A Testimony: God’s Timing and Goodness through Suffering

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thissideofif God's timing and goodness through suffering #faith #infertility #testimony Jalina King

I’ve shared it all over the Internet since starting my first blog in February 2017, but it’s time to share it here. I’m new to sharing my faith. I’m new to having my faith. I didn’t know what to say or how to say it. I’ve always been afraid of rejection and offending people, but God has pursued, caught, held, loved, and strengthened me through infertility and miscarriage, and now I’m ready to be more open about why I really decided to share my story. I pray that no matter where you are in your experience with faith or fertility that my testimony will encourage you.

Here’s the short version:

I wasn’t always a Christian. I was baptized Catholic as a baby, had the Ten Commandments hanging on my wall as a child, and attended church every Christmas Eve as a teenager. Church was something to be endured. Jesus probably existed and was probably a pretty great guy. God… I don’t even know. I was overwhelmed enough just thinking about highway infrastructure and outer space. I had a general understanding of what it meant to be a good person based on teachings from my parents, Kindergarten, and the heartfelt lessons of shows like Boy Meets World and Full House.

When I was 15 years old, I prayed to “God, if there is a God” to please be patient as I explored my faith, you know, so I was covered just in case I died suddenly and unexpectedly. Months later, I had a series of dreams about the same man: the “man I was supposed to be with.” I had never had a recurring dream before, but the same man appeared in several dreams over the course of a few weeks. When I woke up, I missed him. When the dreams stopped altogether, my heart ached for him. The first of this series of dreams ended with me introducing myself, followed by his reply, “My name is–” and the dream ended. Why did the dream end that way? I got the sense I didn’t need to hear his name because I already knew his name. It was someone I had met before. I also got the sense his name started with an A but wasn’t Adam. Naturally, I couldn’t for the life of me think of another male name that began with the letter A. This man– not Adam– practiced martial arts, adored children, loved a good adrenaline rush, and– most notably– had a crooked hairline. I had never made this observation about someone in real life, but in my dreams, this man’s face was blurred, accentuating this feature that seriously bugged me!

At 18 years old and two weeks before heading to X-ray school, I logged into my deserted Yahoo email account on a whim and received a pop-up message in the lower right-hand corner. “Hi, I don’t know if you remember me. It’s Anthony. We had a few classes together in high school.” Anthony with an A. Anthony whose name I knew because I was friends with him years earlier, before the dreams. Anthony who at that point had been in the Marine Corps infantry for a year. Talk about an adrenaline rush! We talked for a few days before texting each other recent photos of ourselves. Text message picture quality wasn’t that great in 2009. I couldn’t quite see his face but noticed his hairline was crooked.

We committed to each other in December 2009 and engaged in February of 2011. In October 2011, at age 20, I married Anthony to the tune of Blake Shelton’s version of God Gave Me You in a beach wedding Anthony surprised me with. By that time I had dabbled in agnosticism and Buddhism. I spaced out while Anthony’s childhood pastor read verses from the Bible during our wedding ceremony, though I had heard God Gave Me You several times in the months leading up to our wedding and was glad it made him think of me after a months-long break in our engagement.

In February 2013, Anthony and I decided we were ready to start trying to grow our family. We didn’t get pregnant in the 6 months before his deployment, and we didn’t get pregnant in the 8 months while he was gone. After his return and another 6 months of trying for a total of 12 months, I casually mentioned to my OB that we had been trying for a while and had no success. He ran some tests which revealed a diagnosis of male factor infertility and handed me the contact information for a fertility specialist. I stuck it in my back pocket, smiled, nodded, and went home. We had already decided to forgo medical assistance. I didn’t want anyone telling us we had no chance of conceiving on our own. I wouldn’t believe it, and I didn’t need that nagging doubt in my head.

I didn’t want anyone telling us we had no chance of conceiving on our own. I wouldn’t believe it, and I didn’t need that nagging doubt in my head. #infertility #testimony Click To Tweet

I took to Google to learn all the ways we could naturally increase fertility. We eliminated endocrine-disrupting toxins from our home by changing our food, bath products, and cleaning products (see my favorite body and cleaning products here.) Among other lifestyle changes, finally the thing that worked was Softcups. I conceived in May 2015 during a cycle that began on Mother’s Day. Those two pink lines finally appeared on Father’s Day. The baby was due on Valentine’s Day. The timing was perfect. It was meant to be.

It wasn’t meant to be. We lost the baby at 7 weeks. We were devastated. Anthony, who was transitioning out of a 6-year military career had lost his first child and all sight of his identity, his purpose, his faith, and his desire to be a father. He didn’t want to be married anymore. He left.

I was devastated and alone. Desperate, on my knees in pain and defeat, I opened my Bible, my final reach for comfort and direction. It worked for other people. It was worth a try. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” Romans 8:18. I read it over and over until at least I could breathe.

