From the Heart | Our Pregnancy Journey

footprints

It is with great apprehension that I (Jody) write the below. Zach and I are pretty open with our lives, and especially when we’re with people one-on-one, we’re very inclined to share things that maybe we wouldn’t necessarily share from the platform. However, our pregnancy journey to get to this point has been very personal and only a few close friends and family have been walking with us over this last year of the hardest struggles we have ever been through. The reason I have decided to share our story here is 1) I want you all to know where we are coming from. We treasure where we are right now and are who we are today because of what we have walked through, and 2) for those of you may have experienced what we have gone through, we want to let you know that you’re not alone, and that there is hope regardless of your circumstances.

Have you expected to get something and there’s never a question in your mind that you won’t get it? Kind of like going to sit on a chair… unless it looks really old and sketchy, you never doubt that a chair is going to hold you. I think of pregnancy like that for the majority of women. As soon as you see the two pink lines, in 9 months you’re expecting to have a baby whether you’re ready or not, and from then on out, you’re never the same! The planning, the dreaming , the lists are made, and you’re on a ride that will never slow down. That was us when we got our first positive pregnancy test in early 2012. “Holy cow! Soon we’ll be putting in reservations at restaurants and we’ll be Gray Party of Three.” After the 24 hour period it took for us to come to terms that we actually were pregnant (25 google searches “How to have a false positive pregnancy tests”) we were so pumped and I had no idea how fast our child would capture our hearts. No too long after finding out, we found ourselves in the doctor’s office with my OBGYN confirming what I had begun to suspect – we were losing our child.  Shortly after, we lost our child.

You hear the terms “blind-sided,” “caught off guard” but there are no appropriate words to describe the shock we felt over this happening. It was not even a POSSIBILITY that we would lose our child. My mom never had any miscarriages, my sister didn’t have any – all of their pregnancies were fine and great. How in the world could this be happening to us? It’s like any chair I go to sit in – I have every confidence that it will hold me, but this one collapsed under my weight after a minute of sitting in it while it mocks me saying, “Gotcha.”

I had heard of other women having miscarriages and it just kind of went in one ear and out the other and I have never thought too much about them. Now I know differently. I understand the devastation and sense of despairing loss that comes with a miscarriage.

So here we are, being taken on the biggest emotional roller coaster of our life when we lost our first child. To make a fairly long story short, it took a couple weeks for us to start recovering, and then a month after our loss we found out we were pregnant again. Six weeks into that pregnancy, we lost our 2nd child, and then 2 months later we had another bun in the oven. Everything looked great and we passed the mark where we has lost our last two pregnancies. We made it to our 9.5 week ultra sound feeling great with no indication anything was wrong, and moments into the ultrasound, our OBGYN begins to tell us that there is heartbeat.  We had lost a baby once again.  Child #3.  As we waited for my body to naturally miscarry, we prayed for 3 long weeks for a miracle only to have our hopes dashed at the end.

Going through a miscarriage once, sucks. Going through it twice, even suckier because you were hoping the first one was a fluke. Having a 3rd miscarriage… well, let’s just say it almost did me in. I can honestly say that that period was one of the darkest in my life. I had never felt so abandoned by God. So truly hopeless. I just didn’t get it. We prayed all the right things, we begged, we petitioned, we had our church elders and close friends standing with us in prayer, I had HUGE faith, I believed so hard! I knew my God was healer and the giver of life and could heal my baby…. But nothing. No answer. Just one more child of ours gone.

I honestly questioned my faith. Did I really believe in the God who I had known ever since I was a little girl? Was God and Christianity just a great security blanket when things were good and when things got only a little tough? I honestly didn’t know.

My saving grace was me being slotted to speak at a Christian women’s conference 3 weeks after our latest loss. I knew from the get-go I was supposed to be there and months prior I was already planning my talk. I was going to share about my one or two losses and then say “but look at me now! I’m pregnant again and have triumphed and God is so good!” but now I found myself in a really hard position after the latest loss – talking about faith to a group of women when I had none of my own. I thought about asking the Lord if he knew what he was doing but at that point, 1) I wasn’t sure if he even existed, and 2) if he did, I wasn’t talking to him anyway. Somehow, I knew I was supposed to still go, and I forged ahead slowly putting together my talk the few days leading up to the retreat.

