Showing posts from June, 2019

From No Eggs to a Full Nest: A Journey of Infertility

By Erin Shonio Everything inside of me died the day I got the phone call. Everything I had worked for, pursued, and hoped for came to a screeching halt. You see, I had spent almost the past 2 years calculating, documenting, and charting my female reproductive system. Each month started with anticipation and hope, then ended in disappointment. There were new tests, new doctors, no answers, and no money left. That phone call meant we had reached the end of our journey, and my body would not be able to produce a biological child as I had no viable eggs. My whole life was built around children. I was a camp counselor, went to college for teaching, worked with kids with mental and behavioral health issues, and even married my husband for his fatherly potential. I believe God gifted me to work with children, and they are my passion. Motherhood was my dream. Did you hear what I said? MY dream. I loved God and grew up in the church. I knew the Bible, but struggled at times with conne

Purpose in the Pain: A True Story of Miscarriage

By Janelle Shelly “There’s no heartbeat.” The sonographer’s voice, void of emotion, confirmed my worst fears. I closed my eyes and swallowed hard, choking back tears. The days, weeks, and months following my miscarriage are among the darkest I’ve ever experienced.  Why did this happen? Was it my fault? Am I capable of having a normal pregnancy? These questions haunted me. It seemed everywhere I looked I saw or heard another pregnancy announcement. I was frequently forced to paste a smile on my face to congratulate another friend or co-worker who was expecting a baby. It wasn’t a question that I was a happy for them. Instead, I questioned—“ Why am I not allowed to meet my child? What is God trying to reveal to me through this loss? Why must I experience this?” Ultimately, I wondered, “How is this really part of God’s plan and purpose for my life?” The pregnancy started off the way you might expect. First, came the positive pregnancy test with two little blue lines, announci

The Silver Lining to the Cancer Cloud

By Julia Whitfield This is a true story. On an October night ten years ago, we sank down on the couch to continue watching The John Adams Story . Our three small children, including the eight month old baby, were tucked into bed for the night. The episode dealt partly with Adams’ oldest daughter, Nabby, who contracted breast cancer as a young woman and later died of it. Watching the depiction of 18th century surgery in sympathetic horror, I instinctively raised my hand to my chest. At the top of my right breast, my fingers felt something hard. Instantly, the thought. “Is that what people mean when they say they felt a lump?”   I continued watching TV in silence. No one does breast self exams during pregnancy and nursing, so it  had been over a year since I last checked. Had the doctor given me a breast exam four months ago at my regular physical? I couldn’t remember. The lump wasn’t painful; was that a good or bad sign? Maybe it was just a blocked duct. I would wait and see fo

Hitting an Icy Patch in Life

By Melissa Zimmerman On a cold, windy night in March my husband, daughter, and I were traveling home on some icy drifting roads. Suddenly, our already-bald-tires were spinning rapidly in a frantic effort to find traction on the icy, uphill road. To make matters even more stressful, we began sliding backward down the hill—we weren't even in reverse! Thankfully, oncoming traffic gave us the space we needed and we were able to turn around and go home another way. As I reflected on that unnerving experience, I felt as if I could compare that to our daughter's journey with severe scoliosis. That feeling of everything spinning out of control began in January of 2018 when we realized the severity of her 49 degree spinal curve. The fears, the unknowns, and feelings of helplessness came to the forefront of our lives. The frantic effort to gain traction—putting a lot of time, money, and hard work into daily exercises to help her. And the helpless, devastating feel