August 3, 2018

Journey to Parenthood – Part 1

It’s been a few months since we made our big life update announcement about Baby Johnson’s arrival. It seems like 2018 has been flying by, but also slowing down as September approaches (and as my belly grows).

I mentioned in that previous post that I wanted to blog a little bit about our “journey to parenthood” and that it had been an interesting adventure. I look back and I thank the Lord for being so kind and gracious to us over the years because none of this would be possible without Him.

I feel like everyone’s journey to parenthood starts at a young age – maybe sometime in adolescence when we begin to think about our futures and what life would be like. As a young tween and teen, I had absolutely zero desire to ever become a mother. I liked the idea of marriage, but kids… nah. I’ve never thought of myself as having the nurturing, compassionate, loving qualities a mother needed and just decided it wasn’t for me.

Then I met Matt.

Matt rocked my entire world when it came to thinking about my future. Matt had always desired to be a father and we talked extensively about that throughout our dating relationship. I knew Matt would make THE BEST dad and I grew to love the idea of having an eventual family one day – being old and gray with children and grandchildren similar to the family dynamic we both had at the time and loved. It was a nice picture and so we decided that we wanted the same things and that children shouldn’t be an issue in our future decisions.

During our premarital counseling, we both agreed that we wanted to wait a few years before having kids. I believe 3-5 was the range and so we waited. But then the 3 year mark approached and all I could think about was… well we can still try in 3-5 years… and then the 4 year mark approached and I still wanted to wait 3-5 years. I saw myself entering a never-ending battle. I always wanted that step of actually having a baby to be 3-5 years away and that having that reality in the immediate was just not in my heart.

Matt and I had lots of discussions about my heart towards children. I am so thankful to have married such a kind and patient man. He never once pressured me into parenthood but did push me on my heart and reasoning for being fearful or worse… completely selfish. For me, my lack of desire for children – stemming all the way back to adolescence – was selfishness and a desire for control. It took me YEARS to finally admit to myself that I needed to submit my heart towards children to the Lord. It was a battle with many tears, sleepless nights, and desperate pleading.

I couldn’t understand why it seemed I was the only person who felt this way towards children. Why did all my friends love motherhood and desire it so? I watched friend after friend get married and start a family or desire to start a family and I just sat on the sidelines hoping it didn’t happen to us yet. I truly felt alone until I read this blog post by a fellow photographer, Nancy Ray. It was like the Lord put my heart into her words and I learned of a whole new community of woman who had been in the same place as me… but that had also stepped out of that place and into a place of JOY.

I prayed for this joy every day for years. I asked friends to pray for me. I asked Matt to pray for me. It was a slow process, but I felt the Lord pulling and tugging at my heart. I truly did want both things and knew that deep down. So one day, Matt and I made the decision to “jump.” I just needed to jump knowing that it’s actually what I wanted but was too afraid to admit. We decided to start trying in 2017 and month after month knowing pregnancy was possible, I began desiring it for my life and even being slightly disappointed when the test was negative.

But despite those changes to my heart, we learned quickly that actually getting pregnant was never guaranteed. And that part of our journey is part 2!

I wanted to write this part of our story to encourage any woman who may be in the same place I was. There is hope and peace at the end of the tunnel. Does that mean motherhood is definitely for you? Of course not, that is a deeply personal decision, but it does mean that the Lord will pull you out of the fog and give you clarity and peace. You are not alone! <3

Thanks to Christy Dawn Photography for our announcement pics!