I arrived the first day and I remember sitting in my room trying to polish my talk while sobbing, wondering if I would even be able to do this and get through it. The next morning, I got up to speak and let me tell you something – I walked up in front of all the women without hope and without faith and 45 minutes later walked away a different women. You see, as I stood in front of those women and shared honestly and with tons of vulnerability where I was at and shared the scriptures I knew as a little girl, and shared the bits and pieces that friends had been speaking over me and sharing with me during the last few weeks, I was changed. You see, the Bible has power. His word cuts through soul and spirit, joints and marrow (Heb 4:12 ASV ) and the tongue has the power of life and death (Prov 18L21). So as I was speaking truth and life, the Word was coming back to me and providing healing.

The retreat and the dear women there were definitely a turning point for me. The loss was still there, and will always be, but my faith was renewed. Over the course of time and continuing to dive into the truths of God’s word I have realized that in order to have healing, we don’t have to do a song and a dance or pray the right words so many times…we simply don’t. God already defeated death and sickness through the sacrifice of his son – it’s covered and already taken care of. Striving is the last thing we have to do as believers to get God to come through for us or give us the healing we are asking for.   Now why did all three of our children die? I don’t know. I’ll never have all the answers or claim to. All I know is that 1) God is in control. 2) He knows his plans for me. 3) His plans are to prosper and not to harm me and plans to give me a hope and a future (Jer 29:11) and 4) he calls me to trust him regardless of the circumstances.

I had a great devotional recommended to me by a sweet, sweet woman and the book is called “Streams in the Desert”( L. B. Cowman).

This was one of the entries:

“Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:2)”

A child of God was once overwhelmed by the number of afflictions that seemed to target her. As she walked past a vineyard during the rich glow of autumn, she noticed its untrimmed appearance and the abundance of leaves still on the vines. The ground had been overtaken by a tangle of weeds and grass and the entire place appeared totally unkempt. While she pondered the sight, the heavenly Gardener whispered such a precious message to her that she could not help but share t.

The message was this: “My dear child, are you questioning the number of trials in your life? Remember the vineyard and learn from it. The gardener stops pruning and trimming the vine or weeding the soil only when he expects nothing more from the vine during that season. He leaves it alone, because its fruitfulness is gone and further effort now would yield no profit. In the same way, freedom from suffering leads to uselessness. Do you not want me to stop pruning your life? Shall I leave you alone?”

Then her comforted heart cried, “no!”

Homera Homer-Dixon

It is the branch that bears the fruit,
That feels the knife,
To prune it for a larger growth,
A fuller life.

Though every budding twig be trimmed,
And every grace
Of swaying tendril, springing leaf,
May lose its place.

O you whose life of joy seems left,
With beauty shorn;
Whose aspirations lie in dust,
All bruised and torn,

Rejoice, though each desire, each dream
Each hope of thine
Will fall and fade; it is the hand
Of Love Devine

That hold the knife, that cuts and breaks
With tenderest touch,
That you, whose life has borne some fruit,
Might now bear much.

-Annie Johnson Flint

The final thing I learned is 5) My life is not about me and making Jody have the best life in the world. It’s about Christ and bringing glory to Him. Some of you may not understand that and it may make no sense, but all I can tell you is, I have hope.

We have a sweet couple that we know who has gone through their own difficulties of having children. One of her recent blog post shared their latest devastating loss with adoption. And she referenced a song by Ginny Owens that I have known for year, but the words are so fitting for the walk we have gone through.

The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear
And I don’t know the reasons why you brought me here.
But just because you love me the way that You do
I’m gonna walk through the valley if you want me to.

Cause I’m not who I was when I took my first step
And I’m clinging to the promise You’re not through with me yet.
So if all of these trials that bring me closer to You
Then I will go through the fire if you want me to.

And it may not be the way I would’ve chosen
When you lead me through a world that’s not my home
But you never said it would be easy
You only said I’d never go alone.

So when the whole world turns against me
And I’m all by myself
And I can’t hear you answer my cries for help
I’ll remember the suffering that your love put you through
And I will go through the valley if you want me to.

(Listen to the song here).

The loss of what we have gone through will never be forgotten – I know every single one of my due dates of when I should have been celebrating the birth of a child. Yes, it was hard for MONTHS to see other baby announcements and people’s baby bumps getting bigger. And then there’s the dreaded question, “When are you guys going to start trying?” and I think to myself “If only you knew.” But through and in it all, I began to trust and have confidence that my time would come, and we’re not alone in this, whether that would be bearing our own children or adopting… and praise God, it’s looking like I will finally be experiencing pregnancy in its fullest. God has this and is not through with me (or us) yet.

