Everyone can relate to a story where waiting is the main character. Whether you are waiting for: a spouse, a child, a job, a healing, a desire to be fulfilled, it all involves faith. I’ve heard it said that persevering faith brings you the answer but also brings you character. One knows when you travel the path of faith towards your promise you encounter valleys, bumps, high places and loose rock which requires you to be more intentional with your footing. The terrain of this path will strengthen you in all areas, if you allow it to.
I sat with Casey & Christa, friends I have known for years, on a stormy night. I wanted to hear their journey of faith when it came to the desire to have children, not being able to, and then the great joy of conceiving. I sat there thinking this story would encourage so many who are waiting for a hope to be fulfilled, but as I listened I knew that their story was for me as well. The words they used hit a nerve of the desires I am waiting to be fulfilled. I was fighting back the tears as I knew God had a two-fold purpose with me interviewing them: it was for you, but it was also for me.
I do not want to lose the beauty of their dialogue with each other and so I have transcribed their conversation below at length. I feel as for you, the reader, it will read purer and speak to the core of your hope. Whatever you are believing for, God cares. I pray that as you read, He speaks to your heart as He did mine. May your faith be refreshed.
Christa: We got married in 2001, and within the first year we found out I had Endometriosis. I had it treated by having minor surgery. We always wanted children so we said, “Let’s start trying to have children.” After a couple years, the doctors wanted to see what was really going on because we weren’t becoming pregnant. They said it was an issue of infertility.
Casey: When we got married we were in our early 20’s. We weren’t really “trying, trying”. You expect it to happen quick.
Christa: We weren’t stressing about it or anything. During that time we kept on doing what God had called us to do.
Casey: A couple years into it I remember I was in this place: I wasn’t angry at God but I was like, “What is going on here?” I felt like I had given up everything. I had given my life to Him, was pursuing Him in ministry, calling and we weren’t getting pregnant! The scripture that says, “He gives us the desires of our hearts”, I thought of that and would tell Him, “You know how bad we want a kid.”
We knew people who were having children in not the best situations and here we are pursuing God with everything we are. When we weren’t getting pregnant, I remember asking God, “Is there sin in my life? Am I living outside Your will for my life? Is there something wrong with me?” I heard God say to me, “It’s not because there is sin in your life, We dealt with that at the cross. It’s not because there is something wrong with you or you’re outside of My will, but it’s because you are inside of My will and in My will (in My time) you will have a baby!” It’s a promise that I held on to. I remember telling Christa, and she wanted God to tell her something.
Christa: I was doing devotions at a coffee shop when I saw a little girl, just the back of her head and I heard God speak clearly to me, “You are going to have a daughter one day, she is going to be full of joy and she is going to love Me. Her love is going to be so deep.” Ok, we are going to have a daughter! Now is she going to come through adoption or naturally?
We were praying and asking God if we were going to have kids naturally or was He calling us into adoption and if so, He would need to open our hearts to that. We really wanted Him to open our hearts to what He wanted. Adoption was a very fearful thing for me because of family experiences. As we walked through this season of surrender, God began to do things in our hearts of being open to His will. Even coming to the point where we thought, “Maybe He doesn’t want us to have children.”
Casey: Constantly surrendering.
Christa: Surrender. Surrendering things. “Ok this wouldn’t be my first choice, but God if that is what you want, ok.” If He was calling us to something different, then we just surrender this.
Casey: There were moments in that time, I remember you wanting to surrender the emotions that came along with everything. You would see people get pregnant and it was hard not be envious, bitter or jealous…
Christa: It would almost be like when you would go to a baby shower…
Casey: It seemed as though everyone was having kids!
Christa: All our friends were having kids! Everybody had kids but us. I remember going to these baby showers, I would be totally fine and then other times it would feel like there was a knife in my heart: this loss, this pain that is so deep that you can’t even explain it. I remember one time, being at a baby shower and someone sharing with me they were pregnant and saying, “Oh that’s great!”, and then going to the bathroom because I was feeling so attacked. Thoughts were bombarding me: “You aren’t even a woman, you can’t give your husband a child. What kind of woman are you? What kind of wife can you be?” I remember praying, “God you need to cover me. I will rejoice with those who are rejoicing (praying scripture). I will not let my joy be stolen.” I really needed to press through those moments. I would feel like the odd person out; why should I even be at these showers? Feeling so isolated. I would call Casey and have him pray for me. We determined in our hearts to journey through, battle through those moments. We had opportunity to encourage and pray with those who were going through the same season of infertility as us, and those whose marriages were being affected by this. We would be at church and would feel led to pray for a couple and find out later they had a miscarriage.
