Our journey to parenthood was a long and challenging path. Brian and I were married in 2011 and always knew that we wanted to have children. We thought this would be a simple and stress-free process, but after a year of trying we discovered that it was going to take much longer to grow our family. After much prayer and consideration, we began IVF in 2015. We were scared and anxious but knew that God was leading us and guiding us forward.
We entered [the IVF] process excited and thought we would soon have our child. Wrong again. Cycle after cycle, retrieval after retrieval, and transfer after transfer, we continued to have chemical pregnancies and miscarriages. The winter of 2017 was our lowest point; having lost our beloved pet and having a failed IVF cycle on the same day. It would have been easy for us to give up; we certainly asked God “why” many times.
Despite the tears, sadness, and exhaustion, we both knew that God had instilled the desire in our hearts to be parents. We knew without a doubt that he would fulfill his promise in his time. We prayed constantly and heard him telling us not to give up, and so, we did not give up. Through the support of family, friends, and the faith we had in God, we were joyful to share that we were pregnant with our first child in 2018 and our daughter, Elisabeth Faith Malejan, was born in October 2018. When we were ready to think about having a second child, we took time to pray and listen for God’s guidance. We were blessed by God with quick results and became pregnant with our son, Luke Michael Malejan, in 2021.
Looking back on this story, there were so many times we became mad, angry, upset, jealous of other couples and often asking, “Why us?” It is with absolute certainty that our faithfulness to God and his steadfast love brought us through this journey to the miracles of our children. Brian and I prayed often during our journey and committed to each other that if God carried us through this then we would do our very best to ensure our children know how much they are loved by God and that they are true gifts from Heaven. We are grateful to stand here today and present our son, Luke, to be baptized because God has been faithful to us!
I was in middle school, attending church camp with a friend when I first came to know Jesus Christ and accept Him as my Lord and Savior. I was not, however, living with Him as the priority of my life. Not coming from a truly Christ-centered home, I did not have the reinforcement of faith that I needed and soon found myself searching once again for things to make me whole. It wasn’t until about 13 years ago that I had a true and lasting transformation in my heart.
I was working in the fitness industry as a model, attempting to build a true career in fitness, yet found myself tempted by peers in the industry to take jobs that objectified women more than helped them. A little over a year into my modeling career, I was convicted by a young girl online who was looking to live my kind of lifestyle. I felt very ashamed in that moment because what seemed to be all glamorous and fun had actually invited a lot of garbage into my life. I was constantly being solicited by men and although I was on covers of magazines, I was struggling to pay my mortgage. There in that moment I stopped and started praying about the opportunities that I had been given and what I could do with them to glorify God instead of squandering them selfishly. Through pursuing God again with all my heart, He opened my eyes to how the wrong direction in the modeling industry could be fueling addictions or harming marriages and that was not the type of person that I wanted to be. I decided then and there not to take any more jobs where I would not have control over the distribution of my image and how I was portrayed. God has since blessed that decision and for more than a decade I have had the pleasure of helping thousands of people improve their health and their lives.