I never thought one miscarriage, much less three would ever be a part of my story, but it is, and someday I know our whole family will be reunited in heaven. Pregnancy to me is such a gift. I will never take for granted getting pregnant and being a mom and I hope for those of you out there who have kids with no struggles or problems, or have been “inconvenienced” with an unplanned pregnancy, that you thank the Lord that you can even have children. I know some women who would give their right arm, and probably more to be in your shoes. Enjoy it all – the weight gain, the morning sickness, the swollen ankles, the sexy pregnancy pants – everything. You have such a gift.

Thanks for reading and sharing on this journey with us.

– – – – –

If you would like to hear the talk that was shared at the women’s conference, email me at Jody@zachandjody.com and I would love to send you a link to download the MP3 of it.

134 thoughts on “From the Heart | Our Pregnancy Journey

  1. You are amazing! And the grace and anointing of God has his hand all over you! Praying protection, love and favor over your entire pregnancy and your family! I thank God for the platform The Lord has given you two! The Gospel is being preached even WITHOUT words! May it ever increase, souls won and Christ be glorified!

  2. So, I’m crying…b/c your family’s story is beautiful. I’ve only gotten to walk alongside you for the last year or so (and most of that through a distance) but when I have seen from you & in you is strength & beauty in its finest. As I read your post, it was a blessing to say “I was in that room that day” – and to remember vividly your heart being poured out in faithfulness…and how God used your story to bring so much hope to others who were suffering as well. That day, in my heart, I mourned alongside you. But today – I REJOICE REJOICE REJOICE with you!! Thank you J for being transparent that the joy, hope & healing of our Savior can be shared. 🙂 🙂 🙂 – Sincerely, Rebecca

  3. Absolutely overjoyed to read your blessed news! Thank you for sharing your journey thus far. Jer. 29:11 is an incredibly powerful verse, and within it are a few simple words that hearten me in difficult times: “… and NOT TO HARM YOU…” Those few words remind me that I may be facing hardship right now, but God’s plan is not to harm me.

    The Gray Party of Three will be in my prayers!

  4. “5) My life is not about me and making Jody have the best life in the world. It’s about Christ and bringing glory to Him.”

    Yes and Amen!

    O, Jody, I don’t even KNOW you and I wish I could give you a massive hug to thank you for this gorgeous testimony of God’s grace and provision. That’s EXACTLY what it’s all about. I’ll be praying for you, Zach, and your growing family 🙂

    Grace and Peace,
    Victoria

    (PS. You may glean encouragement from the testimony of Lauren Chandler, she’s Pastor Matt Chandler’s wife and they also went through a few miscarriages. She’s recorded an EP called “The Narrow Place” that is such a heartfelt crying out to God in times of need.)

  5. 5) My life is not about me and making Jody have the best life in the world. It’s about Christ and bringing glory to Him.

    Yes and Amen 🙂

    I wish I could give you a massive hug to thank you for this gorgeous testimony! God’s glory is EXACTLY what it’s all about. What a comfort in our struggles. Thank you for being so open and transparent, many will be blessed by your story! Praying for you, Zach, and your growing family.

    Grace and peace,
    Victoria

  6. Jody my heart breaks for your losses, but I rejoice with your testimony! In our 3.5 years trying to conceive, I have had 2 miscarriages, Maggie & Gabriel. Yes, they were early but I named them! The Lord has been amazing to us and taught us through all of the pain and heartache. I am so joyful for you two to be so far along and praise God for His faithfulness in giving you the desires of your heart!

    One day I’ll be making a similar post, but for now I’ll just keep letting God teach me what He wants to! Thank you for sharing your story!! There are too many women suffering in silence, and I know this will be a huge encouragement for them like it has been for me! If you ever have some downtime, you can check out my blog where I talk about loss and faith. Thank you again!!!! You both are incredible photographers too! 😀

    http://myheartsmusings.blogspot.com

  7. Hi! I attended one of your workshops in Houston at the end of October and was about 3 months into my pregnancy at that point. I’m sorry for your losses. I had 2 miscarriages prior to this pregnancy and felt the same as you described above. I pray that you will have a beautiful experience and enjoy the bliss that is the process of becoming parents. Throughout my pregnancy I felt like I couldn’t enjoy it to much because I was so aware of how it could be taken away but I continued to pray and know that His plan was in place. Our baby girl came 5 weeks early and again I was scared but she is home with us, we are healthy so far and continue to pray for and thank God for this amazing blessing. Much love to all 3 of you!!

