Purpose Beyond Motherhood

She Experienced With Sherelle Gilbert

October 01, 2020 Episode 29
Purpose Beyond Motherhood
She Experienced With Sherelle Gilbert
Show Notes Transcript

Sherelle is a Victim Advocacy Trainer and Family Advocate at National Children’s Advocacy Center in Huntsville, AL. She works with and offers support to families of children who’ve suffered abuse. She also is responsible for training other Victim and Family Advocates of Child Advocacy Centers around the world. In her spare time, Sherelle fosters her love for writing through her blog, She Experienced, where she shares her life's experiences with others in hopes to inspire them to do the same. Sherelle recently started a YouTube channel to further share her journey with infertility and to empower women to advocate for themselves and their reproductive health.

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Connect with Sherelle

[email protected]
www.sheexperienced.com
YouTube: She Experienced
IG: @sheexperienced
FB: She Experienced
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Nicole Clark :

Hey, what's up everyone? Can you believe it? It is October. So happy October. The end of the year is going to be here before we know it. But thank you so much for just joining me for another episode of shining light with Nicole. I'm Nicole. And it's a special month. Because as you know, this podcast is sponsored by Twelve 12 Ministries in October is infant and pregnancy loss Awareness Month. So all month long, we are going to be sharing stories of just hope and encouragement and just reminding everybody that you are not alone. So first up, I am so excited about this. We have Sherelle Gilbert with she experienced great conversation. Absolutely inspiring, and I cannot wait for you guys to hear her story. So here's my conversation with Sherelle Gilbert, and welcome to season three. Sherelle , welcome to the podcast.

Sherelle Gilbert :

Yay. So glad to be here. I really appreciate it.

Nicole Clark :

I am so excited about this, like really, really excited. So you guys, you know always have to give you a little backstory before we start. So Sherelle I've never met her before. And we really just connected on social media and Instagram. And she just has this amazing blog, amazing brand. And you know, just kind of connected through the infertility community. And you guys, I'm telling you what she is doing is just so encouraging, so beautiful. And just like if you are just having a hard time, and you need to be reminded of the goodness of God, and just see an example of just an amazing woman doing her thing all for the glory of God, you have got to check her out online, because she she is the real deal you guys. And I mean, we're going to talk about all the things that she does. But Sherelle, I just again, just had to tell you, you're so amazing at what you're doing, because you are making an impact.

Sherelle Gilbert :

Thank you.

Nicole Clark :

I'm just grateful. So, so grateful.

Sherelle Gilbert :

Appreciate it.

Nicole Clark :

Today, just on the episode we are just talking about she experienced. And I just have a couple of Bible verses that I'd love to read. And then I'm getting out of the way. So you can just share, you know, and just encourage us today. So Jeremiah 29:13 says, You will seek Me and find me when you search for me with all of your heart. And Romans 12:2 says, Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. So that you may discern what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God. And then Matthew 18:20 for where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them. And those Yeah, those Bible verses were really just on my heart because, you know, we we experience things, we're going to go through some things, and there is nothing like being led. And, you know, by by God, and there's nothing like going through something in a community of people who are there for you and care for you and and just you know, there to support you. So Sherelle, please tell everybody just about you. You know, and just all the things.

Sherelle Gilbert :

Yes. So, um, again, I just have to thank you for having me. This is so exciting. I'm over here you can't see me but I'm like smiling. I'm just so excited to be here. So, thank you for that. Um, so a little about me, my name is Sherelle Gilbert. I, um, by day, I am a victim advocacy trainer and family advocate for a for the National Children's Advocacy Center. So I am a social worker, you know, my background is in social work. I've been doing this for over 10 years. I I I love what I do. I really do. I love advocating for children and families. And that kind of segues into what I do on the side. Um, my blog is entitled she experienced I have been blogging for seven years. It really Just kind of started as a way for me to share different things that I was going through. And now it just kind of morphed into, you know, me sharing my fertility journey, not only through blogging, but also now through YouTube, I started my YouTube channel back in January. So I share my fertility journey there. I also write weekly devotionals that I send out via email. So I am a writer, I love to like I just love to share and just connect with people, especially in ways that I'm, you know, typically we don't, you know, typically ways that we don't talk or share. So I just, I love doing that. So that's, that's a little about me, I have a furbaby My dog is Cairo. I am married, um, my husband and I, which I'll talk a little bit more about later. But we are, you know, dealing with infertility. So that's a little about me.

