It’s been a little quiet around here. And that’s because of one very special reason.
I’ve been keeping a secret
But I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. I have to back up and tell this story from the beginning. Because there is so much glory wrapped up in every detail. I’m actually shaking my head as I write this. Because the details are all too perfect. The story perfectly written.
it’s as if He planned it
In the beginning of the year, I was antsy. I was nearing the end of my rope with this whole waiting thing, unsure of how much longer I could wait. How much more waiting I could endure. And we still felt so convicted to simply do nothing but wait for Him to do His miracle. But I was thinking about tracking my ovulation again. It was silly, really. I hadn’t done that in about five years. And already, the back-and-forth self-dialogue starting happening in my brain. Why torture yourself? … But it couldn’t hurt.
Back and forth I went. Should I? Shouldn’t I? It seems like an obvious yes, but I wondered if I was willing to take myself to that next emotional level again. Every single month.
I wasn’t sure. But I bought a new thermometer anyway. Only it sat in my bathroom drawer. Unused. Because I couldn’t decide if I was ready for that again.
Then February came. Our Groundhog Day, and the ten year anniversary of when we first started trying to have a baby. An entire decade of trying. And testing. And waiting. And, once again – for what felt like the millionth time – I had to rest in Him. And trust His promise. And remember His sovereignty.
And then there was March.
I have to admit before we go any further that I’m kind of a pen snob. As in, I’m obsessed with one particular kind of pen and buy it by the box so I’m never without one. But there was one morning in early March that the inevitable happened. My last pen ran out of ink. I didn’t have a replacement. And I was forced to write in my prayer journal with a foreign pen. One that was thicker than I liked. Bolder than what I was used to.
sometimes God uses thicker ink to speak a little more loudly
I was in the middle of my normal quiet time routine (and reading in the book of Daniel) when I felt the sudden urge to read a devotional that I hadn’t picked up in quite some time. Years, even. Streams in the Desert was a devotional that Shawna and I both read avidly. And talked about constantly. And after she died, I just sort of stopped reading it.
But on that Wednesday morning, I opened it anew. And the verse for that day was a familiar one out of 1 Chronicles 17. The part where David prays God’s promise before Him after God said no to his dream. It’s a section of Scripture of huge personal significance to me. And is actually part of the new Bible Study I’m currently writing. And that morning, I re-read the familiar words:
So now, O LORD, may the promise You made about your servant and his family become a permanent reality! Do as You promised, so it may become a reality and You may gain lasting fame, as people say, ‘The LORD who commands armies is the God of Israel.’ David’s dynasty will be established before You.
1 Chronicles 17:23-24
And I prayed them as David prayed. Remembering the promise He had given me for my own family. Oh LORD… do as You promised. So it may become a reality and You may gain lasting fame and Your name may be magnified. LORD please, do Your promise.
And then I took a quick peek at the Living Bible’s translation of the same verse. In the part where David said “do Your promise,” this other version said “I accept Your promise, LORD.” I loved that phrase. And wrote it in my prayer journal with that bolder-than-normal pen. And then I continued reading the devotional, where there was a quote from F.B. Meyer – a pastor in the latter part of the 19th century. There is hardly any position more utterly beautiful, strong, or safe, than to put the finger upon some promise of the Divine word, and claim it, he wrote. And then, the next sentence bowled me over:
There need be no anguish, or struggle, or wrestling; we simply present the check and ask for cash, produce the promise, and claim its fulfillment.
They were interesting words. Words that I wanted to believe. And act upon. But I was afraid I was reading too much into the timing of it. And the significance of that verse from 1 Chronicles. Maybe it was all just a coincidence. After all, Christians can easily spin God’s word to be applicable to what they want to hear.. right? So I set Streams in the Desert aside. And went back to Daniel. To finish reading the chapter I had already started. I read of Daniel’s dreams and visions. And then, one phrase: Daniel kept the matter in his heart. I already knew the cross-reference noted to the phrase without having to look. It pointed to Luke 2:19. Which was another verse holding another promise that He had given me five years earlier. After a girlfriend had a dream about our baby. And I was skeptical. Hesitant to believe it. And an hour later, God led me straight to that verse in Luke and confirmed His promise:
Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the LORD.
