From the stand point of a believer it should be easy to trust God when tests and trials come. As a husband and father it is my job to be the rock that holds my family steady. As life’s storms rage around us I always felt it was my duty as a man to stand tall and never show the pain I felt in those moments. I quickly learned that it’s not always easy to trust God and it’s okay to show the pain. Our culture has placed a heavy burden on men to be emotionless. We see crying as a sign of immaturity and pain as a sign of weakness. It is this thought process that caused me to begin to slip away from the Lord and grow distant from my wife in our darkest hour. Let’s start at the end of 2013…
My wife struggled with many health issues and was in constant pain. She tried everything from doctors, to what I lovingly called “snake oil” products. She was so desperate to feel better and I couldn’t help her. It was a hard thing to see the women that God had entrusted me with to struggle with these issues. It began to take a tole on me emotionally and even to this day I’ve not fully shared with her the pain I felt. (I know as she reads this she will begin to understand. Sometimes things are easier written than said and for that Renae I am sorry I didn’t do this sooner.) As a husband my job was to protect and provide for my family. I felt that in the area of protecting I was failing miserably. Most of us have heard the phrase, “men are ego and women are emotion”. The fact I couldn’t help my wife began to slowly chip away at my ego. After a surgery my wife met a doctor that would become a light in this dark time for us. His name was Paul Clisham. He was a fertility doctor that would change mine and my wife’s life forever in the next year.
2014 was a year of new beginnings for my wife and I. After trying to conceive naturally and failing we chose to go the route of fertility. This was a choice that was met with some questions and concerns. As believes we wondered if choosing this route would be going against God. We thought that this could have meant we didn’t have faith to see God preform a miracle. After some prayer and guidance we went forward with it. Dr. Clisham walked my wife and I through the process and stood by us not only as a doctor but in faith believing that would receive a miracle baby in the next nine months. We implanted 1 embryo in January. We prayed and believed God for our miracle. It was an answer to prayer when Dr. Clisham gave us the good news that the embryo was growing. We waited a few weeks to tell people but we were so over joyed to be pregnant we just couldn’t stand the wait.
My wife was told in her teenage years that pregnancy would be near next to impossible and the fact that she was now pregnant was a miracle in itself.
We announced we were pregnant at our church and to our friends not knowing what would happen in just a week.
During this time I was working out of town with a job and was away from home for weeks at a time. I wasn’t able to go to any of my wife’s appointments to be with her. I remember the day like it was yesterday when I received a phone call that would shake the very foundations of my faith. As I sat in my work truck outside a restaurant my wife called me crying. She began to explain that for some reason unknown to her or the doctor we lost the baby. after a few short weeks of believing our miracle had arrived it was gone in an instant. I called my job and told them I need to go home to be with my wife. They gave me the work truck and let me spend the next few days with her.
This was a devastating time from her but I was strangely on the outside of it emotionally.
As a man we don’t truly make a connection with a child until we can see it and hold it. A woman makes the connection from the moment the baby is conceived. Women have a bond with their children that we as men will never truly have or understand in fullness.
Although I didn’t feel the pain of the lost child I did however, feel the pain of my wife. The chips in my ego began to become cracks. My job as a protector was quickly slipping away. I did my best to encourage my wife and say things like: “God has a plan” and “We will get through this together”, not knowing God’s plan or even what to do for her.
After all this we chose to do a second round of invitro. We implanted 1 embryo in May. This time we were reluctant to tell people that we were even going to do invitro. After the heartbreak of losing the first baby we didn’t want to make the same mistakes again. We tried to keep it as secretive as possible. We received prayers, support, and words of confirmation from the few people that we told about this round. Things looked great. The Lord was going to be faithful to deliver His promise and we were ready for it!
I had lost my job just a month earlier and I was unsure of finances. Although our invitro was covered by insurance it still cost a large amount of money. I wasn’t very happy about spending the money on this round because I feared we would “waste” this money and not have anything to show for it. After speaking with my wife, pastor, and friends I chose to change my attitude. I never consulted with God about it because I was still a bit bitter towards him for hurting my wife the first go round. I was hurt with God but, had to keep up appearances at church as I played guitar in the worship band and was Pastors spiritual son (and physical son in many ways also).
Round 2 came and went. We got pregnant and lost the baby suddenly after my wife began to bleed. Dr. Clisham stood in faith with us and told us that it wasn’t over yet. Unfortunately it was. We lost baby number 2 and it was at this point that I told God exactly how I felt about him. I cursed him and began to say things I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy. I told Him that He could hurt me but He hurt my wife and because of that I was DONE! These issues had finally turned my cracks into ruble. I had no confidence in myself as a protector or provider and I had no confidence in God to fulfill his plan. In my eyes He didn’t even have a plan. I became angry with my wife because I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t just let it go and get over the loss. This was a season that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. These were the hardest things I’d ever had to face in my life and I felt like I was drowning in them.
Fast forward to October 2014…
I sat down with my Pastor and told him, “I QUIT“. I couldn’t take this roller coster of emotions from God. I could no longer serve a God that would be so cruel to my wife; whom I loved more that anything in this world. Pastor asked me to give God one more chance. I reluctantly told him okay after talking for almost 3 hours. Shortly after I spoke with a friend that has since become a brother to me. He told me of how his faith was tested when he lost his mother and how he made it through with God. This was a story that rang true in my life as I lost my father when I was just 6. I prayed shortly after these conversations and asked the Lord to forgive me for my selfishness and arrogance. I went to my wife with a new found faith and said “we can do this”.
It always amazes me that God will allow us to be broken beyond repair and then he will preform a miracle. It’s not that we are ever broken beyond His repair but rather we are broken beyond our own repair. God needs to fix us and we need to stop trying to fix ourselves. I learned this the hard way…
In November of 2014 we began our last round of invitro. We opted to put two fertilized embryos in because we could no longer afford it. On November 24, 2014 we completed the transfer. It was my birthday. Surly God wouldn’t let us down now.
Once again Dr. Clisham and his staff stood by my wife as I was unable to attend her visits after the transfer due to work. They continued to encourage her and stand with her. I would come home to hear my wife speaking about these nurses and doctors as if they were old family friends we’d known for years.
Over the next few weeks our embryos began to grow. Things looked good until one appointment when the doctor saw that one embryo appeared to have stopped growing. He told my wife that she would most likely lose this one but to stay positive because the other still looked great. This wasn’t an option for my wife. She began to pray and at the following appointment something strange happened. The doctor asked a very unusual question in the midst of his ultrasound. He turned to his nurse and asked, “how many embryos did we put in?”. “We put in two”, said the nurse. “Well I see three heartbeats”, said the doctor!
What a miracle! God multiplied what we put in to give us back what we lost! I was over joyed and so was my wife for this news. As we approached the danger window we continued to stand in faith and believe we wouldn’t lose them like the others. The danger window came and past and she was still pregnant with triplets! Even in what seemed to already be a finished battle there were trials. Shortly after all the good news my wife began to bleed very heavily. We raced to the hospital to find out if our babies were okay. After spending hours in the emergency room and then driving all the way to New Orleans from our home in Lacombe we found out that the babies were looking great and had strong heartbeats. What a relief! Not long after this scare we discovered the sex of all the babies would be boys. Triplet boys!!! Could a father be more proud and excited?!
On June 9, 2015 our baby boys were born at Touro in New Orleans at 31 weeks old. They were healthy and larger than expected. We named the boys Jaxson Duke, Luca James, and Noah Kemper. They are truly miracle babies that saved my faith in the Lord and brought my wife and I closer then ever.
Thank you Jaxson, Luca, and Noah… daddy is so proud of you.