Stories of Faith: The Martins
Meet Michael and Kim Martin! I have known this precious family for several years. Michael is a laid back but extremely wise man of God. He is one of the most genuine person I have ever met. When you talk to him, no matter what it is about, you can tell he really takes the time to listen to what you have to say. Kim was actually one of my high school science TEACHERS!!!! Yep that's right... she was fresh out of college and I was just a high school baby. At school, she was an amazing teacher and mentor to not only me but many other high school girls who needed someone to talk to about those oh so important high school relationships. But our true friendship did not grow until much later while I was in college when she would check up on me or call and ask if I could watch her precious fur babies while they were away. She is truly one of those special souls... such an amazing light in this dark world. And I can seriously say that no matter what kind of silly high school or even college drama I threw her way she never pushed me off like I was silly or that how I was feeling was not important... she would always give me such wise advice and made sure to point me back to the Lord every single time.
Needless to say... this couple is AH-MAZING!!!!
And then... their story of faith... Really I have not words...
It is such a picture of God's perfect timing and His amazing LOVE for us... even when we might not see it or even feel it.
Kim and Michael... Thank you so much for being so transparent and sharing your story on the blog today!!! I know they Lord is going to use it and encourage so many with it. I love you guys!
P.S. I feel like I helped raise your fur babies and sometimes I might tell people they are kind of like my own :) Hehehe!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
For as long as I can remember, all I ever wanted was to be a mother. I knew in my heart that was what God created me for. I had this deep longing and desire that could only have been placed there by God. So imagine my frustration, confusion, and utter despair as I felt those hopes and dreams slowly falling out of my reach and control. As we struggled with infertility for almost three years, we experienced a variety of emotions. It began with anger, sadness, confusion, bitterness, sorrow, jealousy, frustration, and questioning God. Over time and healing and drawing closer to God, He slowly converted them to hope, faith, understanding, love, and ultimately JOY.
God has a perfect plan for our life. His plan and our plan don’t always match. In His word God promises us “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). And I will be forever grateful that the Lord did not answer my prayers in my timing and did not grant me my plan. In the midst of a valley when we are experiencing pain that we didn’t even know existed, it is so hard to trust in Him. I wanted control. I wanted my perfect plan to unfold just the way I always imagined it would. I wanted a baby more than anything else in the world. I know now that our most gracious heavenly Father had to take me and my husband through a dark valley in order to bring us closer to Him and change us in a way that will impact us for eternity.
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:6-7) God knew something that we were blind to. We needed some major refining. And because He loves us more than we could ever fathom, He took us through a fire. He refined us through an almost unbearable heartache, and He is still in the process of refining us every day. For that, we are eternally grateful.
I am so thankful for my Father’s patience, mercy, and steadfast love because I didn’t necessarily handle infertility well. We experienced countless procedures, appointments, drugs, injections, surgery, six failed IUI procedures, and probably 100 negative pregnancy tests, (I know what you’re thinking. You just did the math. Three years of infertility is 36 months which should equate to 36 negative pregnancy tests. Like I said…I did not handle it well.) I had a hard time with baby showers and anything “baby” for that matter. I would smile and celebrate when my friends would share their exciting news, but inside, I cried out “Why can’t it be us? It’s our turn!” I hated myself for some of the thoughts I would have. And for the first time in my life, I experienced depression. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t have a baby. The doctors could give us no answer. I had no control. I had hit rock bottom.
I cry as I type thinking of how much He loves me. He was there with me through it all, and He was so patient with me as I slowly drew closer into Him and began to trust in Him and depend on Him in a way that I never had before. He took me to a point where I had no other choice but to run into His arms and experience His love on a whole new level. I began to dive into his Word and find encouragement in His promises. I memorized scripture and began praying with my husband. We became more involved in our church and went on our first foreign mission trip. It was in a tiny pink church in the heart of Honduras where I finally let it all go and completely gave it over to Him. Surrounded by people who have absolutely nothing, who were worshipping God with their entire being, I longed to be like them. I wanted Jesus to be enough for me. And in that moment, I told Him that He was. I surrendered, and it felt amazing. God was healing my broken heart, and I was closer to Him than ever before.
We had reached a point in our journey where IVF was the next step. The doctor assured us that he could get us pregnant with IVF. Great. Sign us up! Let’s get this party started! Except… I found out in the car on the way home from the doctor that day that the Lord had been changing my husband’s heart as well. Tears rolled down my cheeks as he told me that he did not feel called to do IVF. He didn’t think it was the Lord’s plan. He felt the Lord pulling him towards adoption. I was devastated. I felt that my dream of carrying our child was slowly drifting away. Michael and I leaned on each other and His word and prayed like we had never prayed before. Amazingly, God began to change my heart and pull me towards adoption too. I know this was God because I NEVER would have gotten to that place on my own. (It sounds so terrible, but in the midst of my infertility funk, adoption was almost a bad word to me because it meant that I would be giving up my dream of carrying our baby.) God was changing my heart though, and we dove into the adoption process. We gave it all to Him and completely let Him guide us in each step. We got off the fertility medications, attended adoption meetings, submitted our first big section of paperwork and down payment, and we were awaiting the home study. We were so excited that we were going to be parents to a child of God!
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20
On June 25th, 2012, we experienced God’s amazing grace on a whole new level when we discovered that we were pregnant. I fell to my knees and cried out to God in thanksgiving. We were focused on the adoption and had decided to get off the fertility meds, and God got us pregnant. In HIS perfect timing, in HIS perfect plan, once He had opened our eyes to HIS perfect will for us. We were so completely overwhelmed by His love and sovereignty. Emma Grace was born in February 2013, followed by her little brother, Samuel, in October 2015. Two beautiful pictures of faith, hope, and love.
Looking back, it’s easy to see why God took us on this journey and all that He accomplished in it. It is almost scary for me to imagine where we would be spiritually if we hadn’t gone through the heartache of infertility. God knew exactly what He was doing and that He needed to bring us to a point of complete surrender before He would answer our prayers. He intricately developed and strengthened our relationship with Him and with each other. We finally put God in the center of our marriage and our lives. He opened up our hearts to adoption and fostering which may not have happened otherwise. I have also been blessed to be a part of an amazing ministry at our church called Hannah’s Hope. Hannah’s Hope is “a confidential Christ centered support group hoping to provide encouragement and prayer for couples coping with the challenges of all stages of infertility, secondary infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death, fostering, and adoption loss.” I’m hopeful that our story would be an encouragement to others, but mostly that God would be glorified in the telling of it. And I am forever grateful for a holy and loving Father who continues to be patient with us, refining us daily, and drawing us deeper into His presence.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
“I have told you these things so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33