Trusting that the second verse was not just another coincidence, I nervously and boldy prayed, using that bolder-than-normal-pen, and writing in all caps: Oh LORD. DO AS YOU PROMISED. I accept Your promise. Fulfill Your word.
Two hours later, the balloon of hope deflated when I started spotting. My period had started four days early. I felt a little foolish. Disappointed for sure. Again. For the 121st time. And tried to remind myself that this is what faith is about. Asking and then asking again. Knocking, and then knocking again.
But the longer you knock without an answer? It gets that much harder to convince yourself to knock again.
Two days later, I was back at my typical morning perch. With my typical finer-point pen. Continuing on through the book of Daniel. This time in chapter nine. When Gabriel came to Daniel to tell him that the very moment Daniel was studying Scripture and recognized the end of Israel’s captivity in Babylon (and immediately started to pray) – that very moment – a command was given. A command that was in direct answer to Daniel’s prayer. He had asked boldly, after reading and understanding Jeremiah’s prophecies, for the captivity of his people to end. For the LORD’s sake. And he didn’t ask for it some time in the future. Now, he said. He didn’t know at the time that God was acting on his prayer at the very moment Daniel asked.
But Gabriel did. And was sent to Daniel to tell him so. Daniel, he said. You no sooner started your prayer when the answer was given.
I read those words from The Message’s translation, and breathed out deeply.
LORD, I crave that. I crave an end to all this waiting. I crave the answer given. I crave a dramatic move of Your Spirit.
And I left it at that. Because sometimes you need to just acknowledge a deep yearning that won’t quit. And then you have to trust that He heard you.
Two days after that, I had our tiny home to myself. It was a rare Sunday that Josh had to work I was catching up on some work of my own late that morning when I started thinking. That period I thought had started a few days earlier never really kicked in. I wonder… I thought. I could have waited it out, because it always came eventually. But I didn’t want to torture myself for a week.
So I took a test out of pure curiosity. And laying it on the counter and setting the timer on my phone, I walked out of the bathroom to work for a couple of minutes. And as I walked out, I glanced back. The results window was blinding white. And I shook my head. Unsure of why I keep doing this to myself. Another day, another no.
When the timer went off, I got up to throw the test away – still deep in thought over a project I was working on. When I looked up and saw it.
Hands shaking. Mind racing. Heart too scared to believe it really could be true. I fell on the floor and cried. And stared at the pink lines. And cried. And stared. And cried. Until I had the strength to stand back up again. And take a second one. Just to confirm that I wasn’t making it up.
When that, too, was positive, I grabbed my camera and photographed it. And named the file “miracle.jpg” before putting it onto a USB drive. I drove to Target, printed it out at their photo kiosk, picked out a frame and wrapped it up. Then carefully propped it up on the coffee table, ready for Josh to find when he came home.
That was the longest three hours of my life.
The next morning, I woke up and turned to look out the window at the barely-dawn, soft grey light, and could only manage two words in my head: it’s over.
He has done His miracle.
He has heard my cry.
He has answered our prayer.
I. Have. Survived. This.
And then I got curious about that period I thought had come early. So I did a quick search online for spotting day 24. And my eyes got wide when I read one of the first results: implantation bleeding. It turns out that the moment I was cashing in my check and believing Him for His promise? It was the very same moment that He was performing it. And the actual conception? It was the end of February. The same exact month as our ten year anniversary of trying.
Overwhelmed with all of that information, I sat down for my quiet time and opened my daily Search the Scriptures study to the bookmark from the day before. And looked down to that day’s reading. It was parked at Psalm 139. Right where He wanted it.
