This is a story from Mary Elizabeth and Klint Ware, who will be joining our family as part of our staff in the fall. Listen and be encouraged.
The title of this post is very much what the cry of my heart has been for the years I’ve been a believer in Christ. To summarize that, my heart fights at times to believe that the Lord is able to hear our prayers and to heal what’s broken. Personally, I remember reading/hearing stories in the Bible of Jesus physically healing people, and I would immediately feel doubt that He is still able to bring healing in this day. Maybe this is a truth that, more often than not, many of us believers struggle with. A lack of belief. In the 9th chapter of Mark in the Bible, a man brings his son, who is physically suffering from an unclean spirit, to Jesus and says, “…But if youcan do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus replies, “If you can‘! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately, the father cries out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” People even had doubts then. Oh, how we always have and will need Jesus.
And to be honest, this doubt began to grow stronger in December 2011 when Klint and I heard the news that there was a possibility we may never conceive, and that we would definitely need medical help if we wanted to. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which apparently is very common, though my diagnosis was the so called “rare kind”, as I didn’t show any symptoms, except for overactive ovaries. This was never shared with me in the past, so you can imagine how much of an impact this news had on me, personally. The enemy immediately gripped me with taunting thoughts…”You’ll never be able to give Klint a child”, “If you only had not done ‘that thing’ in the past…”, “It’s all your fault”…and on and on.
I began to read through the Psalms, underlining words/phrases here and there like “You are holy” & “Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness will preserve me”. I wanted to fight the enemy’s lies and cling tightly to the truth that infertility was not the banner over my life. I’m not saying that I didn’t have to fight believing that, because I have…often.
I could write an extremely long post about all of the details in between then and now, but I may lose you. So, let me continue with the “shorter” version…
The past 3 1/2 years have been filled with every emotion, facing the reality of Satan and his divisiveness, struggling to be faithful and continue moving forward, and often just wanting to not face the day ahead while my heart was completely shattered in a bajillion tiny pieces. I was so hurt every time I saw/heard a pregnancy announcement and hearing people say things like, “Your children are going to be SO tall”. Not to mention the irregular menstrual cycles that were a constant reminder that my body is not “normal”. This may sound like crazy talk, but I was learning the process of grieving what, for many years, my heart longed for. And it was ugly, beautifully ugly. The Lord continued to press on my heart in overwhelming ways, even in the days I questioned His love for me.
I would keep returning to Isaiah 43. Specifically v. 1-2 which says, “…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name,you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” He didn’t say IF you walk through fire, He saidWHEN. That fact hit me hard, and I’m thankful. It was a reminder that we WILL struggle on this side of heaven, but we have hope that can only be found in Christ. And what’s even more beautiful is the truth that Christ isn’t only there with us when we die or only when He comes back, but through the Holy Spirit, He dwells within us always. We must keep persevering.
With much prayer and counsel, Klint and I decided to pursue further treatment with a Reproductive Endocrinologist after a few months of failed treatment with my OBGYN. We continued with a couple of months of “test” treatments before they presented the idea of performing an IUI (intrauterine insemination). Minus a couple of months of “breaks” to step back and check our hearts, we ended up having 5 total IUI procedures done. Our last IUI was done in August 2014. After we received another “no” and were encouraged by our doctors to consider IVF (in-vitro fertilization), we both felt strongly that the medical route door had closed. We were both exhausted and wanted more than anything for our hearts to firmly believe in the power of God and His ability to open my womb and allow us to conceive, even miraculously. Because He can. He did.
On June 9th, 2015, I had a scheduled appointment with a new OB. I was at a point where I really just wanted some guidance on how to better manage my crazy hormones and not just cover it all up with a pill. I had my last menstrual cycle in February of this year, which didn’t make me think twice about being pregnant, because it isn’t abnormal for me to go months without having a cycle.
So, I’m sitting in the exam room yapping away to the sweetest nurse about my hormonal roller coaster, and I’m sure she was getting motion sickness just hearing me explain it all. Then, she proceeds to tell me that I am pregnant in a really subtle way. I, of course, was immediately in shock. Then cue the tears and the laughter. Feeling it all.
Klint and I went in the next day for the sonogram to distinguish how far along I was…6 1/2 weeks. We heard the heartbeat. Again, the Lord’s sweet provision in His timing. Things quickly turned scary when I ended up in the ER that following weekend with what we thought was a miscarriage. Then there was that little, but strong, heart flickering on the sonogram screen. I found out a few days later at my OB that I had a sub-chorionic hemorrhage, which is internal bleeding between the placenta and my uterus. All of this news in less than a week was overwhelming to say the least. Although, through the fear, we wanted to remain steadfast in trusting Him who is the giver and sustainer of life.
Two weeks passed, and we went back in to the OB to check everything out. The baby had grown significantly and even was wiggling on the sonogram at just an inch long! We continue to be amazed and overwhelmed by the Lord’s grace and mercy. The bleeding has significantly decreased, and we are hopeful it will completely disappear.
Today, I am 11 1/2 weeks pregnant, and we want to rejoice with you all in His goodness and thank you for praying for us over the years. He IS able. And He DOES hear our prayers. His timing is truly perfect, and we never want to forget that through days, months, years, of suffering, He is working for our good. He loves us. He loves you. To be honest, I am hesitant to share this news publicly because I will always remember (and want to) the sting I felt when others would announce their soon to be parenthood. I don’t know if you are suffering today and longing for something with an aching heart. If so, I just want to say that I am so sorry. And I understand. I pray that our story would be a sweet and gentle reminder that the Lord cares for you. He is always present and He is always working. “‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed’, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” [Isaiah 54:10]