Weeks later, I was at a friend’s house when I received a phone call from Anthony’s boss that Anthony was at his house over an hour away, drunk, and that I needed to come pick him up. I was his wife. He was hurting. I still loved him, and I wanted him to be safe. When I loaded Anthony into the backseat of the car and turned the ignition to head home, immediately our wedding song God Gave Me You played on the radio from the beginning. I knew I had to fight for our marriage. After more breathless nights of devastation, heartache, and loneliness, confusion, I decided I was married and was going to act like it until I no longer was. I prayed that God would work in my husband’s heart to heal him and bring him home. Anthony returned the next day. We took some months to heal physically and emotionally before trying again to grow our family, this time adding baby aspirin to the mix.

In November 2015, I was walking through an exam room at work when I noticed a picture of one of the Duggar daughters happily holding her newborn baby on the front cover of a magazine. I was immediately overcome by jealousy and without thinking about it, I flipped over the magazine and kept walking. Then I stopped and thought, This is not the example I would want to set for my children. I should use this time to prepare to be a mother. I flipped the magazine back over, took a moment to feel genuine happiness for the Duggar daughter and her new baby and went on about my day. I was pregnant at that moment and didn’t yet know it. In fact, given the timeline, that would have been about the time my baby would have implanted. That moment was so powerful for me, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t flipped that magazine right-side up.

Abel (“breath”) Matthias (“gift of God”) was born in August 2016, 8 days past his due date. Had he been born on his due date, I would have returned from maternity leave on Christmas Eve. (I worked at a trauma center.) His birth date pushed my maternity leave to exactly January 1st, 2017, meaning after 3.5 years of waiting for a baby, I could spend all his first holidays at home with him. Had he been born years earlier, on my ideal timeline, I wouldn’t have learned what I did about health. My husband and I wouldn’t have been pushed to figure out some serious issues before having children. Our faith wouldn’t have been tested and strengthened– or in my case, obtained. We might have whole children but a broken home. I might not have become so passionate about breastfeeding or babywearing or gentle parenting. I would be a different mother, maybe not a wife, and probably not a daughter of the King. I never would have chosen infertility or miscarriage, but I can be grateful now for everything I learned during my wait to become a mother and all the ways it has changed me.

In our weakness, God is strong. He pursues us. He is near to the brokenhearted. He works in all things for the good of those who love them. Our sufferings cannot be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.

The Way I C It Podcast

To hear more details about my story and my answers to some hard questions (like if I’ve ever considered adoption), listen to my episode on The Way I C It.*

*Just a note for anyone listening, at about time marker 32:30, I state, “Everything was good except for the count.” I meant to say, “Everything was BAD except for the count, so he just had a lot of really bad sperm.”

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4 thoughts on “A Testimony: God’s Timing and Goodness through Suffering

  1. Jalina. Wow! I can literally physically feel the power of God through this post!! I experienced so many emotions reading this!! It is so beautifully written. It made me think about my own 2 miscarriages before Jason and I were even married. I remember not understanding it at the time. But now I do. Through this post, through YOUR beautiful story, I totally SEE and UNDERSTAND that God works absolutely EVERYTHING together for the good of them that love Him, and are called according to His purpose. Thank you for sharing your story. It has renewed a sense of gratefulness in me, for everything the Lord has done in mine and my family’s life. Thank you for allowing God to use you to write such a poignant post. Awesome job! Don’t every stop writing!!

    1. Friend, I am moved to tears! I am so glad my writing has touched you. It’s so hard to see how God works through our struggles when we’re going through them, but sometimes we’re able to look back and see it, and it is awe-inspiring! Definitely more of my story to come. Thank you for your ongoing support. So much love to you, your husband, and all your babies.

  2. Hello! I honestly have no idea how I came across your site, after clicking on countless stories and articles on miscarriages I somehow found your site. And I truly believe God led me here. I had 2 normal pregnancies (a 3 y/0 girl and a 1.5 y/o boy) and since deciding to expand our family, we have had 2 devastating miscarriages with no known causes. I am young, was married at 20 and had my daughter later that same year. So age isn’t a factor. It doesn’t make sense why we cannot seem to keep our babies now after having 2 babies easily. I have been diving further into the Bible than ever before, and praise God that helps! Your story has given me such hope and faith that God works everything out for the greater good, for His glory! You have a wonderful testimony and I can tell you are a beautiful woman inside and out, God will do amazing things through you. I know He already has used you to inspire me and to keep the faith! I seen on IG that you are expecting again, I just want to say congratulations!! And you and your family will be on my prayer list starting today. God Bless you all! And thank you so much for sharing your story! I can’t wait to read more!

    1. Jen, it is truly a God thing that you found this page! It’s so beautiful the many ways God uses to speak to us and pursue us, especially in our trials. I thank God for allowing me the honor of using the story He has given me for His glory and to reignite your hope! Everything you’re going through sounds so confusing and frustrating. I am so, so sorry for all your suffering and heartache. God is a redemptive and abundant God! He will surely work in your story for the good of you and your sweet family. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me and for your prayers. I will absolutely be praying for you as well. So much love to you as you continue to grow your faith and family.

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