  8. Woah, thank you for being so raw and real Jody. Even though we don’t know each other, I will be praying over your pregnancy! For a very healthy child. Our precious Lord is still good in the midst of so much trial. I’m so happy that you are 13 weeks!! Praise God!!

  9. My heart, my thoughts and prayers are coming your way. I have had 10 miscarriages…they never get easier, you never forget. You guys are totally blessed. We have given up, can’t take the pain. I completely get where your coming from about seeing other people who are due when you were….or I see children that are the age my kids should have been. I find myself questioning my faith….more so now than ever. My husband and I have taken in a 15 year old and a 10 year old….we are content with where we are….and now I am sick….praying for our own miracle…i hope this pregnancy is everything you ever dreamed it would be. God Bless.

    • Donna, I cannot imagine going through 10 miscarriages. I am so sorry for your losses and for what you guys have gone through and have been going through. We serve a big God and in Him, we always have hope… I pray to hear that someday you will give birth to your own child.

  10. Thank you for having the courage and the faith to share something so deeply personal and vulnerable. I have struggled with similar circumstances and feelings and I know so deeply the type of pain that comes with miscarriage. I am a mother of two now, 5 babies who never made it here on earth, and a bun in the oven who’s 11 week ultrasound is scheduled for today. I don’t know if the fear ever goes away. But I know that our God is faithful, and that he works for the good for those who love him and have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). I can’t tell you how many opportunities God has opened up because of the trials my husband and I have been through. He is faithful to use whatever hardships, struggles and pain Satan meant for evil for his glory. He is good all the time. I am so happy for you and Zach and I will be praying for you. 🙂

    • Janell, I believe after our 1st or 2nd loss, Jacq directed me to your blog when you had been brave enough to share about some of your own experiences. I am so sorry for your losses but SO excited for your current pregnancy!!!!! How did the US go?

  11. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Having tried for years to conceive, it’s nice to know I am not alone in my struggles. I cannot imagine having a positive pregnancy test, just to be let down, but I know that may be in my future. God bless you and your family. 🙂

  12. I love you so much Jo and I’m so proud to be your sister. You are going to be an amazing mom! Just think, in heaven you’ll have 3 more peanuts to take care of.

  13. Jody, I’m so sorry you had to walk through that. This entry has been a huge blessing to me, not that I’m going through anything as painful. But the words from the devotions and the song are such a beautiful reminder that God is with us no matter what we are going through.

  14. It was such a blessing when you two brought us dinner after Austin was born. Your story is heartbreaking but your trust in God is inspiring. I look forward to following your family’s blog!

  15. Jody, thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. I can completely understand where you are coming from. I am rejoicing with you and thankful for your vulnerability! Our journey towards starting a family has been almost identical. We got pregnant within a few months once we started trying, but we lost the baby around 5 1/2 weeks in January 2012. The thought of miscarriage had never even occurred to me to be a possibility. It took us weeks to even begin to process and heal from the loss, and I wrestled with it for months. We got pregnant unexpectedly again in June, but lost the baby again early on. From there, there was so much doubt and so many questions. I totally get the…”not sure if I could trust God, not sure if He was real, and if He was… I wasn’t talking to Him anyways.” Months and months went by. I was deemed to have fertility issues, but my husband lost his job, and we’ve had no money for tests of any sort. When did the thought of being infertile ever cross my mind? All around me, friends were showing off their double pink lines, baby bumps, and baby announcements with pride… and left and right, we were hearing, “When are you guys going to start having kids?” or “Hurry up, it’s your turn.” I have never felt so much darkness and despair. It truly was one of the darkest times of my life. I began to think we’d never have children. Your example of the chair makes so much sense-I think, as a female, you just kind of assume, getting pregnant and staying pregnant will be easy. It seems to be that way for so many people. Months and months and months went by. The Lord brought healing in places unexpected. He brought blessing. He brought peace. I finally rested. Then I found out I was pregnant. Now, we are 10 weeks along… but I haven’t had an ultrasound yet…. and I must admit, I am facing intense fears of going for our first ultrasound in two weeks only to find out there is no heartbeat. At this point, it’s a daily battle against fear… and knowing I need to trust God and rest in Him no matter what the circumstances may be. I will pray God’s fullest blessing and sustaining power on your little one- I hope that we are both blessed with the opportunity to experience pregnancy to its fullest. –Cati, from Grape Photography

    • Cati, you have been on my heart ever since I read your post. We waited until 7 wks until our first ultra sound with this pregnancy and then had an early US scheduled for 10.5 weeks because it was so hard not knowing if we had made it the furthest we had ever gone. Luckily, I have a very understanding and compassionate OBGYN. I know exactly what you are going through and have been praying for you. Sorry we are going to miss you guys at CONNECT. Next year!

