Life (as well as the Bible) has proven to me that things don't happen by chance. I especially believe this when it comes to people I meet through social media. It could be their stylish clothes, the pretty horse they're riding, or in this instance, their name, but I know that whatever catches my eye there's a reason for it. In this case, I was scrolling through Instagram in the "Explore Posts" section. I don't go there a whole lot, but sometimes I find some great boutiques or artists to follow, so that makes it fun. This particular time, I was scrolling through when I saw the Instagram handle, meridithrosa, I thought it was such a pretty name so I clicked on the pic. I loved what my eyes had discovered because it was this beautiful woman who I thought completely resembled Nicole Curtis from Rehab Addict on HGTV (whom I'm a huge fan of!) It was apparent she was happily married to a rancher in South Dakota, loved her family and posts beautiful pictures of her life on their ranch. Just by pictures I knew we had so much in common. Through my Instagram stocking I also found out that she loves Jesus and they are going through the adoption journey. My heart swelled just reading her posts on how they've been praying for a child of their own and God has led them down the path of adoption. I find it absolutely fascinating and I prayed for her and her husband every time I saw one of her posts! I got in touch with Meredith and told her how her posts had touched my heart and that I would love to feature her here on the Brave Series. Little did I know that I was going to be blown away by not only the graciousness of sharing her story with us, but by how God had completely guided her and her husband into the adoption journey. So here it is, the brave story of a woman I've never met, but whom I know God brought into my life through something as trivial as Instagram to share her story for all to read. I know Meredith and I both pray that this will minister to your heart and will teach you to keep your eyes open because God is always trying to shower you with His love in even the smallest things.
Roy and I have been married for 8 years and currently ranch and farm together with our family in north central South Dakota. We are so thankful for this life and the family and friends that are a part of it! Roy and I met at a Rodeo Bible Camp in 2005, where I was a counselor and Roy was there as a bullfighter. The first morning, I was there pinning numbers on the back of all the contestant's shirts, when I saw Roy walk up. "Wow!", I thought, who is this cowboy and where is he from?? Then I thought, "this is ridiculous! I'm a counselor and he is a contestant, GET IT TOGETHER!" He had such a bright smile and was so free to give God the glory after he competed. He stood out to me and and I was drawn to His love for Jesus and his encouraging persona.
I never thought I would see Roy again after that camp, but the Lord has a funny way of surprising us. Roy ended up attending a college near where my family was living! We got in contact again at a local college Bible study, we started dating in September of 2006, got engaged in August and married the following October 2007!
After we got married, we knew we wanted to wait to have children until a few years had passed, so we could have some time for just the two of us. We definitely got the desire in our hearts to have children, and are truly thankful for that time, but as the years passed and then another and another, we started to think it was going to be a little tougher to start a family than we had first thought.
We ended up getting pregnant in December of 2013 and miscarried in February 2014.
We moved on from that experience and even though it was really hard. I had seen others walk through that same journey and some experiencing it even multiple times, so I kept telling myself that it could be worse. We started seeing the doctor and it didn't surprise us that they weren't able to find anything wrong. We were given so many options for medications to go on or different tactics to attempt to get pregnant, yet somehow we just didn't have a peace about it! For me, it felt like having a baby was all I could focus on. It was all around me. Babies everywhere! You start to feel like the odd one out, while everyone continues to move on with their life. Oh, I struggled. One day in particular, I remember going into the bathroom and just crying out to the Lord, saying, “I have become the very person I never wanted to be! Why does my heart feel so black inside?”One day I got a vision of who I wanted to be. Seriously, it's like I could see myself from afar and I saw myself loving others unconditionally, being truly happy for those who have what I do not, and I saw the joy of the Lord on my face! That's what I longed for! It seemed so far away, but I prayed that day, “Jesus, I know I am so far from where I want to be, but please help me to be the girl you have shown me today."
The journey from this point on had small victories and a lot of dark days. I started to want to retreat to my home and not go out and socialize. I just wanted to be alone. I even stopped listening to worship music and I LOVE worship music!! I felt like I had a sign on my forehead that read, “I'm not happy.” Ugh. I just wanted it to end and go on with life normally.
Roy and I were going through this dark time together. Everything we go through, we truly go through it together and for that, I am so thankful. I had actually gotten to the point where I was like, you know what? I'm going to stop thinking about a baby, so I can just enjoy life. I did for awhile, but there were always the reminders or pregnancy announcements that would creep in and cause discontentment once again.
Roy and I just figured that the Lord would let us get pregnant when it was His timing, because we're healthy, the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with us and we definitely aren't feeling led to adopt, so we will just have to wait!
