The Journey Continues

the-journey-continues

Let’s go on a little journey together, okay? I promise, the destination is worth the length to get there. Trust me.

2 years and seven months ago Roman and I decided we were ready to expand our little family. Our um….efforts…..were casual at first. We stopped not trying to have kids and we thought that would be the end of it. Two months stretched to three, and then to four, and then to five. Something is wrong. We are young and very healthy, this should not be difficult. We started to get more serious……tracking cycles and eating healthier and finally a trip to the doctor.

We switched to a new doctor that had ties to the infertility clinic in Atlanta. My body wasn’t doing what it should have done. There were pills and scans and blood work and tests and more pills and lots of tears. For months we rode the roller coaster of hoping, only for that one single line on the pregnancy test crushing our hopes month after month.

And all the while, I seethed at God. Was He punishing me for something? Did He forget about me? I ran hard and fast from the God who I now believed was harsh and cruel….this God who had the power to heal but wouldn’t. It took me a long time to finally get to the end of me.

One last, desperate attempt with the medications ended with nothing but more tears in November of 2013 and that was when we made the difficult decision to put an end to it. We had now been walking the infertility road for 14 months and we were exhausted. “When the Lord is ready for us to have children, we’ll have them” we decided. And I quietly added that to my list of reasons to resent Him.

It was only a few days later that Roman applied for his position in Columbus, which brought a whole new season into our lives. It was a welcome distraction from the pain of infertility, and God used this new season to dance me back to Him. I stopped running and finally turned around to face this God who I thought had enjoyed my pain, only to learn that He in fact, did not. He hurt when I hurt and I had caused Him more hurt by my endless blaming and bitterness. Our move to Columbus started us down the long road to healing.

With the pain of goodbyes and the new environment, our faith grew by leaps and bounds. New friendships were formed and God was incredibly intentional with the people He introduced to our lives. The healing He gave us was like cool water in a desert and we learned how to be joyful again.

After five months in Columbus (almost ten months from our last attempt with doctors) we decided it was time to try once more. We received a recommendation for an infertility specialist who immediately expanded his window. He tested Roman and performed some more in-depth testing on me. We were glad to know that tubes were open and anatomy was as it should be and hormones levels could be easily fixed, but the news he gave on Roman’s test results were grave indeed.

There are some problems with male infertility that you can fix, but there are others that you cannot. Roman’s diagnosis was unfixable with any type of medicine. We were told that we had a 5% chance of conceiving naturally at best, and the chances of the unborn-child making it past six weeks development were even less due to probable defects in conception. In vitro or adoption were our only options, in his medical opinion.

With our new support systems in place, both at our new and old home cities, the specialist’s prognosis did not crush me like it would have ten months before. We boldly proclaimed that our God healed and hoped that He would take our five percent and increase it. We continued to eat healthy and exercise and enjoyed our new financial freedom by taking a cruise with friends.

But I will admit, my faith faltered a bit. I was not destroyed, but I was downcast. The Lord and I continued to dance in this place of questioning why and asking for peace and comfort. Some days His peace triumphed, sometimes my fears did. I started to wonder if the actual plan was for us to adopt and not to conceive. I looked into adoption procedures and foster care and asked Roman to prayerfully consider which path to take.

The emptiness of His response could only be interpreted as one thing: wait on Me.

And so wait, we did. And I questioned in my journal if the Lord would have me wait until I was forty. Were my dreams of being young and pregnant gone? Did He really say we would have children one day? Would I die childless? How do I learn to rest in my infertility and be satisfied in Him alone?

The question was finally asked by my Father, “Will you still love Me if your dream remains unfulfilled? Or will you run from Me once more?”

His question terrified me. But I prayed and I searched my heart and after a week I responded.

Yes. I’m Yours…no matter what.

It was the hardest yes of my life but I meant it and I knew that together, the Lord and I had conquered all that the enemy meant for evil. What I didn’t know is that He would soon redeem everything as well.

This new freedom was exhilarating and sad at the same time. Just because I promised to always love the Lord didn’t take away all of the sadness of the journey. But I had become well-practiced on Who to take that sadness to and how to receive His comfort and peace. And thus we breathed in and out together and walked each day.

Roman, on the other hand, never really doubted. He kept his full trust in the Lord, and although he prayed with me about adoption, he remained confident that we were to conceive our children first….maybe adopt years from now. He reassured me constantly that the Lord would fulfill His promise to us, and I mustered up all of my courage to believe him.

And so the journey that started in September of 2012 has now taken us to March of 2015. 2 years and seven months.

Roman left for two weeks at the end of March for training for work, and I felt weird. Something was different…..maybe I just felt bad because I was alone? I kept my thoughts to myself and wondered over them in my journal. I finally spoke them to Roman over the phone after a week and by the time April 1st rolled around, I could hardly control my thoughts. I kept telling myself I was a fool for getting my hopes up so quickly once more. I was mad at God for allowing my body to play such mean tricks on me. I pleaded for the “tricks” to stop and for all to return to normal, but the next morning, on Thursday, April 2, curiosity got the best of me, and I padded into my bathroom and opened up that pink box.

Less than fifteen seconds later, two pink lines were staring back at me, and I was undone. Something I never thought I would ever see, I have seen with my own eyes.