  16. A friend of mine referred me to your site knowing what we’ve been going through. I feel your pain. After having 4 children it was such a shock to experience the loss of our fifth child. http://www.laughwithusblog.com/losing-my-baby-no-early-warning-signs/ None of my family had ever lost a baby either. A few months later I did get pregnant again and was able to carry this baby. Now just recently I was sent on another roller coaster ride. http://www.laughwithusblog.com/no-heartbeat/ Miscarriage happens so often, but few talk about it. I too wanted people to know they are not alone. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    • Esther,

      What an emotional roller coaster…. So sorry for your loss once again. Thanks for sharing that with me and others. Hug your kids a little tighter and I look forward to hearing some good news should God bless you with another child 🙂

  17. This blog, this post…. It is truly God working. Thank you for chasing after His heart and having the courage to be raw and real. You are truly blessing SO many people with your story. Can’t wait to follow along on your adventure!

  18. I so needed to hear this today as I myself have been struggling for 4 years (off & on, because of wedding season & our business we can only ‘try’ for 5 months or so each year) to even conceive. I feel I’m losing hope at this point – but your post and story renewed what little hope I have left. And I can absolutely relate – I can’t tell you how hard it is to constantly have people tell me, “Why aren’t you guys parents yet?!” “When are you going to start trying!” “Please have kids! Your kids will be so cute!” … when I also think… “if you only knew.” Anyway – thank you for helping me feel less alone. xoxo So happy for you!

    • C -I can only imagine how tough it has been trying for four years. It killed me having to wait 2 months to try again and then the dreaded wait when we didn’t conceive the first month trying and had to start the countdown of when we could start trying AGAIN. I cant imagine. My heart goes out to you. Just remember we serve a big God! Keep up the faith.

  19. Absolutely in tears, Jody. You have such a beautiful heart. I love your honesty… Because sometimes as Christians it’s hard to admit the stuff that just isn’t pleasant. I have always believed that babies are blessings… But reading this made me see that being without can also be a blessing.
    We are currently in a journey with infertility due to my PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). My whole adult life I was so concerned with NOT getting pregnant and then one day a doctor tells me the word “infertile”. Never have I wanted to be a mother more than I did at that moment with my husband in the waiting room.
    I was crushed and upset. But after a year of struggling I’m seeing that it’s making me hold tighter to Gods promises. I now love the fact that I know the chair will hold me as opposed to just expecting it to. And if God ever blesses us with a baby I can tell you right now that I will love that baby bigger than my heart thought possible! 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing. You really give us hope. And I am so excited for a little gray! You are gonna be beautifully pregnant and an amazing mama! xo!

    • Sara, so sorry for what you guys are going through. Just remember, it was the doctor that said you are infertile, not God! We serve a big God and as smart and wonderful doctors are, my God will win any day when it comes to healing 🙂 Don’t give up…

  20. I am a silent blog reader of yours (your photography one) and I think I exchanged tweets with you long time ago. Anyway, I had miscarriages, too so I do know what you feel. Thanks for sharing the vulnerability through this post — I wish I was that brave but I wasn’t at that time. I am happy that you are now carrying the gift of life again. Continue on praying… Hugs. Reach out to me, if you want to be mom-email-friends. 🙂

  21. Sweet Jody… thank you so much for sharing your struggles, pain and victory. I am too walking through an amazingly painful process that I can’t share with most people in my life… so I know all too well the energy it takes to smile, nod, thinking of something social acceptable to say and not break down and cry in the face of clueless people. I am praising God with you and Zach for your new sweet addition and rejoicing that you will one day get to hold the three sweet souls who are wrapped up in our Father’s arms waiting to see you! Everywhere I look today friends are talking about stories of God’s victory or quoting Jer. 29:11… Do you think God is telling me to hold on a bit longer? I don’t ever want to stop growing… even if I am exhausted from the growing pains. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you next and the crazy awesome way He is going to continue to use the growing Gray family!!! (((((HUGS)))))

    • Leah, so sorry for what you are going through and yes, keep holding on and when you can hold on no longer, it’s ok to let go because our Heavenly Father with catch and hold you. Big hugs. Check out James 2:1-5. God is doing a work in you! This is not in vein.

