If you are new to Dashing Dish, or you missed the big announcement, I am currently 18 weeks pregnant with a little girl! My husband and I are overjoyed and so thankful to the Lord for this precious gift! As many of you know, this pregnancy is truly a gift to us, a miracle in fact…and the journey to getting pregnant was a long and difficult one.
God taught my husband and I so many things in the season of waiting, and I want to share it with all of you...Because so often throughout life we are all in a season of waiting, and could use some encouragement! Whether you are praying for a baby, or are waiting on another promise from God, I pray that by sharing a piece of my journey, that you are encouraged in yours!
Our Journey Began about 7 Years Ago
My husband Sean and I have been married for 7 1/2 years now, but we have been together for a total of 16 years. We met in high school and became high school sweethearts, finally getting married and starting our lives together when we were 24 years old. Since we were young, we have talked about our vision for the future and becoming parents one day, knowing that we wanted to start a family when the time was right.
Not long after we got married and moved into our apartment, we decided start trying for a baby, and let it happen naturally. In other words, we were trying to let nature run its course. Fast forward a few years and not much was happening…but to be honest, we weren’t overly concerned about it… That is until we moved into our first home three years ago. Around that time we felt our desire for a baby start to deepen…So we started to take some measures to figure out what could be wrong.
What We Discovered About God's Plan For Children
The first place that we always go when we are looking for wisdom and guidance is the word of God. As we sought God in this area, He revealed to us through His word that was in fact His will for us have children!
I remember on of the verses that God spoke to me early on was, “Be fruitful and multiply.” This was not only his written word declared to us, but it was also a command. God would not give us a command to do something, without first giving us the means to complete it. The second verse I will never forget - I opened directly to John 10:10, which says that “the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come to give you abundant life.” That scripture was a like a breath of fresh air, just when I needed it most! God reminded me in this passage that He was not withholding anything from us, but rather, the enemy was the one who was trying to steal our rightful inheritance!
Once God gave us these promises, we had such a strong assurance that we would become parents one day, although we knew from past experiences that God’s will doesn’t always come to pass without a fight...But we weren't discouraged by the fight! We have fought many spiritual battles before, and God has never failed us yet, so we knew that if we didn’t give up, that would be victorious through Him yet again!
Seeking God for Wisdom
In addition to going to the word of God for promises to stand on, I also began to seek the Lord for wisdom. (Sometimes I believe we miss this step because we expect God to move, but we forget that we often have a part to play!) As I asked the Lord for wisdom, I felt that He was telling me that I had to lay some things down.
At the time, The Lord showed me that my life was out of balance, and to be honest, I knew deep down that I was overextending myself, but I had convinced myself that I was simply being productive!
In addition to shifting my priorities, I also had to receive healing in my body before it was able to become pregnant. The healing that had to be done in my body was relating to my hormonal imbalance and irregular menstrual cycle....which goes back about 8 years! You see, while I was in nursing school, I lost my cycle completely and didn't have a period at all because of the extreme stress my body was under at that time. When I graduated nursing school, I eventually got my period back, but it was still very irregular.
My cycles were never regular (even when I was young), and when I did get my period, they were very heavy and painful. So, not having a regular period was actually slightly welcomed in my mind… until I started to learn about the ramifications for not having a period due to lifestyle factors (which is medically termed “secondary amenorrhea”.) The obvious side effect is that without a period, you most likely are not ovulating, which means you can’t get pregnant. The less obvious, but just as serious, is that without a period you are at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis and ovarian cysts and it puts you at risk for potential infertility.
My loss of my menstrual cycle was most certainly due adrenal fatigue, which was a result of stress. It started in nursing school (hello, high stress!), and carried on through my first nursing job as a labor and delivery nurse… but it didn’t stop there.
When I quit my nursing job, I would have thought that my body would be ‘fixed’ as it was relieved of all stress… but boy, was I wrong! In fact, being the type A personality that I am, the moment that I got to pick my own hours meant making the most of my days. This meant that I would wake up at 5 am and work until 7 pm every almost every evening. I didn’t allow myself to take any breaks or days off, and felt guilty when I would sit down, unless I was working!
In addition, my six days a week (intense) 5 am workouts were an added source of stress on my body...But to be honest, it didn't feel like I was doing anything excessive! At the time I was working out about 45-60 minutes a day and took one rest day per week. For my body though, it was too much, and it was telling me by the fact that I was not having a menstrual cycle. I have since come to learn that when you are stressed out, your body often interprets intense exercise as an physical stressor, and it can’t distinguish between a physical and an emotional stress.
In my case, my body perceived that it was being taxed on every level and it certainly needed some rest...But it is often easier said than done to make changes of any kind! However, I knew that God was leading me to make these changes, and when we listen to Him, (even when it's difficult), He is able to move in our lives in a powerful way!
Making Some Changes
When I sought the Lord about what he wanted for my body, he showed me to take a few days off of my typical workouts and take walks instead.
