Three Stockings

Several years into my marriage, I purchased five Christmas stockings–envisioning two of them for Erin and I, and other three for our future children. Both of my pregnancies were relatively a piece of cake. I worked as a labor & delivery nurse up until it was time to bring these cute babies into the world. Everleigh Lindy was born in 2010. She was tiny for sure…and by tiny, I mean tiny like a baby bird. Weighing in at 5 lb 1oz, she was absolutely growth-restricted to be born that small at almost 39 weeks. Thankfully, she did great from her first breath in this world and grew quickly. Now she is my compassionate, nature-loving 6-year-old, who plans to climb her first mountain over 14,000ft with me this upcoming summer. Finnley Winters, on the other hand, weighed in at almost 8 lbs and was born at 40 weeks and 3 days…he did not want to exit the building, a.k.a. my belly. He loves quesadillas, fly fishing, soccer, and throwing anything, anywhere. He’s our Lil’ Wild Man. Expecting another little one to head our way, we kept waiting…and waiting. And no pregnancy followed.

 

I finally went to my OB to get checked out and was diagnosed in June of 2014 with a rare case of Asherman’s Syndrome. I told you that my pregnancies were easy, but my postpartum experiences were a little dicey: I hemorrhaged after both children and needed to have a D&C after each child. My womb has developed so much scar tissue from the D&C procedures that my chances of carrying a baby at this point are pretty slim to none. Surgery could possibly correct this, but there is also a huge possibility it will heal the same way…scarred shut. I didn’t ask for this. I was heart-broken. It is one thing to feel healthy and feel like all things are possible and another to be told a part of your body is broken and you have no control over the outcome. Unwilling to settle with the diagnosis, I tried some medication therapy followed by some ultrasounds. My OB was absolutely amazing and supportive in the process. And still, no pregnancy followed.

 

A then a year ago I had a vivid dream:

I saw a red-headed baby girl with big brown eyes kicking her little legs up in the air on my bed. My mom was next to me in my dream and I said, “Mom, her name is Charlotte Bethesda. We named her that because she is a HOPE LONG AWAITED.”

I woke up and it was the kind of dream that felt so real…blurry-eyed, I looked around my bed, expecting to see something or someone. I immediately looked up Bethesda in scripture, and found it in John 5:1-15 where Jesus asks this man who had been sick for a long time, “Do you want to be made well?” I started crying, thinking, Yes, that’s me. I want to be made well. I want another baby. A month or two passed. I had been drooling over these stained-glass stars for months on this adorable Etsy shop and finally decided to buy one. I was drawn to a stunning turquoise one with a red center and I about fell out of my chair when I saw its name…Charlotte. What in the world, Lord??? Of course I bought it—a symbol of hope and a promise long awaited. And no pregnancy followed.

 

So I began to grieve and started letting go of this hope that I would birth another child. I found myself wondering if maybe adoption or fostering was part of His plan. I had no clarity, just a persistent questioning. I even gave away our beloved crib last fall to some of our dear friends, which was difficult for me to do. My sweet husband must think I’m crazy at times. He is so patient with my tears and irrationality at times about all of this as I continue to store most of our baby items in our guest room closet…just incase. But I’m okay…I have two healthy children and I am grateful. I should be content, keep being grateful, and not question, right?

 

And then the Lord changed the trajectory of my trip on the first morning.

 

I went to Bethel Church in Redding, California last month seeking the Lord’s voice, looking to be an eager student again in the classroom taught by Jesus. That’s what I was going for. Looking to gain wisdom in how to know His voice, to hear from Him about how to be who I’m meant to be. I’ve started a women’s ministry here that provides a sacred space where we can hear His voice for each other. If I want to lead this ministry well, I need to learn more about Him. That was my agenda. And then the Lord changed the trajectory of my trip on the first morning.