Casey: It wasn’t just with pregnancy, it was also with single people trying to find their spouse. We had a small group and we had tons of single people. Those are the questions in life: When you’re married: when are you having kids? When you’re single: when are you going to get married? When you’ve had one child: when are you going to have another? Pressures! I kept coming back to that promise when God said to me, “It’s not because you are outside of My will, it’s because you ARE in My will. In My will, in My way and in My timing you will see this happen.” We were able to encourage people along the journey.
Christa: We felt led to let God use our journey.
Casey: I remember we took off to Australia, about 6 years in.
Christa: 2007 we went to Australia. Casey had a dream to go do ministry work in Australia.
Casey: Sold the house, put everything in storage.
Christa: Just before we left I had surgery again. They said that after the surgery it can increase your chances of getting pregnant. We we hoped we might get pregnant in Australia. We went to Australia and just loved on people in the backpacker scene. We were there for a year. It was an amazing journey!
Christa: We were back from Australia and Casey had thought we would have become pregnant by now. He was devastated that we hadn’t. We were now in 2008, 7 years in. What now? So I went and got more tests, everything pointed back to Endometriosis and now I’m over 30! They wanted me to do fertility drugs and IVF. I had all these requisitions in my cupboard but I didn’t want to move until we heard God speak to us. We didn’t want to pursue adoption until we clearly heard and we didn’t want to do all these medical interventions until we clearly heard. We spent months waiting. The doctors kept pushing us towards doing the fertility drugs. But God was silent and I didn’t know what He wanted us to do. One day I was just sitting there and I said, “Lord I don’t want to move… I don’t want to do it out of Your will.”
He spoke to me so profoundly, “Christa, do you trust Me?”
“Well ya, I trust You.”
“Do you trust me enough to do absolutely nothing?”
It actually hit me: Do I trust Him?
“But God, the Doctors say that my womb is being destroyed.”
“What did they say about Sara?”
“That her womb was as good as dead.”
“Did I give you a promise? Do you believe that I will fulfill that promise? Do you trust Me enough to do nothing?”
I realized that I didn’t trust Him at that level. I just broke and started crying. “Oh my goodness I don’t trust You like that. I will trust You but I need a faith I don’t have.” Then I asked Him if He would give us the name for her, and He said He would give it when I was pregnant.
I felt to buy her a baby dedication outfit. We did it in faith. The faith that I asked for. We had people say to us, “What are you going to do when you don’t get pregnant?” I looked at them with this new found faith and said, “We WILL get pregnant.” We went to the store, feeling awkward and we bought a summer dress for a baby dedication outfit.
Casey: We felt to do another step of faith. We had moved into a house and we painted a bedroom pink. We went to a new doctor who looked at our charts and told us we would not get pregnant unless we did IVF.
Christa: Felt like my faith was trying to be stolen. I was at an event where a lady came up to pray for me and said, “I feel like God is saying that this is the year of Hannah and God is going to bring this promise that He has given you.” She had no idea. A bit later a lady came up to me at church and said “I have this scripture for you, I don’t know if it means anything to you.” I looked up the scripture and it said, “The Lord remembered Hannah.” (1 Samuel 1:19) I felt like God was saying to me, “Hold on, it’s coming, be patient, endure”.
Casey: After a negative pregnancy test, I remember driving home from work and saying, ”God you gave us a promise…I don’t understand how this can be.”
I remember God saying, “What did I give Abraham?”
“You gave him a promise.”
“What did I ask him to do with it?”
Still rocks me…I knew what He was saying, “God don’t ask me to do that. You asked Abraham to put the promise on the altar. God don’t ask me to do that.”
Basically God was saying to me, “If you never see this promise will you still serve Me? If you never see this child, will you still give Me your everything?”
“God you saved me. Of course I will.”
I felt then that the burden lifted in that place of surrender.
And then a month later…
Christa: We had just got home from California, and we had to get a few groceries and I thought I would grab a few pregnancy tests. (as I was late)
Casey: You didn’t tell me!
Christa: I popped upstairs and I took the test. It came out positive! I remember having this moment, crying and saying, “Really, really!? It’s happening now?” Just me and God having this moment together. I was just in awe. And shock. And overwhelmed. Really God? Wow. I was up there alone for about 10-15 minutes, being rocked that He was fulfilling His promise to me. Pregnant for the first time ever.
