I took a step today as I move into the new year. I signed up for a daily devotional geared specifically for women dealing with infertility, and I signed up for a one-year online Bible reading plan. Women who experience pregnancy loss and infertility need a special dose of God’s love and encouragement!
I am so happy I have surgery date in February. My only New Years resolution is to get my reproductive health under control while I remember God is at the helm. Maybe this will be the year God finally gives me answers. Maybe the doctors can correctly diagnose my infertility problem and maybe even correct whatever they discover. But I put my faith in God much more than any doctor. I know that with God all things are possible.
This being said, I am happy to put the challenges of 2012 behind me. I started the year pregnant only to find out one month later I was having yet another ectopic pregnancy. I found this out during an early morning ultrasound the first week in February with my husband Mark on the the same day he had to drive 2,100 miles to Erie where the military would station us for the next four years. It wouldn’t be until April that I was cleared of my pregnancy after 17 blood tests and numerous trips to the doctor and hospital. Mark was gone the entire time, and I was blessed to have my mom stay with me for three of the 11 weeks I was alone to take care of me during the worst of it all. My doctor also told me in April I should never try again naturally for children, except she couldn’t even tell me herself. She used her physician assistant to tell me. I had only my dear friend Cindy and her husband Jason to give me a physical hug and hand me a tissue after I received that news. I am so grateful for their support.
In March I had to leave my dream job as Event Coordinator at the Boise WaterShed Environmental Education Center, and two weeks after my last blood test at the hospital Mark came back for me. The movers came and packed up the house a day later, and we drove my little Saturn with three cats in the back seat 2,100 miles from Boise to Erie. Boy was that an adventure I will NEVER EVER forget! Once we got to Erie, our renter moved into our Boise home and really gave us a hard time as she set up her new life there. Thankfully we weathered that storm, despite feeling a little financially strained. I tried to find a job for three months, before I knew God was telling me to stop looking. He wanted me to see a doctor and get a second opinion about my infertility. He knew I need answers and closure regarding my two pregnancy losses.
I met Dr. Jeffress in November on Mark’s birthday. She immediately agreed with me about surgery and instantly set up a surgery date. She is a kind and compassionate doctor, unlike my old OB/GYN who I met in the ER during my first ectopic pregnancy in August 2011. My old doctor was very good at helping me make some of the most difficult decisions of my life, but she lacked bedside manner. I feel blessed to have a health care professional in my life who understands my goals and dreams, and who hasn’t given up on me. I am looking forward to surgery this coming February, and getting to know her through the experience better. I know ultimately that everything is in God’s hands!
Although I have not been working outside of the home, God has been working hard on healing my broken heart and shattered dreams. He has helped me to get through a very long and intense grieving period, and is now helping me to move on with my life. I am soooo blessed to have met Kitty and Mathew over summer. I enjoy their small group on Friday nights, and everyone there has been such a blessing in my life. I know God brought me to this Bible study. Some of the people in my study have struggled with similar issues to my own, and they know exactly how I feel. In October I met Darcey who leads the Moving In, Moving On group at my church. Here I was able to connect with six other amazing ladies who had all recently moved into the area too. I am now a volunteer at my church helping with social media and website communication. Grace Church McKean has been the best thing to happen to me since we moved to Erie! One special person there–Jim–initially reached out to us and made us feel welcome. And Grace now feels like our second home. I have never seen so many Christians who truly emulate Jesus with their lives. Grace has really allowed me to rediscover God all over again and given me hope in the midst of a year filled with so much grief and so much change.
I hope I never have another year like 2012. Being separated from Mark for 11 weeks, enduring a pregnancy loss for four months, and totally trusting God on one income in a brand new part of the country has been a real challenge! I would not trade my challenges for anything in the word. My faith has grown by leaps and bounds this year. Through everything, God has shown me so much beauty through His creation. Nature reveals the character of God, and Presque Isle State Park and Asbury Woods have been my outdoor sanctuaries where Mark and I can feel close to God and think on all things pure and lovely and admirable and trustworthy. I have been indulging my passion in landscape photography over the past three months, and I can’t think of anything I love more as a hobby right now than to capture creation on camera, especially as I adapt to life in a new part of the country!
Goodbye 2012. I am grateful the life lessons I have learned this year. I am really looking forward to whatever plans God has for my life in 2013! May the Lord continue to reign in my heart and in my life. I pray for a great outpouring of God’s love and spirit on those I encounter during the next year! May this day and everyday of my life be all about serving God and furthering His kingdom!