Nicole Clark :

Yeah, thank you for sharing that. And do you mind? Can we go into, you know, a little bit just about your infertility story and journey?

Sherelle Gilbert :

Yes. So my husband and I have been married for seven years. And we, we started trying to have a baby, we were trying, but not trying, I would say probably 2015. And, you know, after they say, after six months to a year of trying, and you don't get pregnant then to, you know, seek, you know, to seek help, basically. So, for me, I noticed that we have been trying for it was over a year and nothing happened. And I had, you know, just a couple friends who had encouraged me to, you know, go get tested or seek help, you know, just to find out what's going on if there's anything going on. But I I just wasn't ready to do that, you know, I just kind of ignored that. I was like, no, maybe it's nothing, maybe it'll happen, and I just kind of ignored it. And I know that a lot of times when you know, God is urging us to do something or nudging us to do something, and he may not just through somebody else, or through you know, scripture or whatever, um, a lot of times that we may ignore it. And then he may present something to you where you just can't ignore it. And that's what happened for me. I remember one day I left work and I was getting ready to go to church for a meeting. And I stopped at a store, I was kind of doing a little shopping, and I had this stomach pain. And it was so bad that I couldn't even finish shopping. Like I left my shopping cart at the store, I went to my car, I ran to my car, and I just lay down in my car like this stomach pain was so bad. And it was similar to something that I've experienced before. When I was younger, I had ovarian cysts that had ruptured, and the pain was similar to that. So I assume like maybe I had another cyst, and it ruptured. And this is what it is. So I um, I continued, I went on ahead to the meeting that I had at church, despite, you know, experiencing the pain that I was going through. And, um, I remember in the meeting, they were like, you know, you need to go home or you need to go to the hospital like this is not okay. And I was like, No, I'll be alright. And I remember going home. And, uh, you know, told my husband what was going on? He's like, well, if this is not, you know, subside, they were going to the hospital. I'm like, No, just let me rest and I promise I'll be okay. And then also, I had a gynecology appointment, two days later, so I was like, I'm going to see my doctor anyway. So you know, I can let her know what's going on. And, you know, we'll Everything will be fine. So that night, you know, the pain subsided and I, you know, just kind of went on about my day, the next day, and then I went to see my doctor. It was a Thursday and told her about that. So she's like, I'm okay, so she's like, well, let's do some ultrasounds. Let's find out what's going on. Also, she was like, I know, you guys, you told me that you guys heard have been trying, you know, how long has it been? And I was like, it's been over a year. So she's like, Okay, so we're gonna run some tests. So that's pretty much when everything began, you know, I had been avoiding this and then it was like this physical pain, you know, is is another nudge from God to go ahead and speak up and figure out what's going on. So that pretty much started this whole thing. You know, um, after the test, it was like, you may possibly have endometriosis. We probably see some fibroids that might be there. That could be the reason why you haven't gotten pregnant and it was literally like a month of testing and blood work and ultrasounds that just, you know, started this this journey and it was awesome. lot It was, it was so much just going back thinking back on that month it was it was a lot. It was a lot.

Nicole Clark :

Wow. Oh, my goodness. I know does infertility is is so hard? It is just it's so hard and very hard. How was I would love to know how what was your husband's response to all of this?

Sherelle Gilbert :

So he was very supportive. My husband has been, I mean, he's been my rock through all of this. He's just like, he wants to he wanted to find answers, like, I want to figure out what's going on with my wife. Like, I want to find out first, that was his major concern. Like, I want to make sure you're okay. Like, of course, I want babies, but I want to make sure that you're okay. So, you know, through all the testing and all of that, you know, I told him after that month, like, I just need a break, like, this was just too much. You know, I went from a month before, like, you know, nothing being an issue and now being told that or having that infertility diagnosis, that is possibly endometriosis. You have fibroids, you know, low Hmh. I mean, they were just throwing so much at me at once that it was just so overwhelming. So I remember after that, you know, I told him that I needed a break. And he's like, well, we're going to take a break, we're not going to do anything else. Because it was like, after that moment where after that month, it was like, Okay, here's your referral to your fertility doctor. And then we met with him. And it's like, okay, we're getting ready to start a UI. And I was like, wait a minute, you know, I don't even know. I don't know what that is. I don't know what's going on. Like, I just need a break. So we I remember, we took about a year and a half of a break, just from all of that, because it was just so much.

