Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Testimony Tuesday - Meet Shay

Today's testimony is coming from one of my newest but very quickly one of my favorite blog friends.  I connected with Shay probably two years ago when someone sent me to her blog and told me my favorite Bachelor on the Bachelorette was her brother.  I thought her family was so adorable and we talked back and forth some and I met her at Dot Mom almost a year ago.  She is such a neat person and someone I know would be a good friend if we lived in the same town.  I identify so much with her.  I'm so thankful she was willing to share her story with us today.

{On a side note - all of the people I have asked to share have all expressed to me how nervous they are to "put themselves out there" and "share their story" but they all really feel called to to it.  I'm so proud of them.  I hope you will be kind in return and really listen because they are pouring their hearts into what they are sharing and really praying carefully about it.}

Hi!  I'm Shay!  I'm a 32 year old mom of two, married to my hubby for just about 10 years, foodie blogger, travel agent...busy lady.

I am so grateful to share how God has been at work in my life today with all of you!

I am very fortunate to say that I was raised in a wonderful Christian home by the very best parents and extended family.  I became a Christian at the young age of seven, so I don't really have a "before" testimony and an "after" (which is something I'm grateful for!)...I just have a "how God has been at work my entire life" testimony.

Today, I'd really like to share with you how God has worked in my life to give me the best job of all...mom.

These are my kiddos...Kensington and Smith.

About 8 years ago, my husband and I set off on our journey to become parents.  We were 25, healthy, active over-achievers with a plan (the perfect combination for God to use to remind us who's in charge!).  After several months of not getting pregnant, we sought advice from first my OBGYN and then a fertility specialist and realized...we might not ever be able to get pregnant.

During this hard time of fertility drugs, IUIs, a miscarriage, more IUIs (six total), and lots and lots of drugs, I clung to several verses to remind me of God's faithfulness.  One of them was Joshua 1:9, "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.".

I was going into the unknown.  How was I going to be a mom?  Would I ever be a mom?  I wasn't sure.  I had to come to a place in my heart where I realized God's plan was far greater than any idea in my head of what my life should look like.  I had to accept that.  Embrace it.  Cling to it.  In my head, I wanted a girl and a boy (just like my mom had and her mom had too).  In my head, that was perfection.

Well...fast forward 8 years and here I am...a mom with two kids.  One boy and one girl.  And neither one of those kiddos came through fertility drugs.  God had given me exactly what I wanted, but on his time.

And that's when I really started to hear God talking to me.

Over the last three years (and especially over the last 12 months), as I've studied my Bible, spent time in prayer and sought counsel from other believers, I have really heard the Lord ask me, "Well Shay, I gave you everything you wanted (when the doctors thought it might be impossible), are you going to just sit back and take it or are you going to do something with it?".  And even though it's scary and the future is so unclear, I want to follow God's direction for my family and do something.

And his direction for us is to adopt.

 And so, we're opening our home and our hearts to a daughter from another country.  A child with special needs that comes from an orphanage.  We feel God calling us to adopt right this minute even though it's the worst possible time.  We are building a new home, currently living in a rental, half of our stuff is in storage and our money is going in every direction...but God is clearly saying to us, it's time to adopt.  And so, we're being faithful.  And once again, I cling to Joshua 1:9.

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

My testimony today is this...you have to go.  God calls us all to do something with our lives.  He might call you to go to India and be a missionary or he might just call you to go next door and invite your neighbor to church...but he's calling you.  Are you listening?  Hey, it's scary!  Trust me...I'm scared to death!  I run my own business, have two perfectly healthy, well-adjusted kids that are independent enough that they don't need me 24/7 and now, we're about to upset everything by bringing in a stranger to live in our home and be a part of our family FOREVER.  And that terrifies me sometimes...but God has said go.  And so, I do.

If God is telling you to go, my prayer is that you listen.  It might be scary, it's probably out of your comfort zone, it could sound silly or irrational, but if it's the Lord speaking to you about his plan for your life, I hope you go.  And I hope you go now.

Thank you so much for letting me share a little of my life with you today.  I am a big believer in having loving and supportive women in my life...and Kelly is one of them.  There is no better feeling when you're stepping out on faith than to hear the cheers of your friends behind you.  Thank you Kelly.

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