Written by: Erica Strader
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
This is a question that any kid might hear between the years of pre-K and High school graduation.
From the time I was five years old until I graduated high school, the only thing I dreamed of becoming was a mother. Call me old fashioned, but I dreamt of being a housewife that took care of her kiddos, the house, and the laundry, while having dinner readily prepared for my God-fearing husband when he arrived home from work that evening. This was and still is my heart's deepest desire.
I was the kid who played with baby dolls well after my peers had stopped. If someone made a comment about how I was too old or asked why I was buckling my doll into a legit car seat, I simply responded with, “Oh, I’m just practicing for babysitting.”
I couldn’t wait to graduate high school, marry young, and start my very own family.
Well, I am surely blessed and the first part of that dream came true. I married my high school sweetheart in 2014. He was everything that I had prayed for and far more than I could have ever imagined. He loves me like Christ loves the Church. He is the spiritual head of our house. He encourages me, supports me, and is my biggest cheerleader.
In 2016, I finished my college degree and we decided that it was FINALLY time to start our family. The season that I had dreamt about since I was five years old was finally here. I was a little nervous, but mostly excited.
The first couple of months went by and the first few pregnancy tests were negative. People assured us that “this was normal” and sometimes it “takes a few months.” “Just relax.” “Don’t think about it and it will happen.”
Have you ever been really hungry?? You know. When your stomach is growling so loud that it's embarrassing to the people around you and you feel the need to apologize?
Were you able to just “relax” and forget all about the fact that you haven’t eaten and you're going to be physically sick if you don’t eat something soon?!
Asking someone who has been dreaming of a family their whole life to just “relax” is like asking your belly to chill when it desires food. In my opinion, it’s an absurd expectation!
After a year went by and we were still not pregnant, we decided to see a fertility specialist. They performed all kinds of testing on both my husband and me. Weeks, then months went by. They reported that I was completely healthy and that I should have no problem conceiving. My husband, on the other hand, had some abnormalities. He had a low sperm count and low motility. In essence, there were not enough soldiers and the ones that were there weren’t fast enough to make it home. Despite the results, the doctors reported that he was also completely healthy and that they didn’t know why his counts were so low. “You are still so young,” they said, and encouraged us to “keep trying.”
Three years later, we are still trying to conceive. When I say “trying,” I really mean “not preventing.” Because I am not stressed out or worried about it at this point. I know that the Lord knows the desires of my heart. He knows my season. He knows my struggle. He knows my hurts. And HE CARES. He, the one who sits on the throne, knows better than I. He has a plan. And I desire for His plan to be my plan and not the other way around.
He is the essence of GOOD no matter what.
Whether I physically carry a child full term, or if the Lord chooses to allow another woman to deliver our precious son or daughter into this world, I know that it will be more than we could ever ask, think, or imagine. Because that’s what the Word of God says (Ephesians 3:20-21). And the Lord keeps the promises that He makes.
I have been honest with the Lord about my feelings throughout this entire season. And believe me, there are hurts. But despite that hurt I choose to praise the Lord for His goodness. I choose to remember all of the times that He has been faithful and has answered my prayers. The times where He has blessed us when we didn’t even ask for it.
And this my friends, is how I can live out my life full of Joy that could only come from a loving Father, despite my circumstances. Over the years the Holy Spirit has brought me to one conclusion: that if my testimony brings one person to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, then it is ALL WORTH IT.
So I choose to praise.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20
“I will praise the Lord at all times, I will constantly speak His praises.” Psalms 34:1
“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” and through Christ, our “Amen” ascends to God for his glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:20
“He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises.” Romans 4:21
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