Friends and family and beloved readers who I have never met, the Lord has done what He promised: We are with child.

I could never write and express the joy that has filled our home these last two weeks. Last Thursday we had our first ultrasound and saw our little miracle with our own two eyes, heard the miraculous heartbeat with our own ears, steady and strong. “You have one little baby with one strong heartbeat,” the ultrasound technician said. This has been a long-awaited destination and we are astounded at all the Lord has done.

That glorious Thursday morning I cried for an hour straight. I have been so unfaithful, but the Lord has proven His faithfulness over again. I am not forgotten or passed over or forsaken as I once believed, I am treasured. There was nothing done on my own merit to deserve such a blessing, but the Lord had this child worked into His plan from the very start—He was only waiting for the perfect time. I told Roman when I picked him up later that day and we spent Easter weekend at the beach, celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ and the death and resurrection of our fertility. What a brilliant weekend for us to discover new life—the weekend of our Savior’s new life. I can’t help but laugh at the timing of the Lord. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” {Isaiah 43:19}

Oh family, today is an exciting day. We have waited years to write this announcement to the world and I am still in shock that the day of our miracle has finally arrived.

I am at over 1,500 words right now, and I still have so much I want to say. But I’m going to try to wrap this post up.

Friends, never lose hope. Whether it’s infertility or sickness or lost loved ones or financial woes, never ever lose hope. Never believe the lie that God has forgotten you or that you are less loved because of your circumstances. The Lord dearly loves you and He dearly longs to comfort you and show Himself to you on your good days and your bad days.

And oh goodness, never doubt His power to heal. Clearly, Roman and I tried everything we could do with our own two hands to create life. It never worked. Even worse, the doctors proclaimed our chances of having children all but dead. But our Father still heals and He took our little 5% and multiplied it to 100%. I like God’s way of math. If you ever have any doubt as to whether the Lord still heals then you can look at us. This growing child is daily proof that the Lord has healed and is continuing to heal. Because did I mention? I’m now six weeks and five days pregnant….so He’s also beaten the “six week life” prediction of the doctor as well.

Finally, because I know this post is getting way too long, thank you. You have been there for us in our darkest days. I’ve spoken to many of you privately and the encouragement and prayers you have offered us have made such a difference. And today, I’d like to invite all of you on the next part of our journey. We would love your prayers for a safe and uneventful pregnancy and we really just cannot wait to introduce our bright-eyed miracle to you on December 9th. {Or you know, whenever the little peanut decides to make her/his royal entrance.} We are not oblivious to the fact that our whole world has turned upside down, and just because we are done with the journey of infertility does not mean that parenting is going to be any easier. Life is full of ups and downs and who knows what the future holds other than the Lord Himself?

But you know, that’s what this little blog has always been about……our chance to share our life with you. The good and the bad, the joyful and sorrowful, the mundane and the exciting. And so with this new chapter, the journey continues.

Welcome, little miracle child, to the beginning of eternity.

Baby C

23 Comments

  1. Linda

    This is truly a miracle! I always thought when it’s time God would let you know. Love you both, one extremely happy Great Auntie.

  2. Caitlyn

    SO let me start off by saying Congratulations!! This has made my day. I actually had tears this morning. Tears of such joy! I am overwhelmed and amazed by this! God is so good and I have been reading every blog you put out and waiting for this huge announcement. It is amazing and I love watching how much you trust God and truly just depend on him. This was a great way to start off my Monday moring/week. So awesome! Congratualtions! Thank you for allowing me to follow this journey to here! I know to never doubt God, but somedays you do question and this shows you not to!

    THANKS!!

    Cannot wait to follow the new journey now!

    • Aw, thanks for reading Caitlyn! I have loved sharing our journey so far and can’t wait to keep on sharing it. Great things are in store, that’s for sure!! Love you girl!

  3. Sarah, you just don’t know how encouraging this is to read this morning!!! I am a quiet reader of your blog and don’t usually comment or interact. But, I cannot contain how excited I am for both of you!!! More than that, the words that you have written also sound like myself and others who go through times of doubt, times of anger and times of unfaithfulness to the Lord. Thank you for proclaiming how He has brought you through trials (even though there are more to come) and ultimately living out the glory of the Gospel through it all!!!

    • Thank you so much for commenting, Rachel! This little baby brings a huge testimony with him/her, that’s for sure. The Lord is always, always, always faithful! Love you!!

  4. ahhhh congratulations to you Sarah and Roman!!! so happy for you!! :D
    I will admit to crying while reading this post ;) our God is certainly good, even though too often it’s hard to see it muddling around in the ways we do.
    will definitely be praying for this baby :)

    • You are so right, Emma! Sometimes we just need to stop looking at the situation and keep our eyes on the greatness of our God. Thanks for reading and for your prayers!!

  5. willie smith

    The love for GOD and the love from GOD is always complete and strong. Stay faithful HE always take of his children love yall

  6. […] weeks now since I made the announcement about our little peanut. {If you missed all that fun, click here.} I absolutely cannot believe how fast time has gone by, but today is the start of Week 12. Holy […]

  7. Priscilla

    Welcome miracle child! We’ve been waiting for you!
    Glory to God, even when we are faithless He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself.
    So excited for the Casterlines! :-)

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