It seems only fitting to be writing our testimony on Easter weekend. Jesus died for us, which means ‘it is finished’ infertility and miscarriage are finished. The sin of sickness is finished. This notion of ‘it is finished’ took a long time to move from a ‘rented’ notion to an ‘owned’ notion in our hearts. We had read Nerida’s book on God’s Plan for Pregnancy, listened to many testimonies and had such great faith however we had not ‘owned’ this idea of Jesus dying on the cross that we will no longer walk this painful journey of barrenness. Today at Easter, Jesus died with our sins and with the sins wronged against us- being infertility. He triumphed over the death that sin causes.
We were the couple that got married young, travelled all over the world together, have great jobs and had the ‘five year plan.’ We were going to have children after five years of marriage. Life had been easy for us, our faith was ‘strong,’ but had actually never been tested. We had never been through a storm in life. Life was black and white. When people had hard times we thought they needed to pull themselves together, stop showing weakness and look at the glass half full. We didn’t understand pain and we certainly had never put our faith to the test.
In 2013 we got told that we had a male factor issue that was preventing us from falling pregnant. However our faith was strong, we were going to fall pregnant naturally and we were just going to have to be patient and test this power of prayer that we had been telling others about for years. After a year nothing had happened, month after month heartache and diminishing faith. We kept telling ourselves all we need is mustard seed faith. People were praying for us endlessly and prophecies given that people see us with children in our future. These were little bits of hope that we hung on too but heartache and frustration accompanied.
Until May 2014 when the miraculous happened, we fell pregnant naturally. No intervention needed- we did it, God did it, and the rest will be history…. After praying, declaring exodus 23.26 ‘none shall miscarry or be barren,’ tragedy struck. Our storm was not over and the realisation that it’s about to get more difficult. We miscarried at 8 weeks. This didn’t make sense, as there was no female issue, I was perfectly healthy. We just needed to ‘get pregnant.’ We were angry, our hearts were aching, and we just couldn’t understand why God ‘would allow this.’ Then the realisation happened that we still did not honestly understand or believe that ‘it is finished…’ Through this pain of losing the pregnancy we developed empathy for people that we never had for others. This real understanding of loss and pain and anger with God and the world allowed our hearts to soften to the heartache that people go through with unanswered prayers and desires for their lives. This miscarriage made us get stuck into literature and bible verses about suffering. Made us ask the hard questions, does God allow and even cause suffering? No simple task to get your head around. We had listened to numerous sermons on this before but never had the depth of pain to allow us to really think about this question and make an attempt to answer it.
By January 2015 we were full of faith again and knew that it was our turn. We were prepared to accept some medical intervention, as we felt convicted in our hearts that this too is part of our journey. Our hearts were convicted that Jesus took away our sins at the cross-including sickness and bareness and something in our faith journey had shifted. We were determined that God wanted us to feel this deep joy that comes from parenting. The bible speaks of this joy in psalm 113:9 and psalm 127:5. We had been reading about it for two years now. We wanted this joy!
We started attending the God’s Plan for Pregnancy Support Meetings run by Nerida and her team. We attended the February 2015 meeting and that month we fell pregnant. We believe that at that time and at that meeting we had grasped that Jesus died to take away our sins of this world and that we will be parents. With a positive pregnancy test came relief and joy that were indescribable but then the panic and immense anxiety kicked in. We were petrified of losing this pregnancy to the point where it was robbing us of the joy it brought. I would spend hours on end in prayer and declaring life into my womb. Then the devil reminded me that I had prayed and declared last time. Look what happened? I knew I needed a prayer warrior in my corner, someone who would pray against this anxiety. Nerida became that person. She prayed for ‘a boring pregnancy’ for me to carry to full term, to not have morning sickness and for great enjoyment in this season. I got that all and more. I loved my pregnancy and whenever the fear crept in I would phone my prayer warrior and we would get on top of this doubt.
I do believe Jesus carried us through the nine months in small ways through people and moments that others may see as coincidence but we saw as faith nuggets from heaven. For example, every time we went for a scan when we were driving to the scan or even in the radiology the same song would come on. When we had our scans the same people who scanned us when we had a miscarriage scanned us this time, which my husband said God told him He was ‘rewriting the wrongs of the past.’ Many times when we needed to be reminded of God’s promise of Exodus 23- we saw a rainbow to remind us that God keeps his promises.
We did not know the gender of our baby until she was born and it was the best surprise of our lives. Our beautiful baby girl arrived in November 2015 safely and it was a day we will treasure forever. The deep deep joy that we have felt for this baby girl is indescribable. When she is niggly at 2am we rejoice and sing praises of thanks to God that we get to do this because of His sacrifice. Our daughter is such a gentle soul and is an answer to prayer is many ways. We named her Charlotte, which means ‘free man.’ We only knew the meaning after we called her Charlotte, as my husband just loved the name. After we realised the meaning, we thought that it was very appropriate as she is here because we are ‘free from sin and sickness’ in this world. We are ‘free men’ because Jesus died for us. This is what Nerida says throughout her book.
We are aware that other people are still on this journey and many people may think two and a half years is not that long to wait for a baby but it was the longest wait of our lives. It was a lesson in patience, faith and how strong our marriage was. We were brought to our knees constantly. In a world where we can pretty much have anything and satisfy our instant need for gratification, this was the one thing we could not get with our own strength. This journey has brought us to know the intimacy of the perfect and mysterious plan that our Creator had when he sent his son Jesus. We have truly and deeply got to know Jesus through walking the highs and lows of life praising him all the way through. We have a better marriage and are more in love as we held each other’s arms up in prayer when the other was weak. We were encouraged to be like Aaron and Hur holding Moses hands up in battle. We needed to hold each other’s arms up in prayer. We are so grateful for the support of family and friends who cried with us, prayed and declared life with us, and most of all believed it would happen for us. We are also thankful to Nerida’s ministry for guiding us through this season. We would love to be prayer warriors for others if you require prayer.
In closing if there is one word we can use to describe our journey and even now in parenthood is GRATEFUL. Grateful to Jesus for dying on the cross, grateful we get to be parents to Charlotte and even grateful for the storm that we have come to know Jesus more deeply and our faith strengthened.