Real Love Series: Gracie’s Story, Part 4
If you haven’t read the Introduction to this series, I highly recommend that you do, as well as Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3. We are sharing Real Love stories. Stories that have hurt, pain but maturity and ultimately, joy. In a culture that is so fast paced, self-focused and all about the falling in love part of our story with no concept of afterwards, we here at the Busy Nothings are striving to sit back and share from our own experiences what we feel true, pure, sacrificial love is. When you choose it even though it hurts or is hard work. The beauty and true love that comes from this is better than any fairy tale. ~Heidi
As we enter week four of my story telling journey with you, I wanted to take just a moment to thank you. Those of you reading these posts have been so encouraging to me as a writer, as a wife, as a woman. This, being my first experience with writing, has brought me so much joy and I simply cannot thank you enough for sticking with me through this month. I hope to continue sharing my story with you, and you should know how deeply you have blessed me by taking part in my journey. So many thanks to you, reader. I imagine the men and women reading this as strong, brave, humble people. I am sure you are a fearsome thing to behold.
So much love,
“We have your lab results. I’m sorry to inform you that your test came back positive.”
Can you recall a time when one sentence changed everything? A moment in which your world seems to halt, and the only thing that matters is what another person has just spoken? You know there is truth in the words, and yet your mind refutes them. Your body goes numb as a prickling sensation runs from the nape of your neck to your ears and back again. Your feet forget themselves, leaving you rooted to the ground on which you stand. This phone call, this sentence, this is the reason I stand like a stone as people continue their lives around me. I mutter a quick ‘I understand’ exchange meaningless thanks and hang up.
This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. This is happening.
Two years have brought me perspective and hope and change. But on that frigid February in 2010, I had none. I had only a cold reality which, in that moment, threatened my family, my life, my future.
My doctor was telling me I would never be able to have children.
My then fiancé’s dream was only to be a doting father. God had spent over three years planting a desire to even have children in my heart; a battle that was hard fought but eventually won in me. By that time I was not only prepared for the idea of kids, I was outright ecstatic at the thought of raising sons and daughters with my Jacob. We were to be married in just a few short months, and wanted kids soon after.
Then, with that phone call, everything changed.
So I took a deep breath, shored up my mind for a new life, and called Jacob to let him off the hook. I couldn’t give him what he so desperately wanted and I decided to give him the chance to start over, to find someone who could. He immediately threw away my logic. He lovingly reminded me of his decision to love me, not what I could or couldn’t give him. In the depths of my heart I knew he would feel this way, but I cannot describe to you the relief I felt in that moment.
And so we married. The wedding was full of life, peace, and joy. We worked hard on our marriage and strived to be the best to each other. But everyday I had to push away the ache that came to reside in me the day I received that call. To think about never being able to be a mother nearly crushed me, so I ignored it. I thought that our lives wouldn’t be complete without kids. I began to think our marriage might not succeed without them.
What I didn’t understand was we were already a complete family,
After I confessed my feelings to Jacob, he reminded me of something: we stood before God as a complete household whether or not we ever had children. He reminded me of the biblical picture of family: people united in covenant that love, serve, and protect one another. To be a family is to commit to give the fullness of your heart, time, attention, and resources to point the other to Christ that he may refine them and make them holy. As Jacob reassured me and recalled our commitment to one another, the ache in my heart began to ease. I realized how blessed I was to have this man, to be a part of this family, and that my ability to have children did not identify me as a woman or a wife of a follower of Christ. What did was my choice to honor the Lord above all things, and trust in Him, remaining open-handed to what Jesus would bring to or take from us.
Since that time, we have been blessed to work with a (HIGHLY recommended) doctor who has taken an innovative and holistic approach to our situation. Through her guidance and the providence of the Lord, we are confident in our ability to one day be the proud parents of biological children. Until that time, we remain blessed in our family. We have six beautiful nieces and nephews from six amazing brothers-and-sisters-in-law (because
I am a sap, I’ve included pictures of some of kiddos and their parents. They’re too darn CUTE). We have healthy parents and grandparents whom we love. There is too much life and love in our world. As much as Jacob and I will celebrate and cherish whatever additions to our family may come along, I choose to live and love deeply everyday.
Because I am no longer waiting for a family.
I have one now.