      • Thank you so much, Jody! I need that reminder that it’s ok to not be strong all the time… letting go is something God is teaching me. I know HIS plan will succeed… even I can’t mess it up. 😉 It’s good to know we’ve got a Daddy who will always be there to catch us, huh?

  22. WOW! I sit here with puffy eyes, a heavy heart and at the same time a joyful heart!
    God is definitely using your story to touch, help heal, bring light, renew hope and instill a stronger faith! At least I know it has more me!
    I can relate to planning and desiring something and never having this thought that I won’t have it! Although, my story looks different I can relate to feeling abandoned and not being friends with God (I sometimes put him in timeouts). Yet, his unconditional love is undeniable and I always come out stronger and realize I was never alone. He provides us with a support team, love and grace!
    I want to thank you and Zach for sharing your journey!!! Through this your little bundle of joy will be lifted up in prayer as well as you two! Plus, you have three little angels in heaven. God works in mysterious ways and your story is a great one! May it continue touching many lives!
    I look forward to reading more about your pregnancy and meeting your bundle of joy through pictures. Both of you have inspired me through photography and now on a personal level! Thank you again! Many blessings to the Gray’s +1!!!!

    • Miriam, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Ha ha, I love it when you wrote “I sometimes put him in timeouts.” Lol…. Thanks for being open 🙂 -J

  23. Jody, I could have almost written this post a few years ago. Your words brought back soapy emotions. I remember the pain of watching those bumps grow and getting those announcements. Of hearing when are y’all going to have a baby? It was on my mind a few weeks ago when I wrote this post http://brandibarnes.typepad.com/there_goes_my_life/2013/03/remembering-a-less-happy-time.html you will have such an appreciation for this little one. One you wouldn’t have otherwise. I will be praying fit you during this journey because I know the fear you will feel until he or she does arrive. So happy for you both. Congratulations!

  24. Thank you for sharing something so personal.. having gone through a miscarriage last year myself, this truly truly spoke to my heart. Thank you.
    God is so good to use us to bring glory to Himself, and He is totally using you guys to testify of His great love & power. Ill be Praying for you all. . Especially Junior Gray. 🙂

    • Ugh, I can’t imagine going through 6 losses. Thanks for sharing the link. You say this so well (one of many) “Those of us who carry the scars are a tightknit group, although we are often unaware of who is in the “club” with us…And, it’s only a club you can truly understand after you’ve been initiated.” Thank-you for sharing…

  25. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing isn’t it? While your road to children was harder than you anticipated, the love and joy you will feel for this child and the children to come for you will never be doubted, and will be celebrated for your whole lives. While this is true for many parents, I believe that folks who want a child so badly, and find themselves in hard times conceiving have a deeper understanding of just what a gift children are.
    I find much happiness that your community and your faith brought you through a dark time, and you found light at the end of your tunnel.

    Much joy to you and Zach, and little baby junior 🙂

  26. I love that you found your faith again, and that good news has come to the both of you. You will be in my prayers every night to have a sucessful full term pregnancy and a healthy little bundle of joy. Xoxoxox wishing you all the very best, I’m sure you both will be amazing parents!

  27. I loved your honesty! I cannot say I know how you feel, but as I read, I keep thinking of the words tho a song that has helped me so much, Blessings by Laura Story. I can’t say it any better than she does in the song. Especially read the testimony behind her song. God bless!

  28. Jody, thank you for sharing your story. You and Zach have been such an inspiration to me in your marriage and business, and now even through your sufferings. I am sooooo excited for you two! Your announcement caused me to grin and laugh like a silly person! May God’s light continue to shine through your lives as you enter this new and beautiful stage of life!

  29. My dearest Jody & Zach- praising God once again for your faithful hearts and your transparency of the goodness of God. I have followed you through the years and have always loved the heart and ministry you brought to your public platform.

    Our son Seth was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia at 4 months old and required a liver transplant… our happy, joyful, smiling baby was passing away before our eyes and we had no way to “help” him and save him. Being in ministry for years, serving God faithfully and living by biblical principles did not keep us from tragedy and hurt and heartache. I struggled, I cried out and I suffered to understand the word “sovereignty.” I wrestled with God and clung to Him and came near to Him in ways I never otherwise could have- I know any mother who has suffered on behalf of her child, born or in the womb, knows this place. That place where Christ is your very breath because you cannot breathe on your own.

    The glory that has been brought to God through our struggle has been an amazing testimony. Our son Seth was transplanted 1 week shy of his passing and he thrives and plays and lives with passion and purpose. I felt God minister to me during that time that Seth belonged to Him- I was to bring him to the altar, leave Seth there and allow God to take him or allow him to live, reminiscent of Genesis 22 with Abrahams’ beloved Isaac.

