The Wait List features guest posts from people just like you and me, all sharing a coming thread of you guessed it, waiting. No one wants to be on the wait list, but through these features, I hope you find encouragement and see all the miraculous ways God works through us during that time. If you are interested in sharing your story on The Wait List, please contact me.
Guest post written by Nikita.
What one thing were you waiting for?
In a sense, redemption! We lost our son during pregnancy at 12 weeks and I couldn’t shake this feeling that it had been my fault. I felt like I needed to have another child at some point to give my body back its sense of worth. I found out about a year later that my body wasn’t producing the amount of progesterone necessary to sustain a pregnancy again. On top of that I had endometriosis and PCOS. I just had this constant hurt in my heart that it was ME holding my family back. My husband so desperately wanted more children and my daughter, a sibling she could grow up with. After an additional two and a half years, endometriosis removal surgery, countless hcg injections and blood draws, and never ending negative pregnancy tests, we came to the conclusion God meant for us to be elsewhere. On August 14, we got the last negative test we could handle and decided that was “it”. On August 20, we leaped into the foster care licensure process, an avenue we had always dreamt of pursuing, but wanted to wait until the time was “right”.
How did God help you in your wait? How did you continue to Live in the Wait?
I’ll never forget this pivotal point in my faith. When we lost Shane, I first leaned in HARD to God. I prayed for peace and I prayed selfishly to just let me dream of him. Then I ran away, far away. I was so mad and hurt and blamed Him for taking my child. I didn’t step foot in a church until the week of my due date, and that was only because my husband made me. I sat there so still trying to avoid eye contact with anyone. Church was packed that day and we had to move to a seat on the side of church we don’t usually sit on (we are creatures of habit!). Two pews in front of us a newborn baby boy lay in his momma’s arms and I remember thinking, “Really?! What IS this, God?! Why did you put him there and us here!! This pain is enough!” Then the beautiful simplicity of “It is well with my soul” pulsed through the speakers into the room. The tears didn’t stop flowing until we walked out of church that day. It was this “ah-ha” moment for me. My baby wasn’t meant to be here, God had a bigger purpose in mind and I was going to find what it was.
A few months later I created an organization, The Awakening Grace Foundation, to support families suffering the way our family had. This organization sends out care packages, burial garments, and other resources to families enduring the loss of a child during pregnancy and infancy. Our mission speaks to all stages of pregnancy and infant loss. We want families to grieve bravely, heal gently, and remember boldly. We have more than doubled the amount of packages we send out yearly, not because more losses are happening necessarily, but because our mission and vision is allowing them to TALK about and recognize that loss. This organization is a culmination of all our pain, struggle, and fear in the time following Shane’s passing. We were able, with the guidance of our God, to take all of those things and turn it into this beautiful purpose and legacy for our baby. His mere existence continued to give us purpose and drive to move forward in our support and service of other families.
Was what you were waiting for received?
On September 16, the night of our first foster care licensure class, I laid in bed having this feeling in my gut, just knowing I was pregnant. But then again, I “knew” so many other times and got negative tests time and time again. I vowed I would wait until morning to make sure my test was accurately negative or positive. I fell asleep and one hour later sat straight up in bed telling myself I wasn’t waiting another minute. I KNEW. I took the test and stared through tears in total disbelief as two pink lines appeared. Our rainbow, our hope, our redemption. In HIS time, our prayers had been answered. We continued on to obtain our foster care/adoption license for the state of Iowa knowing we were placed on that road intentionally. Following our son’s birth, we will determine when to take in our first foster children.
What encouragement would you give to someone else who is in the waiting?
First, pain is individual. Don’t let anyone, including yourself, diminish your struggle because it’s “not as bad” as someone else’s. Your pain is valid, your struggle is real.
Second, let yourself feel EVERYTHING. I processed everything out loud and shared my journey publicly because it’s what I needed to feel validated. If you need to journal or pray or talk to a friend or shout it from the rooftops—whatever it is, DO IT. Allow yourself to move through each emotion of the struggle to WAIT. And through every step pick at least one person to share it with. By allowing others in (even if it’s just by talking to God) you’re easing the burden you carry. The wait, that constant unknown, can be debilitating. Let yourself continue life in the meantime by sharing your struggle and giving yourself the grace to keep moving.
Third, be open minded to where the wait is taking you. We have discovered so much about ourselves, our families and our community during the years of infertility following the loss of our baby. We embraced where God led us, not having any idea where we would end up. Let him guide your heart and hold you in his hands.
Please share with someone you know who could use some encouragement in the wait.