This is too much, too wonderful – I can’t take it all in! I wrote, recording The Message’s version of verse six. And then I dug the two positive tests out of the trash. And looked again at the vibrant pink lines. And reminded myself that it wasn’t a dream. That He has written our story perfectly. And I would be able to tell the world at exactly twelve weeks on Mother’s Day that this baby, our little miracle, would be coming to the world right around Thanksgiving and Shawna’s death anniversary.
Because He makes all things new. And bitter waters sweet. Because He redeems heartbreak.
Oh, the greatness of His glory.
Ahhhhhh….. Promises fulfilled. I love the way He works. So blessed hearing you speak twice at the Pursuit Conferences of your faith and tears through this struggle. Praying for a safe and healthy pregnancy! xoxo
THIS IS THE MOST WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL THING I HAVE EVER HEARD!! Jane, I prayed for you after you told this story at Pursuit and I just KNEW it was going to happen soon! This is incredible!! I have had you on my heart since the conference and I am BEYOND excited for you!! What a beautiful promise. God is so good.
Oh my gossssshhhhh. I’m so excited I could BURST. Eeeeeeeeeeek!!!!!
Oh precious Jane!!!!
I cannot stop weeping and praising God for this news! Tears of JOY are streaming down my face!!!! I have been praying for you guys for some time now – we even put your name on a lantern that we prayed over and released during the Lantern Festival (Loy Krathong – Yi Ping) in Thailand in November along with some other dear friends who were waiting. I have been so moved by your FAITH – so encouraged. God has given me one word that I have told myself again and again – for you, and for me, and for a couple of other special friends God laid on my heart as we waited for our babies – FAITHFUL. He is FAITHFUL!!!! And I have been meditating on that in the “waiting” for some time now. 2016 is a year of miracles – I am convinced of that!
Thank you for waiting faithfully and trusting Him – and thank you for sharing all He revealed to you about your coming miracle in this blog. As we wait and trust Him with a word He gave me months ago about our daughter’s homecoming – I needed this encouragement to have FAITH (even when it doesn’t seem logical). You are and have always been a blessing to me, dear sister. Grateful for you and Josh and your precious little one on the way!!!! xoxo
Oh sweet girl! I am over the moon at this announcement. He is so good! I was so blessed to hear you at 2 of the Pursuit conferences and have loved Streams in the Desert so much because of you. Just like you, that devotional has come right in the nick of time for certain situations. I’m praying for a healthy pregnancy!!
I love that God gets the details perfectly right… More perfect than we could ever plan. He gives good gifts. ❤️
Hi there! I’m super new to your blog, as in “this is the first post I read because I clicked on a cute suggested photo on Instagram and read the caption”. First off congratulations! God is so good and He delivers!!!
When I initially clicked on the photo, I thought “cute photo, let me investigate her account more” and then I read the caption and immediately thought “great… this is exactly what I didn’t want to read – another pregnancy announcement on Mother’s Day”. Now, before you think I’m super rude and start the roll of the eyeballs, let me explain.
For over three and a half years, my husband (student ministry pastor and football coach) and I (a Jill of all trades, multi-faceted entrepreneur) have been trying to pursue having a family of our own and have not been successful. So to me it was another punch to the gut on top of it being Mother’s Day which is already a super difficult day for me which I know you can understand and relate to.
However, when I saw “God of miracles” I stopped and thought “she’s going to be someone who has a message that I need to hear”. Needless to say, out of obedience I clicked on the link to this post and started to read. I was joyful, heartbroken, happy, crying, etc. while reading your post all at the same time – it was a roller coaster of emotions. Most importantly, I was encouraged.
My story is different than yours and God is still writing it. Through this process we discovered that I have a brain tumor that causes my body to over produce a hormone that eliminates any chance for my body to ovulate. We tried treating it with prescription drugs – it failed. We asked about surgery – the doctors said no. They asked about doing radiation and potentially blinding me – we said no. We pursued infertility treatments – we were given two options. Hormone injections to the tune of $5k+ and IVF to the tune of $23k with no guarantee for either option – we said no.