In addition to changing up my workouts, I also felt that I also had to make changes to my work schedule. This meant that I had to be obedient to lay some things down, even good things… in order to come to a place of balance. I also had to start saying “no” to some of the opportunities that came my way. A lot of them seemed like good opportunities, but I had to judge if they were going to deplete me of my energy.
Some of these changes that were hard at first, but ultimately they led to a deep peace in my heart, because I knew I was following the will of the Lord.
As I was obedient to do what God was calling me to do, and combine it with my trust in the Lord…Sean and I joined together and started to fight for our inheritance like never before! It was during this time that we gained a whole new appreciation for what it meant to fight the good fight of faith! Everyday we would wait and hope expectantly, all while being proactive to do what God was telling us to do and rely on His wisdom!
Be Thankful & Sow Into Others
While we were in the season of waiting, we had many friends and family members that announced that they were expecting babies. These moments were often bittersweet for my husband and I, as we were joyful for them, but it also brought a sense of heartache when you are longing for that very thing yourself.
Sure, it was natural to some degree to feel a sense of "when will it be my turn!?!" But if we are not careful, those feelings can very quickly get us trapped in a state of self pity, and spiral downward from there.
During these times, Sean and I had to make the decision to guard our hearts against jealousy, and choose to solely be thankful. After all, we may have not been pregnant at the time, but we had so many things to be thankful for! We chose to remind ourselves of those things, and celebrate with those that we love! This attitude of thankfulness not only protected us against envy and possible depression, but it caused us to hold onto hope! We knew that God is faithful, and if He did it for those around us, He would do it for us!
In addition to being thankful, Sean and I sowed into others in the area of babies! Years ago we learned the powerful principal of sowing and reaping in our finances, and since then we have learned that it applies to so many other areas of life as well! Since were praying for a baby, we decided to sow into people in this area whenever we got the chance! I threw baby showers, offered to babysit, and made meals for new moms! I did these things not just to get something in return, but out of the sheer joy of my heart. However, it was powerful knowing I was sowing into women with new babies, knowing my time was coming...and it eventually did!
Join With Others In Prayer
Another important step in our journey to becoming pregnant was joining with a few powerful prayer warriors in prayer! We prayed that God would show us who to ask for prayer, and He led us to a few powerful prayer warriors to stand with us in agreement. As they agreed to join their faith with ours, it felt like fresh wind in our sails!
One moment of prayer that was particularly powerful was with our pastor. He was praying with us and afterward bible study one night, and he said he saw God giving us a gift wrapped to us. During this prayer Sean also saw a vision of him standing with his arms stretched open and receiving a gift. It was then that we knew our miracle was on the way!
About one month after this vision… we found out we were expecting one of God’s greatest gifts…Our sweet Madeline Joy, due On Fathers Day!
To Those Of You On a Journey
If you are on a journey to getting pregnant, there is hope in Jesus! Know that you can go to God and find all that you need in Him! He is the healer of hearts, the restorer of everything that was lost, and He loves you more than you can imagine! I would encourage you to run to Him and spend time allowing Him to restore your soul in any area that you may need it. As you diligently seek Him, He will give you instruction and hope to receive all that you need from Him!
Or, maybe you aren’t trying to get pregnant, but you can relate to not having a period. Maybe you have lost your period due to stress, working out, or eating too little (which also happened to me in my teen years when I had an eating disorder). If that is the case, there is hope for you as well!
Although it may seem hard at first, it is so worth finding balance in order to restore your period naturally! And if you don’t want kids yet, know that a time may come that you will want to, and if that time comes, you may have a harder time than you think if you ignore your body now! I remember thinking that when the time came that I wanted to have kids, I would make a few changes and get pregnant right away, but it wasn't that easy!
Like I mentioned, it took about 2 years just to get any period back at all, and even then, I only got 1or 2 a year. It wasn’t until I made some serious changes and found balance that I got pregnant, but even that took six long months! If you are experiencing secondary amenorrhea (you are not having a period due to your lifestyle), I would encourage you to do whatever it takes to find balance and allow your body to heal. (This book is a great resource to get you started.)
Seek First the Kingdom of God!
Regardless of what season you find yourself in today, I would encourage you to run to God and seek Him not only for a solution to your problem, but to let Him love on you and get to know Him in a deeper way! As you dig into His word and let Him refresh, heal, and restore you, He will also guide you and bring you hope with His precious promises!
As you seek Him with all of your heart, I would also encourage you to be willing and obedient to whatever He leads you to do. Remember, His leading will always line up with His word. It may seem hard to be obedient at times, but I can speak from experience and say that some of the greatest blessings come from following the instructions in His word.
Whether you are believing for a baby, trying to get your period back, or you are in a season of waiting for a promise from God, I can tell you from experience that God is faithful and He is always true to His word! He is such a good Father, and He truly is the giver of every good and perfect gift. He has precious gifts in store for you, and He loves you more than you can imagine! xo Katie