Nicole Clark :

Yeah. And if you don't mind sharing, where where are you in your journey now? Like, you know, today? Yes.

Sherelle Gilbert :

So a year, a little over a year ago, I would say last spring, so spring of 2019. A friend of mine who had literally gone through something very similar. She asked me, you know, where was I with, you know, fertility treatments, because initially I was against it, I was like, I'm not doing that, you know, I believe that God is just going to let this happen on its own. Like, I don't want to see another doctor, I was just completely over it. So she asked me, you know, where are you with it? And I was like, I don't know, I'm just waiting on God. And she's like, Well, you know, how do you know that God is not urging you or encouraging you to seek treatment? Like, what is what's your apprehensiveness against treatment? And I was just like, I don't know. And she's like, okay, I just want to encourage you to pray over it, like pray over it, see what God says and go from there. I'm, you know, not gonna force you to do anything, but just I just want to encourage you to pray over it. So I did, I went through a season of praying and fast and like, Lord, just show me what you need me to do. Like, I'm just gonna completely surrender. Like I said, I was against treatment, I was like, I don't want anything to do with fertility treatments. For some reason, I don't know why I felt like it was against the will of God to seek fertility treatment. But my friend also said, you know, you are, you know, your background is in therapy, you know, your therapist, you know, why is it okay for people to seek, you know, treatment or therapy if they have a mental illness, but it's not okay for someone to seek treatment for fertility issues. She She was like, you have to look at it is it's a medical condition. She said, you know, you It's okay, you know, to seek treatment, or to seek help for that God places people in positions to help, you know, to help other people with certain needs. So she was like, so why is this any different? And I was like, Oh, you're right. You're right. So I, like I said, I went through a season of praying, fasting. And I just remember one day, I was like, let me see if I can find another fertility doctor, because the one that I had went to, I just wasn't, you know, we didn't really vibe, if you will. So I remember I went to Google and I searched for fertility, you know, doctors in my area, and the first one that popped up is the doctor that I see now. And I went to their website, and the about page, like, just the website was just so inviting. And it was just like, oh, my goodness, just the feeling that I felt when I was on the website. And then I went to the about page. And the reason or something about in their description of their name, the fertility Institute of North Alabama, um, they're actually acronym is Faena. And it said in Hebrew, it means he shall add, and I was like, Oh, my goodness. Christians. I was like, Oh, this is this Is it? So I remember scheduling the consultation, and we got in there quickly. And just upon walking in and being greeted by the front desk staff and the doctor himself, like we just felt at home, you know, we felt like, we felt like more than just patients are more than just clients, you know, we felt like family, you know, they really, truly made us feel like family and that our situation was important, you know, to them. So, right now, where we are with our journey is we've gone through IVF that was just oh, my goodness, we went through IVF in January. And right now we are currently waiting to transfer our embryo. So I can even go more into that. It's a long story. But if you want I can go more in depth into that.

Nicole Clark :

Oh, yeah. I mean, it's, it's absolutely up to you.