 

My dear friend whom I was staying with, Cor Lyons, took me to this gorgeous lake and asked about our family, specifically, if Erin and I wanted anymore kids. I got a little emotional talking about my circumstances. I found myself thinking, Why am I emotional about this? I’m done with this…I’ve grieved, I’ve prayed, I’ve let go. I’m good! Why the crying, Adge? I was getting irritated with myself, my heart. What is wrong with me??? Cor gently asked questions and listened. Her little girl came up to me, and opened her hand, inside were three seeds…she hadn’t even been paying attention to what we were talking about. She had been playing in the grasses and weeds. Three seeds. My honest reaction was best described as an unleashed floodgate. It had been pent up. The Lord knew I needed release, I just didn’t know it.

 

 

 

This theme began with Cor's question and was sewn into the entire conference I was attending, as if the Lord was saying, Adge, I'm honing in on this...I love you this much. This thread of prayer you've been weaving for years about this dream for your family is important to you, and you are important to me. I see how you've held this thread tightly and how you've tried to let the frayed end of the unknown and unanswered go. You have believed a lie for too long–that wanting more means you are ungrateful. You are not ungrateful. I see you. The messages over the few days were filled with language revolving around this topic. Speakers used words like “pregnant with confidence.” I mean, who says, “pregnant with confidence?” Apparently, the Lord does through speakers when He is driving home a point to us! And I felt like every word was a stake in the ground of some place I’m meant to dig into. A story was told of a woman miraculously healed…she had cancer in her uterus, had it removed, was prayed for, was believed for, and felt nauseated six months later. The skeptical OB who had removed her uterus allowed her to take a pregnancy test and it was positive! In disbelief he put the ultrasound on her and found that she had a brand new uterus…with not one but two babies growing in it! What?!? Of course I believe this is possible because God is just this good. Then a worship leader was introduced who had tried for 13 years to get pregnant and just had a baby last year. Over and over, I felt like the Lord was so freaking ridiculous in His pursuit of this topic for me. And now I’m home, still processing all of this and wanting to believe so badly that He is that good. And yet, no pregnancy has followed.

 

He is willing to bring up long-awaited promises and longings we’ve tried to bury and just freaking “get over” so that we will understand more about who He is and how He loves

I don’t know if it will happen. I don’t know if Erin and I will have another baby. I don’t know what we’re supposed to do, or even where to go with all of this from here. But I do know that the Lord loves me so much, that He’s willing to bring up something my heart wasn’t looking to process–but needed to–at a conference where I was just looking for more of Him. And that’s His way of showing up and saying, Adge, this is what I am like. This is who I am. And I care! I am firmly staking that in the ground. For damn sure. That He is willing to bring up long-awaited promises and longings we’ve tried to bury and just freaking “get over” so that we will understand more about who He is and how He loves. He doesn’t forget the tears we’ve shed over something. He's with us in the sorrow, the pain, and the waiting. Somehow, His presence minimizes the grief. And in the process, my heart is surprisingly full–of hope, of love, of great expectation. Even if I don’t have the ability to carry another child, I’m able to carry this truth in my heart…like those three beautiful seeds Cor’s daughter had carried in her little hand.

 

Through the darkness to the dawn
And when I looked back you were gone
Heard your voice leading me on
Through the darkness to the dawn
 
Love is deep as the road is long
It moves my feet to carry on
Beats my heart when you are gone
Love is deep as the road is long
 
Nobody knows how the story ends
Live the day, do what you can
This is only where it begins
Nobody knows how the story ends
Nobody knows how the story ends
-The Lumineers

Colorado Springs, CO

Adge is an adventurer by heart, climbing 14ers (mountains over 14,000 ft high) and simply being in the wilderness refills her cup. She married a man who shares that passion with her, Erin, and together they have three children, Everleigh, Finnley, and Bodie. Adge has a huge heart for women. She works as a labor & delivery nurse, loves one-on-one conversations, and lattes with intricate foam designs!