We know that God has called us to church ministry and know that He has called us to have a more initiate ministry in our home too. We chose to act on it now by pursuing foster care while still actively trying to pursue having our own biological child (you can read that story here if you’re curious:
I know 1,277 days does not compare to the 3650 days you’ve waited for your miracle, but the pain and hurt experienced isn’t any different – it’s deep, it’s aweful, it’s sometimes unbearable. Your post encouraged me so very much and was a tremendous light on a day that has been so dark for me over the past few years. Thank you for sharing your heart and your story of hope, faith and need of our amazing Creator and Savior. God is without a doubt using you and your husband to bring Him glory.
So thankful. So excited to have been a part of praying for this miracle. Love to you.
Congratulations! He has done a GREAT thing!
So so beautiful. Thank God for how He knows and plans and never lets go and thank you for telling of His good works. It matters so much. ❤️
Oh Jane!! I gasped and cried when I read this. You have been on my heart ever since I heard your story at Pursuit. Thank you for your faithfulness to trust the Lord and His plan for your life and be so willing to share it all. He’s doing amazing things through your story. It has given me encouragement as we have been dealing with second infertility. Praying for you as you and Josh as you prepare for parenthood!! Amen! Thank you Jesus!!!!!!
I can’t express how munch your story means to me! My husband and I are currently going through this and I feel like I break a little bit more every time someone asks when we are going to have kids. And it kills me when I see those first little red spots evey month…
I was actually talking to a friend about this this weekend and she told me your story- so to see your confirmation this morning has blessed me beyond words!
I want to thank you for you commitment and faith, it has bolstered me to remember that God has not broken his promises to my family but that it must be in His time and not mine. So I will continue to wait on Him and his perfect timing. God bless you and your husband and especially that new little miracle!
Hey Jane, I am actually sitting here crying because the LORD has finally answered this prayer that I have been following since the Fall 2014 Pursuit Conference.
After all the screaming about how FANTASTIC and AWESOME God is! I finished reading and I cannot stop crying tears of Joy that HE ANSWERED LIKE HE SAID HE WOULD!
WOW, WOW, Lady God has used you and your story to speak so LOUDLY to my heart and to encourage me that HE IS A GOOD FATHER, I am SOOO HAPPY for you and thankful for all those times that He had me pray and thank Him for bringing you into my life.
CONGRATULATIONS dear sister, I am REJOICING that He delights to give us what He has promised us!
I needed this amazing testimony right at this moment. I cried tears of joy for you and hope for me! Blessings to you for sharing.
Congratulations!!!! Praying for you and your miracle!!!!!
wow wow wow. Chills. This is amazing! God is SO good. As someone who has been waiting 4 years for their miracle and also hasn’t tracked, charted, temped, etc this encourages my heart. Thank you Lord that you are no respecter of persons. I just love your faith and am joining you in jumping for joy!!!! Yes JESUS!
Amazing. Tears of joy is all I can say. So happy! So encouraged. This is a story I have shared with so many. God is a God of miracles
GREAT ARE YOU LORD! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS PROMISE FULFILLED and the amazing Grace that Jane has carried on this journey. LORD you are so good! THANK YOU.
Jane, I am nuts excited for you and just overwhelmed with HOPE in this sharing. I am so incredibly inspired by your heart and man oh man! I am so grateful for you not giving up!! SO MANY TEARS.
I can’t even begin to describe how your story has spoken right to my heart. Thank you for being courageous and sharing your story. I wept tears of joy and praise while reading this post. GOD IS SO GOOD AND SO FAITHFUL! God is still writing my story but he has already done miraculous things in my life and I can’t wait to see what’s next. Thank you for renewing my hope and my spark. God is a promise-giver and a promise-keeper. Thank you for allowing God to paint that picture so beautifully with your life.
Oh Jane!!!! Oh my soul! Of Lord you are so GOOD!!!
Congratulations Jane!!! Enjoy every single step. Is going to be the best adventure of your life.!
