san diego portraits | mr. & mrs. goodman

oof.

i have sat here thinking about how to start writing this blog for a while now. i know it was coming for a couple weeks. actually i knew it was coming the moment in august when i got a phone call from my dear friend trisha telling me something the doctors had told her would never happen: bethany, im pregnant.

background:
six years ago, in the midst of a chaotic and lost season of my life, i met a coworker who God would use to help draw me out of such a dark time in my early-twenties. unable to see the significance of her friendship at first, we gradually became friends. later she said it was my dance moves that made her want to be my friend [the running-man gets her every time]. trisha played a pivotal role in my life. like a mother, she encouraged me and called me out on terrible choices that i was making. and even in the midst of my rebellion, she loved me and patiently waited as God worked in my heart. if you are blessed to know trisha, you know that there is not anyone else more encouraging and loving than she is. she encompasses so much love for people. within the six years i have known her, she has mentored endless amounts of girls in her youth group and even women who had recently got out of prison and were reuniting with their own children. it is, in essence, her spiritual gift. she is a mother to so many.

the words, the best guesses, the comments:
if you are married and old enough to produce a child, you know the constant “are you trying?” or “do you want kids soon?” can be a very annoying and ridiculous common and repetitive topic of conversation that you face. and although some don’t mind answering these questions, for others, it can be a reminder of their social short-comings as a woman.

it was around their second anniversary that my dear trishie and yeshua [my loving & foreshadowed nickname for him is actually “papa”] decided to start a family. unbeknownest to them, it would be one of the most difficult, arduous trials to face. while her friends were having baby showers for their first second baby, trisha faced the doctor’s best guesses orders on what she needed to do to increase her chance of pregnancy. but with her history of severe endometriosis & unsuccessful surgeries the doctors were convinced that she would never get pregnant. broken-hearted, both trisha and papa were at a loss. they knew that God gave them the burning desire to be parents and trisha was born to be a mother to everyone [in the best sense of the word]. the doctor presented two last medical options for them to take: one way too expensive option and one option with a low chance of success.

of course the loving ignorant and hurtful comments kept circling in as well. why can’t you do something that every woman is supposed to do? don’t you guys want kids? trisha, you are in your 30’s you dont have much time. the worst being when trisha’s coworker asked her when she was just going to give up. words that cut deep into the heart of a woman who was a loving mother to so many people throughout her life.

finding solace in the midst of pain:
trisha did what she could to find peace in her situation. she continued to encourage and love on women who were facing the same infertility battles. she continued to be a mentor/second mom to her jr. highers in her church youth group and to other women, such as myself. meanwhile, she continued to praise and trust God for His faithfulness, despite her broken heart.

for four years, trisha & i have had conversations about her struggles with getting pregnant and how it affected her life, her friendships and her marriage. some of our last conversations i had with trisha were about how friendships change when one becomes pregnant. in a weird sense, the one without a baby somehow becomes not as much of a woman. it may not be verbally said, but it is unintentionally implied at times. in the midst of this, trishie lovingly said that if she ever became pregnant she promised never to make her child-less friends feel any less important because she knew how that felt…and jokingly she added that she would be able to hold a conversation that didn’t have to do with children. we also discussed the blessing of adoption…as i joked about her and papa’s adoption of my young-twenty-something self six years ago. i also cherish these raw conversations.

He opens and closes the womb:

shocked. as i paced around on the second-floor of my lake tahoe rental, tears filled up my eyes. my dear, precious friend let me know that despite the doctor’s words, before the last minute options began, during her six year anniversary, God had opened her womb. she was pregnant. naturally. it was a miracle. the doctors were shocked that it even happened. i was shocked at how Faithful God is. i had never been so close to a friend who battled infertilty like she did. one week prior we had prayed about it over the phone. and now, one week later, i praised Him for His faithfulness. “Lord, even with a high-risk pregnancy we are so thankful to know that you can open the womb that the doctor’s could not.”

the pregnancy, like before, has been equally challenging. when a medical professional mistakingly tells them that their baby has a rare disease, the Lord tells her to rest in Him. when waiting for results to come through, the Lord is whispering to her to trust in Him. when the world is telling her to react one way, she is trying to listen to the Creator of all things.

the moral of the story:

this is just one story of God’s faithfulness in a dear friend of mine.
there are countless other stories of motherhood that i could share.
miscarriages, adoption, being a non-biological mother to the motherless.

i share trisha’s story because this is a woman who for four years faced the comments, the ignorant friends, the short-comings, the terrible advice, the painful surgeries, the bad results, and saw God work through all of it. she understands how it is to be a loving mother to so many people and yet be treated as though she wasn’t worthy of motherhood. she knows the struggles of feeling like less of a woman. she understands how to rejoice with other’s blessings when you are wanting a blessing of your very own. and she wants to encourage all women that motherhood doesn’t take place when there is a baby in your belly, but can show itself in so many other ways in a woman’s life. but most importantly, she encourages women that no matter what, “wait on the Lord. He is Good and His timing is perfect”.

and i know this for a fact, even if she wasn’t having lil precious Zoe this spring, trisha would have left a legacy of being a mother to so many & because of that she is truly one of the greatest women i know.

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she knows how i feel about this photo below:
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i went ahead and gave zoe her middle name…
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