Get in the Boat

I’m not really sure how to start this blog.  It’s been heavy on my heart the past week to share what God has been showing me.  If anything, this post is for myself, but I can’t help but know that someone out there needs to be encouraged.  So, here it goes (I’m literally shaking as I type this)…

On March 23rd, Ben and I received the best news…we were pregnant.  This was a miracle in itself since we had been given a 1% chance to conceive naturally, anyway.  We were blown away, excited and loved sharing the news with our family and close friends.  Many had been standing in faith for us and praying for this miracle for over a year.  On April 3rd, we found ourselves in the ER, with the beginning symptoms of a miscarriage.  Our hearts were broken.  We didn’t understand and to make matters worse, we were traveling to Nashville to complete our record in the next couple of days.  My world came to a screeching halt.  I’ve never been so confused, embarrassed and felt like a failure.  I so desperately wanted to make Ben a father and give this child the life of a miracle destiny.  We came home from the hospital greeted with previous balloons and flowers…celebratory notes and I had to put them away immediately.  As I type this, all the emotions and memories are flooding my heart, bringing me to tears.

I’m the type that pretty much makes herself so busy, it’s easy to ignore my heart, especially when I’ve been hurt.  That’s just what I did.  I would have pauses in my day, that I would think of my precious one and quickly move on.  I didn’t want to hear any encouragement.  When people asked how I was I quickly said I’m good and said all the right things to keep people moving, but the truth was, I was drowning in confusion and pain.  I felt God but I even had mixed emotions about Him.

Bottom line, crappy things happen to good people.  There are many out there begging for a child of their own and it hasn’t happened and then there are people who they cough and they get pregnant (or so it seems :))  I rejoiced with so many around me when they would get pregnant, but it was just getting harder and harder.  The biggest dream of my heart is to be a mother.

The next Sunday, after our miscarriage, Pastor Ed spoke on the power of lament (http://www.salttribe.org/?blog=656) I highly recommend watching this.  It changed our lives.  Ben and I wept through the entire message.  It gave our breaking hearts a voice.  It reminded us that in order to be comforted by the great comforter, we have to go to the place He can comfort us.  I guess I didn’t want to be comforted because it would make the pain real.  I didn’t want to give my pain a voice, but the truth is/was, it wasn’t until then I started working through it.  I felt a release after that service.  It really was healing for us.  Then I went back to the busy part and moved on.  I would have my moments.  My sweet friend, Shelly, helped me be okay with having full on meltdowns at lunch 🙂 then I would get up, move on, and pretend it didn’t happen.

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day.  It sucked. I had a very hard time with it.  Pastor Ed was giving a great message and it was during that message, I saw myself sitting on the shore of the ocean.  I could see this oasis of land behind the ocean.  But the ocean was raging with stormy waters.  It was dark, cold and lots of noise and lightning.  There I sat, watching it.  There sat Jesus in this boat, just talking to me.  It was so precious.  He didn’t push me.  He just sat there and said, it’s time to get in the boat.  It was a clear vision that my oasis of freedom of true joy couldn’t come unless I went through the storm.  I have a bad habit of thinking I can go around the pain or pretending it’s not there…doesn’t work.  I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit saying, “we can do this.”  This precious God of mine, gave me a gift that day.  He acknowledged the pain.  He knew it was real and He met me there.  I truly believe He would sit there as long as it took.  He’s patient and kind like that.

And so I’ve come to this new journey of trusting God through the storm.  To get in the boat, trust Him and take every bump and jolt.  I am probably going to fall in the water and feel like I’m drowning, but He’s there.  He never leaves my side.  My encouragement to you, is to get in the boat.  He promises to never leave you or forsake you.  He’s here to walk every step with you.  We think pain will kill us so we avoid it, but then it never heals the right way.

He is my joy and He is my strength.  One day we will have a child and one day I will meet this sweet one.  Until then, I face what is ahead and dream of the oasis that is waiting for me on the other side…join me.

14 thoughts on “Get in the Boat

  1. Delaney O'Banion says:

    I got tears in my eyes as I read your blog, and became over-loaded with emotions. I am certain a miscarriage is not as hard on us men, but I had a very rough time. My ex-wife and I were unable for a long time to have children. In fact, we were told we never would. She was 5 months along when she lost the first baby. A year later, we lost another one. We had decided to give up because we could not stand anymore hurt and disappointment, but felt led to try one more time. That one more time is my daughter Eryn, who celebrated her 13th birthday on April 23rd.

