A few weeks ago I lost my grandfather unexpectedly. It literally rocked me to the core just like the unexpected death of my grandmother 3 years ago. But, this time, I decided I would keep working instead of covering my head with blankets and hiding from the world. 6 days after that very sad day and a week full of grief I got to catch up with an old High School buddy and his wife, Sarah. We were celebrating LIFE. We were celebrating life in a way I hadn’t truly celebrated it before. I know it had a little to do with my grandfather’s death and a lot to do with their story. We talked, we laughed, we cried.
It was an amazing evening getting to know my old friend for who he is today. And, what a joy it was to get to know his beautiful wife, Sarah. An evening spent focusing on faith, hope and love was just about the best thing for my soul. I’m humbled to play this part in capturing their life. This beautiful life they have waited so long for.
Dear Riah, Mrs. Sara can’t wait to meet you! We are going to the best of friends. I just know it!
Six years ago when we were married I never expected to struggle so hard to grow our family. It just seemed like one of those things that happens. You get married, you buy a home, you have some kids, and life moves forward. It never crossed my mind that there would be such hardship in something that was supposed to be a “fun”part of marriage. We learned early on that it wasn’t going to be an easy road for us. I accepted the struggle as just a season of life that we would go through together and I knew there would be ups and downs. Of course, I never expected to see so many pregnancy tests in a trashcan, but that’s another story.
My wife , Sarah, has had a burning desire to be a mother for as long as I can remember. And as far as I can tell, she will be the best mother on earth. I can’t imagine being taken care of, supported, or loved any better than the way she does it. She is simply an incredible human that I am blessed to call my best friend, business partner, and wife. Being a worship pastor at a church, you are expected to handle all trials with faith and hope. Or at least that’s what I told myself. But the truth is, pain hurts us all. Nobody is exempt from the feelings of loss and sadness. Long roads are long for everyone and I was no different.
In the beginning, it started with running tests. Which one of us had the “issue?” And then came “how do we fix it?” Surgery, tests, tests, more tests, money, more money, pray, pray, pray, cry, cry, cry. This seemed to be our holding pattern for a long time. After we had exhausted our normal doctor’s resources we decided, after many nights of wrestling with it, to head to the Nashville Fertility Clinic. Frankly, I had absolutely no idea how we would cover the costs. 6 IUI’s and 2 miscarriages later, we were broken. Devastated. I had no idea how to help the woman I loved cope with this. All I could do was pray. I knew we would have a baby. I felt it. I believed it so badly that I could see it. This is where the amazing friends we have come in to play. A massive yard sale is planned. So many friends and family donated items that I filled up a 26 foot U-haul, 3 times in one day. It was unbelievable. That yard sale payed for 1/3 of our IVF.
I never dreamed that I would have to give my wife a shot in her rear for so many weeks. Night after night, cheek to cheek, hormone after hormone, she handled it like a champ. And this needle is not your average tiny needle. This bad boy was 18 gauge. It was beefy.
Hope has become the word of our family. Hope has become our mentality. This world has nothing to offer us in that area. There were so many days where we didn’t believe it would happen. We were beaten down, but we kept trying. We never gave up. This was what we wanted more than anything. The amazing thing is that my baby boy, Zachariah Alexander, will be here in less than 8 weeks. My wife’s faith has grown by leaps and bounds, as has mine. The road was long, but worth the trip. Looking back, I see God’s hand and timing in all of this. I’ve watched the girl I married turn into a mature, God fearing, funny MOM. She has come through what is possibly one of the hardest trials for a woman to battle. She clung to hope. She fought without giving up. She is my hero, and I can’t imagine anyone else being my son’s mother.
I’m thankful for Sara Rose. Thank you for sharing our story, for being a part of our lives, and for capturing these pictures of the world’s most beautiful woman, inside and out.