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It was an honor to share our story at City Life Philly!  It was a day that we weren’t sure could or would ever happen, but we are so glad it did. You can listen to our redemption story HERE.

For some, our story may come as a surprise.  Eddie and I know that sharing our journey publicly is a risk and our desire is that God will use it to bring healing and hope to everyone who hears. Overcoming the effects of an affair is not an easy process.  It’s messy and uncomfortable.  And that’s why we share it.  God is not afraid of the messy or the uncomfortable.  So why should we be?

It’s no joke to stand before your friends, family, and complete strangers to share your deepest darkest moments. If nothing else, you feel exposed and vulnerable. So often we have been tempted to keep quiet about what our marriage faced.  We’ve been tempted to buy into the lie that exposing our mess would do more harm than good.  But the truth is, we have felt more freedom with every opportunity we have had to share our story.

Instead of finding that our mess would somehow expose us, we’ve found that sharing our story exposes the lies that so many buy into.  The lie that you’re the only one who is struggling with (fill in the blank). The lie that you’re all alone on your journey.  The lie that no one will understand and everyone will judge.  The lie that keeping your struggles in the dark is better than bringing them to the light.  The lie that hope and healing are impossible.

It’s easy to buy into these lies.  When it feels like no one is talking about the messy subjects and everyone else seems to be doing so great, you don’t want to be THAT person who brings up the taboo topic.  More and more I feel compelled – perhaps called – to start or at the very least be a part of the difficult conversations.  The struggle is real.  But so is the answer.

The freedom that Christ brings is more real than anything I have ever experienced.  Your sin, hurt, anger, singleness, infertility, whatever it is, is not too big for Jesus!  Don’t hear me wrong, it was not “easy” to face the mess in our marriage, but it was absolutely worth it.

What’s your mess?  What conversation do you need to start or be a part of?  I’m praying for every person who reads this.  May you find the strength to face the challenges and messy situations in life.

Let’s talk.

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Was it worth the risk?

I knew it was a risk. Most people wait at least 12 weeks to share their exciting news. I felt like we had waited almost 12 years. I couldn’t resist the urge to shout it from the rooftops! We were expecting a baby! I, for the first time in my life, was pregnant. Huge amounts of joy! Huge amounts of celebrating. Many many tears. In less than 2 minutes there were two lines and my world was absolutely turned upside down! The next 4 days felt like this amazing, jittery, nervous ascent to the top of a roller coaster ride!
It’s crazy what can happen in a few short days. I downloaded every app possible to track the growth of my baby. We started the discussion of baby names. I made and went to doctors appointments. I started a secret Pinterest board. And most of all I confidently declared God’s faithfulness in our lives. He’d done it! He’d kept His word. He’d performed a miracle. He’d been faithful.
Little did I know the next two days would feel like the decent of that same roller coaster ride. The difference was the coaster didn’t stay on the track. Instead is came crashing to the ground. After two incredibly tough days everything changed…..yet again. After more doctors appointments and a day in the ER, I wasn’t going to have a baby anymore.

I knew it was a risk to tell everyone. And now I had to tell them it was over.

It was a risk because since my teen years I’ve had medical issues that made me wonder if a family was even possible. After 3 years of marriage, more doctor’s appointments than I could count, multiple types of fertility treatments and various procedures to get my health under control, we felt desperate for our family to grow. We wanted to be parents. I wanted to be a mom. God had promised. It just had to happen. And it did! Just not the way we expected. I have NEVER EVER been disappointed with how God brought Nick and Rosie into our lives. Being their mom has been the greatest gift I could have ever asked for! That story is really a part of other blogs/posts and has been such a joy to experience. And when Nick and Rosie started to ask for a little brother or sister, I was excited to bring them into that conversation.

But, it was a risk to try again. But try we did. Again. And again. And again. And then our world came to a crashing halt when our marriage fell a part. Again that’s another blog for another day. But all of this is to say our journey to get to where we are right now has been nothing short of a miracle and a lot of risks. You see, it was this time two years ago that I went to yet another doctor to get yet another D&C only to be told that I had “pre-cancerous” cells in my uterus. The nurse on the phone very flippantly explained that the doctor suggested that I have a hysterectomy. I will never forget how I felt when I got off of that cold, calloused call. What did she just say? They want me to do what? I went for a 2nd opinion and the new doctors discussed other options. They asked great questions and eventually we went down a different path. A risky path that led to weight loss surgery. We were prayerful during the journey and strategic in our decisions. I don’t regret the risk of getting help to lose 130lbs over the past 13 months. And when we started trying again for a baby in August of this year I knew…….it was a risk.

Sharing this story is a risk. Telling people early on was a risk. Heck my life has been full of risks. I know I’m not the first to struggle with infertility. I have many friends who have never been able to conceive. Others have lost many pregnancies. Others have experienced the joy of adoption as we have. And others have had their own set of struggles in a variety of other areas of life. I’m also not the first person to take risks. Not all of the risks I’ve taken have worked out like I would have liked, but at least I took the risk, right?

I know I’m not the first to have an ectopic pregnancy/miscarriage and I won’t be the last. I can’t fully understand why our pregnancy didn’t work out this first time. I’ve cried many tears in the past weeks. I’ve felt the sting when an app that I forgot to disable alerted me that I had reached a new week of pregnancy. Or turned the page on my notebook to see baby names doodled everywhere. But I’ve also felt other things. The joy Eddie and I felt during those first few days was unexplainable. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything. The excitement I felt when I told my parents they would have their 20th grandchild was wonderful. The thrill of my kids when they heard the news was priceless. And even the encouraging texts and calls following the loss were reminders that I have amazing people in my life. I really think it’s all been worth the risk.

This past week I have felt the Lord so close. I knew people were praying for me. Those that I had celebrated with just a few days before, quickly adjusted and began praying for us in a new way. I can’t thank them all enough. How did I get so blessed with such an amazing family and loyal friends?

The days following the loss held many tears, and not all of them were sad tears. I wept because I am blessed. I wept because we weren’t sure it could happen at all. I wept because I felt a new hope. I wept because of the joy we felt for those few brief days. I am thankful that there is hope we will experience it again. I’m thankful that our family is whole and healthy, lacking in no good thing. God is faithful. I was so quick to say that when we found out we were expecting. The loss doesn’t change that. God is still faithful.

As we try to settle back into normal life, I know it will never be the same. I’ll grieve.  I’ll feel whatever it is I feel and I’ll process it however necessary. I’ll call my mama. I’ll hug my kids. I’ll give thanks for my amazing husband. I’ll also take the risk again when the time is right. I might wait a bit longer to share it next time, or maybe I won’t! Who knows? But no matter what, may I always choose to say, “Naked I came from my mothers womb and naked shall I return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

Yep! It’s all been worth the risk.