Goodness in Bravery by Whitney

Hello friends! My name is Whitney Van Matre. I am enjoying the last year in my twenties with much joy IMG_3103and excitement. I look forward to facing my thirties with courage and brevity. My life forever changed for the good when I met my husband Jordan in 2008. We both attended Liberty University and quickly fell in love. In August of 2010 we were married and will celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary this August. My husband is an attorney in the Atlanta area and I have the privilege to work at the Chick-fil-A corporate office in the training department.

We love our sweet community here in the metro-Atlanta area and value the depth and candor that it brings. The Lord has used this community to show us His character in a very real and tangible way. A special thank you to my friend and sister Kailey for leveraging this blog to encourage women across the globe to be brave even when the path is uncertain.

When I think about the Lord’s work in my life, one word rings true: goodness. The Lord is good even when He orchestrates our life differently than we planned.

At the young age of five, I lost my mother suddenly after a routine hysterectomy leaving behind her husband, my brother, my sister, and me. This was the first strike of tragedy to hit our family. As a young child, I can remember feeling sadness and seeing the mourning in the eyes of my mom’s friends, siblings, mom, aunt, etc. As a 29 year old, I experience her loss more today than ever before. Following her death, my family experienced turmoil that resulted in the separation of my siblings and me from my father.

Again – tragedy struck our family.

When I think about those dark, scary days, I remember the hand of the Lord navigating us {in His goodness} through those harsh realities. But God interceded allowed me to be a victor through Him rather than a victim. It was at the age of ten, that my aunt and uncle took full custody of me and began investing in me spiritually. It was under their care that I accepted the Lord as my personal Lord and Savior. His goodness saved me – rescued me – from the despair that life was telling me I had to accept.

Long after graduating high school, college, and marrying my very best friend, I was faced with another opportunity to experienced God’s goodness through tragedy – this time in the deepest parts of who I am as woman – my journey to motherhood.

Two years into blissful marriage, WE determined that it was time WE needed to have children. Is that not how we operate? We want to define for God His plans for us. It was then that the Lord began to teach me about surrender…..beautiful, ugly, painful surrender. After 2.5 years pursuing parenthood naturally {and with the help of physicians}, I realized that MY journey to parenthood was robbing us from living. It was robbing us from experiencing the goodness of the Lord. It was robbing us from experiencing one of the greatest gifts: adoption.

As someone who was adopted by family members, who has adopted nephews, and who had a deep desire to “one day” adopt, I felt the Lord’s prompting about a year into trying to conceive. However, the Lord had to, in His perfect time prepare our hearts for our baby boy who was being conceived in his mommy’s womb while being conceived in our hearts.

Friends – the Lord is good. He is good even when we can’t see His goodness. He is good even when our circumstances demand otherwise. He is good.

In November, we experienced joy unspeakable when we accepted the Lord’s prompting to pursue adoption. We raised the majority of our funds in just four short months. This expedited timeline was because our son would be in our arms within six months! Through the fundraising, we were reminder over and over again that His ways are higher than our ways. He revealed His goodness in the waiting.

On April 12th we made initial connection with our birth mom through a third party. On April 20th, we were told the magical words we waited months to hear – YOU ARE GOING TO BE PARENTS! The joy was overwhelming and we did not have to wait long. Baby girl would make her grand entrance on May 3rd! I love how God works. As you can imagine, we went crazy buying lots of pink, bows, and monogrammed outfits as we prepared for our daughter.

On May 14th, our SON – yes you heard right – our son was born. I {again} rushed to the store to load up on baby blue and off we went to meet our sweet baby boy. Jordan Kennedy entered the world weighing 8lbs 5ozs and 21 inches long. Kennedy officially became our son on May 15th. Our hearts are so overwhelmed with love, gratitude, praise, and humility. When we look into the eyes of our son, we see God’s goodness.

Be brave! We are victors through Him!

Comments

  1. Wow! Thanks for being so transparent! God is so good! I’m so sorry for the loss and tragedy with your mom, but so thankful you had so many who adopted you and helped take care of you! Congrats on your son!!!

  2. Your story is so touching. I wish you and your family nothing but happiness and love in your journey into parenthood.

  3. What an amazing story! Thanks for sharing!

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