Sherelle Gilbert :

Okay. So, um, so last year, when we met with our doctor, like I said, he was just so amazing. You know, he just wanted to know everything about my history, just to find out what's going on. And he was, to me, it was like, he was more invested, or most invested in finding out what the problem was finding a solution and then getting us pregnant. Like, that was what my husband was about. He's like, you know, yes, we want to have kids, but I want to make sure you're okay. And that was the doctor's, you know, starting point. Like, I want to make sure you're okay, so I told them about the history of abdominal pain I was experiencing, I mean, for every month, you know, not just with menstrual cramps, but even between that, like I was still have some pains. And, you know, I told him how previous doctors had told me it was normal, because I had gone to doctors and stuff in the past and never been diagnosed with fibroids never been diagnosed with endometriosis, although I was having a lot of the pains and symptoms associated with those conditions. So he was just like, that's not normal. Like you shouldn't be in pain every month. And I was like, wow, nobody has ever told me that nobody's ever told me that. It's not normal. I actually heard the opposite like, Oh, it's normal. You know, it's this just happens or here, take some birth control pills. And he's like, no. So the first thing for him was, you know, I want to find out what's going on. So he presented the option of the laparoscopic procedure, which, you know, goes in through your abdomen, and it can determine whether you have endometriosis or not like, that's really the only true way to diagnose endometriosis is through the laparoscopic procedure. So initially, I was like, No, I don't want any surgeries. Like No, I have watched too many medical shows Chicago Fire, er, no. Any surgery comm he was like, okay, you know, just think about it, you know, he may laid everything out, like, this is what this procedure entails, you know, this is what it look like, if we find this, you know, if it's just endometriosis and I can clear off the excess tissue then good. It could be, um, you could have too little blockage, you know, you could have damaged you know, tubes, and then it could result in this. So he literally laid out everything, every possible scenario, every thing that he was even thinking that it could be, you know, a possibility for me. So, um, after a lot of bloodwork, it came back that I had, you know, confirmed that I had low ovarian reserve. So basically, the way they described it is, you know, we have like, as women, we have, like a basket of eggs, and the number of eggs that I had was low. So they were saying like, even though you had diminished ovarian reserve, it doesn't mean that your quality of eggs are not good. So he was like, I'm more concerned with the quality than the number. So I said, Okay, so that was one thing. It was another thing, another hard pill to swallow that Yeah, I didn't, I wasn't producing, you know, any more eggs like that was, you know, my basket of eggs was diminished. Um, so, he suggested the surgery. And I remember, you know, finally, I said, Okay, we can do the surgery, because he's like, it's not, you know, it's not any of what you think, you know. So we did the surgery. And prior to he said, because one of the ultrasound showed that. It looks like I had some tubal damage. He said, there's a possibility that I may have to remove one, two, or both. He said it just really depends on how much scar tissue or how much damage has been done to one of the one of the tubes, the fallopian tubes. No, um, that was a lot. I was just praying Like, okay, Lord will just please, you know, if he has to take anything, just just take one, you know, I still want to be able to conceive naturally, I don't want him to take both tubes because you take both tubes and you can't conceive naturally, I was just like, praying, praying, like, okay, just just want to please if you have to take anything. So after the surgery, um, you know, I found out that there was so much scar tissue, and damage done to not only one, two, but the other one was at risk for being damaged because of the scar tissue that he had to remove both. So I have both my tubes removed. I had, he had to clear out all the scar tissue, from the endometriosis and all of that all that excess tissue that grows basically outside of the uterine lining. And that when I came out of that surgery, and they told me, you know, what happened, it was it was devastating. It, it was devastating. It was so hard to, to process, it was so hard to accept, you know, I was angry with God, I really was. And I remember a good friend of mine, you know, she kind of dealt with similar she said, You know, it's okay to feel exactly how you feel like until God, you know, tell God that you're angry. tell God, exactly how you feel. Because he can handle it. You know, he can handle your anger, he can handle the frustration, he can handle the disappointment. Excuse me, he can handle all of that. So tell God, you know that you're angry. And I just remember like, Why? Why did you allow this to happen? Like, why am I going through this? And the Lord reminded me he, and he has a funny way of reminding you of Yes, he does. rares are things that you said. And it was two weeks before I went or a week before I went to see my doctor, before I met with him before all of this happen. That um, I prayed and I said, Lord use me in this new season because it