I just have to interject this to say that through this whole time, we were receiving such love and support and prayers from our family and friends and I don't say this lightly! We felt the prayers! I can truly say that this journey has definitely taught me the importance of the Body of Christ. We experienced the church outside of the church, in a way that we never have before!
For example, I was having a particularly rough weekend in July of 2015. Roy just kept encouraging me to get in touch with this lady we knew of, but didn't know personally, who also has not been able to conceive, yet her and her husband had adopted a little boy. He just thought it would do me good to visit with someone who understood. I told him I would think about it. That night, I had a dream that I messaged her on Facebook. I saw the whole, lengthy, message I wrote to her telling her about all of my struggles and then I ended the message with: “So, I was just wondering how you deal with all of this?” All she responded with was, “Trust in the Lord.” I woke up the next morning and told the Lord, “Okay, I know what I'm supposed to do.” That day, I was in the tractor baling hay, feeling down, when all of a sudden my phone chimed and I looked and who was the message from, but the woman that I had messaged in my dream! She said, “Hey Meredith, this may seem strange, but you have been on my heart a lot today. Hoping and praying you are doing well.”
I felt the overwhelming love of Jesus flow over me as I sat in the tractor crying my eyes out. He used a woman I did not know to show me His amazing love. I was so encouraged! I immediately called Roy and shared the message with him and he rejoiced with me that the Lord had spoken through a fellow believer that we did not even know, to speak directly to my heart.
Fast forward two weekends and I find myself at an outdoor Christian music festival with some of my friends. We had just watched For King and Country perform and I was so energized and excited! Right after it was over, a lady came up to me and said, “Can I talk to you for a minute?” My defenses went up. She said, “I wasn't going to come talk to you, but I kept thinking, what if this really is what I'm meant to say to this girl? So, I'm just going to say it. During the concert, the Lord kept telling me that you have a lot of fears. ( who, ME?? ) He kept telling me that I need to tell you that if you lay those fears down, He will open a new way for you.” I felt the Lord prompting me to listen, so I did. She said, “I don't know whats going on in your life or why He had me tell you this, but can I pray for you? She prayed the most authentic, heartfelt and genuine prayer. After she finished, I said, “You know, I don't know why the Lord had you tell me this, but my husband and I have struggled with infertility for 4 years and with that has come a lot of fears. She immediately said, “The Lord just gave me the word ADOPTION. Can I pray specifically for you and your husbands desire to have children and for adoption?” After her prayer was over, she proceeded to tell me that her and her husband, along with their biological children, had adopted a little girl from China and that they were actually moving from China back home to Colorado. I was so humbled. I was in awe. God had sent another messenger to speak His words into my life and heart. That night I couldn't fall asleep because I felt so overwhelmed by the Lord speaking into my life. His voice had been so quiet for so long, that when He spoke, there was no questioning it! Once again, I couldn't wait to share it with Roy. I told my sister, who was with me that night, what the lady had shared, and she said, “Meredith, there is no questioning if the Lord is speaking to you or not. This is loud and clear.”
I've always told myself, I just don't have a heart for adoption! It sounds terrible to say, but it was true. I'd sometimes wonder what was wrong with me, especially when I would see so many that were pursuing adoption and seeking out the orphans. Thing is, this is GOD'S heart. It says right in His Word, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27.
In seeing more of God's heart on this matter, it has in turn, changed our hearts to want to be more like Him. It was undeniable that the Lord was strongly leading us to pursue adoption, so after lots and lots of praying and thanking the Lord for His clarity, we took a step! We called a social worker on August 12th, 2015 and were miraculously able to schedule a homestudy for 2 weeks later. We started on loads and loads of paperwork, fingerprints, background check...the whole kit and caboodle. We applied to 5 different agencies and have had the highs and lows of pursuing babies and not having it be the 'yes' we were waiting for. We just kept saying, “Lord, we just want the baby you want us to have!” Finally, we got a baby situation on January 5th, 2016, saying there was a little baby girl due in March. We prayed about it and felt such a peace about the whole thing! When we got the call saying that the birth mom chose us, I just don't think I can accurately put in words how I felt. It was humbling, to say the least! We are so excited to welcome this little one, the one that He created for US, into our hearts and home in March!
We wouldn't trade the yucky, dark, lonely times filled with why's, for where He has brought us and how He has changed and is continuing to change us! We need one another. We need to pray for each other and encourage one another daily! Life gets hard for everyone at times, but we are never without Jesus and the power of prayer! Roy and I will never be able to thank all those that have poured the prayers heavenward on our behalf, but we recognize the amazing power of prayer and have seen it displayed in our lives so clearly. Our desire is that everyone would see Jesus and His amazing glory through our lives and our story. He has led Roy and I to be brave on this journey of faith. It's all because of Him and we praise His Name!