A different kind of announcement.

Eleven months ago, I wrote a blog from a space of deep sadness, dark disappointment, and a spiritual wrestling that conflicted my soul. Last year, I swore I heard straight from Jesus that we would be announcing a pregnancy at Christmas, my ultimate dream. I bought a cute baby bump shirt, anticipating the exact moment where we shared our news to our entire family, all at once. And then Christmas morning, as though it was the gift I was secretly expecting and never wanted to see, I got my tangible proof that I indeed was not pregnant. I got ready for the festivities that day and put on a shirt that held no meaning, and sat near a newborn. The world felt weird and cruel and it didn't make sense. How had I heard God so wrong? Was I making things up? I was sure of this promise and expected it to be right away.

But God. God doesn't work in our expectations, He works in His. His timetable. His moments. His faithfulness. If God operated on our personal desires and wishes I believe life would be an actual disaster. From this strong heartache I decided to press in closer to Jesus than I ever had before. I started praying differently. I began spending more and more time in scripture - determined to learn His voice and be able to distinguish it from my own heavy wants.

Life kind of changed after this - I was healed from the bondage of shame in February, my world turned upside down in a terrifyingly beautiful way in March at our women's retreat, April held a new kind of promise, and the next months following included great joy and another painful blow to the heart. One thing that was constant was my unwavering conviction to stay rooted in reading my Bible every day and growing in the gifts He has given me. Over this past year, I have received more healing and peace and relationship than I have probably experienced in my entire life. 2018 has been so good to me, even when it has a season of loss and ache.

Not long ago, a friend shared something with me that included these words: "It's going to be different than you expect". It didn't make much sense to me as things rarely do right now, but I tucked that in my pocket, expecting God to do something that I didn't expect - sounds legit, right? I got involved in teaching at my church and on the Women's Ministry team and haven't taken much thought into pregnancy or desperately hoping that everything He speaks to me is all about a child. Truth is, God's been pretty quiet on the baby front, and that's okay - He has me doing plenty of other things right now and it has been soothing to the soul and fulfilling. I truly believe I am walking out a piece of my purpose and He is gently allowing me to grow into new roles. I put all things baby on the back burner and decided if God was going to allow me to get pregnant, He will do it, and if we are supposed to seek medical treatment or something, that it would come through Jason. I am open to anything God wants us to do, but I will not move forward without unity in my marriage. That is a non-negotiable.

A consistent prayer in my prayers, I ask God time and time again to speak to my husband about whatever our home is supposed to do or be or look like. This isn't just about becoming parents, this is a covering for our entire home. I want my husband to be a good and Godly leader, and I am so blessed that he is. We move when there is unity and we pray when there isn't. Jason is supportive of all my crazy ideas and I have learned to trust the Holy Spirit in him, even if it scares the crap out of me.

So when God decides to change hearts, when God decides to move, it's usually instant, it's quick, and it's terrifying. And that's exactly what is happening to us. God did the unexpected, and it was in a way that we never thought would happen.

Jason and I have put in our application to become foster parents. We were able to share this news with our entire family on Thanksgiving.
My dream of sharing news of becoming parents on a holiday came true this year, even though it looked exactly opposite of how I had anticipated it.

And yet it's perfect. Because God is perfect. His plan is perfect and His timing is always just the right time. We are over the moon and yet terrified at the idea of bringing littles into our home. We know this won't be an easy task, but God isn't worried about our comfort, He is excited about our obedience. There is a beautiful kind of peace attached to this decision - unity, anticipation, and this overwhelming excitement that an unknown future holds. After filling out the paperwork and sending our application in, we saw the movie Instant Family - and we didn't beg for our application back, ha! It solidified the idea in our hearts that this will be a new and crazy and emotionally charged road, but God is leading the way and we know that we can do this through Him.

The support we have received from our family and close friends has been overwhelming and exciting. We know that with the host of support we have surrounding us that we will have shoulders to cry on, people to reach out to for help, and for a whole heap of extra hearts to love these kiddos that need to know people care about them and love them. We are so excited to see where this journey takes us and the children that God brings to our home. I have already been praying for these kids, for their families, for the right placement and the unification. The goal of fostering is to reunite children with their biological parents - and as hard as that is going to be sometimes, we are happy to provide a safe space for their hearts to land.

I don't know why or how we got so lucky that God saw us fit to open our home, but I've learned not to question it. I want to be super clear: this isn't an answer to infertility. It is not a cure. Infertility, my diagnosis specifically, creates a host of physical problems that is life altering and I will still have to focus on this, too. It is also all about the right timing and being united in marriage. If you are walking the road of infertility, I do not want you to feel shame if you're not ready to open your home to foster or adopt. It's a beautiful piece of our journey and I encourage you to lean into Jesus and ask Him what He wants for you.

It's with a snap of a finger, a sudden blink of an eye, that our entire world changed. My dream came true in the most unexpected way, and I still can't believe this is my actual life. I ask for each of you to pray for us and these children as we embark on this journey. We have no idea what this is going to look like, and isn't that a part of the fun?

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