Today's post is written by Sarah Best. It is the story of a miracle. David has known Sarah and Luke for some years through their faithful participation at Trinity Christian Church in Owen Sound. My husband Luke and I met in 2011 when his father introduced us, keenly sensing that we were a ‘match made in Heaven.’ He was right. Our first date was a little bit awkward but a lot of fun. By 2012 we were married and eager to begin our lives together as a family. My entire life I longed for the day that I would be a mother. It was a desire that grew gradually and intensified once Luke and I began our lives together. I was 28 years old, secure and confident in our marriage being entirely of the Lord, and hopeful to see our family grow.
Long before we met I struggled with some reproductive health issues. I had two surgeries to remove endometriosis adhesions and was advised to stay on the birth control pill to ease the symptoms. Months before we were married I went off the birth control pill to allow my body time to return to its natural state. The months passed by, and things did not seem right with my body. We were advised that if we wanted to get pregnant we would have to induce ovulation with drugs. For four months I took Clomid (a drug to force ovulation), which ended up being a horrible experience. My body did not respond well to the medication. I kept going because we were holding onto the hope that this drug would work and that we would have at least a fair shot at getting pregnant. Each month we would take a pregnancy test with high hopes that it would be positive. Each time we saw a negative result we trudged on for another month on Clomid. With four failed attempts to conceive with this medication we went back to the specialist.
After some further testing we learned that my husband had some significant fertility issues himself, and that our treatments would now involve inducing ovulation with stronger medications AND further treatment procedures. We hesitated with this, questioning whether it was right to take such measures to conceive. We asked the Lord for His guidance and decided that we would trust our physicians and continue with the treatment. After a couple of attempts at this regimen we decided to stop. It was a very difficult time, looking back at all the ups and downs, the negative pregnancy tests and the financial loss we endured with the treatments. The clinic we attended was 2 hours from home as there are no such treatment options in our area. I had to drive to Kitchener every day for at least 2 weeks each month for blood work and other testing. The clinic visits were about 15 minutes long, then I would drive back home again. I remember the car rides that felt like they would never end and the drives that were over in a blink while my mind spun and squeezed all the information I received. I hung onto all the words the specialists said, some positive but mostly not. I had to pull over a few times to wait for the tears to pass so I could keep driving. It was a lonely and extremely painful season. Again, each negative pregnancy test was extremely disappointing. It was as if somehow I felt that my great efforts in the process would yield different results. My prayer was that our diligence and determination would meet the Lords favour and we would conceive. But this was not the way.
We took a break from the treatments so we could decide what to do next. The last and only option recommended by our specialist was to have another surgery (namely ovarian ‘drilling’) to remove some cysts on my ovaries and any endometriosis that had grown since the last one. We saw this as a last resort and figured we had nothing to lose. The doctors said it was a fairly straightforward procedure and that it would be beneficial. It occurred to us that this might be the end of our own attempts to ‘fix’ the problem considering how difficult we found the previous endeavours, but we did not anticipate what this last effort would entail.
The surgery itself was a breeze. We made the 2 hour drive home that afternoon thinking everything went great. My ovaries were ‘drilled,’ endometriosis removed and I was relatively pain free. That night the first of many complications arose from surgery that lead to 2 months of very hard times. Without going into detail, I can honestly say that there were moments when I felt like I was at my absolute lowest. The physical pain was only the beginning. What hurt the most was that the surgery was deemed unsuccessful. It was as if my reproductive system was just shut down. Ironically, so was the rest of me. I cried out to the Lord day after day, angry, afraid and in pain. I couldn't understand WHY all this had happened. A friend of mine patiently listened while I asked all these questions. One important thing that she said was to be honest with the Lord in how I feel. She said, “We have no right to be angry with God, but you have the privilege of coming to Him as His child, and pouring out your heart… all of it.” She also told me that “Some days you will have faith, and others you won’t. When you do, keep ASKING the Lord for a child. Come to Him in faith when you can. Come to Him in your brokenness when you can’t. Just come to Him.” She pointed out that no time is wasted in our walk with the Lord. She encouraged me to see that we are always moving forward and that this is a process that we walk through that WILL result in growth, not destruction. So as much as it hurts, and although we sometimes can’t see it… we are always moving forward.
