BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS »

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just Before


It was 2001. I was 24 years old and had been married for 3 years. It was the year my husband and I decided to take a couple of huge steps. We were pretty young, but we knew our lives were about to change drastically.

He had accepted a new job in a new state and was leaving his hometown. I'd already left home when I went to college, and after marrying a local boy, his home became my home, too. We'd made lots of great friends there. His parents were there. We loved the town and the community and we were pretty comfortable there at the time, but we both agreed that the move was the right thing to do for our family of two. It was an amazing opportunity, one my husband wasn't even sure he was qualified for, but he interviewed anyway and got the job! He was going to be a software engineer at NASA. It was such an exciting time, but yes, we were both nervous. Change always makes me nervous.

We moved from North Louisiana to Southeast Texas in May of that year. The move actually brought us a few hours closer to my side of the family in Southwest Louisiana. That was some comfort for us, as well as the fact that my husband's sister lived nearby in Houston. It was a tough transition. I think the hardest part of all was leaving our church family and having to start from scratch in a brand new place with no familiar faces. We were finally on our own, though, and as scary as it was, it did feel pretty good. We were making it! We had a cute little apartment and were already talking about buying a home sometime in the next year or so.

That was where we were just before we decided to start trying to have children. It was just before our lives really did change forever.

A few months after our move we made our first trip back to my husband's hometown. We had decided to set up a photo shoot with a friend of my brother-in-law's, a young lady that he and my husband knew from high school who was starting a photography business in town. We had seen some of her work and really liked it, so we scheduled a time to meet with her while we were in town. It was a fun day for us and we thought she did a great job with the photos.

Now, when I look back at these pictures all these years later, it's hard to describe what I feel.

It was just before we were faced with the toughest trial of our lives.


We were young, in love, and so hopeful for the future.


It was just before I realized that I would have to be much stronger than I ever thought I was.


Toward the end of that year, we decided that we wanted to start trying to get pregnant. To tell you the truth, we didn't know a whole lot about ovulation schedules or anything else like that, but I was learning. I started charting my temperature and paying attention to certain clues. Early in May of the next year, I got my first positive pregnancy test. It was almost a year to the day after we'd moved. Most of you already know the story, but I miscarried 2 months later, as we were getting ready to move into our first home. (I've written more about that loss here.)

It was the beginning of the scariest ride of our lives. The next 7 years or so are almost a blur of grief, and hope, and devastation, and most of all loss. I almost can't believe all that has happened since that year. I never would have dreamed I could live through 6 miscarriages and still find the courage to keep on trying.

Sometimes I miss the couple in those photos. But I know the couple we are today.

We're still young (relatively speaking), still very much in love with each other, and we're still hopeful for our future. And this time, we know that we can make it through some really, really tough times. We know that we can survive, and not only that, but we can keep on living and keep on hoping, despite our setbacks and disappointments!


This photo was taken just before I realized how much I truly loved my husband and just how grateful I would be to have him by my side.

34 comments:

Jo said...

Hi Stacey you look absolutely beautiful in those photos can I say. I am really sorry about all the losses you went through and so happy everytime I read how well this pregnancy right now is coming along. Every positive piece of news feels like a little victory for all the women like you and I out there. I look forward to hearing more of your beautiful stories, you are a wonderful writer and your posts always make me feel uplifted, even the sad ones because they have such hope in them. Thankyou for being you.

gg said...

amazing how god knows what we need. your husband is the perfect guy for you. love you guys!

Indy said...

The photos are great. I am in awe at what He has done in your life. You could've chosen to abandoned God yet you decided to use your pain for our gain.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 has become my life verse and I think you have lived this out. Thank you!

Sharon said...

Beautiful! As always your incredible spirit shines through.

Chuck said...

Wow, the guy in that photo was just a skinny, naïve kid.

Ignorance may be bliss, but I am happy where we are now despite all of our trials. You have proven to yourself that you are stronger than you thought. And we have grown closer through all of our trials.

And, yes, I still madly in love with you! No matter what happens, I will always be by your side.

Kate said...

What a beautiful post. You and your husband are an inspiration.

Jenn said...

I think you are more beautiful today, even than you were in those photos!

Hope in Virginia said...

Stacey - What a lovely post. It is amazing the things we can learn from our journey - even a difficult one - when we take the time to stop and look back at the road you've traveled. So many lessons get missed until much later. It is a true testament to your marriage, your faith, and your positive attitude that you are able to still look forward to the wonderful plan God has in store for you. You're a special person.

Adam and Julia said...

