its positive

It’s Postive! Meredith Hodge

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Posted: April 8, 2018 by Ashley Ogle

Taylor and I started blogging about our journey just three months ago. In that short period of time, I have discovered this whole new world of Christian women (via Instagram!) who encourage and inspire each other as they walk through infertility and life. Meredith was one of the first women who left me a comment on our @Fertility_and_Faith account, and I immediately clicked on her link and read her blog. It was extremely inspiring, and has become one of my favorite blogs to read! Her posts are uplifting and Spirit-filled, and they bring me a lot of joy. I’m really, really excited to be sharing her story tonight on the blog! Plus, she’s also a Doodle mom, so that’s always a great reason to keep reading!

It's Positive
Meredith Hodge, Author of It’s Positive! Blog

1.     Tell us something about yourself that has nothing to do with infertility.

I am a fellow Doodle Mom! My husband Matt brought Rudy home as a surprise anniversary gift for me five years ago. He saw my pain and sadness in being unable to mother and love a child, and he knew I’d be a great fur mom in the waiting. Rudy is our pride and joy, and brings us immeasurable laughter and comfort. Because I am a freelance writer and am always home, Rudy is my constant companion! 

I also teach cooking and nutrition classes to elementary school kids after school once a week. It’s a blast! I love cooking and baking, and loving children through my giftedness is such a blessing. 

2.     What has your journey looked like? Share your story!

After we were married in 2009, we never prevented pregnancy. We assumed, like most people, that we would naturally get pregnant within a year. We weren’t actively trying to conceive until a couple of years later. After unsuccessfully getting pregnant, I was eventually diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women; it affects my fertility, but it affects my daily life — I struggle with extreme fatigue, random weight gain, fuzzy memory, anxiety, depression, and embarrassing cosmetic issues.

Matt and I explored two rounds of infertility treatments, including ovulation-inducing drugs (Femara) paired with two IUI’s. Both rounds “failed” with no detectable pregnancy. The doctors had no answers; I have “textbook” fallopian tubes and uterus, and everything seemingly looked okay. We initially planned to take a couple months break to relieve ourselves from the exhausting physical, emotional, and spiritual turmoil of trying to conceive. That break has now turned into a few years! We have seen the Lord grow us in unforeseen, mighty ways in this break period — and for now, we are going to press in and continue following his leading — which is to be still.

Our hope and prayer is that the Lord will fulfill the desires of our heart with a child; but in the meantime, and if the answer is “no,” we won’t stop proclaiming his goodness to all who will listen. 

3.     What has God taught you through this journey and through this time of waiting?

The Lord has taught me that his plans are far greater than my own, and that he truly is merciful, gracious, and active. I have grown to rely on the Lord — not doctors, not Google, not my friends and family — no, the Lord is the One who has given me rest, peace, contentment, and joy. Never did I imagine that I would feel so much freedom and joy in such a horrific circumstance. That is how I know the Lord’s Spirit is within me! He deserves all the glory, honor, and praise! From this journey has come my life verse from Philippians 4:11, which says in part: “For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” I pray that this verse touches other women to their core in this painful journey. Contentment is a beautiful thing that I’ll never take for granted.

Philipians 4:11

4.     If you could give advice to someone currently walking through this, what would you say to him/her?

Heed 1 Peter 5:7: Cast your cares on him, because he cares for you. Take your time; it may feel like your age and circumstances are weighed against you, but do not rush the process in impatience and fear. Examine your heart carefully to see where you need conviction and growth. See yourself in light of God’s mercies and his view of you, not how the world and our culture sees you as a childless person. You are so much more than a baby-making machine! You may be childless, but you are not less than anyone else — especially in God’s eyes!

5.     How has this journey affected your friendships, relationships, and marriage? 

I can truthfully say that infertility has strengthened my marriage. Matt has been absolutely 100% supportive; he’s never made me feel guilty or ashamed of what he’s had to endure on his end. He has stood by my side through hormone swings, fatigue, breakdowns, doctors visits, and procedures. He’s made me laugh time and time again, which has taken the seriousness out of the journey. Our love has truly grown throughout this process. We’re learning that our marriage comes first (after Christ!) — and the reality is, it may just always be the two of us (and Rudy), so we better nourish and treat our marriage as a priority.

With friendships, I’ve drawn closer to certain women and apart from others. I believe the Lord brings people into different seasons of life for different purposes. There have been varying levels of support or lack thereof, but I do my best to faithfully give grace to those who haven’t truly walked with us. I still enjoy going to baby showers and kids’ birthday parties — no envy or jealousy here! This isn’t to say there aren’t days where I am feel broken, sad, or like giving up. Some people just don’t get it and just won’t ever get it, and I’ve learned to give some extreme grace in the process.

Meredith Hodge
Meredith and Her Husband

6.     Tell us about your blog! It’s so inspiring and Christ centered. What inspired you to share your story and what good has come from it?

I created my blog, ItsPositiveLiving.com in 2015 with the mission to provide Gospel-centered encouragement to those struggling with infertility. For so long, I had participated in online forums and chat rooms, read surface level devotionals — but most of them left me feeling hopeless, empty, and isolated. Over time, the Lord has graciously revealed to me that infertility is not my identity. My identity is found in the saving grace of my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. I rejoice that not only can I say it, but I can believe and live it. He alone has given me an undeniable strength to overcome the sadness, grief, anger, and anxiety of this complex journey. My hope is for others to move out of their embarrassment and isolation, take steps toward growing our faith, and rest contently in the path our sovereign Creator has gifted us. This blog is evidence of his grace and transformation, and my heart’s primary desire is to see other women grow in Christlikeness and come to a saving faith in Jesus if they already haven’t. It’s an honor!

7.     Is there anything else you’d like to share? 

Sometimes I think there are women who come to my blog or Instagram and think I see the world through rose-colored glasses or that everything is confetti and unicorns. I’m not a wishful thinker or overly optimistic, nor am I numb to the deep pain of infertility. My encouragement is meant to be an example of the root meaning of “encouragement”: to bring into courage. We can’t rest in our misery for too long before it becomes all-consuming. I want to show women that there is, in fact, light and joy on the horizon. The pain of infertility may never truly be extinguished in our time on earth, but we have a Savior who is bigger and better!

 

If you want to read more of Meredith’s story, make sure to visit her blog at  ItsPositiveLiving.com. You can also find her on Instagram!

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