Updated: Mar 3, 2020
By Anna Kettle
God's Brave Women - Anna's Story
It was December 2017 when my life plans were first turned upside down by a sudden and unexpected miscarriage.
My son Ben was two and a half at the time and he was settling into preschool well, so it felt like the perfect time to begin turning our attentions towards extending our family. We got pregnant pretty quickly too, so everything felt like it was falling perfectly into place... until I discovered that I was miscarrying the pregnancy somewhere between 7-8 weeks. But even though that loss was upsetting, initially I mostly just treated it as a temporary pause in our family planning. It was inconvenient for sure, but we would just take a few months to heal and then try again, I resolved… At that stage, I couldn’t even have begun to imagine how that pause would linger for so long, and eventually end up feeling more like a permanent full stop, as several more consecutive miscarriages followed. There’s so much I could write about – my experiences of recurrent miscarriage, the unfolding disappointment of secondary infertility, my frustration about not being able to provide a sibling for our son. But I have already written about all of that stuff extensively in Notes on Life (my blog), so what I really want to share with you today is this. I don’t consider myself brave because I’ve had to endure multiple miscarriages and learn how to process all of that loss. That’s not really about bravery, because it’s not been a choice at all. It’s just something that’s happened to me.
I don’t consider myself brave because of all the fertility tests and treatments that have ensued either; all of the appointments, procedures, needles and drugs are just a necessary means to an end that I’m still hoping will materialise some day. And I don’t even feel especially brave because I spill my experiences of this all over the internet for absolutely anyone to read (even though a lot of people tell me it is!). To me writing is just a tool for processing my pain, and if pressing ‘publish’ means that I can encourage someone else in a similar position, then that’s all gain to me. But what does feel like bravery to me is learning how to embrace a future that now feels so uncertain and unknown. You see for as long as I can remember, I have always imagined having a large family, with two or maybe three kids running around my home. And now that is morphing into an unlikely possibility.
"It’s a pretty scary thing to realise that the future you had always mapped out in your head and your heart may not actually be the future God has for you at all. And it’s a pretty courageous thing to decide that you will on keep trusting God for that future anyway - a future that you didn’t expect or cannot see."
It’s a pretty scary thing to realise that the future you had always mapped out in your head and your heart may not actually be the future God has for you at all. And it’s a pretty courageous thing to decide that you will on keep trusting God for that future anyway - a future that you didn’t expect or cannot see. Especially if you tend towards being a bit of a control freak like me... Like me, are you facing unfulfilled hopes for your life right now or interruptions to your best laid plans? And like me, are you sometimes left wondering how you know if it’s time to let go of them and dare to explore some different dreams for your future instead? Whether it’s about family planning, or something else entirely, I think that choosing to let go of your own plans and trust God for a future you never imagined takes real bravery. But also, it’s so, so worth it...
Because even if your future turns out to look very different than the one you imagined, you can still trust that it will ultimately be good, because our God is so good! And He promises us in His word, that trusting in Him will not leave us disappointed. Psalm 25:3 says this: “No one who hopes in Him will ever be put to shame.” And I’m not saying that this life of faith exempts us from experiencing anything bad, because that clearly not the case. But I do believe that God is committed to squeezing goodness out of every situation or circumstance that this life may throw at us – not just in heaven, but also in this broken and imperfect world.
"I do believe that God is committed to squeezing goodness out of every situation or circumstance that this life may throw at us – not just in heaven, but also in this broken and imperfect world."
In Romans 8:28, God’s word tells us this: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Friends, it’s such a familiar verse for many of us, and yet how hard is it to trust that it’s really true? To trust that it’s true specifically for my life, and for yours?
I know it can be hard to hold onto hope when life doesn’t work out the way that you’d expected. But isn’t that the story that the Bible keeps on telling us, over and over again? From the very first chapters of Genesis right through to Revelations, we read of a God who is continuously healing and redeeming and restoring this world, and making all things new.
So the challenge I am trying to embrace, and want to invite you to also consider today is this: Will we dare to believe that he has extravagantly good plans for our lives, regardless of how things might appear?
"Will we dare to believe that he has extravagantly good plans for our lives, regardless of how things might appear?"
It takes real bravery to let get of those parts of our story that you can’t control, and to trust in God alone - as opposed to trusting for any specific hoped for outcomes or timescales or future plans. But isn’t that what this whole journey of faith is really about? Discovering that our hope is in Him alone. So will you join me in becoming a bit braver in trusting Him with those missed expectations, yearnings unfulfilled and hopes deferred? And will you commit to believing that the author of your life is able to pen the very best story with your life - far better than any you could ever dare to dream up for yourself?
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
And by the way...
You are Brave!
No matter what you are facing, God has made you in His image, which means you are full of His strength and power. I would love to connect with you more and give you a FREE gift - the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the FREE Manifesto, as well as recent blog posts, updated resources and personal details delivered only to my lovely email tribe.
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Anna is an experienced writer, blogger and a multi award-winning marketing and PR professional. During a career that spans almost 20 years, she has worked with a wide range of organisations, from government departments and household brands, to churches and the not-for profit sector. She is married to Andy, and mum to their son Ben (aged 4). They live in the beautiful waterfront city of Liverpool, in the UK.
Anna is a coffee lover and bookworm, a travel enthusiast, live music fan, a keen foodie, a gatherer of people, and a big believer in the healing power of words. You can find her at: www.annakettle.com as well as Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest.