When I was in 8th grade, I went to an aerobics class where we listened to a Mylon Lefevre song “Thankful heart” while we did abdominal exercises. An ironic lesson for choosing thanks in pain (who likes sit-ups?). An ah-ha moment–exactly what I have been learning the last few years–learning to think on truth and choose thanks in the midst of hard feelings and experiences. “I have a thankful heart that You have given me and it can only come from You.”
As Thanksgiving approaches fast, I have a full and thankful heart. I spent time this morning reading over past blogs of our journey of infertility. What pain, what loss of control, but what richness of God’s love and provision and character we gained in the midst. Learning where our hope comes from, learning where our treasure is, learning the all-sufficiency of Christ. Oh, how I have come to love Christ in deep ways and treasure Him above earthly pleasure and circumstance. In the deepest places of pain and helplessness, He has been so good. I’ve seen His faithfulness, His love, His truth, His purposes–o the depth and the riches of the Love of Christ–how deep His knowledge and His ways.
About 6 -8 months ago, when we thought we were through with any kind of fertility treatments–we were really thinking about what a life of childlessness would look like. One day praying, I felt a prick in my spirit that said–“Our story is not over. He is not finished. He has us where he wants us. Thanks be to God.” I wrote this on our pantry which is covered in chalkboard paint. I also wrote Psalm 33:20-22, “Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let Your steadfast love be upon us even as we hope in You.” Then the words: wait, trust, hope. This “message” to me was about infertility but not neccessarily about a child–I know it can seem weird. In the midst of all of this, it has always been about finding our hope in the LORD–not in what He would accomplish in circumstance. Those are two very different concepts.
Today, it is with great humility that I thank the Lord for His grace–favor neither Greg nor I deserve–first in salvation–and secondly, for the growing baby in my womb.
In late August, we started the Invitro Fertilization process against great odds. Our doctor gave us less than half the chances (20%) of those undergoing IVF to make it through and deliver a child. Through prayers and prayers and prayers and God’s power, my body produced the exact eggs we would need. Through more prayers, every one of those four eggs fertilized and became an embryo. (We only chose four because we did not want to risk destroying embryos during the freezing process–this limited our chances, but after prayer and consideration,this was our decision). The Doc told us that he had never seen a couple even have triplets using four eggs, inseminating them and implanting all that made it to the embryo stage. It would be like winning the lottery. We, of course, joked we would need to win the lottery again to pay for them:). Through more prayers, each of those 4 embryos were top rated in strength (one was just a bit behind the others). The morning of our implantation, he came to us soberly and said we risked the chance of having quadruplets if we implanted them all–this then endangered their health and survival. After looking at each other with the all-knowing “how the crap we gonna raise four babies at a time with one of us with a chronic disease” look, we knew that the odds of survival of each of those babies was better if implanted in twos. Two embryos were implanted,( two frozen to be implanted in us or donated for adoption for another couple) and we waited and prayed.
God has gifted us with beautiful friends and family who have been prayer warriors on our behalf. You are a part of our journey. God has blessed us with you and hopefully you have been blessed to know Him more deeply during this process. Thank you–you are a huge gift and part of our story.
Two weeks later, a positive test came. We discovered a few weeks later that we were just having one baby Pinkner. I have been very sick since 4 1/2 weeks. So much so that I have pretty much been at the homestead. It has been challenging, but I know God is beginning to break me of convenience and schedule even in the now. At 35, I have a lot to be broken of…
Today, we got the clearance to share our news from our infertility doc after we got to see the ultrasound. I am almost 11 weeks along, and He said that everything looked great–we now have about the same chances as everyone else for delivering a healthy baby. We do not deserve the gift of this healthy growing child. It seems we have a dancer on our hands with little hand and foot buds that were moving along today. This is the first day I felt I could relax and rejoice. For so long I have been guarding my heart over and over again against disappointment. God did not “owe” us a baby–he never promised one. He has been more than good in giving us Himself–the greatest gift. It is with humility and great dependence on Him that we begin this journey. Keep praying for us. Pray for this child that God might call he or she to himself to serve Him and serve others.
