Sunday, April 29, 2012

Now the LORD was gracious... [Genesis 21:1]

Last February I shared HERE and HERE about the journey to grow our family.  How it wasn't simply a biological journey but also a serious test of our faith... (I encourage you to read both posts and their comments again, or for the first time...)

This January the biological journey came to a head.  We had dabbled in some fertility methods between August & December- IUI, Clomid, Letrozole, more testing...all to no avail.  Then in January I decided to see a naturopath who specialized in acupuncture (something my OB recommended over a year ago) and started down that route.  Along the way he explicitly told me that he didn't think I'd be pregnant in the next three months and that his main goal for me would be to forget about getting pregnant...I told him that would be a miracle.  But, in January with my RAW & RUNNING challenge as a distraction and a hiatus from the fertility clinic I was able to keep my mind off of it a bit but was certainly reminded of our infertility when my cycle was a shocking 24 days long- ugh.  The only encouraging discovery my nautropath made was that I have a genetic mutation (MTHFR) which has been linked to miscarriage, depression, Alzheimer, and a whole list of other things.  Not that I have had any known miscarriages but I figured the supplement I needed to take to manage this was well worth it.

February rolled around again and with it a Bible study at my church...a study of the Patriarchs and I was confronted once again with the story of Abraham, the Father of Faith.  What is it about this story? What is God trying to teach me through Abraham?  We were asked if we believed in miracles and my tank for belief in these sorts of God given gifts was running a bit low.  But Beth Moore reminded me very sweetly that when a situation hits the "impossible" category then it might be prime time for the "God show."

"He wants to make absolutely sure that we know He's the one who fulfills divine promises."

And then my period didn't start, well, I had some spotting which isn't normal for me, but I had just had that weird cycle so who knows what was going on with my body.  I was resolved NOT to take a pregnancy test until day 34 (there have been a handful of times in the last 2 years where my cycle was longer than normal but all tests came back negative and like clockwork my period started on day 33.)  So, day 34 it was (still spotting) and low and behold it was also mine and Jeff's 5th wedding anniversary.  I goes nothing, either this will be a sweet anniversary gift or at least I'll be able to drink wine on our dinner date...

I'd given up on those analog pregnancy tests long ago...I need digital...and on that anniversary morning I saw the word I've been so longing to see...2 years and 2 months later...PREGNANT!  Could it be true? But what's with this spotting?  I was so filled with joy and robbed of it at the same time...fear swooped in and gave Satan his opportunity. I told family we were pregnant but it was always accompanied with, "but I've had some we'll just have to see."

Somewhere along the way I was prayed for by a friend and felt the LORD saying...this faith journey isn't over, I'm pursuing you and this bleeding is just my way of calling you back to me, asking you to trust me through it all, getting pregnant isn't the end of your story.  It truly is a luxury to have modern medicine, but what does it do to my faith?  I'm not going to lie, I wait impatiently for each doctors appointment, each ultrasound and heart monitor to confirm that there is indeed an amazing little life growing inside me...and praise the LORD, there is!  But I also need to remember the lessons I've learned these past 2 years, that God is the author of our story and that he can write it even better than I can, even if I want to help him with his "writers block" every once in awhile. ;)

It's strange to say it, but I have been blessed by infertility, but I have been.  I have made connections with other amazing women who are struggling too.  I have been tested in my faith, in my character, in the depths of my heart.  I have also been blown away by the number of friends who have struggled with infertility that have found themselves miraculously pregnant in these past 6 months- God is moving people!  And if you're reading this and struggling too, I pray for trust and faith and endurance because I know first hand that this season is exhausting.

I have loved looking back at last years posts and seeing now the answer to prayer and knowing how much I've grown because I will admit that after writing those posts I thought for sure God would grant me my hearts desire...that he would be satisfied with my "aha" moment...but he had bigger plans for me, and he still does!

Lord willing, we will be holding a healthy baby in our arms by Nov. 5th and we are beyond thrilled that the LORD is indeed gracious and we give Him all the glory.  Thank you dear friends for all your prayers and love along the way and thank you for forgiving me when I've failed too.

We ask for your continued prayer as we journey through this next chapter and become a family of 4!

[Posting this now, just one day shy of completing my first trimester and 5 days away from my next OB appt. is yet another leap of faith for me...but this story is being written and I thought it was about time to share.]


Chrissie said...

I pretty much just balled my way through your posts. I can so identify. I would not have chosen the path God set for our family but in so many ways I am just so incredibly thankful for all the lessons learned along the way. I see the way God prepared and transformed our hearts and our marriage in ways we never could have imagined. Today as this giant belly reminds me of the beauty of life, it's not always full of joy but it is always a part of our journey to become all we were created to be. Thank you for sharing, and please know I will be praying for that sweet little bean of yours to continue growing healthy and strong. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you family through this special addition :) So many Congratulations!

Shauna said...

Yay!!! I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I'm so happy for you and it's so wonderful to see your journey documented and how you've grown through it. We just went through the Abraham story at church too - what a good reminder to trust in the Lord! We've been praying for you guys over this long stretch and it's just so amazing to see prayers answered in this way. So much joy in my heart for you. <3 We will continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy! Congrats!!!!

