Beauty for Ashes

There I was, standing in the parking garage. Unable to stop the tears. Unable to catch my breath. I hadn’t even stepped through the doors of the fertility clinic yet. It was just the weight of what was about to happen and the reality of our situation that left me feeling like the biggest hole had been carved out of my heart.

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The appointment went pretty much like I expected it would go. We had been trying to have a baby for a good 4-5 years with zero success.  We had been through all the testing and both of us checked out fine. We were young and we were healthy. Consequently, the fertility specialist, with not even the slightest hint of compassion, informed us of our diagnosis.  Unexplained Infertility, with a less than 1% chance of conceiving on our own. In other words, they didn’t have a flipping clue why we couldn’t get pregnant and there was nothing to do to fix the situation other than IUI (artificial insemination) or In-vitro fertilization.  Even those options, we were told, may not work.  The specialist went on to explain our options, how much those options would cost, the risks, the possibility of multiples, the possibility of failure, etc.

All I heard was less than 1%.

I went into the fertility clinic that day completely devastated and left feeling even more shattered.  But, as we walked to the car, I felt something else rise up in me. A sort of determination, if you will. I can remember looking at Zach and yelling, through my tears, we are NOT a statistic!!!!  As hard as it was, I remember, in that moment, choosing to muster up every ounce of faith I had to believe what God had promised us. And, although I have great respect for physicians and modern medicine, that day, I had to make the choice to believe that God is faithful, He is good and He is The Great Physician.  There were times when we talked about God doing a complete miracle with no medical interventions (which He eventually did) and there were times when we considered what the specialist suggested and thought perhaps God could work His miracle through modern medicine. There were also many times we considered adoption.  For some reason, at that point in our lives, none of those options felt right. So we waited.

It would be another 3 years until we saw our first set of pink lines appear and then fade away too quickly. I can’t deny that during those three years, and the months following our miscarriage, I didn’t doubt or question God.  I did.  A lot.  It was a season of intense heartache but also intense personal and spiritual growth.  It taught me the meaning of true surrender and reliance on the One I claimed to know, follow, and trust with my life. It was a season in which I felt completely hopeless and, at the same time, a season in which I felt the closest to God that I’ve ever been.  Through my brokenness, He was making me a woman of breakthrough.

The day our son came into the world, I thought about that day in the fertility clinic. I thought about all the months and years of heartache. I thought about our little “e” we lost to miscarriage. As our eyes met for the first time, I thought of the sovereignty and the goodness of God.  And I knew, in that moment, His timing was completely perfect and that He really does cause all things to work together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). I still may not have all the answers to my questions or understand why He works the way He does, but I know He is good.

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I don’t know what you may be waiting on or hoping for, friend. I don’t know how long you have been waiting.  Maybe a month, or two, or ten.  I don’t know what kind of prognosis or diagnosis you’ve been given. I don’t know how, or even if God will answer your prayer this side of heaven, at least not in the way you think it should be. But I do know that the One who hung the stars and moon also knows every hair on your head and dream in your heart.  He heals the brokenhearted and gives beauty for ashes, blessing instead of mourning, praise instead of despair, and a double portion for former shame (Isaiah 61).  He hears your prayers, sees your tears, and knows your every fear.  He would leave the 99 over and over again to come after you, His precious one.  You are the apple of His eye.  You are His beloved.

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If you read this and need encouragement or prayer, or would like to know more about the One who is the source of my hope and strength, I would love to hear from you.  Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email at blumeandgrow@gmail.com.

XOXO,

Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Beauty for Ashes

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