Casey: And here I am sitting downstairs not knowing anything. I was in the kitchen with your cousin.
Christa: I came down the stairs and I burst into tears because I was so overwhelmed and I just had this God moment. Casey said, “What happened? Is the cat dead upstairs?! What’s going on?” I tried to spit out, “We’re going to have a baby!”
Casey: And I am like, “What?! What?!”
Christa: “We’re pregnant! We’re going to have a baby!” He was still saying, “What?” We were hugging. We were in awe. It was actually happening. We were so overwhelmed with joy. We then sat at the table and tried to eat dinner. We just kept on saying, “Wow. Wow God, You are fulfilling this now. There’s no more waiting. The promise is here.” It was surreal. We said, “Oh I guess we should prepare the room…oh wait the room is already done!”
Casey: Then we started telling people we were having a girl. “Well how do you know?” God gave us a promise. People would say, “Well it could be a boy you know.” So we found out the gender not for us, but for them as we had no doubt ever that it was going be our promised girl. We had an ultrasound and it was a girl! We had painted the room pink a year before!
Christa: It was a testimony to our family. After we shared with people that we were pregnant, we had so many people tell us that they had been praying for us all along. I just felt like God let us be apart of His story. I wouldn’t trade that for a single thing. A testament of His faithfulness and His goodness. What an honor that people can be encouraged through our story. We say now that we wouldn’t trade anything from the journey because now our faith is at a strength we could never have any other way. His timing is so perfect.
Christianna was born in the summer which was perfect because we had bought the dedication dress for summer. When I was 8 months pregnant, Casey received her name in a dream.
Casey: He told me, “I will give you her name in a dream.” We couldn’t agree on any names. I had a dream that we had this little girl named Christianna. I woke up and said, “What about Christianna?”
Christa: I thought it was really pretty. So we looked it up and it meant, “Follower of Christ.” We both knew her middle name would be Faith because it’s all about faith and trusting God.
Christa: I remember when we had her, and she heard Casey’s voice. They took her away to clean her up and she was crying, but when she heard his voice she instantly turned her eyes toward him and calmed right down. She looked at him, and I lost it. Started crying!
Now we are on number 4! I remember saying when she was little, “God I would love one more. I know You have given us her and I am so thankful, but I would like one more.” I remember the journey with her was long and hard and then I said one little prayer for a second child and found out 2 weeks later I was pregnant.
Casey: She named him.
Christa: She said, “Mummy, I think his name should be Samuel.” I thought it was fitting because of the story of Hannah. His name meaning, “God heard.”
Casey: I think about how many people pull the pin on waiting for God’s way and settle for something different, whether it’s career, spouse, or children. Any time is a long time when you’re waiting for something. It’s a desire of your heart.
Christa: But God knows those desires. Some of those desires He puts in our hearts.
Casey: You have to bring it back to a place of surrender.
Christa: And trusting Him. What’s His will? Trust Him. What’s He calling us to do and then do it. He is faithful. I look back at His timing and remember that our children are here for such a time as this. It’s all timing. God has a call and purpose for them.
Casey: Trust His goodness. Don’t ever doubt or question His goodness. Trust that nothing is impossible for Him and if He has done something once before, He can do it again. Spend time in the Word, that’s the way He can speak to you. It anchors your faith in these seasons. It’s actually because I am in His plan and in His timing that things will happen in a far better way than we could ever think of. We see that God was at work the whole time.
Christa: Trust that He is good and that He is faithful. He loves us. When the journeys are hard, sometimes that is when the most beautiful things come. It’s worth it.
Today, Casey & Christa have four beautiful children: Christanna, Samuel, Tobias and the newly added addition, Ava. (Born only a few days after this interview). They also have a faith that has been shaped by waiting, questions, hardships, tears, frustration, and surrender. Their faith in God and His ways have been refined by the path they have walked.
To you, the reader, I hope their story has inspired you, has given you water in the desert you may be in, and has shed light that the whole purpose of our journey is always to become closer to the One who created us. We desire the promise fulfilled but God desires the journey with us even more, for it is the path we walk with Him that allows for conversations that provide intimacy with His heart.
My hope for you is that you will walk with God and that this season of waiting for the answer will give you the answer of friendship with the Father. I also pray He will provide the desires of your heart. He is good.
For me, even though I would love the answers to my desires to unfold, the journey with Him has now become my most sought after answer. I could never walk my path without Him.
Waiting can become the most beautiful character in our story.