So beautiful. God is good, and faithful, and His promises will be fulfilled.
[…] fully relying on God for her hope and faithfully believing that He is good no matter what happens (make sure you read her amazing story, here!), but her story gave me hope during my far less, 11 months of […]
[…] have a story quite like Jane, who is now expecting her first after 10 years of struggle (make sure you read her amazing story, here!), but her story gave me hope during my far less, 11 months of […]
Your story is so inspiring! Congratulations to you and your husband. I am new to your blog and am really enjoying it! I was wondering if you have a post about your process of waiting and hoping for a child. Did you seek out doctors to determine if there was something wrong and did you use any other methods to achieve pregnancy (hormones, IVF, etc.)? I would love to hear that part of your story and if you have already spoken about then I would appreciate some direction to that post! Thank you and God Bless!!
[…] They have been struggling with what Jane calls, “delayed-fertility,” for 9 years… and this last spring (right after we reached out to them about winning the giveaway), she got pregnant! You can read her tear-jerking miraculous announcement over on her blog. […]
I love this! Thank you so much for sharing!
After brain surgery, my fertility became, well, infertility. And so we started praying. And praying. And praying. And at the end of one of our weeks of devoted prayer (the day of), we conceived. And looking back at my prayer journal for what I had written on those days, it’s the same a-ha moments that you had. In HIS time.
All I can say is AMDG (In His Glory!!!!)… prayers for you as you continue your journey as a mama!
[…] was also reading a blog the other day that you can read (here), that tells the story of a couples struggle with infertility. She talks of how hard waiting for […]
I’m reading your testimony in tears. God is so faithful. Your story is so much like mine. The heartbreak and waiting feels so fresh even though, like you, God has already answered my prayer. Sleeping sweetly in front of me is my 2 week old miracle baby boy… the sweetest of promises fulfilled right here. He’s so worth the wait. Congrats.
[…] the end of my best friend’s story. And you also have to know the details leading up to our discovery that he was even being woven together in the secrecy of my womb at all. And the incredible […]
[…] funny story: remember our pregnancy announcement blog post? The one where I told the story of cashing in my faith check in too-bold-for-me-ink? There was […]
[…] I wanted so desperately to be caught in the act of believing. And it turned out (by God’s incredible grace and kindness) that I was, and in a very dramatic way. (You can read that story here.) […]
[…] pinpricks of red – so nearly imperceptible that they probably should have gone unnoticed. And, [just like with Jordan], I googled it – the pinpricks of red and the day of my cycle. And the words that sat staring back […]
[…] pinpricks of red – so nearly imperceptible that they probably should have gone unnoticed. And, [just like with Jordan], I googled it – the pinpricks of red and the day of my cycle. And the words that sat staring back […]
What a stunning, beautiful story only the Lord could write. Thank you for sharing!
[…] (P.S. You can read my own unexpected answered-prayer story here!) […]
[…] I know that kind of mind-blowing Spirit-whispering that God reserves for those who experience heart-crushing loss and subsequent waiting-hope. In my ten-year-long wait for our family, I got a front-row seat to His spoken promise – the one that whispered hope and had me coming back to His presence night and day, year after year, anticipating the fulfillment of it. Until the very moment He rendered His miracle, and He let me in on the secret. (You can read that story here.) […]
I needed to read this today specifically! Thank you for sharing your story of hope. My husband and I are almost 3 and 1/2 years in to trying for a baby, and it is amazing how similar our stories are–in the way that the only thing God has spoken to my husband and I is “Wait.” With all of the things available for us to try –adoption/fertility treatments/hormone injections–all God has asked us to do is wait on Him. We feel like we’re crazy sometimes (especially when my doc brings it up), but your story has confirmed that God sometimes asks us to simply wait on Him. Wait FOR Him.
Blessed by your testimony of God’s goodness and miraculous healing. During our wait, He brings me back here occasionally and each time He whispers His promises anew. Thank you for sharing..