This Mother’s Day is perhaps one of the most significant “first holidays” in my life. That’s because my journey to motherhood wasn’t simple or easy, but rather a road of many twists and turns, stops and starts. Not to mention, it took a very long time.
I heard God’s call to professional ministry when I was 27 years old. And, unlike my peers who were getting married or starting their families, I immediately enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at Bethel Seminary San Diego. It was both exciting and scary – I was embarking on a completely new vocation and an uncertain future.
The only certainty I had was that I knew God was leading me toward His greater purpose for my life.
This God-rooted certainty fueled me for the next five years during which time God graciously gave me a very full life. Besides going to seminary, I had several deeply meaningful spiritual friendships, I was actively serving in ministry at my church, and I had a full-time job working in my other profession as a writer.
But the longing to be a mom never went away.
It seemed like every other day another one of my friends was posting her pregnancy announcement on social media. Although I was happy for them, it was just another reminder of what I didn’t have.
I had to consciously remind myself that I had surrendered my life to God completely, and that meant I needed to trust Him for all of it – not just the vocational part, but the marriage and family part too.
After five and a half years of seminary, I met my husband Will and was delighted to discover that he had a relationship with the Lord and was pursuing his master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at Bethel. But I was disheartened to discover that he struggled with infertility.
I had to come face to face with the realization that although I found the love of my life, my dream of becoming a mom might never come true.
God reminded me that if Will and I were to be together and commit our relationship to God, then He would give us the strength to walk down the road of infertility with all of its hills and valleys. His promise was my comfort: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified… for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Will and I got married four months after we both graduated, and we immediately began trying to start our family. For the next four years, we tried everything – starting with lots of prayer, healthy food, dietary supplements, acupuncture, several failed rounds of Intrauterine insemination (IUI), and then finally, after much more prayer, in vitro fertilization (IVF). The procedures for IUI and IVF required many medications, including several shots every day, sometimes for months on end.
There were days when it was especially difficult not to lose hope. I remember confiding in a friend with tears in my eyes that even though I knew God was with us in this process, sometimes it was just so hard to keep going without any guarantee of a positive outcome.
She reassured me, “God has a plan for your family, Summer. That plan might not look like everyone else’s, but He has a plan.” Once again, I was reminded that I needed to surrender daily to God’s sovereign will and His ways because His plan for my life is always good.
Trusting God was the best thing I’ve ever done – in all areas of my life.
Committing my life to Him, answering His call to ministry, and then following Him into the great unknown of starting a family all required my full trust. And through it all, He was faithful to give me the strength to hold onto hope when all hope seemed lost.
After five years of trusting, waiting, and hoping, on September 5, 2017, God blessed us with a beautiful baby boy. William “Liam” Noel Armentrout was born into the world.
The journey to motherhood was a difficult one, painful and uncertain. But it was also one that was filled with unexpected opportunities and blessings. This Mother’s Day, I will stand in awe of the One who blessed me with my son, and I will thank Him for the strength and grace that He gave me along the way.
Website Editor, Living on the Edge
Summer is the website editor for Living on the Edge. For over seven years, she’s worked as a freelance copywriter and editor in San Diego, California. When she isn’t wearing her editor’s hat, Summer also serves as associate pastor of The Refinery Church in Chula Vista, California. Summer’s passion for helping people know and experience God’s love and reach their full potential in Christ fuels both her writing and ministry work. Summer has an MDiv from Bethel Seminary. She is married to Will, a marriage and family therapist intern.More Articles by Summer