"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power:
for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created."
Many of you will remember that on January 17, 2014, a dear blogger friend so kindly published
It was so wonderful to be able to express and more widely proclaim what the dear Lord has done for us, and to give Him glory as we shared how He answered prayer and sent us a miracle son after many years of infertility struggles and 12.5 years of marriage.
I was drawn to her blog because she, too, was struggling with infertility,
and my heart went out to her, as I read of her longing for a child and recalled the pain of my own battles.
I began to pray in earnest for her and her husband, begging God on a regular basis,
to send them a miracle baby of their own.
Fast forward to today...nearly two years later, and what do we find?
A reverse interview with her for Homespun Devotions!!!!
And with a surprise miracle tucked in, for good measure,
all glory be to God!
But, I don't want to spoil the surprise or hold you in suspense any longer,
so without further ado, I introduce to you,
writer of and woman behind the blog, Amateur Nester.
Tom and Lisa Newton
Photo by Vanessa Hicks
Cheryl: Could you please tell us a little about yourself and your husband and how long you have been married?
Lisa: My name is Lisa Newton and I've been married to my husband, Tom, for a little over 4 years. We live on the Central California Coast and have a spoiled orange-and-white cat named Hemingway. As I write this, I am 37 weeks pregnant with our first child, a girl. My husband is a vice-principal at a local school and a former varsity head football coach. I've spent the last 10 years working as a school librarian, but I recently quit my job to stay at home with our child and have been doing some library consulting for local schools instead.
Cheryl: How did you meet and fall in love?
Lisa: Tom grew up going to school and coaching football with the husband of one of my best friends, Heather. We met during a very awkward set-up at a party, and I wasn't interested because he was so different from me and very forward about his interest in me. To make a long story short, I dumped him after our third date, but ended up asking him for a second chance shortly after. We were married 6 months later! I wrote a guest post about the whole story on A Little Wife's Happy Life Blog. http://alittlewifeshappylife.blogspot.com/2014/11/i-dumped-my-husband.html
Cheryl: When did you first realize you were experiencing infertility, how many years have you struggled to conceive, and what exciting news do you have to share with us now?
Lisa: I began to think we might have some issues with conceiving after we had been trying on our own for about 6 months. I had been charting my fertility signs and symptoms and I knew our "timing" was perfect. We started seeing a fertility specialist exactly one year after starting trying, and it took another 3 years for us to achieve a viable pregnancy. We went through 3 failed IUIs, one canceled IUI, and 3 cycles of IVF. I experienced a chemical pregnancy (very early miscarriage) after our first IVF cycle that was very disheartening. But as I said in the first question, our third IVF cycle this past March resulted in a pregnancy, and I'm due to give birth December 4!
Cheryl: How has your steadfast faith in God carried you through the agonizing process of infertility? Can you name some specific times that you would not have made it through without your faith?
Lisa: I think the low point came after our chemical pregnancy. The first IVF cycle was extremely grueling, and we were so ecstatic that it had worked after only one try. We called our families and our friends with the good news. But 48 hours later, we found out I had already lost the pregnancy, and we faced the terrible task of calling everyone again. I was devastated at the thought of going through another IVF. We had to rely on our belief that God was in control of everything and that He was going to work this out for good- even if we didn't understand how or why.
Another time when we had to rely on our faith was the time between our second and third IVF cycle. Due to work schedules and finances, we waited 8 months between those two IVF attempts. My husband was working 60+ hours a week teaching and coaching football, and I was in an unfulfilling job where I stayed just so we could afford IVF. Tom had to work on Sundays, so we weren't going to church often (I hated going alone) and when we did, it felt like there were babies everywhere. I felt very isolated, lonely and without a clear purpose. I listened to a lot of sermon podcasts and went to a Christian counselor who helped me deal with my depression.
Cheryl: There is a unique transition process that comes to couples who have experienced long-term delays in being able to conceive and bear children. How are you (and your husband) adjusting yourselves in preparation for your new baby girl?
