‘We didn’t want to waste time feeling sorry for ourselves’

Katie’s story | Accepting God’s goodness when it doesn’t go to plan

“Six years ago, my husband and I started trying for a baby. Neither of us thought there’d be an issue. We tried for a year before going to see the GP who sent us to a specialist. He suggested IVF. At the time it didn’t feel right, so we put it off. God shifted our focus for a little while and we eventually found ourselves moving to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

Months later, we felt God’s push to think about family again, so after seeing a specialist and months of tests, we started an IVF cycle in 2018. Our expectations were low. The doctors said our chances were not great, but we were overwhelmed with joy when we found we could make embryos! The first one took. It felt like God was finally making it happen for us!

At 11 and a half weeks we had a miscarriage. We were heartbroken. We still had one embryo from that cycle. We trusted God had a plan, even if we didn’t understand, so tried again in 2019. The embryo took. We were hopeful again. However, at 11 weeks, we found out we had lost this one as well.

It hit us even harder. We hadn’t really processed the first grief, so it took us longer to recover. We’d been trying to trust God this whole time. We knew he had a plan and he was good. But his timing was obviously different to ours and it was hard to understand what he could possibly be doing through all of this heartache.

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The word ‘peace’ kept coming to mind. At times I felt God’s peace surrounding me. I felt close to him. But at other times I felt distant and confused. Early on, my husband said we shouldn’t waste this time feeling sorry for ourselves. We needed to be content, regardless. We decided we wanted to use our current state to be a blessing to other families. We’d started attending a new church that was focused on young families. There were children and babies everywhere. At first, it was hard. We’d just had our second miscarriage. But we decided not to pull back emotionally. God gave us the ability to support other families by loving their children. We couldn’t have done it in our own strength! It was a real lesson for us … not to focus on our own lack. He protected us from bitterness and gave us real joy. We started to see that everyone has their own difficulties, but that God is good.

Later that year we started another round of IVF and made three embryos. By the time we were ready to transfer them, COVID hit and delayed things. We prayed for patience and trusted in God’s timing. When restrictions eased we went ahead in 2020. The first two didn’t attach. The third embryo took, we were pregnant, but a few days later we had a third miscarriage. This was our lowest point. We didn’t understand what God was doing and felt like giving up. We stopped and reassessed.

It was during this time we learnt that even if a baby didn’t happen for us, we would be okay. We would be content … and contentment is a choice. We decided to do one last round of IVF. If it didn’t work, we’d stop, knowing God had different plans for us. We got one embryo and had it transferred in early 2021. Although I had low expectations, the embryo took. We were pregnant! We were cautious but excited. Our excitement continued all year!

Annie was born in mid-September this year. She was five and a half weeks early. Even her birth didn’t go to plan! But God gave us an incredible peace throughout the whole birth and we knew without any doubts that he was in control. As I look back, I know God has taught me a massive lesson in letting go and trusting his plans. His goodness isn’t dependent on our situation. In everything, he wants us to draw closer to him, to keep trusting and seeking him, regardless of our circumstances, like it says in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Katie’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.

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