#YourStory: Terah Lites

#YourStory_-2

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A Baby Changed Everything

(But Not in the Way You Might Think)

I never imagined that I would be anything else but a mother. It never dawned on me that I might not be able to have children when the time came. I just figured I would get married, decide the time was right, start our family and be on our merry way to a happy life.

But as the negative pregnancy tests began to plague me each month, I started to dread that it was not going to be that simple. A knot of anxiety formed in my stomach that would continue to grip me in the coming years. As all of my friends began to grow their families, and my younger sister was surprised by her first pregnancy, my womb continued to remain as empty as my heart.

Failed attempt after failed attempt.

The questions swirled around in my head. Why?! Why are there so many unwanted pregnancies in the world, but then those like me who want babies more than anything, are denied the privilege? Why is this my fate? How can I magically fix this?

As the years went on, my questions remained unanswered. I don’t think I can fully explain with words the despair that I felt. For 4 years we had tried everything from Clomid to thermometers and everything in between.

Sex became less and less of a beautiful thing. Our marriage suffered.

The way we saw it we only had 3 options left: in-vitro fertilization, adoption, or never become parents. Option 3 was still out of the question, but I was so tired – tired of the mood swings, the timed sex, the weight gain, the depression. If we were going to shell out some serious money, I was leaning toward adoption.

Then the call came.

One of my closest friends was going into labor, and her husband was hunched over the toilet with the stomach flu. With a little desperation in her voice, she asked if I would take her to the hospital.

Of course, I quickly reorganized my morning and came to her rescue. What an honor to be the one to hold her hand as the contractions came, to talk her through the pain until the glorious relief of the epidural kicked in.

Just before the baby came her husband did arrive. They kept him on oxygen to keep the nausea at bay. I stepped back out of the way, wondering if I should just wait in the hallway now that he was here. But as her labor progressed and the baby’s head was crowning, he noticed me in the corner and said, “Do you want to see this?”

Honestly, I said, “I don’t know, do I?” It was such a personal intimate thing, it almost felt wrong to be invited. But as I came closer and watched this baby come into the world, watched as my friends cried over their new little bundle of joy, something in my heart exploded. I knew in that moment that somehow, someway my husband and I were going to experience the joy of childbirth.

It was not time to give up on our dream.

As I left that hospital room, the feeling of holding that tiny baby in my arms lingered. There was this surreal fog that seemed to surround me the entire drive home. I could not get to my husband fast enough to share with him the feelings that were coursing through me.

“I just saw a baby being born!!” I kept repeating that phrase over and over in my head to make sure it was real. That day, the decision was made that in-vitro was our next course of action.

That phone call from my friend came 17 years ago.

And what I see now astounds me.

Our in-vitro story is one for another time, but I have 3 awesome kids: two boys ages 15 & 13 and a girl who is 11.

My friends, experiences, ministries, and relationships have mostly been a direct result of how old my kids were at the time. If it had all happened my way, my life would have been completely different. THEIR lives would have been completely different, or maybe not even have existed. I don’t know what that life would have looked like, but this is the life God chose for us and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

His ways are so much higher than my ways.

His ways are so much higher than my ways. ~ @TerahLites Click To Tweet

He has purposed all of it “for such a time as this.” I think that is why the story of Esther resonates with me so much.

“…And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:14b NIV

God has already written our story. He will use the things of this fallen world to grow and shape us like nothing else can.

I did not have an “ah-ha” moment during our struggle.

There was no magic formula to make it all better.

But as God became my rock during some of the darkest years of my life, I learned that being held by Him is the very best place to be.

...I learned that being held by Him is the very best place to be. Click To Tweet

About Terah ~

Cayton Heath Lifestyle Photographer
Photo Credit: Cayton Heath Lifestyle Photographer

I am California grown but Florida planted. I now know that loving God and being IN love with God are two totally different things. The man I married is my best friend. Why I said no to scruff on his face for the past 24 years is beyond me. Three amazing kids call me “Mom” and I’m only taller then one of ’em. Mission aviation flexibility, endlessly shopping for homeschool curriculum, and yes, even a good cry during Army Wives are just a few of my first-world problems. For me, writing is right up there with breathing, especially when there is a Vanilla Chai Latte in my hand.

