I am thrilled to introduce a sweet friend of mine, Miss Austin. Not Miss Texas…though this girl does have beauty and grace. 😉 Austin is a girl who I met through the Bearing Hope Support Group and a girl whose faith I admire very much. I know her story will inspire you…so here she is!
“Have you ever gone through so many changes at once that you completely lost your bearings?
That’s exactly what happened to me. I underwent three huge changes in three short months: I got married, graduated, and moved to a new state. My world was crazy. Everything was new. The place, the people, and most of all-married life. Being newlyweds was tough, even more so since my husband (Ryan) was busy with his studies in a doctoral program.
The first few months I struggled with loneliness, finding my purpose, and wondering if moving to Iowa was a mistake. I had left the familiarity and comfort of home. I had also walked away from a job where I knew my purpose. In my mind, I gave it all up to be with my husband. But it came to a point where I was struggling so much that Ryan asked me if I wanted to move back home. It was then that I realized I needed to step it up and do what I could to make this new life work.
So I found a job and got connected at church. I started getting into Scripture daily and it made me feel alive again. The Lord had changed my heart. I felt purpose in supporting my husband and knew that the Lord had more in store for me than I had once believed. Life was sweet.
So sweet that nothing could have prepared me for the changes that were in our future.
Ryan and I had only been married for 7 months when we found out I was pregnant. It was unexpected, but we were beyond thrilled to be parents. Dreams started developing. We started talking about plans for when the baby would come.
I was 11 weeks pregnant when we were traveling back to Nebraska for a friend’s wedding. I had mild cramping before we started our trip, but didn’t think much of it. By the time we hit Omaha, I couldn’t bear being in the car any longer. The only place we could find to stop was a gas station.
It was there that we lost our first baby. It all happened so fast. Our dreams and plans for this little one were shattered in a matter of moments. There was nothing we could do about it. Both Ryan and I felt helpless. We never thought loss like that would happen to us. Nor did we think it could happen again.
Six months following our loss, Ryan and I found out we were pregnant again. My heart still ached for our first loss, but we were excited and hopeful for the blessing of another child. We made more plans, dreamed more dreams, and prayed constantly over our baby’s life.
It was a Sunday, in the middle of church when I began spotting. All day I knew something wasn’t right. That evening I began having the same pains as I did with our previous miscarriage and by morning we had lost another little one.
I felt broken and all I wanted to do was fix whatever was wrong with me. I needed to regain control of my life. In searching for an answer to my losses, I underwent a lot of tests: food sensitivity, thyroid, and hormone levels. My husband and I value holistic health so we decided to make some serious lifestyle changes.
You name it, we changed it. We focused on eating whole foods and I started taking natural supplements. I also threw away almost all of our conventional household products and started making my own. The less toxins the better. I even changed my makeup and other personal products. I also began exercising regularly. I worked hard for many months and I was healthier than I’d ever been.
Four months later I found out I was pregnant again. I felt confident and in control. I didn’t think I would ever miscarry again. We hit the 14 week mark. I was out of “the danger zone” of the first trimester. It felt like all of my hard work had paid off.
But a few evenings later, I began cramping while I was getting ready for bed. It got worse, and we ended up in the ER that night. We lost our baby.
I was completely defeated. I had done everything right. I turned my life upside down and it all felt pointless. I realized I never was the one in control. I questioned God’s purposes through our three losses. But God had questions for me, too.
“Will I ever be enough for you, Austin?”
“Am I enough, even if I never give you children here on earth?”
My answer was no but I wanted it to be yes. I wanted Him to be enough no matter what, but I wasn’t there yet. After all Ryan and I had been through, I questioned the Lord’s goodness. Were His words true? Would I ever find contentment and joy in the Lord, in spite of my circumstances?
I continued to spend time in the Word and prayer was my lifeline. I didn’t know what else to do. I started reading in the book of Job. Eventually, God renewed my hope. The words I read were comforting and relatable. Job had been stripped of literally everything,–kids, spouse, material posessions–yet he refused to turn his back on his Lord.
Job made a choice to praise God. I wanted faith like Job’s. I wanted to trust the Lord’s plans for my life, even if I didn’t understand them.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11
The Lord revealed His goodness to me through the Scriptures, time in prayer and people He placed in my life. I don’t have all the answers as to why my miscarriages happened, but even now I can see how God has created beauty from my ashes (Isaiah 61:3).
He has brought me to a spacious place where my marriage is stronger, my heart is more content, and I am following the Lord more closely than ever. God continues to create beauty in my life when I least expect it. I am now 23 weeks pregnant. Even though I don’t know what the Lord’s plan is for this little one, I can finally say, “Yes, Lord. You are enough for me.”