    Seth is 3 years post transplant and his life ministers and has been instrumental in prayer lives- to deepen with the truth of God and His hand in each of our lives. His story really brings it home- that place where hearts are reached and touched. Just like your story Zach and Jody.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your hearts and your journey when vulnerability is truly lost among communities of people hungry to be known. We all will be waiting with baited breath for this little one to arrive and the ministry that awaits you. What a blessing and honor to have read your post tonight.

    With love of the Agape kind,
    Samantha Fong

  30. My heart breaks with you for your losses, yet I rejoice with you in expectancy and hope as you look forward to a little blessing being added to your family. I will hold your family in prayer in this time, for health, faith, and abundant peace. God bless!

  31. Thanks for sharing this Jody. We have been trying for 5 1/2 years and its not easy when all your friends get pregnant and their kinds grow up around you. But reading your story gives me hope. And also renews my faith in the fact that we serve an awesome God and that we should keep on trusting Him even if things dont make sense. Lots of love, Heline x

    • Heline, so sorry for your own struggles. Praying that we will receive news that you guys are expecting and that you carry your precious child to full term!!

  32. Thank you so much for being so open and vulnerable about your experience. I am so encouraged by your faith and trust in our amazing God through such a difficult time! I experienced an ectopic pregnancy and felt so many of the same emotions you shared. Thank you, God for your Grace and mercy when we don’t understand and trust! I love how you have allowed your story to be used for his glory. I will be praying for your pregnancy. Congratulations! —Lisa

  33. Zach & Jody –
    Thank you for your sharing your heart, your journey and for keeping it real. My husband (Steve) and I have been down the road of loss with 5 miscarriages and 2 ectopic pregnancies. Never did we imagine such loss/grief would be a part of our journey. God saw us thru each loss and has brought us to a place of beauty from ashes. We know that place of questioning our Savior. We know that place of gut wrenching grief. We know that place of brokenness. We know that place of feeling abandoned. We know that place of pain & heartache. BUT – we had HOPE! We have Jesus! We trusted God with each new life. We trusted God to see us thru the long tearful nights. Joy has come and we rejoice in knowing that we will have a glorious reunion one day. We have four gifts to share life with today, seven in Heaven and now are in ministry as a Foster family for Covenant Care Adoption Services in GA. God is AMAZING & HIS plans are so much higher than I could have ever hoped for, dreamed for or even imagined. God has you all safe & secure in the palm of HIS hand – no better place to be! Trust HIS heart – He will NEVER let you go. Prayers for you – Rejoicing with you – (((((HUGS)))))

    Steve & Heidi Thompson
    Zachary, Alyssa, Madalyn, Isaac *Gabriella Hope, *Johnathan Marc, *Grace-Lynn, Isabella Rain, *Aaron Matthew, *Eternity Faith, *Autumn Grace, & (FB)Lexi, (FB)Kai, (FB)Joshua

  34. I remember your talk at the conference so vividly… and reading your story here both made me cry and take heart! How amazingly faithful God is…! Even in the darkest of times, His Word doesn’t return void. I’m so thankful to you for sharing your heart that day… for letting us cry with you, and letting Him speak to each of us in different ways through your words… to feel His hope, love and healing alongside you. He IS the Healer. Amen. ❤ I was SO excited for you and Zach when I saw your announcement go up on Facebook today!! What an incredible testimony. Thank you for being such an open, beautiful person! Your words will no doubt encourage and help so many. xoxo

  35. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am a wedding photographers too. And struggling with our own child bearing issues. We have been battling infertility. It’s an awful lonely road so it helps to hear other people’s story of hope. I am so sorry for your three miscarriages. I can’t imagine the heart ache.

    It’s unsettling to wonder if we will ever be able to conceive. And it’s getting heart wrenching to answer the question, “So when are you two going to have a baby?” People don’t understand the heart ache and frustration dealing with infertility.

    I hope you have a happy and healthy pregnancy! Cherish that little one when it debuts in November. I wish I could say I had one arriving then too.

  36. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! I cant quite see what I am typing for my tears, Jody. I am so sorry for your losses. I too miscarried but many years ago. We now have 12, 11, & 7 year olds. Such precious blessings.
    I couldn’t help but wonder where you were in your journey at WPPI-U in Atlanta, when I met you last year. I remember praying for you & Zach but mostly for safety & wisdom in presenting..so grateful that the Spirit intercedes. 🙂
    Your posts encouraged my heart and I am so thankful for the new life growing inside of you. Can’t wait to celebrate with you soon @ Connect!!

