"God is in this, regardless of the outcome"
"God is in this, regardless of the outcome"
8 May 2020
In this interview with Kym Briggs from The Salvation Army at Menai, Salvationists Jessica and Joel Campbell share what God revealed to them during their IVF journey.
Kym: After about three-and-a-half years of being married, you guys started trying for a family and after about a year you found out that you were unable to conceive naturally, so you started on the IVF journey. Tell us a little bit about that.
Jess: This was a journey that we weren’t expecting to ever have to go on. We can say now on the other side of it that we are really grateful to have been on it because it’s brought us so much closer, it’s strengthened our faith. But at the start of this journey, that is definitely not what I was thinking! I remember being really stressed before we even made the choice to actually proceed and start IVF, and a really good friend sent me a verse which gave me so much comfort during this time. It was ‘For God is not a God of disorder but of peace’. And it came at a time when we had quite a few options and we were struggling to pick the right one for us. And that verse really kind of centred us and reminded us of what is really important in this – not the end result, but that God is really important through all of this … There were just countless moments like that throughout this time that reminded us that God was with us throughout what was happening.
Kym: I heard echidnas were an important part of your journey. Tell us about this, Joel!
Joel: On the very first day that we found out we couldn’t have kids, naturally it was really tough and we just decided to go on a bushwalk, and we were sitting on a rock and just praying and chatting and just trying to work through that news and we heard a rustle in the bush, and we looked around and we saw an echidna. But the thing is, every time (and Jess talked about key moments or key dates), every time we got this new bit of information we would go for a bushwalk and we saw this echidna! And it was just this continual reminder of: ‘God’s in this.’ No matter if in the end we were going to have kids or not, God was going to be amongst that. For us, echidnas will forever be a reminder that God is in it no matter what.
Kym: During the IVF process were there any challenges along the way?
Jess: We were successful after our first round of IVF and we fell pregnant and we thought ‘How amazing, what a miracle – we are so blessed!’ And every night we would be praising God and praying for this beautiful life that we’d been given. But unfortunately at seven weeks we found out that we’d had a miscarriage and that really knocked us. We couldn’t understand why we would go through all of this for it to work and then for that to happen. It was a really heartbreaking time and the last thing we felt like was doing was coming to God. And again, we were just so lucky that we had friends who were encouraging us to just keep turning to God in those times. And I’m so glad I did. That day in my devotions there was a perfect message which said: ‘When nothing goes right and the unexpected happens, that’s the perfect time to renew your hope in Jesus and to expect miracles.’ And even though we did have our challenges throughout that journey, I think what God taught us through all of this was that it wasn’t about the end result, it was about feeling more of God’s presence, drawing closer to him, learning more about him, growing personally in our relationship with each other but most importantly, our relationship with God.
Kym: Joel, how did being a Christian and having a relationship with God help you during this time?
Joel: It definitely rocked us. It shook us, in terms of asking the questions about ‘why’? Why was this going on? One key moment was that my boss, he just sent me a video to a worship song, and it’s called Take Courage and it talked about the fact that it’s in the waiting. For that, there is so many times through every appointment, and just waiting to hear what was happening, those words just kept ringing in my ears, so whether it was music or certain Bible verses, we just kept holding onto those things to get us through it.
Kym: Everyone’s IVF journey is different, and sometimes it’s successful and sometimes, sadly, it’s not. Eighteen months down the track what is the update for you guys?
Jess: We were extremely blessed, we had a beautiful baby girl named Hazel who was born in December last year and we are loving every minute with her.
* This interview was is featured on The Salvation Army’s Shire Salvos Facebook and You Tube page. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/Olv4X_pv-DI