Before we dive in...I have to start by saying I struggled with writing my story. I would sit down to get started and when I did, I would start to feel that my words weren't powerful...my story not important. This story doesn't involve fertility drugs, miscarriage or adoption. I haven't been through anything traumatic. But today as I sit down and finish my story, I realize that all of those doubts were lies from the devil who wants to take away my confidence, in order to prevent me from sharing this incredible example of God's timing and provision. I am so happy that it's finally written... almost a month after my sweet friend Meredith asked me to share. With that...here we go....
Growing in Faith while Waiting for Baby Z
Photography by Ashleigh Rachel Photography
My wondeful husband, Jeff, and I have been happily married for almost four years after meeting in the cornfields of Iowa while in our first jobs out of college at a news station in Mason City, Iowa. After about two and a half years of marital bliss we decided it was time to "start trying." This decision wasn't based on a strong urge to get pregnant, although I've always wanted kids; I just wasn't cooing at every baby that crossed my path. I was enjoying life as a newlywed, traveling and completely focused on my career as a newscaster in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our decision to "try" was more based on age, career timing and the notion that you'll never be ready, so let's just take the plunge because heck - we aren't getting any younger.
We started trying in the early spring of 2014. I thought that was a good time to start - that way I would have my baby in my arms around Christmas (it just sounds like a nice time of year to stay inside snuggled up with a little one). I thought we'd get pregnant in the first month or so of trying. My mom never had any trouble. My mother in law had no problems. Why would I be any different? If only planning for a baby were that easy. After about 4 or 5 months of negative results I started to really understand the meaning of the "miracle of birth." But still I wasn't worried. Just shy of a year after we started trying is when I began worrying and thinking we may need to see a doctor to find out what was going on. I have to mention that during this time my husband was actively seeking full time employment, and we weren't sure if we'd be staying in Charlotte because he wasn't finding work in the TV business. 2014 wasn't the best year. It was a season of financial instability, my husband's unhappiness as he waited for the phone to ring, and now baby stress. So I fell on my knees...begging God to provide a TV job for Jeff, to provide a steady income for him so he could fill the role of provider which he so desperately wanted to be for our family, and for a baby! We had everyone praying.
While praying, I kept hearing God say..."trust me." Peace started to replace fear as I learned to wait in faith and obedience...slowly giving up control and letting Jesus take the wheel. I deleted my ovulation apps, threw out the ovulation tests and just stopped thinking about trying so hard. I know everyone says that's when it happens but that's not why I did these things...it was to put God first and put to death my own efforts. No kidding...letting go worked! The next month I was pregnant! I found out day before I was scheduled to see a holistic doctor in Tampa who had helped my sister in law get pregnant after she was told she'd never be able to have kids. How ironic -- the day before I went to seek professional help here I was finally with child! Talk about God's perfect timing.
I want to give you a timeline to add to the awesomeness of God's timing and our own little "Holy Trinity." In January of 2015 after a year and a half of sending out resumes and going on interviews...Jeff got a TV job as a sports reporter and anchor where I work, WCCB News. A month after that we closed on our dream home which is another story of God's faithfulness as we put in a crazy offer and the builder didn't even counter. Another little miracle. All the while I was pregnant and didn't even know it. Remember I had stopped tracking....it was Jeff who encouraged me to take a test because he felt it had been a while since I menstruated, and sure enough at the end of February I found out I was almost 2 months along! God answered our 3 big prayer requests within 3 months and to top it off, He answered the desire of our hearts for a baby boy to carry on the Zell name! We cannot wait to meet the little man in October!
Even though I was never diagnosed as infertile (a word I loathe, by the way, because it sounds so absolute - I feel it should be called "trouble conceiving"), the wait was still incredibly discouraging. Every negative pregnancy test stung and left a pit of disappointment in my stomach. But looking back I know God's timing was absolutely perfect. God knew having a baby during Jeff's season of waiting for a job wasn't good for us. And I believe He waited to bless us with the job, home and baby as He worked on our hearts -- teaching us to lean on Him. And he was preparing my heart for the profound, high and holy calling of motherhood...one of His most important callings, as I will nurture this boy's soul. God humbled and reminded both of us that we can't perfectly plan out our life...a good lesson for a girl who already has the entire month of September scheduled on the calendar. I'm thankful now for the waiting period because it drew me closer to the Lord. The Lord strengthened my prayer life, and strengthened the spiritual bond with my husband as we sat in bed together for months praying for our baby. And when the pregnancy test finally showed a plus sign a year later...I was so grateful to God! It made me appreciate this baby so much more than if it had been easy. Not a day goes by when I don't thank Him for answering my prayers and the desire of my heart. I hope this encourages you to remember that God's timing is perfect. It says in Ecclesiastes that "time and chance come together for every person." God fulfilled our dream and prearranged this time of increase and blessing. I encourage you to be in hopeful waiting for your blessing because it is coming, as God promises to give you too the desires of your heart that He's placed in you. Just know He's at work right now on your beautiful and unique story.
Lord, thank You for providing me with Your peace. When the devil tries to steal my peace, I won't let him take it. Instead, I'll remain rooted in You as I look not to the future but learn to enjoy this very moment. Amen.