Jennifer Kostick– Jennifer has been married for twenty-three years to her high school sweetheart, Paul. She is the mother of three children, Paul IV (22), Samuel (6), and Grace (6). She also has six babies residing in heaven. It is those six tiny souls who have propelled her into women’s ministry. She is a conference speaker and author of the book Nothing to Hold but Hope (one woman's journey through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility). Jennifer blogs at www.Jenniferkostick.com and is passionate about encouraging women through a godly message of mercy and hope.
Hi friends. I hope you are well. I’m thankful you’re here. It is National Infertility Awareness Week, and for those of you who might be new to this space and don’t know… I’m a survivor.
I’ve survived miscarriage, stillbirth, and the sickening, silent dart of secondary infertility. I should clarify that I didn’t survive because of the ending God eventually gave me. I survived because I worked through the pain and learned how to live with loss.
I survived because of one word: hope.
I’ve said many times before, and even mentioned in my book, that there are no words for tragedy. And just to clarify… infertility, miscarriage, and stillbirth are all tragedies. My journey of infertility may have ended, but the process of learning through grief won’t leave any of us who have stared that kind of ugliness in the face.
Throughout my learning process, I’ve come to understand that hope is the only word to combat the empty, lonely, and oftentimes, deeply kept secret of infertility and pregnancy loss.
I remember those years of pain like they were yesterday. I watched what seemed like the whole world around me conceive – bringing beautiful, bouncing babies to full term. I suffered in silence with a phony smile plastered on my face while I faked it through baby showers. I would excuse myself to the restroom and choke back sobs while silent tears poured down my cheeks. It was a pain that very few understood. And I wasn’t a big fan of people trying to act like they could.
I spent a lot of time angry, jealous, and broken in a million pieces. I couldn’t remember who I had once been or who I had set out to become. My dreams were solely of birthing another child and creating a larger family. I wanted a sibling for our son. I wanted a baby. I wasn’t asking for a parting of the Red Sea. I didn’t need God to hold the sun still. I just wanted my body to work the way it was designed to work. Instead, it failed me. My heart ached and my pride took a beating.
People made ignorant statements such as, “At least you have one.” As if to say that because I’d been blessed with one child already that I’d somehow met my quota. I had already lost a baby daughter to stillbirth by the time word was out that I was unable to conceive again. People tried to walk on eggshells, and all I could hear was the cracking of those shells shattering through hurtful words from sincere hearts filled with good intention.
I remember wanting to make unkind, and ungodly comments to the people who spoke ill-mannered remarks. I recall a time when I was one deep breath away from responding, “If one of your children were ripped from your life, should I say, ‘At least you have other children?'”
I was ready to pick up the jagged pieces of my broken heart and use them as weapons.
I’ve changed so much since then. I see life differently. Do you know that I don’t regret one loss? I don’t. And I don’t regret the years it took to become pregnant in between those losses. Seems crazy, right?
You see, every one of those tears, years of waiting, and angry moments sent me into the arms of a God who whispered hope. Though He seemed silent at the time, He never was. It just took me a long time to hear Him.
Every burden I carried, every door I kicked down, every shot in my stomach, and every bad report from the physicians led me to a miracle moment. Had anything along the way been different, then I wouldn’t have the family I have today.
Had all those years of sorrow not occurred, I wouldn’t have witnessed God show off in my life the way only He could. If those past losses would have been earthly gains, I wouldn’t be so head over heels in love with a God I cannot see but who I know exists. Instead, those sweet babies are heavenly treasures. How blessed am I that God would choose me to enter my eternal home with such wonderful treasures awaiting my arrival?
I’m desperate for you, friend. For the one who is reading and still suffering I want to scream, “HOPE!” God is whispering it, but I want to scream it just in case you’re like me and are having a difficult time hearing Him. I get it. The sound of our sobbing can sometimes drown out His voice.
While traveling the rough road of infertility, it seems like it will never end. I want to tell you it will. I don’t know how, but I know it will.
I have friends who suffered years of infertility and subsequent losses. They ended up adopting and couldn’t imagine their lives any other way. Those babies were waiting for them and had their original prayers been answered, then what?
God is faithful. No regrets.
If you’ve ever read Holley Gerth’s infertility story, then you know she suffered loss, too. There came a day when she recognized she was a mother to many and His vision for her life was different than what she had originally planned. After her realization, she adopted a beautiful girl… age twenty!
God is faithful. No regrets.
In my own life, after all the anger and pain had finally subsided, I began to hear the voice of God again. He told me to walk some very difficult roads in my pursuit of another child. I didn’t want to. I was so afraid, but He became my strength. The reward was sweet.
God is faithful. No regrets.
I truly wish I could sit with you and have a good old-fashioned heart-to-heart. I want you to know you are loved and God will give you everything you need. If you want my full story, you can read my memoir all about my journey.
And before I leave you today, I need to tell you this:
Even though I have walked this painful road, each battle with infertility and pregnancy loss is unique and deeply personal. If you’re in the midst of it right now, then you might not be ready to hear a forty-two year old woman tell you it’s all going to work out in the end and that your test will become your testimony. I understand. It’s a process, friend.
I’m going to post more on this tomorrow. I’m praying about sharing something I never have before… I hope you’ll join me.
I’m praying for you!
My eBook, Mercy Waits, is FREE to new subscribers.