I guess I should begin this by sharing some amazing things that have happened since fall of last year.
In October, one of my best friends and I went to a conference in Orlando that was hosted by inspirational speaker and author, Lysa TerKeurst . During that life-changing conference, Lysa said something that caught my attention: "Lord, I exchange my Will for Thy Will and know that He will." The very words I wrote down in my journal at that very moment were: "Lord, I exchange my will, to be a mother, for Your Will in my life." It was a moment that my heart will never forget. The moment I totally and completely, once and for all, let go of what I could not control and decided to fully place it in God's hands.
In November, Nick and I went to Nashville so I could take a photography class with the woman I have looked up to the most in the photography world for the past 7 years or so, Joy Prouty. After her class, I sat outside waiting on Nick to pick me up. Joy walked out and sat next to me, we chatted about life and such things, and I told her about our infertility journey. I also shared with her about the weekend before when I made that bold decision at the conference in Orlando. Joy told me about this book called, "The Circle Maker". It's about a man from long ago who drew a circle in the sand and would not budge from inside it until God answered his impossible prayer for his people. Joy said if I circled our longing to have children in prayer, she would circle it along with me.
I started reading the book in late November. Every morning, I walked in a circle around the room in our house that is currently my office and prayed. I asked God that His Will be done in my life. I asked that He would bless us with a child that would sleep in this very room, and, if the answer is no, that He would bless my photography business. I circled in prayer and praise until I was dizzy and my dogs looked at me like I was insane. Every morning.
In December, I read something my good friend Katherine shared on her Instagram page: "The more I let go of the life I thought I was supposed to have, the more I learn to love the life I've been given." I meditated on that every day. I surrendered every day to trusting in God's plan for our life.
Then, on the morning of January 17, I took a digital pregnancy test and there it was, the word I have longed to see for nearly 5 years: PREGNANT!!! Nick was still asleep so I hopped in the shower so he wouldn’t hear my sobs of joy! I praised God so hard that I was shaking! Nick’s birthday was just two days away and I thought for sure I could hold out on telling him until then. Me being me, however, I decided the night before his birthday I just had to tell him! He was obviously in shock! We have both wanted this for years and both gone through our own stages of grieving when it just wouldn’t happen. I think we had both come to terms that we may be just an Aunt and Uncle for the rest of our lives. Once the initial shock somewhat subsided, tears of joy fell from his beautiful blue eyes. We cried and hugged and laughed and cried some more!
There's a passage in the book that says something so relevant to our situation that I shared it with Nick before I told him I was pregnant and I'd like to share it here:
"If we were absolutely honest, we would have to admit that most of our prayers have as their main objective personal comort rather than God's glory. If God answered those selfish prayers, they would actually short-circuit the purposes of God in our lives. We would fail to learn the lessons God is trying to teach us or cultivate the character God is trying to shape in us. A second lesson learned is that no doesn't always mean no; sometimes no means not yet. We're too quick to give up on God when He doesn't answer our prayers when we want or how we want. Maybe your deadline doesn't fit God's timeline. Maybe no simply means not yet. Maybe it's a divine delay." [Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker]
So, here we are almost 10 weeks in, expecting a miracle! I feel so honored to be carrying a life inside of me that so many people have prayed over before it was even created in my womb! Such JOY floods my soul!
You can call it what you want, you can say, "It will happen when it's supposed to", but nothing beats the feeling of experiencing first-hand what an answered prayer feels like! Five years of crying out to God, praying through brokenness, clinging to any ounce of Hope available, learning to surrender with hands open in trust instead of fists clinched in bitterness, I have to say- every ounce of pain was worth the wait of a promise delivered under divine delay.