Today, its slightly different. This morning I had a strong feeling to share with you something extremely close to my heart. A personal story about the current battle I am fighting.
My husband and I are struggling to get pregnant. I have been diagnosed with several infertility issues and we have been battling along this infertility journey for a year now. Its tough, Very tough. I don't think I could have ever got through some really tough times without the support, love and encouragement from a small handful of close friends, my family and of course my doting and adoring husband.
In the beginning of our journey, my hubby and I tried to get through it on our own, we didn't want a million questions from people we had told every time we saw them. Trust me, there are times when you REALLY don't want to talk about it. But as the months went by we started opening up to close friends, letting them in one by one. But more importantly we decided to open up to God. My husband and I are Christians but a year ago I wouldn't say that we were 'active Christians'. As the months went by I started feeling incredibly anxious and hopeless as my body was not responding to any of the fertility treatments. I would find myself so angry, angry at God for making this so difficult for us. A couple that have been together for over ten years, with so much history, with just so much love for each other its crazy, all we want is to share this love with a child. To give each other the best possible gift we could ever want and wish for.
It was in those very dark times that I decided to turn to God, Jesus Christ. I honestly could not carry it all on my own any more. My hubby and I started going back to church and I decided one night to hand EVERYTHING over to Jesus. All my worries, my doubts, my all, to Christ, and to trust that He will heal me and bless us with a healthy baby. I told Him that night that I needed constant reminders that I had done the right thing, that I CAN trust Him. I wanted big, in your face signs.
Since that night, it is amazing how Jesus keeps reminding me that He hasn't forgotten about me, I have had the most incredible experiences. Experiences that if I had to name each one we would be here for days. But I just really has it on my heart to share with you a few ...
I started attending an infertility meeting group toward the end of last year. It is held the last Saturday of every month and it is a group of Christian women, all suffering from different infertility issues, they are all at different stages of their journeys. Me, being a very fresh one.
One meeting, one of the girls shared one of the past girls amazing stories. This couple had been trying for over ten years with no success. One night they read a verse in the bible that told them that whatever they ask for in prayer, if they believe it, they will receive it ... I know what you thinking, all good and well, it's exactly what I was thinking ... Anyhow, they started actively praying for a healthy baby girl, whom they wanted to name Abigail. True as bob, she fell pregnant a few very short months after with a little girl.
That evening, after hearing this story, I came home to my hubby and we went for a long walk to discuss it. We decided we were going to give this 'method' a try. We were not particular to having a boy or girl. All we wished for was a healthy baby. So we thought it best to settle on a boy and a girl name and pray for both. Now names for my hubby and I have always been a soft spot, we can, and have never ever agreed on names! But this once, for some very odd reason we settled on two names very easily. Olivia for a girl, and Levi for a boy.
In the weeks that followed the name OLIVIA kept coming up. Over and over again. In the most strangest ways. Now in the beginning I thought, it was all in my mind- You know when you are set on buying say a VW in a certain colour, then all of a sudden you see a million of them on the roads. Well, that's what I thought initially but then it was too obvious for me NOT to accept that this was God showing me that this little Olivia was not just a silly name that we had chosen to pray for.
It was a few days before my sisters baby shower, her and I had always spoken about being pregnant together, going out and shopping for baby goodies together, sharing our nightmare "ag these kids" vents and frustrations, sipping tea whilst our babies played together. More so, having our children be more like siblings than cousins. I had planned her entire baby shower event, and loved every minute of it but in the final days before, was feeling extremely low and sad, dreaming of my baby shower and just how desperately I wanted to be pregnant ... Feeling hopeless and anxious about how and when I will be ... And feeling almost, left behind.
On the day of her baby shower, her sister in law, as soon as she arrived, grabbed me and pulled me aside. She said to me (bear in mind she has no idea what I am going through, infertility wise), she said to me that for the last three nights she has had the most vivid dreams of me having a little girl, she says I was so incredibly happy and these dreams felt so real. Her and I have actually only seen each other one/ two times before this, I don't have a relationship with her at all. She said every morning she would wake up saying to her husband, gosh I had ANOTHER dream of Samantha and this little girl, its just so weird. What does it mean!? Being a Christian herself, she chose not to ignore it. She presented me with a card and a gift. In the gift bag was a beautiful pink baby girls dress and the card read, I am not sure why, but I have a strong feeling that you are going to have a little girl, very soon.
