The idea of a Mother’s Day post has been a thought in my mind for weeks. But I’ve been stuck in a bad case of writer’s block. What is everyone writing about in the blogging word? Answer: Mother’s Day gifts. And I love those posts. I read pretty much every single one to find out what I “need” in my closet. But I wanted to go a different direction this year. I want to share my heart, how for a part of my life, I didn’t know if I would become a mother. Mother’s Day is a beautiful time of year to celebrate the gift of motherhood and the women who deserve our love…our moms. But it’s not a beautiful time of year for everyone.
About eight years ago, ANYTHING that had to do with motherhood made my heart sink. I would tear up with every pregnancy announcement on Facebook. Sometimes I could muster up a “congratulations,” and honestly, sometimes I couldn’t. That’s because I couldn’t become a mother when I wanted to.
The year of 2010 began with such excitement and promise. Jordan and I decided we were ready to start a family. But month after month of negative pregnancy tests tossed me into the darkest state of life I’ve ever known. I could not get pregnant. Every test at the OBGYN office came back “normal.” (Writer’s note: never tell a woman trying to get pregnant to relax. That is actually about a million times worse than not saying anything at all.) I took so many tests there (no meds, just check-ups to ensure everything was functioning normally…it was) that in September 2010, my OBGYN said that he was referring me to a Fertility Clinic. But the fertility clinic could not see me until January 2011.
A really important part to this story: I was not walking with Jesus. We had stopped going to church. As a child who was forced to go to church, I wanted freedom to NOT go as an adult, to sleep in on Sundays.
One day in October, one of my students/volleyball players walked up to my desk after school. She told me that she had a vision of me and that God wanted her to share that picture. She saw me holding a baby boy and crying. (SAY WHAT?! Come again?!) I had told only family and close friends of my struggle. I actually had to tell my boss at the time as well because I was struggling so hard to keep it together at work.
My student then told me about the Vineyard Church and invited me to come. At the time, like I said, I was what is known as a “Chr-Easter” Christian… I would go to church only on Christmas and Easter.
That afternoon after my sweet student shared her vision, I sat in my car and prayed aloud for the first time in my life, like a real, raw personal prayer. God. I want to control my life so badly, like I’ve always had. But I’m finally giving you control. If you want me to be a mom, I guess I have to trust that you will make it happen.
The release and peace I felt sitting in my car was like nothing I had ever known. Though I attended church all throughout my childhood, I never felt like God was accessible. I didn’t know that He wanted to be in personal relationship with me.
Jordan and I made a New Year’s Resolution in 2011 to go back to church. We began attending church at the Vineyard in Sullivan, Illinois. After attending our first service, we went out to dinner with my family for my mom’s birthday, and we were telling everyone about our experience, how we’d never been to a contemporary service before…and that we were for sure going back the next week. But there was this underlying feeling inside of me that something was different.
I went home that Sunday and took a nap. (Duh. That’s what Sundays are for.) I woke up with this urging, this need to take another pregnancy test. Five minutes later…positive. The joy I felt that day in January 2011 gives me chills to this day.
We were supposed to go to the Fertility Clinic two days later. That phone call was the most joyous cancelation phone call I’ve ever made in my life.
Jackson Drake Lindenmeyer was born on September 20, 2011, all 10 pounds, 1 ounce of him.
When we decided to add a second child to our family, I prayed again. This time, my prayer was different. I asked God to prepare my heart for what was to come, that emotional rollercoaster I once experienced before and had not fully healed from.
Two months later, I became pregnant with our daughter, Johanna Drew Lindenmeyer, who was born on April 17, 2014…all 10 pounds, 9 ounces.
I hope that by sharing my story, you find peace and comfort in the truth: God wants to perform miracles and give you the desires of your heart, if you are living in a season of uncertainty. Mamas, those of you reading my story…we are on the toughest journey of our lives, no doubt. But please don’t ever take that precious baby (or babies) you have for granted. Motherhood is a gift that is unfortunately not extended to all who want it.
On this Mother’s Day, when I give my kids a kiss upon their sweaty heads, I will say a prayer for the women still waiting patiently for the ultimate gift. I hope you do, too.