It is also with great humility that we “announce” this. For years, facebook has been the cause of many days of heartache for me. Seeing random announcements of yet another baby being born or milestone in pregnancy being reached can rip the heart out of one struggling in infertility. I am torn because I want to share with others, but I so have on my heart those who want children and are unable to have them at this time. I am still continuing to pray for friends who are hurting in infertility. Forever I am changed by these last few years and my heart will always connect with those in that struggle.
My only hope through all of this is continuing to treasure God more than His gifts–my greatest prayer is to pass that on to my child(ren). Thank you for your continued love, support and encouragement to Greg and me. You are a gift!
Randomly, Greg wanted to make sure I get his line in here–“don’t fake the funk on a nasty dunk.” Don’t read too deep for meaning…
16 thoughts on “A thankful heart that He has given me…”
Praise the Lord! I am rejoicing with you over this wonderful miracle!
Praising God–first for the gift of Himself to you, and next, for the gift of this pregnancy. Congratulations!!!
Congrats Jennifer! What wonderful news…I will be praying for this little one growing inside you!
Oh wow! How awesome indeed! Congratulations and can’t wait to hear more updates on Baby Pinkner! Praise the Lord!
YAY!!! Jen, I want you to know that I have been fervently praying for you in this area. I rejoice with you today and love your heart!! Can’t wait to meet baby Pinkner! LOVE LOVE LOVE you and Greg.
I am crying now, after reading this. I love you and Greg, I love Baby Pinkner…I will absolutely continue to pray for you, and my offer for a mixtape or ice cream stands! 🙂 Thanks for being so transparent during your journey. You have no idea how your story of embracing such heartache and uncertainty and disappointment has been an inspiration to me. God is so faithful, and your journey has been a constant reminder of that!
“…it has always been about finding our hope in the LORD – not in what he would accomplish in circumstance.”
My heart leapt and I wanted to shout when I read this sentence! YES! YES! YES! How often our hearts wander to gauge and presume how we might ultimately be affected by our circumstance…when in each and every moment of each and every circumstance the treasure he offers is Jesus Christ…he offers us himself! As C.S. Lewis said, “We are far too easily pleased.”
My dad wrote a poem when I was born that contains this line…”Nothing sweeter to behold than the glories of Thy love which to us Thou didst unfold.” God has demonstrated the glories of his love by opening your womb…and for that I rejoice with you! However, he has shown you that not even being with child can compare to the glories of his love unfolded to you in his only Son! That is AMAZING GRACE!!
I’m praying for you and Greg and Baby Pinkner! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!
Hooray!!!!! (Picture me jumping up and down… now quit laughing!) 🙂 What a joy-filled evening you have given me with this news!
I can’t tell you how excited I am for you guys. Hoping its a boy so you can name it Greg Joe Jr. 😉
Jen…Here’s to the improbable baby! Praise Sweet Jesus. I could not be happier. I am so thankful for His goodness to you all. I commit to pray for this pregnancy and child.
And… I cried again.
I told Ben last night, “I am proud to announce, I will be a cousin again… hahahaha!”
Love you, and I love that precious tiny coodly baby inside you. I can’t wait to meet that sweet thing!
– Aunt B
Congratulations Jen! So happy to hear your wonderful new! Prayers for a continued healthy pregnancy for you and baby Pinkner!
Congrats! This is amazing news. I don’t think you would remember who I am, I think we’ve only spoken twice at church, but I enjoy reading your blog and keeping up with you. This is wonderful. We will be praying for you and little baby.
I just wanted to thank you for sharing your journey with the blogging community. Your thoughts give me so much encouragement. My husband and I are just beginning our journey down the road of fertility treatment and infertility issues. Round #1 of clomid was unsuccessful. We begin round #2 soon. It helps so much to read about your experience. Praise the Lord for his perfect timing.
Just happy happy for you and Greg… Hope to meet this baby one day. You are going to be a fantastic Mommy!
That’s very exciting news! Praising and thanking God with you all!!