Connect with Terah here:

Blog: A Faithful Influence
Facebook
Instagram: @TerahLites
Twitter


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23 Comments

  1. Terah- what an absolutely beautiful testament of faith! God is so smart and His ways are so much better.
    I need a tattoo of this because I continually want what I want, but I know He has the entire picture.
    Your post reminds me to keep trusting in all His plans!
    Have a great week!
    Thanks for posting this Kristi!
    Julie

    1. Thank you, Julie! You are so right about needing constant reminders! Even though I might not always like the way God reminds me of His ways, I’m so glad he does. And today He used me to remind you. How awesome is that?!
      Blessings,
      Terah

  2. Hi, Kristi. Terah’s story was an absolutely beautiful reminder to rely on God’s timing. Trusting Him when we don’t see the outcome is never easy but she shows through her example how waiting on Him is so worth it.
    Thanks for sharing this. I wish you both blessings and smiles!

    1. Marva,
      I’m so humbled that such a trying time in my life can now be described a beautiful. Isn’t that true all the time if we just trust God with whatever we are facing? He make everything beautiful…in his time. Thanks, for your encouraging words.
      Blessings,
      Terah

  3. Terah, this is such a beautiful story!!!! God’s timing is rarely our timing. In my own life I’ve struggled to make things happen and it usually ends up a mess! How wise you were to wait and hear His voice and follow His lead.

    Thanks for sharing this with us today, Kristi!

  4. Thank you for your honesty and this beautiful story. I’m so glad it had a happy ending! My sisters are having trouble getting pregnant again so starting to think through when my husband and I should try to have kids too.

    1. Sarah Jean,
      It is such a personal decision. Each situation is so different. I pray that You look to God and are given a clear peace about what is right for you. I also pray that as your sisters struggle through it that God meets them in tangible ways. Thanks for your transparency here.
      Blessings,
      Terah

  5. Beautiful story and a testament to God’s faithfulness. After years of suffering from infertility, I watched my younger sister give birth to her first child. It’s an amazing thing to see. And 6 months later, I was holding my own baby girl who came to us through adoption. And a year later(after more than 7 years of infertility), I had a positive pregnancy test. My daughter just turned 8, and my son is 6. I will never forget the pain of infertility or the joy that came when the waiting was over. And now I can look back and see God’s hand in it all.

    1. So true, Michelle. It is amazing to me how much the pain lessens with passing time and new challenges in life that we face. Thanks for sharing your testimony here with us, as well. This is the kind of thing that can be very lonely. I share because I want to help someone feel less alone. Praising God that he has shown you his hand in it all! He is so good….ALL the time. Even when we don’t see it.
      Terah

  6. Terah, what a beautiful testimony that I’m sure feels beautiful now but was formed through pain. So much of what you wrote resonates but I loved this: “But as God became my rock during some of the darkest years of my life, I learned that being held by Him is the very best place to be.”

    1. Lisa,
      I am so encouraged by this! My hope is that by sharing what I have learned that I can maybe save someone some of the grief of learning it on their own. So many times we are told to “hold on to God,” but we don’t actually need to do that. We just need to let HIM hold US.
      Terah

  7. What a beautiful message, Terah! This brings hope to my heart. Just yesterday I spent time with a friend who has been trying 3 + years to get pregnant…This gives such hope.

    1. Betsy,
      There is always hope in Jesus. The closer we stay to him the closer our desires line up with His. Your friend is very blessed to have you. Be encouraged!
      Terah

  8. Terah what a beautiful story. As a mother with children walking thru similar stuff I feel some of your pain. So glad that God blessed you with 3 children. There is one more step these days that I’ve been privileged to know about in God’s great plan and that is embryo adoption or snowflake babies as they call them.

    1. Debbie,
      YES! I know all about snowflake babies! I didn’t have a chance to go into the details in this post but we started our invitro journey with 30 embryos! I was shaken to the core to think about the possibility that we would not be able to keep them all. I looked into embryo adoption and prayed and prayed. God, in his infinite wisdom, selected naturally and 27 of our embryos never grew long enough to survive. Just another part that astounds me to this day. He gave us our children and he gave us closure as well. How many hours of my life did I spend going over the what-IF’s? So much better just to trust Jesus!! I pray you are able to encourage your children greatly as they walk this road.
      Terah

  9. Terah, my husband and I experienced infertility too. Of the three options you mentioned, we chose adoption (twice), but I can totally relate to everything else you wrote about God’s plans and how your children have influenced your life. I also love how God used your friend’s labor to direct your steps … what a beautiful story!

    1. Lois,
      Everyone’s journey is so different. How beautiful adoption is! I love how God puts our families together in His perfectly designed way. He is good…All the time.
      Terah