Jesse said...

Jenny - I am overjoyed to hear this news! Hurray for you and Jeff and Wes.. ! Thanks for sharing here - even though we don't see each other often, you've been in my thoughts as you've been so honest about your desires to see your family grow. This is wonderful news!

Megan said...

Jenny, I am so excited for you and Jeff! I'm glad you let me know about your struggle so that I could pray for you. And I have been! To watch God answer this prayer for you is such a blessing. Congratulations, Mama!

Kristen Gough said...

I don't think I will ever forget receiving that phone call from you guys on your wedding anniversary, on a day when I had already been giving thanks to God for you and Jeff, for your marriage and family, and also praying for your hearts on this hard journey of waiting and longing for your family to grow. oh, how Kyle and I rejoiced with your news!! and how we continue to overflow with joy as often as we think of you, praising God for his ways, his timing, his goodness through all the details of your story--a story that, yes, is ever-unfolding.

I am so blessed on a deeply personal level to be your sister-in-law and close friend for life, Jenny. Praying for you and with you these past years, sharing tearful conversations and embraces, aching together and also rejoicing together, seeing Christ in our midst and knowing him alive in our hearts, growing us both, individually as well as in our friendship--I have been changed in many ways through your faith journey. I feel honored to share life with you and know you, and to be known by you as well. Thank you for sharing your heart and your story so courageously.

We absolutely cannot wait to hold this sweet babe of yours in our arms, and begin to get to know this one that God has so lovingly given to your family, to our big extended family, to our community, and to the world at this time!!

I love what you shared from your Beth Moore study, and I pray it would be true of all of our lives, especially in the areas where we wrestle with God through trials: May we all be living testimonies of God displaying His glory, His love, His power and authority, and His grace and mercy, His supreme goodness! Amen! I love you so very much, dear sister.

La Dolce Vita said...

We are so happy for you and your growing family, Jenny! We can't wait to meet this new baby one day...No doubt it will be great for Wessy to have a brother or sister.

More fun to come! :)

You are strong, Jenny and you coped very well with all the difficulties you had...


Prince said...

It's 10:10 my time. I love you 10 x 10 x 10 x infinity :) You, Jeff and Wes are never far from my thoughts. Even though we are in different stages of our lives and we can't always say to each other "I know exactly how you feel" I am very grateful for the unconditional love we share between us and the friendship that we keep so close to our hearts. You are beautiful in so many ways Jenny. I'll love you always.

Brianne said...

I am delighted, and glad the news is out! You are a sweet friend and I am so happy for your hearts desire to be filled in this little soul :) Congratulations Goughs!

Casey Lee said...

Oh Jenny, I am SO so happy for you. I have been praying for you earnestly for quite some time now. Our little family will continue to pray for you and yours, and we can't wait to see what God has in store for all of you this year! xo.

Claire Carey said...

What joy! I am so happy for this new life, Jenny!

Rebekah said...

So happy for you guys Jenny - this is such a beautifully written post!

I love this line the most -

"He wants to make absolutely sure that we know He's the one who fulfills divine promises."

I see God moving in your family. I see Him using your story to touch others lives. I see Him gaining the most beautiful access to your heart and I see His deep deep love for you and how He has perfectly timed this new addition! I can not wait to meet this special gift from God this Fall!

Praying for deep deep joy and peace and an overwhelming sense of love and anticipation.

Love you guys!

Lynne Paulus said...

Go God! Jenny, it is always amazing to see God provide! Provide our needs, our heart's greatest desires, and even those we don't know we have too! Greater even still, is to see and hear of how He is indeed always pursing us and nevers lacks in His endurance to keep reminding us who our provider indeed is! What a journey you have been on and are continuing on. This little miracle is coming at the perfect timing, God's timing! Thank you God for your gracious giving heart. Thank you for giving this new life and the continual working in all of ours through eachother! SO exciting, thanks for sharing your story!

amy said...

this is beautiful, jenny, as is your heart. i'm happy for you and jeff and for the growing little miracle inside you. congratulations!

Andi Mae said...

Oh, Jenny! This post seriously had me in tears! I am so so happy for you guys!

I know I have been pretty quiet in blogland lately, but I have been praying for you so much since you posted last year about your struggle to get pregnant. As I learned about each one of your sisters' pregnancies, I prayed even harder that God would grant you the desire of your heart. He is so good!

I love your heart, Jenny. This post is so beautiful and encourages me so much in my own faith + trust in the Lord. I am praising Him with you tonight for answering your prayers. And I will continue to pray throughout your pregnancy that He will continue to fill you with peace as you trust in Him, and of course for your newest little one!

So so so happy for you!!
xo Andi

Kelsie said...

This is so, so wonderful Jenny! Many congrats again! I'm so happy to hear the news and appreciate your vulnerability in sharing what has been going on in your life. Prayers for a healthy pregnancy!

Marilyn Woolard said...

Praising the Lord wit h you for this wonderful news. Marilyn (Jocie's mom)


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