Sunday, October 11, 2015

I Believe in Miracles

I grew up hearing the stories from the bible -- miraculous moments in lives of individuals millenia removed from my own life. As I got older, I often wondered why God did not work in huge, miraculous ways like He did back in biblical times. It wasn't until I was much older that I began to realize that He still does exactly that, only on an individual basis.

I've talked before on the Journey about how long my husband and I tried to have a child together. Throughout our entire relationship, we raised three children together from childhood to adulthood. The 4, 7, and 9 year old kids I met and soon found myself a stepmother to (but mother in my own heart) are now 18, 21, and nearly 23 years old. Married for 11 years this past month, we were actively trying the entire time to get pregnant. There are no words to describe the agony of watching month by month pass without a positive pregnancy test. No words to tell someone who hasn't experienced it what the pain in your heart feels like when you want something more than anything else in the world -- something simple, something good -- trying everything to get it but never being able to attain it. Having doctors tell you that there's nothing wrong with either of you, that they don't understand why it's not happening for you. Trying medications, different theories. Watching nearly every single one of your friends spend their most fertile years making beautiful little replicas of themselves, listening to their birth stories, seeing them hold the hands of their little ones as they walk through the parking lot. There is no way to describe the feelings that swirled around in my heart for so long -- jealousy, emptiness, fierce desire, failure, gut-wrenching, soul grating torture.

My excitement and enthusiasm at the beginning, back when I was a 27-year-old bride, began to fade after about a year. My prayers began soon after that. I asked God regularly to help me to be fertile, to do whatever I needed to do to be healthy and have a healthy baby. A year later, I was panicking a bit because I was nearly 30 and you hear all those stories about the number of eggs a woman has... well, you know. I was more bold with God about what I wanted and when I wanted it. In my early thirties, I began begging Him. In my mid-thirties, I began resenting Him and everyone I knew who had a child in the time we had been trying. I went through all the stages of grief. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression... sooooo much depression...

...and then Acceptance.

At some point, and I don't know how or when, I gradually came to the point where I thought, 'This is my lot in life. No one will call my 'mommy'. I'll be the cool aunt, the fun stepmom, the goofy older sister, but I'll never be Mommy. There's a reason, whatever it is. And I have to stop hating God because whatever the reason is, it's got to be a good one. I have to stop hating my friends because they're my friends, and it's not their fault that they're fertile and I'm not. And I have to stop waiting for it to happen because, at this point in my nearly 40-year-old life, barring some insane miracle, it's not going to happen.

In January of this year, some insane miracle occurred and I became pregnant with our son, Stephen Paul, and gave birth to him sixteen days ago. I can't stop looking at him. I can't stop holding him, smiling at him, telling him how much we love him, how much we wanted him, how much Jesus loves him, how long we waited, how beautiful he is, how we're going to tell everyone that he's our little miracle baby. Motherhood is the most amazing, heart-wrenching, frightening, wonderful thing I've ever done. I cry every day, whether it's from being completely overwhelmed or from being completely overjoyed (to be honest, it's both). I'm more in love with my husband than I've ever been, more exhausted and in pain than I ever thought I could be, and more fulfilled than I ever imagined possible.

Thank you, God. Thank you for our miracle, for hearing our prayers even when I doubted you were listening, for giving me what I wanted at a time when I needed it most. Your timing is perfect, your path is the right one, and I'm so delighted to be on it.

Thank you, reader, for listening to me ramble a bit. I'm going to go feed by baby boy and cry a little more.

Stephanie Jean

Psalm 139:13: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."