Wednesday, February 4, 2015

MOM Elizabeth: Trusting God in the Delay, Part 1

BOTH children are napping right now!!!! Such a rarity. So that means it's Momster Mash "go time".  I promise I'm working on getting ahead of myself so I can be sure to post each Momster Monday. 
I'm so excited to introduce you to the Momster of the Month for February, Elizabeth!  I have been blessed to have inherited her as a sister because we married brothers within 6 months of each other in 2009.  We affectionately call each other "Sistaw" because it's much easier, and sassier, than typing or saying "sister-in-law". Elizabeth has a HUGE heart, and would most likely be the kindest person you would ever meet, should you be lucky enough to meet her one day. She is an ice cream addict, world-changer, Christ-follower, modern-day abolitionist, DIYer, and she has a story to tell about her journey to mommy-hood. Let's start from the beginning...
How did you meet your husband, my brother-in-law ("brothaaaw"), Paul?
"We got set up through a mutual friend! We were living 2.5 hours apart and I randomly got an email from a friend one day that said something along the lines of "he's a youth pastor, he likes coffee shops, and he has a big dog.  Are you interested?"  It was so out of the blue and uncharacteristic of her that I knew she wouldn't have contacted me if she didn't think this really could be something.  I was intrigued, but had low expectations of anything working out because of the distance.  We both were very invested in our respective communities and jobs, but the more we got to know each other, the more willing we were to make the drive or ride the train to see each other."
They had a few weekend dates, several late night phone conversations, and prayed about the direction of their relationship. While Paul was directing a summer camp, Elizabeth decided to take a few days off work and visit him, and there they found some quiet time together.
"We snuck off to the waterfall (camp director privileges) to have the DTR ("Define the Relationship") conversation and decided to give it a go! We both desired to be in a relationship where we would be more effective in ministry together, than alone."
At what point in the relationship did you realize it was L.O.V.E.?
"I realized I loved Paul after spending the weekend with him on a youth retreat where I got to be a camp counselor.  I love my cabin of girls, but have to admit I was a little distracted by the handsome youth pastor. Paul says he realized he loved me a few weeks later at Lowe's Home Improvement store, picking out tile together for his bathroom! It was the little moments of 'everyday life' where he started to picture us together beyond some really fun weekend dates."

"Ten months later, we were engaged, 
and four months after that, we were married."

Elizabeth recalls the summer of 2011 when adorable baby announcements began taking over their refrigerator:
"I started wondering when Paul and I would be ready to start a family.  I can remember teasing him about it at first, and then growing more accustomed to the idea...it certainly was a gradual process, though.  You see, I love Paul a LOT and the idea of sharing him with another didn't initially sit well with me.  How could I love someone as much as I love him?  The one I choose every day to share life with?  The man who doesn't complain, is not easily angered, the man I feel most 'me' with?...I questioned if there was really room in my hear for another.  To be Paul and Elizabeth plus one."
Elizabeth admitted she sounded "pretty selfish" as she verbalized these thoughts, so they began to pray that God would "quicken our hearts at the right time". Then God spoke. 
"At camp that summer (can you tell that's a special place for me?) I had a powerful experience during worship one night where God spoke directly to my heart...I felt God stir in my heart the way I had asked.  I don't remember hearing exact words, but in that moment, I felt God begin to prepare me for motherhood. Planting and confirming my desire to be a mom. A mom to a child of my own. Instant joy and peace." 
When their week at camp was over and they were driving home, Elizabeth shared her experience during that worship service. 

Do you know what he said... "Me too".

God spoke to Paul the very same night about being a dad, that he spoke to Elizabeth about being a mom, "We laughed in disbelief, marveling at the Lord's handiwork and timing and preparing our hearts to love our someday-child."


That June, she became Aunt Elizabeth to our little Lucy.  We like to call her Auntie El :)  Elizabeth says that she "melted, again, and desperately wanted to be a mom"

Elizabeth holding our Lucy for the first time.
Elizabeth gives us a glimpse into the years that would follow:
"It's as though a switch was flipped as soon as we made the mutual decision to stop taking birth control. I was ready, and I was ready now. Each month that passed without a child was more difficult that the previous one...God was delaying the answer to my need which caused me to consider how I receive His silence. Do I trust God in the delay? Could I be right where he wants me to be, right now?"
*          *          *
Continue here to Part 2 to read more of Elizabeth's story, as she openly shares more of her painful journey to conceive, and the lessons she learned along the way.

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