Lisa: The biggest adjustment has been in our work. About a year ago, we began to feel the Lord was leading Tom away from coaching football. This was a very tough decision for him to make, but we knew we could not raise a family the way we wanted to with him working 60+ hours a week and unable to attend church. He stepped down from his coaching position about a month before we began our IVF cycle. Almost immediately after we found out we were pregnant, he was offered a promotion (from teacher to vice principal). Now that we no longer had to pay for further infertility treatments, his increase in income would cover my loss of income if I were to resign my job. A divine provision, indeed! His job is still demanding and he still works long hours, but we are now able to be active in our church and have more family time.
Additionally, we are trying to focus on keeping our marriage first after baby arrives instead of letting baby become the center of our lives.
Cheryl: How has your blog, “Amateur Nester”, enriched your life during your waiting process?
Lisa: The blog has been a true gift. It started off as a place where I thought I'd chronicle my decorating attempts, but I soon realized I'm not good at decorating! HA! Then we started our infertility journey and it became a place to turn our pain and struggle into something meaningful. As it has grown, I've been blessed to "meet" so many women who are going through similar journeys. Some of them have grown into true friends. It has given me a creative outlet, too, and I'm discovering that I really enjoy a lot of the other aspects of blogging like marketing, technical stuff, etc. Most importantly, I hope it has given other women hope in their journeys, too.
Cheryl: Could you give us your favorite go-to Scriptures that have sustained you when hope grew dim?
Lisa: In the year or two before I got married at age 30, I was really struggling with my singleness. I clung to Isaiah 51:3 and memorized it. When infertility became a part of my life, I went back to that verse over and over again- this time from a different perspective. I love how God's Word truly is "living." I've written two blog posts about how this verse continues to comfort me. You can find them here (http://www.amateurnester.com/2014/10/pray-for-comfort-31-days.html) and here (http://www.amateurnester.com/2013/11/deserts-will-blossom.html)
Cheryl: What would you say to those in the infertility community who are still waiting on their miracle? How would you encourage them?
Lisa: I recently listened to a beautiful episode of the Ransomed Heart Podcast about Psalm 27. (http://www.ransomedheart.com/podcast/rescue-psalm) The hosts talk about how verses 11-14 give us instruction on what to do while we wait for God's rescue. We are to stay with God, take heart, don't quit and stay with God. The podcast dives deep into each step (and talks about why it says "Stay with God" twice), and I encourage you to listen to it. But basically, it means Wait Patiently, Drink in the Lord's Strength, Don't Give up Hope, and Wait Patiently.
I think that advice is spot-on for anyone facing infertility. You have no choice but to wait, so wait confidently and patiently for God's timing. You will be faced with your own weakness and lack of control, so drink in the strength God will give you if you ask. You may be tempted to despair, but don't give up hope of God doing amazing and wondrous things in your life (even if it doesn't look how you think it should), and above all wait for His perfect timing.
A BIG thank you to Lisa for taking the time to interview with me
for our second installment of
all while she is just three weeks away from giving birth!!
What a trooper and true inspiration she is to us all!
(To read the first interview in this series, click The Inner Views of Joshua Becker.)
I am SO grateful to God that He has answered prayer
for Lisa and Tom,
and I can't wait to hear when their little one arrives!!
What an awesome GOD we do serve!!!!
"Jesus beheld them, and said unto them,
With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
I love the verses in Psalm 27:11-14 that Lisa shared and wanted to type them out for you here.
"Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies:
for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the LORD."
No matter what you are going through,
God's Word stands, my friend.
You can count on His promises being fulfilled for you,
just like He fulfilled Lisa's mainstay verse, Isaiah 51:3, for her.
"For the LORD shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places;
and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD;
joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody."
I hope you enjoy Lisa's interview as much as I have,
and I ask that you please keep Lisa and Tom in your prayers
for the safe, smooth delivery of a healthy baby girl!!!
God bless you, Lisa and Tom!!