Friday, June 24, 2016

The Pryor Journey


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My husband and I were married in 1995. We were young, just before my 21st birthday. The following year, a friend of mine had a little girl and I bought an outfit for her to take over after she was born. To my shame, I never made it over to see the baby in the busyness of life. I decided to just hold onto the outfit for a little girl of my own someday. My dream was to be a stay at home Mom. In fact, I had dropped out of college when I got engaged because I figured there was no point to having a degree in finance if I was just going to be a stay at home Mom. I just figured we would be having children (hoping for 5) right away. But, time went on and no babies. All of my friends began to have babies and I went to baby shower after baby shower for years. I played almost every baby shower game out there! After 7 years of trying and waiting, I remember getting angry with my husband for not getting me pregnant. I was pretty irrational and confused at this point as to why I couldn’t get pregnant. My husband looked at me and said, “who are you really mad at?” I burst into tears and realized I was angry with God for not giving me what I wanted. My heart changed after that moment. Sure, my heart still ached to have children, but my husband and I had decided to completely give this desire to our God. The Lord had given my husband and I faith to wait on Him. My husband’s analogy was this: A child asks his mother for a cookie for breakfast, she (knowing what is best for him) tells him no, not yet. We did not want to be a child that then decides to do it on his own and crawl up to the cookie jar and get a cookie anyway. Because of how we prayed for children, and the faith that God had given us to wait, we wanted to be faithful. We thought about adoption, IVF, even just going to see a basic doctor, but in the end left it to our Lord. You see, we don’t think there is anything wrong with doing IVF or any other method if it is in your heart to do. It just wasn’t for us. 

I began to do things to keep busy. We didn’t want to look back at this time without children and regret not doing things with our life. We took European vacations, trips to Hawaii, Mexico, etc. I took a master gardener course and remember the instructor telling us how sad it is to create watermelon as seedless so it cannot even reproduce. Yes, it is sad not to be able to reproduce! I used to look at couples who could get pregnant and called them “breeders”. I was jealous. I was happy for them, but I was jealous. Our friends got younger and younger until we were 35 years old and our friends who were in their early 20’s got pregnant with their first child. We laughed and realized it was time to hang out with people our own age again because they no longer needed babysitters as their children were in high school now. We still had a yearning to have children, but we were content with the life God had given us.
Then after 16 years of marriage, my husband began to have a midlife crisis. The term, midlife crisis, gets a lot of laughter, but they are real, and not a laughing matter. It was my husband’s turn to question whether we had done the right thing in waiting and how we had lived our life. Our marriage struggled for 2 years before he moved out. I was 37 years old and alone. No husband, no children. Not even a possibility of children now. I collapsed. I didn’t eat or sleep much during this time. But, God took care of me and taught me many things about LOVE. Unconditional LOVE. He granted me courage to love when I wasn’t being loved. My husband and I were separated only for 6 weeks. A very short time really, but it felt like much longer. He moved home and we began the very difficult task of trying to restore our marriage.

During this time, a friend came to stay for a while with me. The day she left to fly home, she looked at me and said "the Lord is going to grant the desires of your heart." I thought how sweet it was, and after I dropped her off at the airport, I went home, sat at my kitchen table, and prayed about what the desires of my heart really were. I realized there were 3 things: my husband’s return to a faithful servant of God, my husband’s heart to fully love me once more, and a child. The next day, I went to church, and a woman in church came to me and told me that the Lord would grant me the desires of my heart. No one else knew what had been said to me the day before. I always feel like the Lord has to tell me things twice before I believe Him!

Once my husband and I came back together as husband and wife, I got pregnant the first time. Eighteen years of trying and I was suddenly pregnant. This was not an easy pregnancy. My husband had lost his job due to his midlife crisis, so he was home and able to care for me. I was not able to walk hardly at all, was very sick, and had problems with the pregnancy in general. He learned to clean house, cook meals, and take care of all the things I had always done for years. It was how the Lord began to restore our marriage. We had each other and we needed each other again. He hardly left my side for three months. At sixteen weeks, my water broke, and I was delivered of a tiny baby. It was heart wrenching. My heart was broken. But my husband and I grieved together.

Exactly one year from the time I found out I was pregnant the first time, I found out I was pregnant again. Both times I found out I was pregnant was during Thanksgiving; like God was telling me to be thankful. This pregnancy was different. Sure, there were complications. There were nights I didn’t sleep much because I was worried about losing this baby as well. But our God keeps His promises. The doctors just kept on saying they wanted to get me to 30 weeks. I went 39 1/2 weeks, full term. I gave birth to a healthy little girl. We named her Taylor. Her name needed to mean something to me, after all, we had waited 19 years to have her. You see, a “tailor” mends things, creates things, takes fabrics and makes something beautiful out of them. She is the gift from God to mend my broken heart: Taylor Rose Pryor.
And yes, she did wear that outfit I kept for her.
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