I honestly didn't know what to say to her. Speechless. Dumb founded. Amazed. I was blown away. I still don't think she knows to this day how much what she did meant to me. Especially on this day.
Book club. I am part of a book club (more wine, less books), in March we met at a friends house and one of the girls asked how everything with me was going. I proceeded to tell them about the Olivia story, how this name keeps coming up over and over, so in my face I just cannot ignore it. I told them about my sisters sister in laws dress story and could see a few of the girls start looking at me as though I am a little mad/ reading into things too much ... Just then, one of the girls pointed to the TV screen, there in the middle of the screen the words "Something like Olivia" was in bold. At the time of me describing all of these events, a song, which all of us had never heard before, by John Mayer was playing, 'Something Like Olivia'. In fact the girl, whose song selection it was had never heard that song before and didn't know how it ended up on her play list. Well, it had us ALL in complete shock and disbelief. There she was. Again!
I really cannot name every single event where this name has come up. But it has, call me crazy. Over and over. Its wonderful, encouraging and gives me hope.
But the experience I had last night just takes the cake.
My husband and I are part of a small group. In the first meeting 2 weeks ago we all put in our prayer requests. Mine obviously being our desperate pregnancy request.
The last two weeks have been really difficult for me. I know I said I have 'handed my situation' over to God but I have many times where I doubt it. I doubt that I will be able to fall pregnancy naturally, by complete miracle. I doubt whether God has forgotten about me and Olivia. I doubt whether He thinks that my silly issues are big enough compared to the many other bigger issues out there. I start thinking that maybe we need to go back to the doctors and try some more fertility treatments ... So these past few weeks, my husband and I had started discussing IVF - This being the only treatment that doctors had said would work for us. At R50 000+ a time its A LOT to swallow. We discussed how and where we could get the money from. My fears of it failing and how I just don't think I could ever get through it if it did have to. Where we could get the money to try again ... And the chances of it failing again ... As you can imagine, a lot of sleepless nights, fears, doubting and worrying.
In this past Sundays church service, whilst the pastor was speaking, something came over me telling me that we need to TRUST in God more. Hand it ALL over to him. Be more bold and direct in our prayers. After the service I told my husband that I want to stop tip- toeing around God. I want our prayers to be less "please Lord we ask for a healthy baby, we are waiting patiently, please bless us in Your name" to more "Lord, THANK YOU for our healthy baby, thank you for a positive test result, thank you for blessing us, Thank you for making us parents." Start believing more that we have ALREADY RECEIVED this blessing than praying for the blessing to come ... That Monday morning I prayed, asking God to please show me that I am doing the right thing. Asking Him to show me, will he bless us with a baby naturally or will he spark that life in me through an IVF treatment. What must I do, please to guide me properly now!
This past Tuesday morning I prayed this same prayer with my bible on my lap. I then opened my bible to a verse that blew me away:
"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
I was blown away by this verse. Completely. God had answered my prayer.
Obviously then slowly my doubt sets in again, was it just coincidence I landed on this verse ... Silly self doubt me. Last night before going to our small group meeting, I read this verse to my husband. Telling him that I strongly felt that us being more bold and direct with our prayers was the answer. He loved this verse and was finally sold on the concept.
To make matters even more confirmed ... At small group, our hosts asked if God had spoken to any of us during the week. I was hesitant to say, but then decided stuff it I am, and shared with them this verse. The host couple had to stop me mid way, and in complete shock they said, my gosh! We were praying for you on Monday and came across THIS EXACT verse for you. This EXACT verse. We were so uncertain as to whether to share it with you or not but wow, how incredible that God showed you the same verse. This double, triple confirmed for me and my husband that this WAS the answer to my prayer. I need to truly believe (as hard as it is going to be at times) that God has ALREADY blessed us with our beautiful, healthy baby. Truly believe and trust in God, and thank Him for our baby. Thank him for our positive pregnancy test result. Have confidence that I have already received it, removing any doubt from my heart, believing that what we say WILL happen. In Jesus name.
I just HAD to share this today. I am OVER THE MOON excited and so ready to share with the whole world that our God is an AMAZING God and that you mean everything and more to Him. No matter how silly and small you may feel, to God you are everything. The most important. I am so confident that He is going to bless us with an absolute miracle. Nothing or no one can tell me otherwise. Watch this space!