    I want to encourage you not to give up, and have hope knowing God does perform miracles. I don’t pretend to know everything, and I hesitated writing you because I was not sure how to properly express my sympathy. While I do not know exactly what you are going through, I have experienced it as a husband and father. I felt in my heart that I was supposed to give you encouragement though. So I am. May God richly bless you. You and Ben will be in my prayers.

    Delaney

    PS I have been a huge fan of Hero Factor forever, and was so thrilled when they did the free show at BOK Center. Just thought I would throw that in there as well 🙂

  2. bellacindyv says:

    Noelle, this is a beautiful blog. Thank you for pouring your heart. I know it was difficult to write, but it just flowed right out of you. Thank you for being real. It impacted my afternoon :o)

  3. Jennifer says:

    Though we have never met, I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face reading your story. My heart just aches for you.

    I would love to talk to you more, but just to give you a Cliff notes version of my story (but even that is a novel- sorry!):
    When I was 18, I placed a baby for adoption. It is the most painful decision that any woman could ever make and I grieve the loss of that son every day. I SO understand your Mother’s Day pain. For 12 years I have feared Mother’s Day and the pain that comes with being a mother, but having empty arms.
    I went on to marry a godly man and assumed that pregnancy would come easily for us. But four years ago, we got the diagnosis of infertility. It has been a painful journey full of surgeries, tests, medications, tears, decisions and prayers. We had 2 failed IVF procedures and grieve the loss of 5 babies that we never got the chance to hold.
    It has been a painful journey, but God has been so gracious to grow us during this time. In His mercy, He has taught us so much, strengthened us and changed our hearts and lives. He brought us to a place of total surrender.
    I had a blog during this part of our journey :www.rustyandjennifer.blogspot.com
    I hope that you can read it and find some encouragement.

    God had a plan that we were not ready to accept. But, he was patient enough to wait on us. Last September, we realized that God was going to form our family through adoption. But after 6 months of walking through a pregnancy with a young woman that chose us to parent- after being there for her ultrasounds, planning a nursery, having a shower and preparing for our sweet baby, Sarah- the mom changed her mind at 38 weeks and we lost the baby. We were devastated and at our lowest point. We thought that we were walking in obedience… why did He we have to lose her?

    On March 17th- we got the answer to that question when we got a call telling us that our son had been born! I KNOW that this is the child that God intended for us all along. We just had to walk such a crazy, twisted path to get to him.
    But, along that path I have grown closer to Him and hear His voice so much more clearly as I learned to cling to His strength alone . I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
    I have a new blog now that I started when we first felt the calling to adopt: http://www.ourhopestillendures.blogspot.com

    Having the support of friends that understand your pain is so important. I connected with a girl through the blog world of infertility and she became my dearest and closest friend. I don’t know what I would do without having the support of someone that “gets it.” I will continue to read (I hope that’s ok) and will be following your journey- praying for you all the way! I would love to walk this journey with you. I hope that I can be a source of hope and encouragement for you.

    (By the way, I was sent to link to your blog by my sister-in-law, Jodi Holland.)

  4. Betsy says:

    This is such a beautiful and real post. Thank you for being honest about your pain..so often we deny ourselves the ability to feel pain or acknowledge it, but scripture tells us that those who sow in tears will reap in joy. If it’s any encouragement, my parents were unable to have children and as a result adopted my sister and I. I feel that being adopted has allowed me to experience Christ in a unique way..being able to see His sovereign hand knitting my family together and protecting mine and my sister’s lives from the very real possibility of being aborted. We were truly rescued in more ways than one and I continually thank Him for this. God has a beautiful plan for you and Ben and while it may be painful, I have no doubt it will blow you away. Thanks again so much for sharing..I will be praying for you guys,

