“Whether or not you ever bear a child, you can still bear hope” -Liv Ryan

When I was little, we're talking two-years-old and on, I was daily found “pregnant” with or “nursing” my baby dolls. I sang to them, rocked them on my tiny lap, and cooked for them in my wooden play kitchen. I was their mommy, and they were my babies. 

I was made for this, I thought. 

When I was eight and my baby brother was born, I became his second mommy. I loved everything about him and caring for him. It was then that “becoming a real mommy" solidified the number one spot on my dream list. My plans were solid and flawless (in my young sweet head) and for a little while, seemed to pan out perfectly. 

I married prince charming at the ripe age of 21. We started doing the “adulting” thang. We finished college. We got great jobs. We traveled. We bought a cute 3-bedroom house (think white picket fence). We made lots o’ “love” … then we got pregnant. 

YES!!! All is well, we thought. We were so excited that I gave my 2-weeks-notice at nine weeks preggo. If I’m going to be a stay-at-home-mom, I might as well start rocking that gig now. 

The day before my last day at work, at 11-weeks-along, we walked into an ultrasound room with excited butterflies in our tummies. There we got the news that our first baby’s heart was no longer beating. In an instant, my plans which had always seemed so perfectly laid, were shattered. 

The three years that followed were filled with five more pregnancies and five more miscarriages. Not only that but my parents’ marriage of over 24 years dissolved, our church split in two, and we went through a failed adoption. Through those years I could pretty much be found curled up in the corner of my bed -- fugly crying.

The comforts of my life had been stripped away, but my Jesus had not. In that desert season, he was not only present but he was near and tender. He breathed into my lungs time and time again, when on my own I was suffocating. 

He draws near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

As I trudged forward, one terrifying step at a time, I started to trust that maybe God was still working behind the scenes. Maybe his plan was better than mine. (Gasp!) 

When I held our beautiful birthmommy’s hand as she birthed our perfect, six-pound, blondie boy into the world, the Lord whispered to my heart “My plan is better.” 

When I screamed out in pain with the final push of labor and met eyes with my daughter for the first time, he whispered to my heart “My plan is better.” 

When their high-risk little brother entered the world as healthy as can be, he whispered to my heart “My plan is better.” 

Beauty from ashes. My hands are fuller than I ever could’ve imagined they would be on those days I banged my fists into my pillow and screamed for God to hear my desperate pleas. 

But I know not every struggle ends with a baby bundle. I know so personally that not every question mark finds an answer on this side of heaven. 

How is a tired girl to survive the desert? 

I think she’s got to find (or borrow) a heckofalotta hope. She has to focus on the day that is coming. The day on which there will be no more tears, from then until forevermore. Not even one. 

She has to work through her pain and fight so hard to find the sisterfriends who will pull her up when she wants to fall down and give up. They’ll reminder so very not alone she actually is.  

Way back when my future was one giant question mark, a dream to create a hope-filled, inspirational companion was born. Long before I ever held a baby in my arms and called him my own, I realized that whether or not I ever bore children, I could still bear hope. 

So if you or someone you love are wandering through the desert of waiting for a child (whether it’s a first child, fourth child, or lovie living on the other side of the globe) … if you’re desperately trying to regain your footing after a devastating loss …  or if you’re simply running low on hope, I invite you to join me on a journey. A journey to bear hope. Because the world is in mega-short supply. 

You can get a free chapter delivered to your inbox here or enter below to win a copy of Bearing Hope: Navigating the Desert of Waiting for a Child. The book is available for purchase here. 

Liv is a Midwest native who lives to inspire women to bear more hope into the world. She is a writer, speaker, wifey, mommy, and lover of all things coffee and croissant. Hands down her favorite activity is Tuesday night date night, but tickling her three miracle babies is a close second. She heavily relies on her people, the Word, and foodie food to keep her sane. She survived the desert of waiting once upon a thirsty time, and lives to tell you that you will too! She sneaks away to write at livryan.com

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