was almost my birthday. And I was like, you know, I'm getting ready to turn 33 lord use me in the season. He said, Remember, you told me to use you? I was like, Yeah, but I didn't mean this way. Yeah, I'm getting ready to use you. And I was just like, I, I can't I don't know how I can get through this. And I remember after my surgery, my mom and my dad came down to visit with me in the you know, just pray with me and just to comfort me because it was just so much to deal with. And my dad said to me, he said, um, if anybody can turn this thing into a testimony, it's you. And I was just like, Oh, my goodness. Okay. All right. So, from that moment, it was like, I, you know, it was it was like I said, it was hard to accept and hard to process. But it was like, I knew that God had me. You know, I knew that God had a purpose. And all of this, I knew that he was not going to leave us. I knew that he wasn't going to forsake us. I knew that he had us and he had a purpose. But it was just at that time, it was so hard to see or understand. So, um, it was it was a lot. So it was like after that, um, the doctor allowed me to heal and he's like, okay, you know, you know, your only option is IVF so I had been against IVF It was like I was against surgery, I was against IVF the things I was against the Lord was taking me to like yc that you had cast it out and said we're not for you. These are going to be the things that are going to be your testimonies can be your story. And I was like okay, Lord, you know, I'm just gonna relinquish control. I'm just gonna give it I'm just gonna surrender like whatever it is you you you deem me to do or whatever it is that you want me to do. I want to do that. You know, I'm tired of saying what I'm not gonna do I'm tired of, um, you know, just trying to control everything so Um, so yeah, so we started we were actually supposed to start IVF in October and I went you know, had the bloodwork is called the baseline, you know, appointment. So it's your ultrasound, and your blood work, you know, just to make sure all your levels and everything are at a good space to start your injections. So, um, you know, I went, you know, got the bloodwork done altra sound and was set to start that evening, when my doctor called me that night and was like, you cannot start your injections. Your blood work was off the chart. Basically he was like, your levels were so high that is borderline premenopausal, and I was like, What He's like, so I cannot start you on IVF like your man, I can't even think of the terms that FSH or something like that I can't remember. But whatever it is, those levels were so high that he said it was like borderline pre menopausal. So I again, I was like Lord, what? What is this? Like? Why? You know, I have already accepted that I can do that. I'll do IVF. I said, Yes. And then now you're telling me No. So it was, oh, my goodness, it was just another hurdle, another hard pill to swallow. It was just another setback, another disappointment. And I was just like, I don't understand. So after that, and I just remember praying with my family, we went through another season of praying and fasting, and I was just like, you know, what, I don't believe the results. I don't believe that test. I was like, I believe that God, you know, just needed me to wait a little longer, I believe that he stopped it. Like, I don't believe those results. I believe the next time that I take the bloodwork, everything's gonna be fine. I just remember saying that. And then, um, it was a, probably a few weeks after that, they wanted me to come back here and to check my blood work again. And everything was normal. Everything was fine. He was like, I don't know what happened. He was like, your level was just, you know, Sky High that day. I don't know what what happened. I don't know why, but your levels are fine now. So you are, you know, you're on schedule to start IVF in January. So praising God, I was like, thank you. Thank you. So yes, so we started IVF in January, and that was an adventure. I hate needles. I, I just I hate it all. But my husband, he took the lead in that, you know, he was the one that was mixing the medication and giving me the injections. So while he was doing that, I was just praying, just like praying, praying over that, but that experience honestly was like, brought us closer together. Because it was like we neither of us had done anything like that. So for us, they experienced that together, you know it to be doing the the injections, and, you know, going back and forth to the doctor together, you know, that really just, it really just strengthened our marriage and just brought us closer together. And, um, so that was in January, and I had egg retrieval. Um, you know, a couple, it was about 10, I think was about 11 days of injections, and then you have the trigger shot, which basically triggers the ovaries to release the eggs, and then you go in for your egg retrieval. So when in for egg retrieval and what is so special, and so you can just tell God is in this about my case is if you remember, I said that I have low ovarian reserve, so I don't have a whole lot of eggs. So I'm on average, at every retrieval, women average about 15 to think is 26 eggs at retrieval. I only retrieve two, they only retrieve two eggs for me. And for us to get two eggs was a miracle because the doctor you know, considering my low A MH, he was just hoping you know, at least for one. So we got two eggs. And both eggs fertilized but one only one survive. So