Tonight, I have the honor of introducing our amazing Unwrapping His Grace reader who has graciously volunteered to share her story with all of us in hopes of encouraging other women in our UHG community who may be struggling in their journey as a wife, experienced the heartbreak of miscarriage, or living through the adoption process or even just discovering God’s plan for your life.
I am so blessed to introduce Spring Lemley to all of you!
My name is Spring Lemley, I am about to be 38 years young. I am a wife and mother and homemaker to the most amazing husband and kids. My husband David and I have been married 17 years, and our children are 26, 21, 8, 7, 4, and twin 14 month olds. We also have 5 grandchildren, 10 and under. We have been down many roads in our years. We are a military family. We have been foster parents for 10 years. We are a family who has been formed through Adoption, all our children are adopted after years of vaginismus, infertility, and miscarriage. I love all kinds of crafts, photography, and spending time loving on and celebrating the family God is giving us!
Here is my story…
I often wonder how God determines the roads we all have to walk. What struggles He gives to who. I had a rough childhood. The youngest of four children. Mom going from man to man, relationship to relationship, house to house. We moved more then most. My dad was a wanderer, he was never around. And when he was, it was for very short periods of time. I was 11 when he walked out one day and the next time I heard from he I was going off to college.
My older sister got pregnant at a young age, both my brothers got women pregnant before they were 16 and all my siblings were into drugs and drinking. I saw early in life how destructive their lives were and decided I would not walk the same walk. I did well at school and graduated, first in my family to graduate, and went off to college. I became a Christian at age sixteen, got baptized the summer of 1994. I stayed away from sex.
I loved college. Had a great time. I went to a Andrews University, in Berrien Spring MI. It was a Christian College. I had a great roommate, she is still my best friend. I studied hard. Got pretty good grades. The summer after my freshman year I went to a youth camp as a counselor at the request of my best friend and she introduced me to this amazing man I now call my Husband.
My growing up, that’s a story of its own. What I really want to write about is after June 2, 1996. That was the day I went from Spring Graves to Spring Lemley.
Let me tell you a little about my husband. His name is David and he is the most amazing man I have ever met. He is handsome and loving. He is a hard worker and a wonderful provider. And the best thing is that he loves and worships God. He has a love for God that he shares with everyone around him.
( first picture is us on our wedding day, second and third pictures are recent within the last year or so)
We just recently celebrated our 17th anniversary. I still can’t believe it. God really protected us. We have had many things to deal with in our lives. It seems like nothing ever comes easy for me. Anything ever worth anything in my life was just a gift from God showing me His love. In the early years of being a Christian, I played at it. I read and did what I was suppose to do. I loved God. But the road we traveled down had many bumps in it.
In our early years, we struggled financially. Trying to juggle marriage, 2 full-time jobs, and full-time school. It didn’t work very well, so David made the decision to join the Coast Guard. It definitely had its up , as well as its downs. Financially we were good, but we have moved several time. I love moving and seeing and exploring new places. But we leave our lives every few years or so and head out on a new journey, having to find a new Church and friends, and a place to fit in.
On our 2nd full move, we moved to Kodiak, AK. We loved Kodiak. It was beautiful. But that is where our biggest blocks hit. We had our first failed adoption and our first foster placement all within the first year we were there. The failed adoption of a baby girl we were chosen to adopt. And the foster placement of a sixteen year old girl AND her one year old son. I was dealing with so much inside that I just stopped dealing. I closed off from everyone, including my husband. As time went on, we bandaged our problems and went on like we were a happy couple.
After another move, this time to Washington, taking our now eighteen year old daughter and three year old grandson with us. We moved on with life. Now going back a bit, I was sexually abused as a child and because of that it caused some trauma. My husband and I were unable to have intercourse. We were married nine years before we were able to fully able to finish that. I was so embarrassed but I finally went to the doc. I was diagnosed with Vaginismis. I had to do therapy for months to be able to fix it. In that time, my husband got tired of waiting and developed a porn habit. I was at the end of my therapy when it all come to light.
Long story short, we both got counseling and then marriage counseling and found our way back to each other. God healed us and brought us back together.
So this is nine years of people asking when we were having kids. So we began trying and got pregnant. That was our first miscarriage. In the following years, we had eight more miscarriages. As I said, we have been married seventeen years. We have an amazing life. We have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Both who started as foster placements, but turned into forever daughters. (One legally adopted, one unofficially adopted.)
Upon moving to California, we immediately found an adoption agency and got licensed as foster parents and got our adoption home study done. It wasn’t but a few weeks and we were chosen as a forever home for a sibling set. Our sons are now eight, seven, and four. God has blessed us with our forever family. But we are not done yet, David and I have dreamed of a large family for years and we waited so long. We are back with another placement, hoping that we can adopt our lil guys. We had our plans for our family, God has His plan.
Thank you SO much for opening your heart and sharing the struggles and victories in your life journey with the Lord, Spring!
God has a very special plan for each of our lives! And in addition to that, we are all in different places in our life journey and our journeys with the Lord. God gives each of us our own stories and opportunities to share how He walks with us or carries us through the very real and messy struggles of life so that we can testify to His transforming grace and power in our lives. We are so blessed by the beautiful women, like Spring, who are so graciously sharing how God is transforming pain into beauty. His grace is sufficient…but that doesn’t mean it is always easy to live through.
How is God working in your life journey? Can you relate to Spring’s story? I know you will all give her the same respect and grace in your responses that you give to me and Gina Marie. We would love to hear your story! Will you share an example of how God is working in your life in the comments below? Are you struggling? We would be honored to pray for you.
All for His Glory,
Mary Joy and Spring
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