Saturday, March 23, 2013

I love to tell His story... part 3

Hard seasons can make strong and courageous people.
And I believe, even more, that hard seasons -- endured through seeking the face of God -- make humble and grateful people.

It's just that sometimes, you don't know when hard seasons will end.
Sometimes, you don't know that hard seasons are actually really, absolutely life changing -- until you're on the other side. 
Praise God for His guidance and grace!

Our move to Indiana was hard.  
Mostly on me.

I was alone, again, and still dealing with the death of my dad.  I was trying to figure things out in a small town.  I was exploring and seeing life, but feeling so displaced and out of touch. Even still, God was near and I read Psalm 34 over and over again.

The spiritual part of Indiana was hard.  It seemed so dull and so empty.  But we had just moved from Texas where churches were abundant.  It was hard to settle into a church in a small town.  Or even at all -- church or town.  

I don't remember a lot from the first few months in Indiana.  But eventually we found friends and moved from a small townhouse into a small house on the other side of town.  I could walk everywhere.  That was wonderful. The Lord knew what I needed right then.  He knew what would make my heart feel at home.

The "dream job" Patrick had started turned into a really hard situation of him being gone a lot on rigs.  There was an upside of him coming home for lunch everyday! He was unhappy at his job and I was unhappy watching him do his job.  

And I guess I can mention the farm.  A constant source of contention.  A place that fulfilled so many dreams and longings in Patrick -- and made me a lonely and sad wife.  I tried to love that farm.  And I worked hard to help everyone get jobs done on all that land.  But my heart was resentful and bitter that our lives were so consumed with this thing -- this place -- that had nothing but trees and brought not much more than debt.  God has since healed both of us from this and it has only made us more aware and united.  Talk about a life lesson!

Our infertility struggle reached a point of desperation.  We had been trying for three years and had taken several doses of medicines that had helped so many women with PCOS.  Just not me.  I didn't know it then, but my heart was so hurt and so beaten through this process. God was kind to care for me, even though I was blind to my sin and pain.

We went to our first infertility appointment on November 20th, 2007 -- our 3rd anniversary.  The doctor was sweet and hopeful and told me I had one of the worse cases of PCOS she had seen.  But she was still hopeful.  Our next step was Clomid.  We were allowed three rounds before we had to move forward with something more invasive. Thus began a very long and hard season.  So many lonely and tear-filled drives to Pittsburgh.  Only to be stuck with needles or have an ultrasound -- and drive two hours back home. {traffic was awful!}

I blogged about those rounds very honestly and very openly, and I'm glad.  Looking back it gives me such a deep look into where my heart was.  You may know this, but round one ended in a miscarriage -- on Patrick's birthday.  It was sad and painful.  And I think I was just confused and hurt that it didn't work. 
{Want to read each round in detail? round one. round two. round three.}

We waited for round two because we were going to Europe.  What a sweet trip.  Such a good trip for our hearts and our marriage.  {Maybe not great for my wander lust -- since it has propelled in me a deep desire to go somewhere, always.} It was nice to take a break and move forward a little.  At this point we had been trying for three years {and a few months} and a six week break seemed like nothing in that process.

Round two was unsuccessful.  I didn't even ovulate. But I did hear an incredible sermon as I was driving to my last appointment. It sort of changed my perspective in a powerful way.  God knew what I needed to hear and how my heart need to change -- and that it did. The speaker said that when we fail to seek and see God in trials we'll miss the miracle, the transformation, the testimony and the intimacy. And friends, this has been my perspective ever since.

We moved forward to round three and from the doctors view and from mine -- our chances weren't looking good.  I went in for blood work every other day for so many days.  I didn't ovulate when she wanted me to, my numbers didn't look as good as they should.  Yet, in all of this, God knew.  And by an incredible act of His grace and mercy -- Benjamin's little life began! 

Pregnancy was overwhelming and hard.  I had so many leftover emotions and my struggle to stay postive was really hard some days. But I was so grateful and so humble that God would have such great favor on us.  It truly was a life-changing season.  And after nine months -- Benjamin came into the world a week late, quickly and easily and brought so much joy.  And so much change and hard days :)

Surely the story does not end here -- but it just began, really.  I'll keep going next time and finish up our season in Indiana....

{I guess I didn't realize how many posts this would take! 
I do hope this isn't boring anyone!!!}

1 comment:

April said...

Ashley, I just got caught up on your blog, and LOVED the three part (so far!) series about "His story." Absolutely beautiful. It's so encouraging for me to see how faithful God has been to you through all the transitions you've experienced. I can relate to you on so many levels. It's great for my heart to read these things as Adam and I move into our big transition in less than a month. Thank you for sharing it.