God has given us our miracle(s)!

Barnes Twins Coming August 2015

“With God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26

I am a bit at a loss for words. How can I do a post like this justice and adequately give due glory to God? I can’t… I still can’t believe that this is a real post that I get to type. But let’s see if I can put some words together. It might be a little disjointed.

It’s been more than two years since we started trying to get pregnant and a year since we started down the “infertility” road. After being told last spring that we had a 1% chance of getting pregnant naturally, I clung to the idea that my God is a God of the 1%. He is the God of the impossible. If He choses, He can make it happen. We just didn’t know, in His sovereign plan, if He would choose to do it. There were many days where I didn’t think it would ever happen.

He has taken us down quite a journey, especially over the last 6 months of seeking treatment. Four months in a row of attempted IVF cycles will do a number to your emotions.

As I typed out my last post, about how God had to take me to a place of brokenness to really start to find a hunger for Him, we were in the midst of our 4th attempt. (Only our 2nd where we were actually able to do an egg retrieval & embryo transfer.) We made it all the way to the embryo transfer and were in the excruciatingly long 2-week wait before the pregnancy test as I hit publish on that last one.

God knew the journey He had to take us on. For some reasons we see now and others we’ll never know.

Because of my previous response (or lack of response) to treatment — including the one unsuccessful IVF round where we had one embryo to transfer — we decided to transfer 2 embryos this time around. We took the risk.

We found out we were pregnant before Christmas and were able to share the news with both of our families as we saw them in person over the holidays. It was the best and only present we needed, and a welcome miracle at the end of a hard year on both sides.

This past Friday, we went for our first ultrasound where they discovered that it is, in fact, twins. (For about two minutes we thought there was only one, but the second one was hiding a bit!) Both decided to stick around! We saw two tiny miracle hearts beating, at only 7.5 weeks. Wow.

We are so grateful and also quite overwhelmed! Twins! How in the world are we going to handle twins? There are so many logistics to figure out in the next several months.

As we continue on this new phase of our journey, we will lean on some of the lessons that God has taught us over the recent past. Both are possible blog posts that still need to be written:
1. We are not in control. Only God is. We could attempt to take matters into our own hands — I tried acupuncture, a special fertility diet for 6 months, 4 months of medical treatment where we could try the exact same combination and my body would respond differently every time — but it is only God who has any control over the outcome. It’s all in His hands.
2. God provides. We’ve experienced this in not having any idea how we were going to pay for such expensive procedures and medications. But month after month, God provided, in amazing ways. I know He will continue to do so.

Okay, I have 2 quips that I have to randomly fit in:
1. You all prayed too hard and God sure did answer — twins! 🙂
2. I guess we’re making up for lost time and trying to catch up.

And a serious note. For some reason, God has chosen to answer our prayers. I’ll never understand why. Why He has chosen to answer this one, but there are so many couples going through similar journeys and who haven’t gotten their hearts’ desire. I remain extremely sensitive to others who are walking this difficult road. And I don’t want to trigger anyone else’s sadness. The infertility journey is one that will forever mark who I am and I don’t think that will change.

As of today, we are only 8 weeks along. It is obviously still early and I am not naive to think “we’ve made it”. But we also couldn’t wait any longer to share the news of these two tiny miracles with you all. So many people have been praying for us and supporting us. We are so grateful for you! Would you please join us in praising God for these two lives and also praying for their continued health and development?

And maybe kick in a prayer for our wisdom and decision making about the future? We sure do have a lot to figure out! We have many more opportunities on the horizon for us to desperately lean on God in all things.

Our two 5-day old embryos on the left and our split screen ultrasound at 7.5 weeks showing two little blueberries!

On the left are our two 5-day old embryos before our transfer and on the right is our split screen ultrasound at 7.5 weeks showing our two little blueberries!

“I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” -Psalm 9:1-2

Photos are by Stacey Michelle Photography.

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He Said “Trust Me”

Wow, we’ve been on a wild ride these past 4 weeks! We’re feeling incredibly blessed beyond what words can describe. I think God is now showing off and to Him be all glory! Read all the way to the end for the full story…

As I briefly mentioned in my last post, back in early October, as we sat with a realtor and our hopes to potentially sell our house were dashed (with bad market conditions), I felt a crushing weight come over me. I felt panicked, distraught, & confused. What were we going to do? Right in the midst of the panic, I felt a still, small whisper of “Trust Me”. It just washed over me. I’m not one to claim I’ve heard the voice of God often (or ever really), but I knew it was from Him.

Trust Me” He said. I’ve got this. Don’t worry.

However, I’m a planner, especially with something as logistically intense as a major move. I want/need to have a plan in place. But we have been trying our best to let things happen. To trust that God has it all under control. I’ve been leaning a lot on that still, small “Trust Me” whisper that I heard 3 months ago.

Over the Christmas holiday, we put in an application for a condo to rent. It was nice, had been on the market for 82 days, and we were so happy to have one major decision nailed. Two days later, we got an email from our realtor saying that there had been a competing application & they chose the other people. After 82 days on the market, someone else turns in an application at the same time that we do?! Again, I panicked. What were we going to do now and we’re so far away… [Read more about that story in the post “Some Perspective From Above the Clouds“]

Somehow, in the midst of going up to VA for an incredibly busy training week at IJM, I was able to go see one more condo. It was in the same building complex as the other. Long story short, it was beautiful, everything is newly upgraded, and it was the next floorplan up in size. It is 6 miles from work, and right on a metro line. I filled out an application on the spot with the landlord. A few days later we got word that it was ours! I’m convinced that we’re getting it for about $500 less per month than what it could be going for. An amazing deal!

We thought the first condo was good, and panicked when it fell through, but God said “Hold on. Trust me. I’ve got something far better for you.” Yes He did!

A week and a half ago we had gotten word from our property manager that we had renters for our house. They even turned in the security deposit in cash. I cried a little bit that day, in joy! But over a week later, we still couldn’t get a signed lease from them. Details got sketchy and even when they thought they had faxed in the lease, our property manager never got it. We were so frustrated and just wanted it to be finished.

But again, God said “Wait. Trust me. I’ve got something far better for you.”

On Saturday, another couple came to look at our house. Today, we signed papers and got two large checks! They signed a 2 year lease with an option to buy at a price that would let us walk away from the house. And in this market, that is the absolute best case scenario that we could hope for! In 2 years the man plans to buy the house in cash, which means we won’t have to pay realtor’s fees either! If he doesn’t choose to buy in 2 years, we keep their $5000 that they handed us today. He plans to handle all repairs and, since they eventually want to buy it, they will take excellent care of it. As if it could get any better, he just decided to go ahead & pay us the first 6 months rent!! What?!

This is ridiculous! I’m still in shock.

To God be all the glory for the great things He has done!

Lord, I am sorry when I doubt, when I panic, when I grow anxious. I am sorry when I try to take control. You always know what is best & we praise you for these answered prayers!

We are definitely not promised that things will be easy. It is not a given for those who follow Christ.

We are feeling beyond blessed and grateful today for these amazing gifts of grace!

We get to leave this week knowing that we have a place to move to and someone who will take good care of our house here. What a huge sigh of relief!

If you would, please continue to pray for Cason – that God would bring him to the perfect job for him.

“We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.”
~Psalm 75:1