You are beautiful inside and out. What an inspiration you are to so many. Thank you for sharing. If you can do it, I know I can.

Kathryn said...

I love this story, & your sense of hope in spite all things. Something wonderful has happened in my life, too (but not pregnancy) that i'll write about in the next couple of days.

These are beautiful pictures. You both look so happy, & i'm glad that you have endured tho i'm sorry for all the pain & sorrow. Sending you hugs & i continue to pray. :)

PFM said...

This is a beautiful post. It is difficult to look back at our innocent selves sometimes. It's great that you too are so much in love. It will continue to get you through.

Birdie said...

Stacey, your post was so sweet. I can relate to how you feel. When my husband and I got married in 2007 I had no idea that we would have 3 miscarriages. I love how you talked about being stronger now and how you made it through it all together. I'm still praying for you. I'm so excited to follow your journey and see what God has in store!

millerhomestead said...

Hey! I remember those kids! They helped raise my baby when I had NO idea what to do and how I was going to finish college. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, because no matter how many years pass- what you did is always fresh on my mind. Oh, and, amen to godly marriages. This must be Lucky 13 for y'all too!!
-Faith

Stacey said...

Thanks everyone for the sweet comments! I know I tell you all the time, but I'm so thankful for the support you give.

@Faith, those are happy memories for us! He was such a sweet baby (still is I'm sure, just bigger!) and we always enjoyed our time with him.
Oh, this summer will be our 12th anniversary. :)

twondra said...

I love this post Stacey! Sooo touching and so real how looking back at pictures can make you think "if I only knew". It's amazing.

I love these pictures of you guys! So cute and you look so much in love!!

Ask or Imagine said...

What a beautiful post...I am in awe of what you and your husband have persevered through. There's so much to your story already and so much more to come. I think you should write a book some day - you really do have such a simple and powerful way of writing, I'm often so moved by your posts!

DeniFay said...

Beautiful post Stacey!! Isn't it weird to think of how naive we were and how we just assumed things would 'work out' the way we wanted them to?!?! Your faith and strength are an inspiration and I'm so glad I found you here in blogger world! You are a great friend and a great source of comfort!!

Connie said...

Loved seeing those photos again. Remember to think on those things that are true, and noble, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. I can think of nothing else more lovely than that precious baby. Can't wait to see my sweet little one on Thursday! :)

And so it goes said...

Your post on my blog today means the world to me. There are times when people say that they will keep you in their prayers, and it takes your breath away. Your comment was one of those times.

thank you friend.

Jennifer said...

That was beautiful, Stacey. Sometimes the from the hardest things we learn the most and become closer. So glad you have such a great guy to travel this road with. :)

Katie said...

Aw, darn these pregnancy hormones.

You look beautiful in those pictures, Stacey.

DeniFay said...

Hey honey! Left you an award on my page, just to let you know you're special!!

DeniFay said...

Hey honey! Left you an award on my page, just to let you know you're special!!

Teresa & Connie said...

I'm sitting here sobbing. I didn't know! Congratulations. OMGosh I am so happy for you Stacey!

Charisa said...

You look just as beautiful today. Truly. Now Chuck on the other hand... ;) Still praying for you three.

Rebekah said...

I look at pictures of before too and think about how happy and nieve we were before our whole world changed. I'm glad we both have guys that help us through these times- but more importantly a God that is there for us even in the storms.

sah said...

Beautiful couple then . . . beautiful couple now! And by the way, this North Louisiana friend misses you lots! Thinking of you and praying for you!

Erin said...

Praying for you tomorrow!

Michelle said...

What a truly beautiful post Stacey! I find it so amazing to look back at photos like that and realize how much we didn't know and if only we could have prepared ourselves.

Thank God for all we've been through though because it has shaped us into the people we are. And the mommies we will be!

Thinking of you!!!

xoxoxox
~Michelle

katdish said...

Hello there Stacey (and Huck)!

I drove to Galveston today and thought of you both as I sat in that nightmare traffic. (What is UP with that?)

So glad I stopped by here. Aren't y'all cute?

Jason said...

Wow, you were skinny! lol. You two are so awesome. I couldn't ask for better friends.

iamstacey said...

You all are beautiful! I'm so glad you found a doctor you like, too! I can't wait to see your beautiful baby!

Birdie said...

Stacey, thanks so much for checking out our website!! I hope you enjoyed it. Your comments were very sweet.

I'm looking forward to your next post!!

Emily said...

This one made me cry a little. Thanks for sharing your memories with us. :)