Grateful for Infertility? Ashley's Story

Like so many of us, we entered into our relationships and marriages with a certain set of expectations only to find that God had something so different in store for us. If we continue to hang on so tightly to what we think defines a good life, we may miss out on some of the biggest blessings we could ever imagine. If we are so focused on our checklists of standards, expectations and plans, that we lose the ability to be flexible and to put our faith and future in a God who loves us dearly, we may miss His plans completely.  Ashley tells us a beautiful story today about how God shook her world upside down when she met the man of her dreams that was completely different than what she thought she was looking for. And as they entered into their marriage, her world was shaken up again when she realized she wouldn't be able to start her own biological family right away, as she had dreamed.  In today's Grateful for Infertility story, we are grateful for the flexibility we find in our faith and for God's overall plans for blessing us in creative and sometimes surprising ways.  Join me as we welcome Ashley to ONSEL today.

I spent my twenties searching for this man to meet all the criteria I envisioned I deserved and just knew once I found him I would be able to start my family. I knew I wanted kids right away. I was already 28 and by southern standards, practically an "old maid" (at least my Granny thought so).

Finally one Sunday evening, standing in the church coffee shop, my eyes locked in with this 6'5" tall and thin, dark haired guy loaded up with religious tattoos. I was hooked.

I watched him all service long, singing and praising God and I knew "he was it! The father to my future kids!"

After speaking casually through texts and facebook, and scrolling through his pictures (in that perfectly acceptable Facebook stalker kind of thing girls sometimes do), I saw many pictures of him and a small boy. I asked him who the boy was and he shared that he had a son from a previous marriage. Well that was not what I had been looking for in my future husband!

All of a sudden, this amazing man who instantly hooked me didn't fit any of my criteria. But God had changed my heart, and I knew God had given me what I needed in Timothy.

We began a relationship and I began to fall madly in love with a man and a young boy. Together we became a new family, doing everything together. We were inseparable. Never had I thought I would ever love a child who "wasn't mind." Never had I thought that a bond of love so deep could be formed with someone whose blood was not the same as my own.

That was the old me's way of thinking. When I met Timothy and his son Mason, every criteria, thought, idea of my expectations went out the door. God showed me how to love and what real love was. Prior to them, the only person I really seemed to love was myself.

Once we were married, I wanted to start a family right away. I always just knew it would happen... so when it didn't, it threw me for another loop.

We have tried a few medications and of course clomid. We have done plenty of bloodwork and are in the middle of the process of elimination to determine the cause for our infertility. I won't say that I will never be able to conceive because we are not there yet, and by there I mean done eliminating things. But I will say that I am grateful. I'm grateful because God knows what I need better than myself. I'm grateful because God threw out my list of things "I thought I deserved" and my ideas that I would only be satisfied with a child of my blood. He completely changed me from a selfish person who thought all I cared about was fulfilling some list and doing things my way. He opened my heart up to a man who is an incredibly selfless husband and has given me a son that I can hold onto every night.

I hope and pray one day we can extend our family and I can carry a child, but if that day doesn't come, I am blessed beyond measure with the child I already have in my life. You must be grateful where you are before you can ever be or go anywhere else.

A series for people who are grateful for infertility?  Sounds crazy right! But it's not... what was once a phase of life marked by heartache and longing, has now become the scars that make us beautiful. Some of you reading this are right in the middle of your wait, are facing an unclear future or have been scarred by infertility. You may be struggling with how you could possibly be grateful for infertility. It took us a long time to get there ourselves. This is one of those areas where sometimes our faith has to guide us while our hearts and heads catch up. We have to practice thankfulness, even when it makes little sense, while God does His divine work on our souls.