Thursday, May 3, 2012

Faith, Hope and Love

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

I can honestly say that in the last few weeks, this verse has taken on new meaning for me. I've always believed in God but for the majority of my life, I didn't have a very close relationship with him. Thankfully, that changed when I started attending church regularly. I owe that to my great friend Mandy. She asked me to go with her and her grandmother one Sunday morning after I had stayed the night at her house. I instantly felt right at home in her church. I hadn't realized it before, but my mother had been raised in the Episcopal faith. As soon as I found out, I asked her if we could start going. She fell in love with the church instantly as well, and we became members.

I don't know how I would have gotten through the hardest times of my life without my faith. It was most definitely tested when I lost my mother when I was twenty-two. I admit that I turned my back on God for a while due to the loss, as well as our struggles with infertility. For a time, I honestly believed that I was being punished for something. After a few years though, I felt the absence of his presence in my life and I asked my husband if we could begin attending church again (he was confirmed with me our senior year of high school in my church). It took us a while to find a church home, two years in fact, but we knew right away that we'd found the right one. The love and support of our church family helped us get through the hardest thing we had ever experienced, the extreme premature birth of our twins and subsequent loss of our daughter. In fact, one of the nurses in the NICU was humbled by our faith.

I truly do believe in the power of prayer, even though not every prayer is answered in the way you would prefer. I've most certainly learned that the hard way over the years. I prayed countless times for God to grant us a miracle and let us conceive on our own. It took me a while to accept the fact that that was not the path we were meant to take. I also prayed ceaselessly for our precious babies to make it closer to full-term and to be healthy. Again, that was not God's plan for us. Once the twins were born, my husband and I both spent countless hours praying for them to thrive and survive. In the first weeks of their lives, they took turns going to the operating room. Every time one of them would go for yet another surgery, we would go to the waiting room and just sit and pray that they would make it through the surgery and that we would get more time with them. Thankfully, God answered those prayers. Unfortunately, for reasons we will never understand, he did not answer our prayers for Madelynn to pull through when she became sick a few days after her last surgery. I know the entire NICU staff was praying for her recovery and my husband and I prayer harder that day than we ever have in our whole lives. After watching her doctor do everything in his power to bring her around, I left the NICU for a few minutes to pray one last time. I finally realized that we had been selfish and instead of praying for her to make it, we should have been praying for an end to her suffering. I sat out in the waiting room one last time and prayed for God to call my baby girl home. That was the hardest prayer I have ever said.

Once again my husband and I have have been praying ceaselessly, along with countless family members and friends. We began the roller coaster ride that is fertility treatments several months ago. When we met with the doctor back in December, he told us that we could do IVF as early as February. There were a few bumps in the road though, and we weren't able to do the procedure until this past month. We are now waiting anxiously to see if it was successful. I don't think it's a coincidence that the embryo transfer was just four days after the five year anniversary of Madelynn's passing. In addition to that, I am scheduled for a blood test on Monday which is the original due date for the twins. I've been confident for quite some time now that God is going to bless us with another miracle. The timing simply confirms that faith.

I will admit that my faith has wavered a bit in the last couple of days, but I truly believe that God set us on this path for a reason. There are two local fertility clinics here in town. My husband and I had intended to go for a consult with both and then decide which one to use. After meeting with our doctor the very first time; however, we both felt that there was no need for a consult at the other clinic. I also feel that the timing of everything is part of God's plan. I'm just praying that the outcome is what we've been hoping for for so long! Several years ago, we decided that we would try one more time and if we weren't successful, that we would pursue adoption. We didn't want to always wonder "what if." I'm aware that God could just be giving us an opportunity to close a chapter in our lives and find the strength to move on. We both just want so badly to welcome another child into our family.

The waiting is driving me crazy but I know all will work out for the best in the long run. For now, I'm keeping the faith, hoping for a miracle, and trusting in God's love for us.

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