Submitted By: Michaela Bates-Keilen
The past few weeks and months have taken me down a path that I never expected to walk. It has been a journey that has completely changed my life. My faith has been challenged in a completely unexpected way; through the hurt, pain, and tears God has shown Himself more real and more faithful than I’ve ever seen before!
Growing up I always dreamed of being a mother someday. Nothing excited me more as a child than hearing the news that I was going to have a new little brother or sister. I loved babies, and it was a delight to help care for them. Children were the greatest miracle in my eyes, and I spent all my free time babysitting. Every time I rocked a baby to sleep, I dreamed of someday cuddling my own little one. Being with children, reading Bible stories, singing, playing hide and seek, wiping away tiny tears, laughing together, and kissing away little boo boos were my greatest joys in life. I couldn’t wait to someday create these wonderful memories with my own children also.
In the late summer of 2015, after a fairy tale romance and blissful wedding, I settled into married life with my Prince Charming. He was everything I ever hoped for in a husband and more than I even dreamed a man could be. Our life seemed absolutely perfect! I graduated from college the spring after we married and was thrilled when my diploma arrived. Over the next few weeks, several friends announced pregnancies. I was elated for them and excited at the thought of possibly getting to babysit. As days passed, I started to wonder when I would get pregnant. Wonder turned to concern, and concern grew to worry and fear. It seemed like suddenly everyone I knew was expecting a baby. I went to see my doctors, and they ran a few test and said, “Don’t even think about a baby until you’ve been married at least a year… babies take time!”
I was simply delighted with being married and loved every single moment with Brandon. With anticipation, I looked forward to him coming home every evening. We had so much fun together – hikes, picnics, spontaneous adventures, late night ice cream dates, walks in the park, trips home, moonlight strolls….I was enjoying everything a girl could possibly dream of in marriage…yet deep inside my heart, I longed to become a mommy.
Over the next few weeks and months, without even realizing what was happening, my view of life began to change. I was quickly growing more and more discontented and suddenly I found myself doubting God. Our first anniversary came and went and still no pregnancy. Now I knew something was definitely wrong, and I started praying and searching for a specialist. It didn’t take long to find one and make appointments. We were seen almost immediately, and with each new test my heart broke a little more. Night after night, I cried myself to sleep and felt like all my dreams and desires were shattered. Each night, Brandon held me close and let me cry until I had no more tears. He prayed with me and assured me that God had a plan and knew what He was doing. Yet, I had become so focused on the one thing I didn’t have that I was doubting God and His goodness. I kept asking, “Why me”? I had never before experienced the emotional pain that I was feeling at this time, and for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like spending time with God or praying. It seemed that He was withholding something so precious from me for no reason at all. It didn’t seem fair. I remember late one night weeping and sharing with Brandon the deep heartache I was feeling. While he held me tight, I poured out my heart to him and shared that I was losing faith and had even started doubting God. I’ll never forget his gracious, understanding, and loving response that night. What he so tenderly shared over the next hour has literally changed everything for me!
Brandon encouraged me to be honest with God and ask for His grace to trust again. Then he challenged me to find the verses in Scripture that show God’s nature and to meditate on His promises. As I began asking God to help me see Him again and to give me grace to trust, He started changing my heart. As I searched for verses and meditated on who God is, my perspective changed. The following weeks God started allowing me to see how He had guided and provided throughout this entire journey. Not only has God shown me His hand of provision on the medical side of this walk (finding doctors, searching for answers, providing finances), He also has allowed me to see how this time has knit our hearts together as a couple. Walking through this together has created a trust and a love that words can’t even express. We’ve laughed and cried together, and each day has deepened our friendship. Even greater still, God has allowed me to see a glimpse of Him. The fellowship I’ve had with my Heavenly Father is unlike anything I dreamed possible. He truly has become my everything, and I’m learning that no matter what situation or circumstance life throws at me, Jesus Christ is the only one that can fully satisfy. I still cry often, and inside my heart feel the pain of infertility, yet in the midst of the hurt, I have a peace. God has shown me His love in deeper ways than I can fathom. God is changing my heart and perspective. He is helping me to focus on the gifts He has already given me, and I am seeing in a whole new way treasures that I have taken for granted.
I’m so grateful to my parents for introducing us kids to a living God. He wasn’t something we just talked about on Sunday or at church…He was real in our lives every single day. They gave us the privilege of seeing Him do miracles by taking everything to God in prayer. They showed us first hand that God could be trusted no matter what. Over this past year that has been a greater blessing than I can express. I wasn’t emotionally prepared to face the heartache I have this year, but deep within my heart, I know that God does all things well!
“Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.” Psalm 73:25,26,28