  37. We are so happy for you both!! Your challenges, dark paths of sorrow, and highest of highs are shared by more couples than I can imagine…. And we share them too. We have been “trying” since that wonderful day we celebrated our wedding with you guys. After about six months we discovered Stacia had low egg count and severe endometriosis. We thought our hopes of having kids were dashed because of our age (mid 30’s). Add to that the two miscarriages that Stacia had before we began dating and the equation began to clearly show an answer we were not ready accept. When we thought all options were exhausted my father recommended we speak to a friend of his from med school who specialized in fertility issues, Dr. Sherman Silber. He educated us on a version of IVF he calls mini IVF that makes a point to be as minimally invasive as possible. Now, with one more round left to go in June, and daily prayers that this process will be successful, we continue our journey. The path remains long and there are many trials ahead for us, but we hope and pray for you! We hope and ask for prayers on our own journey. What a world we live in, to have been enlightened by knowing such amazing people like the two of you. We will be thinking and praying for you and the health of your baby, your family, and the future that holds wonderful things for us all. Thank you for sharing your journey. With amazing love, great respect, and revered friendship. – Dan & Stacia

    • Daniel, so sorry for what you guys have been going through. You both will be in our thoughts and prayers and we can’t wait to hear the news from you guys that you are pregnant 🙂 We serve a big God…

  38. I usually pride myself on not being much of a crier…unless the Holy Soirit just grabs hold, but this gave me chills, and tears! Tears of hope, praise, and celebration!

    Maybe it sounds strange but your struggle you shared here, your doubt…I’m there…and I’ve never “known” a man or a pregnancy! Rather I was there. Not about a baby (though I’ve always wanted at least 2boys & 2 girls), but about my match, my best friend, my earthly beloved.

    It’s refreshing and uplifting to know I’m not alone, different circumstances and desires, but grief, sorrow, and pain! Thank you for the transparency, and reminding me, a stranger and fellow photographer, we’re never alone.

    You reminded me im not the only one who, no matter how many scriptures they know and cling to, can still doubt and ask God “Why?”. For me it’s a straight 30 year stretch of struggling with being single, no relationship ever, a longing and desire nothing else can fill because its not supposed to, and so tired of being earthly alone that you spend hours begging, pleading, bartering for God to just bring that missing piece…to fulfill that desire. You reminded me its ok, and strengthening, to search for answers that don’t come. I found too that it’s ok to plead for a desire to be filled that’s so strong you pray He just takes it away if it cant come now. You reminded me that we will always come out on the other side stronger, wiser, and more faithful than ever before! I’m still walking through my valley, but the end to the struggle will end someday….for that day and that day alone I’m already giving thanks and rejoicing! For me and for you all!!

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m certain you all don’t have a perfect marriage, no one does, but I pray my future beloved believes and compliments me like you & Zach compliment each other…I’ve never met you all, but yet I love you and your passion that flows freely.

    It may not be something we ever thought would happen when we heeded this calling to step behind a camera and use this gift to capture God’s creation, but we’re role models for a starving, hurting, world…you all as a Christian couple, and me as “The Impatiently Patient Single” ( my blog surname LOL).

    Thank you for sharing and opening up. I’ve found in writing my personal blog that THAT is what non-believers need and want most…to know that we struggle; that our lives aren’t rainbows & butterflies and chanting Jeremiah 29:11 all.the.time….they need and want to know we’re not perfect, BUT that we trust the One who IS perfect to bring us through the storm just as He promises He will.

    I hope that makes sense! I couldn’t sleep so I started catching up on my social media from the day, and stumbled upon this….I now know why I couldn’t sleep. I had a Devine appointment with your story. So, here’s a giant virtual hug from me to you all…and baby Gray…one truly blessed and loved baby already!

    Praying and believing for you all,

    Braska Jennea G.

    • Braska – Wow, thank you for what you wrote. So sorry for your own turmoil that you have been going through. Hang in there and stay strong. Brings to mind a passage that a dear mother figure shared with me (James 1:2-4) “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Not lacking ANYthing. Hold that to heart and continue seeking the lord. Big hugs, my sister in Christ!

  39. That was heart-wrenching and beautiful Jody. Your story of shaken faith throughout these difficult times was extremely raw and God-honoring. Thank you for sharing your story, and for being open about your struggles and life.

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