By Reba Bassett …
“God is not a man that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. He has said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” -Numbers 23;19
“Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you…” -Mark 5:19
I read these two verses recently and they prompted me that it was time. Time to tell the story, the testimony, the miracle, and joy in our hearts and spirits. It’s also conveniently timed with me entering my second trimester, which means I feel all sorts of better!
To begin, you need to know the impossibility in which this miracle takes place. When I was 18, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (Wegener’s), and the treatment at the time was a course of low-dose chemo that I was warned could cause infertility. Being young, single, and very sick, I obliged, and I got better. Over the years, I went in and out of remission, but with each flare up, would use different drugs to keep my immune system calm. About six months before I started dating my now husband, I was diagnosed as being “peri-menopausal,” meaning I hadn’t had a period for over 6 months, but they typically diagnose menopause as no period for a year. My ovaries had no eggs left and were shutting down, they said. That day was really weird – after I heard the news, I went home and laid in bed, expecting some sort of grief to wash over me. But it didn’t. I even had a friend pray for me, and she felt like it wasn’t a diagnosis I was supposed to receive. It all felt very foreign and not apart of me.
Going into marriage, my now husband and I knew we wanted children right away, so my OB recommended we visit with an infertility specialist, given my history. The specialist basically gave us two options; we could spend lots of money on treatments or we could try on our own. With faith the God could do the impossible, we chose to try on our own. Miraculously, six months into our marriage we found out we were expecting a baby! It was so surreal – I actually had a hard time receiving the gift of conception because my faith wasn’t very strong – I wasn’t really sure He would do it! I knew He could, but I’m not sure I believed He would. On June 26, 2015, we welcomed Avery Joy Bassett into the world. Every single day, I look at her and know she is a miracle!
Around Avery’s first birthday, we began talking about trying for baby #2. Knowing the odds against us but also how quickly we got pregnant with Avery, we dove head first into the process. After 4-5 months of trying on our own, I made an appointment with my OB. He tried a few medications for several months but ultimately sent us back to the fertility specialist. This time, the specialist was shocked and in disbelief we conceived on our own, but also had the same advice this time around: you can try some expensive treatments, or you can try on your own. He even said, “I don’t see how this happened. But if you want to try again, prove me wrong.” We chose, again, to try on our own.
At this point, we had been trying to conceive for about 9 months, and the roller coaster of emotions and anxiety about the future was weighing on us. We had close friends announce they were pregnant and give birth in that time period, and it was a hard road to walk. I realized we had been running head first down a road we never asked God about. So we turned to Him, and found that He not only is a miracle worker, but He also reveals himself in the process of waiting. So we leaned into the waiting, and as we did, learned more than we could ever imagine about how big and powerful God is.
During the summer, I read infertility testimonies online to boost my faith and had friends pray over me and receive words like “your next child will be from your womb,” and “Avery squared … there will be more children.” I listened and latched onto songs like Yes and Amen (Housefires), More (Red Rocks Worship), and Take Courage (Bethel). I poured myself into scripture and looked up all the fertility-related promises. I experienced amazing amounts of breakthrough in other areas of my life (food, self-control, and emotional freedom and forgiveness). I picked up my pencil and paper again and began to draw what my heart was feeling – alone, sitting in a waiting room, watching friends walk out of the door with babies while I just sat there. I even got to share the journey I was on during the women’s brunch at church, which was a huge faith-building moment for me!
But then nothing happened. By the time December rolled around, I was getting discouraged. God, I shared with 100+ women this journey of infertility – are you just going to leave me now?! What a lame story to end with nothing! But God never leaves us. He never lets our stories disappear; He not only completes them, but He finishes them better than we ever thought possible! One day in January, I was sitting reading John 11, the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. When I read the words that Jesus spoke (“Lazarus, come out!”), I started immediately bawling. I had no idea what was going on, but looking back now, I can see that God was doing something in my spirit and the spiritual realm to awaken dead things in my life and body!
I began to have regular periods again, which was a shock, but also faith building. Something was working! Ha! In February of this year, Joe Ewen preached on Sunday morning. His text was from Isaiah 50 (“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended… every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low… and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed…”). I knew this word was for me and claimed it as such! I also received some beautiful words from Joe and others who prayed over me: it will be a season of plundering in an orchard – taking back that which was lost, a picture of me running through a field and embracing my Father with joy, and a picture of my heart being free and able to breathe again. I came home that Sunday grateful for the revelation, but also still not sure what it all meant! As we prayed about it, my husband got a sense that God was asking us to stand up and leave the waiting room. It felt hard, but also I was so willing at this point to go wherever He was leading, kind of like how God essentially told Moses “go where I send you. When you get there, I’ll tell you.” I’d said YES to Him before and never regretted it. So we did; we committed the future of our family to the Lord and said yes. I honestly was in a place of complete surrender. I was open to anything and began thinking about adoption as a possibility. I hadn’t done much research but began to build expectancy for what God had next for us.
On the morning of February 27, I awoke with the song You Came (Lazarus) (Bethel) in my head. I even wrote in my journal, “Lord, I don’t know what this looks like. It sounds exciting, so do it!” That afternoon, I got home from work early. I was two days late on my period, and so on a whim decided to take a test “just because” I wanted to know what was going on so I could track it. After the 3 minutes was up, I glanced a the test strip and froze. Two. Solid. Lines. Positive.
I probably sat there for at least 5 minutes, not moving. I got up and paced back and forth. I took another test. Positive. I called my OB and made an appointment, then sat on the couch and bawled my eyes out, heaving and ugly crying all over the place. IT HAPPENED! HE CAME! I KNEW THAT HE WOULD COME!
I foraged and finally found the “Big Sister” shirt I had reserved for Avery to wear for such an occasion (it was buried beneath tubs of clothes!), picked her up from school, and put the shirt on her. I told her she was going to be a big sister, but I’m not sure she really got it. I couldn’t wait until my husband got home! When he did finally walk in the door, he was in disbelief, but also so excited! What joy we shared! It was brief, however, because I had an event that night and needed to leave 5 minutes after he arrived. So it was kind of a “Hi, I’m pregnant after 18 months of trying, bye!” sort of deal! But as soon as the program was over, I rushed home and we celebrated and praised God.
I’m now 17 weeks along, and baby is doing fine! Shortly after finding out we were pregnant, I had several weeks of nausea and fatigue, a few sinus infections, and had to start a round of prednisone due to the autoimmune disease. But God is my protector and He has created this little baby BOY in my body; He will complete the story and bring all glory to Him.
As I share with others the joyous news, especially those who have walked this journey with us, I’m overwhelmed EACH time by the faithfulness of God. It’s so unfathomable. It’s so grand and beyond what we see. I’m committed to telling this story all my days: I want to encourage and remind others just how faithful He is and above all, that HE IS GOOD. So so good!
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” – Psalm 40:1-3