Almost seven years ago we started trying to grow our family.
Years began to pass, months of negative pregnancy tests were thrown to the bottom of the trash, and I found myself in my bathroom floor completely brokenhearted and so very alone after we found out, yet another, infertility treatment had failed. That moment, in the bathroom floor, was defining for me. I realized that I had wanted the gift way more than I wanted the Giver. I decided on the cold tiles that morning that He, the Giver, was enough for me.
And really it was Him that I wanted.
I had known Him since I was five, but that morning He became more to me than the God I had read about in my Bible all of those years. He became my lover. And the deeper I walk into His heart, the more of Him I want. Infertility for me was the wilderness where I met Him and started walking with Him in deep friendship.
But I was alone. No one (except Him) understood my pain or the deep longing I had to become a mother. I didn't have one friend who understood what it was like to see a lonely pink line on a pregnancy test month after month. No one in my family could possibly understand how painful baby showers were, or how hard the infertility meds were on my body. I had really close friends and family in that season who loved so me well, but despite their trying, it was something they simply couldn't understand.
God started cultivating in my heart during that season a passion for women like me. Women who felt unseen, unnoticed, and utterly alone in their journey to become a mother. What I had found in Him, during those years, I knew was available to others. He had become everything to me there, in that wilderness.
He wanted to be their everything too.
Three years ago, women started meeting on my couches with stories much like mine. We started talking about what it meant to know God is healer but still find our wombs and nurseries empty. We started using this wilderness, although not His doing, as an invitation to come closer, to know Him more intimately.
We brought our sweet Micah home and because he was so sick in the beginning of his little life, I had to stop the meetings. But last fall, I felt a stirring from the Father that it was time for women to begin sitting on my couches and walking deeper into His heart together again. There were about ten girls who came every other Sunday for the past year. We would eat dessert, drink coffee, cry and laugh together, and dive deep into His Word and His heart. We started doing life together. We developed and started walking together in community.
And really beautiful things began to happen.
Today, their friendships are so incredibly dear to my heart. Three of those girls have become pregnant. Two of them welcomed their babies home through adoption. But more than anything, they know the Father now in a way they never did before. And we are learning how to walk in deep friendship with Him. One night back in February, I was praying for them in the shower and the Father whispered to my heart, "There are so many more women in your city with stories like theirs, who feel unseen and completely alone. Invite them in."
So The Garden was born a few weeks later...
The Garden is a local community of women walking deeper into the heart of the Father, through the journeys of infertility, miscarriage, and adoption.
Jeremiah 31:2 says "the people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness." Later on in that passage, it says He will make "their lives like a well-watered garden and they shall languish no more."
It is in the hard parts of our stories, the wilderness seasons of the soul, where the Father extends an invitation to us, inviting us deeper into His heart. In the midst of suffering, unanswered prayers, and deep heart sores we can be well-watered women. Finding our life source in Him. When our hearts are well-watered, by walking in deep friendship with Father, the only response is an overflowing of His love out of us into others.
The vision for this ministry is to develop a culture of miracles, and to provide a safe place where women walking these journeys can ask hard questions, feel safe to be vulnerable, and walk in community together all through the lens of hope.
Infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, and adoption all are so hard. Sitting in a room with women who share stories much like yours is incredibly powerful. Just knowing you are understood and realizing you are not alone is refreshing. We believe miracles are happening right before our eyes. We are seeing God heal years of infertility. We're seeing Him heal deep heart sores that happen after babies have gone to heaven way too soon. He is healing our bodies and our hearts. But the real miracle that is happening is in the darkest, most painful parts of our stories, we are becoming close friends with God. Hosea 2:16 says that in the wilderness, we no longer call Him our God, but He becomes our Husband.
If you live locally (Greenville, SC) and are walking through infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, or adoption we want to invite you in. You can click here to request access to our group. Come join us on Facebook and then once a month as we walk deeper into the heart of the Father and have fun doing it!
If you know someone who would benefit from this group, would you mind sharing this post with them? We are not about numbers, but we know that the Father is after hearts. You might know a heart that would be so encouraged by a group like this!
I've been so excited to share this with you! It's pretty scary stepping out in faith like this, but we know that this ministry belongs to Him and we're excited to partner with Him and watch it grow.