolated in that struggle. I pray that God will continue to use this as a way to let anyone out there know that they are not alone. God is walking with us and among us each and every day, and our lives exist to bring Him glory.

Tomorrow, Mother's Day, is going to be a very special day for us, not only because it is my first, but because they are showing our story through a video we made at our church on Sunday and then praying a blessing over our son, Hudson. I will try to put the video on our blog in the next post, so that you can watch it if you want to. And for those of you who have asked, I promise to give you some updates on our little man and what God is teaching me as a mom!
I want to leave you with the words of one of my favorite songs...

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord,
We will wait upon the Lord,
We will wait upon the Lord.

Our God, you reign forever.
Our hope, our strong deliverer.
You are the Everlasting God.
You do not faint, you won't grow weary
You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles.

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint." - Is. 40:31