What Motherhood Means To…Sarah

I never expected to be a mother.

At first, it just wasn’t on my radar. My husband and I married at nineteen. We were in the middle of our college degrees and between our schooling, careers, church ministries, and building our newlywed life, the thought of becoming pregnant would send my mind into a panic.

Fast forward two years and I had the baby fever and I had it bad!

We graduated from college, moved out of our {awful} double-wide trailer and into a little blue house in the country. Life settled into a more predictable rhythm. It was time. It was time to add that tiny human to our family. And so with much excitement and anticipation for our future, we started “trying”.

One month turned to two. Then to three. Then four. We were young! What was taking so long? At month five I went to see my doctor. She ran a couple blood tests that didn’t really show much of anything and told me to be patient. We weren’t considered “infertile” until after at least 12 months of trying to become pregnant. We were both young and healthy.

Enjoy this time together. There’s nothing to fear.

The months dragged on and every six weeks or so our hopes were dashed again and again. With the passing of that 12-month mark came the label of infertility and a second trip to the doctor. More tests. Hormone treatments were started.

Another year came and went.

My despair was dark and deep as I watched friends and family members announce bundles of joy and cuddle their tiny babies. With a move to a new city came new doctors and an infertility specialist recommendation. As my routine doctor put it, she didn’t want to “waste more time” with hormone treatments and it was time to “call in the big guns” because there was obviously “something they were missing”.

A few weeks and several tests later I would sit across from this infertility specialist and he would tell my husband and I the worst news I’ve ever been given:

“There is a less than 5% chance you will ever become pregnant on your own. And if you were to get pregnant on your own, the fetus probably wouldn’t survive past six weeks due to severe birth defects. Your best bet would be in vitro fertilization but even that will not be a guarantee, of course………”

I sat still and silent and coldly nodded my understanding as my world crashed around me. We walked out of his office and got in the car and stared as cars passed by.

“The Lord is not bound by a diagnosis. He has the power to heal,” my dear husband stated. I nodded as tears slipped quietly down my face.

Can I be honest here, friend? Our wrestle through infertility was the darkest spiritual time of my life. I couldn’t understand why the Lord would withhold. Why He wouldn’t heal. Why He would ask us to walk through this trial. What were we supposed to do?

Try in vitro?

Adopt instead?

Were we just never supposed to become parents?

Did He even care?

The hardest part of waiting is not knowing when or if it will ever end….and when it does end, do you get the result you were hoping for?

And so, I did my best to “move on”. We went on a cruise. We went on lots of dates. We did what we could to fill our days and schedules and I continued to wrestle with the Lord and my faith. A new year turned and I had decided that I very well may never be a mother. I took the time to grieve the loss of someone I may never know. But through the quiet space and many dear friends with words of wisdom and guidance I came to the decision:

The Lord is still good regardless.

I couldn’t answer those questions that ran through my mind late at night when sleep evaded me. It was probable that I would never know, this side of heaven, why I was asked to walk this path. But I decided in my heart that I would do my best to walk this path well. To walk in faith. To walk in trust. To hold on with every fiber of my being to the love and faithfulness of my God. And how could I have known that the Lord was preparing my heart for the new journey He had set before me?

April 2nd, 2015. My life changed forever.

Two pink little lines.

I cried harder, danced longer, and shouted louder than I ever have in my life!

The Lord had worked a beautiful miracle. He brought a dead and empty womb back to life. He healed genetics to bring forth a child. He defied logic and doctor’s diagnoses. He is so much greater than 5%.

Six weeks came and went and our tiny unborn child’s heart was still beating. Another miracle.
Not once did I get sick. There were no complications with my pregnancy. The birth was fast and easy. He removed every obstacle and left no doubt; the Lord alone can heal and save and deliver. Mighty is His name, indeed!!

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Casterline
Photo Courtesy of Sarah Casterline

Motherhood has had its challenges.

All that I am has been broken and rearranged and made new. I have struggled knowing that my life is no longer completely my own; there is a little boy who needs me and he is no respecter of time or health or deadlines. I have cried countless times as my little rambunctious son who hates sleep kept me up night after night. We’ve dealt with colic and teething, and I’m sure these challenges will pale in comparison to the days ahead as he continues to grow and learn and stretch our patience.

Yet I am acutely aware of how very blessed I am.

In spite of the hard days and the fussy days and the days where I feel like my exhaustion may swallow me whole, I will never forget the precious beauty of these moments. I am a mother who never expected to be one. I have watched my dream die and I have watched it be raised to life again. I cannot take the gift of his life for granted. I am determined to cherish his life and raise him to know the God who so mercifully sustains him.

I still don’t know why we had to wait almost three years to see his little face, but I can tell you the wait was worth it. I don’t know why the Lord decided to heal my body while some of my other friends have not yet received their healing. I only know that I am forever thankful He did while also believing and trusting for their healing as well.

I do know that there is nothing in my life that made me or anyone else worthy of the gift of motherhood. And I am fascinated as I watch the Lord equip me and strengthen me each day to be Jackson’s mom.

He is our portion and our deliverer, this I know.

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Casterline
Photo Courtesy of Sarah Casterline

This week, the baby who never should have been but is will turn a year old {hold me!}. He is a walking miracle. He is our greatest blessing. He is proof of a God who hears and moves on our behalf. So when you ask me what motherhood means to me? I will probably get teary-eyed and answer simply and humbly:

A miracle.

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Casterline
Photo Courtesy of Sarah Casterline

Sarah is a wife and work-from-home-mom, and {when she has 2.5 seconds to spare} blogs over at Life with the Casterlines. She also has a dog that she adores and two cats that she barely tolerates. When she is tired of staying inside she decides to be a runner again but really, who has the energy for that anyways? She is currently learning what it means to abide daily with the Lord and sincerely believes coffee and Diet Coke will be in heaven. You can find entirely too many adorable photos of her son and follow their daily adventures @sarahcasterline on Instagram.







14 thoughts on “What Motherhood Means To…Sarah

  1. This is a beautiful story Sarah and amen thank you Jesus for everyday miracles! I do not know what it would be like to walk in your shoes, but thank you for helping me understand better what so many women go through.

    xo, Nicole

  2. As a fairly new mama I can relate to the struggles of the transition into motherhood but your post was a great that it is a blessing, privilege and miracle to have my sweet, difficult, wonderful baby boy. Thank you for this great post!

  3. I CRIED with your story, Sarah! God’s redemption leaves us speechless at His goodness! I feel like I want to do a happy dance with you and for you! What a great story! All praise to God!

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