As many of you know, the foundation of Chick Chat is to have a woman share her story with the group. The courage shown and connections made over the years have been incredible. I had been praying about if or when it might be a good time for me to share mine. For this most recent event, two speakers had to cancel. I knew God was leading me in the direction to share. On the surface it seems like a simple task, share your “story”. You can think of your life as a book composed of chapters and each one of them has insight to share and connect with others. Even though each chapter may have independent highlights, there is a common theme that is woven through them that ties your story together. For me I wanted to convey Gods incredible Grace in my life and so I talked about my struggle with my weight and eating disorder that lasted almost 10 years.
I was an overweight child who was teased and ridiculed daily. I went on my first diet in the 3rd grade and it eventually led to full blown Anorexia by the time I hit high school. Anorexia morphed into Bulimia and as I entered adulthood, it seemed to much for me to handle. God convicted me daily, yet I couldn’t let it go. My motivation to stop centered around having a baby. I believed that If God would just allow me to get pregnant, that would be the final push I needed to stop.
After I got married, we soon started trying to get pregnant and month after month went by and it wasn’t working. God kept asking me, prompting me to give my all to Him but I couldn’t seem to loosen my grip on my eating disorder. It was a daily choice I made where I sought refuge and comfort but God wanted to be my refuge and my comfort. I felt as though I would rather die from it than live without it. After about 6 months of trying I became so desperate that I finally decided to quit. I didn’t want to tell anyone because I was so ashamed and quite frankly didn’t know if I could really do it. All I had ever wanted to be in life was a wife and mother. That desire was even stronger than my addiction. I had to rely on God to get me through. Month after month would go by and I still wasn’t getting pregnant. It was hard for me to reconcile why I gave up something that meant so much to me only to have God not answer my prayers. There were so many times I wanted to give up. I was angry and felt hopeless as though I was all alone in the middle of the ocean and no one was there to rescue me…. not even God.
But then after almost 2 years of trying later I got pregnant! I’ll never forget the intense joy and gratitude I felt as I saw that positive pregnancy test for the first time. THIS was my rescue. I felt as though God had finally forgiven me. I was most excited to tell family and friends. Easter Sunday was coming up and we planned to tell our entire Sunday School class. Almost every woman in the class was pregnant at that time and each week I would cringe at what was inevitably another announcement, but this was going to be my time. We announced it in our class and my parents who taught another class in the church announced it that same day. As we stood to dismiss everyone was running up to me congratulating me and it was in that moment that I began to cramp….Immediately. I couldn’t even hear the words coming out of anyone’s mouths anymore. Something inside told me it was over… and after a trip to the ER it was confirmed that it was in fact over. I remember feeling as though God had played a mean and nasty trick on me. I felt as though he doesn’t really redeem, forgive and offer hope. I felt so hopeless and didn’t want to pray or go to God again for anything. Several weeks went by and I finally felt the need to pray. I fell face down on the floor so distraught balling my eyes out before the Lord and for the first time ever I told Him that no matter if He ever blessed me with a baby of my own that I would Love and follow Him anyway. I knew that despite my anger and pain and confusion that there was no other option than to go back to Him because He, at the end of it all is the only thing I truly have. I then sat up and opened my devotional book “Women of the Bible” and the next story was the story of HANNAH, a woman in the Bible who begged for so long in desperation to the Lord for a baby and finally God gave her a son. Reading this in that moment was no coincidence… I knew He had me right in His hands and even though I “felt” all alone in the middle of the ocean He actually had me all along. Weeks after that were still hard but several months later I was able to get pregnant again and on February 5,2010 I gave birth to my HANNAH Grace. She is a picture of Gods redeeming grace in my life. She is a living example that God brings life even from death.
Each year around Easter time I think back to the Easter Sunday I miscarried my baby. It was such an awful day. I was angry, humiliated and felt hopeless but now as I reflect, I can’t help but think that was possibly all the same feelings Jesus’ followers felt when He went to the cross. But then Sunday came. Jesus proved that He is the only one who brings life out of death and beauty from ashes. He doesn’t just restore us back to what we were, but he resurrected himself into eternal perfection and offers the same new life to each and every one of us today. I hope you can all reflect on Him this Easter and recognize His redeeming power in your life.
Photos taken by: Catcher in the Rye Photography