Luke remained a strong loving and supportive partner throughout the entire experience. He listened, encouraged and cared for me when I felt very low. Before we were married he had a dream that we were walking through a supermarket. With us was a little girl with long dark hair sitting in the grocery cart. He says that this dream is what prompted him to propose to me when he did. He felt that it was the Lord’s way of showing him what was ahead, and a ‘nudge’ to take the next step of marriage. Luke held onto this dream the entire time. Even after the surgery, when I was at times certain there was no hope, he held fast to this promise from God. I would sometimes feel frustrated that he still believed in something that seemed so impossible, but he reminded me that our God is the God of the IMPOSSIBLE.
One morning while I was praying, I came to a point where I realized that the most important thing I can learn in this lifetime is to cling to Jesus. I laid in bed and thought to myself that anything in this world can be taken from me; any dream, any hope or any ‘thing,’ but I would be OK as long as I had Jesus. I became more aware of the fierce love of my Father God, strong and steady, never failing. Never disappearing as my own father had. In those moments when I felt pain taking over my body and my heart I felt His presence like never before. It was at my lowest points that His grip was the tightest. Like when a parent walks through a frightening or dangerous place with their child, He held me close. And when I felt like I was sinking further, He squeezed tighter. There was an ongoing dialogue between my heart and the Lord where He would repeatedly ask me if I trusted Him. Through both times of hope and sorrow His Spirit gave me the faith to reply, “Yes.” One verse I came to stand upon was this:
“Though the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will REJOICE in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my saviour. The sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights” Habakkuk 3:17-19.
Shortly before we went on a winter vacation, we took some time to talk and pray about our situation. We had the option of starting fertility treatments again in hopes that the surgery would have my body in a more favourable state. We agreed that if this is what the specialist recommended it wouldn't hurt. However, I felt finished with all of that. I couldn't bear to go through all the testing, the treatments, the poking and prodding. I felt in my heart that those efforts were futile. I truly believed that if we were to have a child it would be a result of the Lord’s power. Mind you, I was doubtful it would happen. I just knew that all other options were of no use.
One morning while we were on a sunny southern vacation together we ran into a dilemma with our finances. We were in a real pinch and we needed the Lord’s help. That morning in our hotel room we felt frustrated and afraid. We came before the Lord and prayed for our finances… and without any forethought we prayed for a baby. For the first time in a long time we prayed that the Lord would open my womb. I unexpectedly had the faith in that moment and we stepped out in that. Yes, my body was still apparently ‘shut down,’ but that didn't change our prayer.
When we returned from our vacation we found out that the financial dilemma was resolved. We thanked God, and were also very grateful for a restful and rejuvenating time away together.
About two weeks weeks after our trip I came down with the flu. I missed a couple of days of work and hunkered down at home. For a reason I cannot explain I decided to take a home pregnancy test. I had an abundant supply of these little sticks from when we were doing the treatments. I took this test for about the hundredth time and expected to see the same result. But this time there were two pink lines. I was sure that I was seeing things. I came to Luke with butterflies in my belly and asked him “Are there two lines here or one?” He confirmed, “There are two lines… what does that mean?”
Five seconds later he drove to the drug store to buy a fancy digital pregnancy test, because surely this little stick was wrong!! I held my breath as I took the second test. It took thirty seconds to result, and that was the longest thirty seconds of my life. After the wait the little screen finally showed it: “Pregnant, 1-2 weeks.” We looked at each other in amazement. I could hardly breathe. We both slumped into a heap on the floor and wept. We held each other and thanked the Lord over and over again. Here we sat with the evidence of a complete miracle.
Nine months later we held the evidence of that miracle in our arms. A beautiful, healthy baby girl with dark hair came from my body and squirmed on my chest. She looked up at me with these bright gorgeous eyes and I felt my heart leave me completely. She breathed her first breath and the promise that Lord gave Luke was born.
We look back today and we see so many things. The journey was not easy, and there were moments when we had great doubt. But God was gracious to us and worked through this doubt, teaching us to trust in His promises. He KNEW all that time that one day we would come to this place, where we would hold our child and kiss her cheeks. He knew that when I would study Lucy’s little face, and feel her soft chubby hands grasp mine that I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Because every step of the journey DID bring us forward. Maybe not in the way that I had hoped for… but we grew in the struggle and I saw my Father’s passionate heart in a new way through the trials. And last but not least, He knew that I would be here today reminding my brothers and sisters that nothing is impossible with God!!!