“There Is So Much Power In Sharing Our Stories”
By Debbie Garner
Nine years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. My husband and I always wanted at least three kids. When our son was two, we decided it was time to expand our family. I had another pregnancy that resulted in a traumatic ruptured ectopic pregnancy loss. For years after that we faced secondary infertility.
We have had people ask us if we ever thought about having more children or if we really wanted to raise our son as an only child. These people had no idea that we were walking the difficult and lonely road of secondary infertility. The journey is difficult, painful, frustrating, and, in our experience, lonely.
I believe there is so much power in sharing our stories though. I want you to know that I understand how it feels to hope for that second line on the pregnancy test to show up and how devastating it feels when it doesn’t. I understand how difficult it is not hold the tears back when someone asks about the plans for more children. I have left baby showers to cry in the car and left the Mother’s Day service at church early because it was just too hard too.
My church has been doing a study in the book of Daniel recently. I have been so inspired by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I admire their bravery so much. I have been thinking about how they stood up to the king and told him that even when faced with the blazing furnace they were sure that God would deliver them. They then added that even if God did not deliver them, they still were going to follow God. I love how they stood up and spoke the truth, even in the hardest of times. I love their faith in God. I also love that they knew that even if God did not deliver them from the furnace, God was still God. At the end of my days, I want my story to have the same theme. That I was brave enough the stand up even when it was hard and that I lived a life that showed that “even if not,” God is still God.
I believe and pray that God will bless us with another child. But even if not, I will still serve God. God has stored every tear spilled over a negative pregnancy test (Psalm 56:8). We read how God listened to Hannah as she prayed for a child. God was faithful and good to her. God saw her pain, her grief, and her tears. God’s love for us is so deep and the way he cares and walks with us through the greatest difficulty is amazing. I cannot read Isaiah 43: 1-7 without crying. His love for us is amazing.
God is so faithful, and he provides for us in amazing ways. For me, he has provided Twelve 12 Ministries. This is a community of women who have walked similar roads and continue to hope in the Lord. These women demonstrate what 1 Thessalonians 5:11 calls us to do, encourage and build each other up. It is through our shared stories that we can do just that.