“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
An organization gearing to support women and couples who have struggled with infertility will launch its chapter in Nacogdoches Tuesday evening from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at 3524 NE Stallings Drive.
Waiting in Hope, a “non-profit ministry that encourages, supports and embraces those struggling through the grief of difficulty conceiving, miscarriage, adoption or prolonged waiting,” was launched after married duo Kelley and Justin Ramsey struggled to grow their family.
Six years ago the Ramseys started on the journey to add children to their family. But month after month turned into years and no signs of pregnancy turned into disappointments and heartache. The couple soon found themselves in front of a specialist where they learned their journey to parenthood would be more difficult than expected.
“The further along we got into our journey of waiting, the more our hope slowly began to fade away,” Justin said. “After more than a year of fertility treatments and a miscarriage, our disappointment had turned into frustration, which eventually led to anger. We struggled with bitterness toward each other and jealousy toward our friends who were getting pregnant easily, and often during their first month of trying, and some who were not even trying at all.”
However, things began to change when the couple started to have hope in their faith of Jesus, Kelley said.
“When life gets hard, hope can become a steady companion in seasons of waiting, longing and trusting in the promises his (Jesus) word gives us,” she said. “Hebrews 6:19 promises: ‘We have this hope in the Lord as an anchor for the soul.'”
As Justin and Kelley’s faith strengthened, the couple soon found a desire to help others traveling down a similar path. That is when Waiting in Hope was founded.
“We believe there is hope to be found during the season of waiting. We also know that authentic, life-giving help can come from others walking this journey together,” Kelley said.
After four years of struggling to conceive, the Ramseys welcomed their first son in January 2013. They welcomed their second son in 2015.
WiH soon grew beyond meeting in their church every other week to hosting large gathering events for couples, online support Facebook Live chats, and then becoming established as a non-profit.
“Each time we look into the big blue eyes of our boys, we are reminded why we feel led to help others find hope,” Kelley said. ” The ache of the babies lost is still there; that will never go away. However, the legacy of the loss is this ministry that now supports hundreds of women who are dealing with or have dealt with infertility, miscarriage, adoption or prolonged waiting.”
Waiting in Hope staff are currently training leaders in preparation of launching several new groups starting in 2017, including Nacogdoches, another central Houston group and Atlanta, Georgia. The organization seeks to partner with local leaders who desire to use their personal story to minister to others going through infertility. They will work with the WiH national team to establish a location to host the bi-weekly WiH women’s support group, as well as organizing couple’s dinners, community outreach programs and other local events that will connect these women and couples with each other.
“Our prayer is that these groups and our annual events would be a source of hope, strength, insight, freedom and honest heartfelt encouragement to those walking through what can feel like a very long and rocky path,” Kelley said. “We want them to know that they are not alone in this journey.”
There is also private group on Facebook where WiH officials hosts Live Chats called Waiting in Hope Chats, which allow women to connect with one another.
This is a story of hope redefined, Kelley said.
“Pray for the couples going through this that you know or don’t know. Pray for their hearts to be focused on the source of all comfort and hope especially since those with extended seasons of trying to conceive are becoming much more common. Pray for this growing ministry and its effectiveness to lovingly point to Jesus as their only hope, regardless of a baby or not,” she added. “With support and love, couples can find that hope is very much alive and can be seen, as well as felt. We aim to not simply wait within our infertility, but we wait with and in the hope of the Lord.”
- Megan Whitworth is the former creative director of Texas Forest Country Living. Growing up in East Texas, Megan discovered her love of writing at the age of 11, writing song lyrics and poetry, which turned into essays and articles for publications around East Texas. She later added photography into the mix capturing Friday night football games, the latest fashion looks, and portraits of people around the nation. Megan enjoys karaoke, blogging, reading, and road trips. She resides in Lufkin with her husband, Ryan, and two cats, Felix and Lucy.