  5. Kris says:

    Noelle and Ben, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Never forget that God doesn’t read Dr reports or follow percentages. He has had your family in His palm since the day He created you both. I have a dear friend who was told she was unable to have children so they adopted and as soon as they did, God opened her womb. She has 2 boys now, both her sons but only one from her tummy.
    As you know, our journey is different. We were given a baby, only to have her taken to heaven 2 days before her scheduled due date. It’s all just proof that this isn’t our home. We will always long here. How incredible it will be when you and I are reunited one day with those precious children we have lost.
    I would love to send you a Charlie jar as a gift. Message me your address. I don’t know if you’ve seen them. http://Www.charliejars.com
    God will use this. Our biggest ministries come from our deepest hurts. I am praying for your arms to be filled. You did not fail. I felt the same way….like I didnt take care of Charlie…like I failed Spencer and should have known to check on her. We just live in this world and it fails us.
    But God never will. We all love you and will be praying for that amazing miracle baby.

  6. Val says:

    noelle, i am a friend of ben’s… i met you not too long ago when yall were singing at that birthday party on the roof of ivey.
    i lost a baby too, after my son, before i had my daughter. we had some fertility issues as well. i wish i could have read your words back then!!! this was my blog post shortly after my miscarriage–
    http://mvbhchronicles.blogspot.com/2009/02/one.html
    also, i wanted to share with you this link, my friend started this organization–
    http://www.kansascityinfertilityawareness.com/
    i am praying for you guys. it sucks that although miscarriage happens to so many women, it sure does make us feel alone. my heart hurts for you.

  7. Jane Thomas says:

    Noelle,
    Thank you for your raw honesty that glorifies God to all of us on this journey with you in the boat. Love to you and Ben.
    Jane

  8. Elisha says:

    Noelle, we are in there with you, and will remain there! Love you lots and carry you both in our hearts. You and I both know what God has shown and it it will definitly come to pass.x

  9. Katie Williams says:

    Noelle and Ben,
    You are both in my prayers! I do agree that we just have to trust God. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for close to a year and we completely empathize with your frustration. I’ve had my days of coming home and crying uncontrollably. The need to be a mother is so strong and my maternal instincts have kicked in 100%. I’m happy for my friends that have gotten pregnant this year but I continue to have this jealousy at the same time because I want what they have. I’ve even thought that there’s something wrong with me. But I’ve done numerous tests and everything looks normal. We just haven’t timed my ovulation correctly. And I have thought over and over that our timing is bad.
    I’ve finally come down to the conclusion though that everything is in perfect timing. God’s timing. He and only He is the master planner. I can’t control what happens and one day it will all become clear.
    I think it’s this peace that helps reassure us all. I’m so glad you’ve found this peace and that you know in your heart that God has a beautiful plan. Babies are miracles from God and we just have to continue to remind ourselves of that.

  10. Jess says:

    Noelle-

    Thank you for your courage to share what you are going through. I know that it spoke to me today in a very strong way as I read it. I also loved reading the responses from other readers and of their heartfelt and amazing stories of love, hope, and faith. You WILL be a mother and a remarkable one. You are already a wonderful Aunt and I can’t wait to see you in that mother role.

    Your message also reminded me of Footprints….”it was then that I carried you” when you can’t SEE the footprints of God in your story but HE is there and not only beside you but carrying you through the most painful times of life. I miss you! I appreciated the chance to experience this with you through your blog. Love you!

  11. allison says:

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing this, I really needed to read it so badly…

  12. Mandy says:

    Noelle,

    I don’t know you, but I am an old Hero Factor fan (still am!) and I saw the link on Ben’s FB. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing, although I don’t relate to losing a child, and I am not a mother myself, my heart ached for you and Ben as I read this. I can tell what a sweet, sweet spirit you have and I can relate to loss so I soo appreciate your words about our great Comforter. I am one that always puts a smile on my face because it is hard to admit my true feelings. Thank the Lord that He is always with us to meet us at our point of need. I will continue to pray for you and Ben and all the “sweet one’s” that you will have someday, in any form they come! Blessings to you both and again thank you for sharing and allowing others to be comforted to by your words. Wow!

  13. Jackie Groves says:

    Oh sweet Noelle…my heart hurts for you (and Ben). I cant dream of the emotions and challenges that you are facing through this, but I know that you are a tremendous treasure…and you WILL make one of the most amazing mommas before your story is through! You have our love and prayers.

  14. Julia says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart. And thank you for reminding me of God’s patience and hope as we struggle. I love you.

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