You know that moment in your life when everything seems to go smoothly, and you breathe for a minute, laugh easy and carefree, and just start going through the motions of each day? Yeah, me too. Then you probably also know that there is a chance that the rug is about to be pulled right out from under you, and you will be left breathless and confused. Not a good place to be in. Not too long ago, we were there.
Let me begin by giving you a brief background on myself and my precious family. My life has pretty much followed the course of what I planned and expected. After growing up in a tight-knit, Christian family, I graduated from high school, went to college to become a teacher, and moved to Gardendale to teach high school English. After one year of teaching, I met my best friend and soul mate, we got engaged a year after we met, and we were married a year after that. A year later, I was pregnant with Jack-- our sweet, wild, happy boy, and life was good. Then God started moving in our lives.
Both my husband (John Berry) and I had become Christians at a young age, and we knew that we wanted God to be the center of our lives, but we just weren't really doing that. We were just living. Working, spending time together, raising our son... nothing out of the ordinary. Then came November of 2011. Over the course of a few weeks, I could feel God reaching out for me and calling me to change. I didn't really talk to John Berry a whole lot about this at the time because I wasn't even sure what I was feeling or hearing from God. Over the course of the few months before that November, I had taken up a hobby of painting old wooden board signs. It started as something fun and suddenly became something that people actually wanted to buy from me. I was shocked and excited, but I had no idea what God was preparing me for. At this particular time, I was in the middle of my 7th year of teaching, and I loved my job. When I finally stopped and prayed and took the time to ask God what He was telling me, everything was clear. He was telling me to quit my job that I loved, stay home with Jack and be an example of Christ for him, and to use the talent of painting the signs that God had given me to put His words in people's homes. I remember reading Deuteronomy 6: 6-9 ("These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts... Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."), and I knew that God was speaking to me. Sharing this life-altering calling with my husband was a little daunting. He listened patiently and didn't necessarily feel that this was the perfect decision for our family at that time; I just asked God to make this as clear to him as He did to me. And the next day when John Berry came home from work, he told me that while driving home, he couldn't explain it, but he knew that God was telling him that these changes in our lives were part of his plan for our lives. So I informed my boss that this would be my last year teaching until God told us otherwise, and we stepped out in faith. We knew this would be a challenge, but we were excited. And just a few months later, we found out we were pregnant with our second child. God had blessed us, and we were filled with joy and no worries. We were following God closely, but we also had absolutely no idea what was before us.
In May of 2012, I had my first doctor's appointment. I was 10 weeks pregnant, and the pregnancy had been easy. I didn't have any morning sickness; I felt great. No worries, right? Life was good. We walked into the ultrasound room, laughing and talking to the ultrasound tech. I hopped up on the table and started talking about how I couldn't believe my 1st trimester was already almost over. Still laughing. Still carefree. Meanwhile, the ultrasound tech was quietly clicking away. After that is a blur. She told us to go to the doctor's office. I looked at John Berry, and he told me not to worry unless we had to. We sat down in the doctor's office, and the doctor walked in and said, "It doesn't look good guys..." I was shocked. Our baby had no heartbeat. I nodded and agreed with whatever she was saying, and I just asked that we have some time to talk about what was happening. John Berry and I decided that we would pray for the next 24 hours that if our child would be a strong, servant of God, who would live a long, healthy life, he or she would have a heartbeat the next day. We know that our God is a God of miracles, but we also have never wanted to play God. We knew at that moment that we just had to trust that whatever happened, it was happening for a reason, and we would praise God through it all. The next day, after 24 hours of prayer, we went back to the doctor, and our baby still had no heartbeat. We had our answer. The rug had been pulled out from under us, but we were moving forward with God's help. We knew he was carrying us in His right hand, and we were clinging to that.
And then, 2 months later, I was pregnant again. We were thrilled. And this time the doctor wanted to see me much earlier. I went in at 6 weeks, and the ultrasound tech told me not to expect a heartbeat because it was still early. This time, we didn't have to go to the doctor's office after the ultrasound, so that was a relief. But that relief only lasted for a moment. The doctor walked in and told us that things once again didn't look right, and she wanted to check my levels. So we did the blood work, and I went back for follow-up blood work 2 days later, and she called us the next day. The news was not good. My levels had dropped so low that basically this was considered a "dissolved pregnancy." I was at a loss after that phone call. I felt angry, sad, confused. Why was this happening? I asked God why He was even allowing me to get pregnant if I was going to keep miscarrying. I cried out to Him. I shut out John Berry. I was consumed with worry that I would never be able to carry a healthy baby again. But God let me crawl in His lap and bang on His chest. In the midst of my fears, I could feel Him holding me close. He reminded me that He is sovereign, faithful in His promises, and that I was being called to completely trust Him. So that's what we did. We just trusted and tried to dig into scripture as much as we could. We could feel His love for us.
In October of 2012, we found out we were pregnant again. John Berry was strong from day one; me, not so much. I was worried. I dreaded ultrasounds. I would shake with fear while driving to the doctor's appointments. And it was amazing how God was so clearly speaking to me at that time. Everywhere I looked, I was met with Philippians 4:6. God was constantly reminding me to trust Him and His perfect plan. After we made it through the 1st trimester without any problems, I started to breathe again. And then the enemy started attacking me in other ways. I would become worried that something would be wrong with our baby, and God would remind me that this baby is fearfully and wonderfully made. He met all of my fears with His promises. And a few days before we were going to find out if this baby was a boy or girl, I remember I was driving in my car and I was begging God to please protect our baby, and God basically told me to calm down and trust Him (I clearly needed constant reminders of this), and that this baby was part of His will for our lives. I knew at that moment that I was having another boy. John Berry and I had discussed names for this baby, and we had decided on Will if it was a boy. God's Will.
At this particular moment, I am 39 weeks pregnant with a very active, healthy baby boy, and we are expecting to meet him any day. I look back on the past year, and this is what I know: God brought us close to Him to solidify our faith and prepare us for the most difficult challenge of our lives so far. And I also know that what the enemy meant for harm, God has used for His good. Miscarriages are just scary statistics until you become one of them. And then you are part of some sad sorority that nobody really wants to be a part of. But there are so many of us, and through relationships with friends who have experienced losses like mine, God has been glorified. And like I said before, the greatest lesson of all comes back to God's sovereignty. He is perfect. His plan is perfect. And He is faithful in His promises. Don't let the enemy convince you of anything else. Is life always easy? Of course not. But if the rug gets pulled out from under you, remember that God is there ready to catch you and carry you in His righteous right hand.
****Since writing her story, Kristy and her husband John Berry and their oldest Jack have welcomed perfect, sweet baby Will into their family!!! Here he is...