we only have one embryo that survived in its frozen currently. So that was just such a blessing. I still look back, you know, especially even talking to some of the ladies in my fertility circles, you know, some who will retrieve 30 eggs and and, you know, 20 eggs and and, you know, they get these high numbers, you know, for us I have only retrieved two and to still have one like it's just it's a miracle. It's it's, it's a miracle because like I said with considering all the other things that are against us, the endometriosis, the fibroids, the low, ah, you know, the tubes removed, you know, all those things, you know, we were still able to come out with you know, we were blessed to be able to have two and then now it's just the one. So, um, that was that was exciting, but also at the same time I was just like, Man, you know, I only really have this one shot like this has to work it has to work because I can't go through this again. So we've Um, so we were supposed to go Initially, I had I was supposed to get or have the embryo transferred back in March. So we have the date, it was March 17 went in for ultrasound, bloodwork. And the closest specific type of ultrasound is the SI. So it's the same lean, um, the say lean sonogram. So basically they just insert water into your uterus so they can see clearly, or see even better than the normal ultrasound. So on that ultrasound he saw would look like a fibroid. So he's like, okay, because we only have one embryo, I do not want to risk, um, anything, any type of pregnancy complications miscarriage with this one, you know, because you only have one embryo, I don't want to risk anything, you know, by transferring it, and you have this fibroid. So he's like, I'm gonna have to go back in and I just didn't want that. But I was like, you know, what, okay, you know, if you this is what you feel is best. And also, you know, you don't want to just transfer our embryo and risk anything, then I support that I'm with it. So had to cancel that embryo transfer. And they scheduled me for, I was actually able to get in for surgery really quickly. It's actually right before the COVID lock down everything. Yeah, right before that. So I was blessed to be able to get him before that. So when for those surgery, he said, it was a very, very quick procedure, he saw it, it was very small, it's much smaller than what it showed on the scan. So he said that was that made him even more happy, because it was smaller, quick procedure, and, you know, no complications or anything. So then the pandemic happen. So we were supposed to, um, I think transfer in April, but because of the pandemic, everything was closed, they were not doing any transfers in April. So another month of waiting, so I was like, You know what, at this point, I'm used to, to waiting. So the April transfer, everything was canceled in. So we were looking, so once everything opened back up in May, they called me they say, you know, we're gonna get you back on the calendar, and we're looking at a June transfer. So we want to do another ultrasound, all the bloodwork all this stuff all over again, so that we can see. So we can make sure everything is healed up and you know, you're ready for transfer. So went through all that, again, blood work, altra sound and the doctor saw would look like scar tissue. So he said, it's not a lot of scar tissue, he said I could transfer the embryo, he said, but again, I just, I just don't feel comfortable. He's like, I don't want to risk anything. He said you have one embryo left, I mean, one embryo and, you know, this is this is your only our only chance, and I just want everything to be as close to perfect as possible. So I was literally like 10 days away from transfer. And he gave me this news. And I just I broke down. I was like, I can't take any more of this, like, this is just too much, you know, I, um, we're almost, you know, at a year of, you know, seeing with being with our doctor, and I was like, you know, for us, for me to now be at the brink of a third surgery. And you know, still waiting I did IVF back in January, and it's June and I still am not pregnant. Like, I just I don't know if I could do any more of this. And he was just so understanding. He's like, always, you know, check in to see how I'm feeling like, he's like, I completely understand. And, you know, I'm so sorry. You know, he just kept saying, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. He was like, but I just want to make sure your uterus is, you know, pretty much perfect without saying perfect, but, you know, as close to perfect as possible. And, you know, I'll let you I'll give you some time to decide if you want to do another surgery or not, you know, I completely understand either way. So I went home and talked to my husband and I just was like, I can't, I'm tired of this. Like, how much longer do we have to wait? And he's like, you know, first off, we're blessed to have a doctor who cares, you know, who's taken so much time and effort into, you know, our treatment and, you know, he cares enough to make sure that your womb is as close to perfect as possible for you know, our baby, you know, he doesn't want anything to happen and you know, and he you know believes that this surgery will be the Last one, he, you know, this procedure is going to be different from the others. So, um, you know, I think we should just I think we should go here. So at this point, I was just like, I don't even, you know, I don't even care anymore. Like, that's, that's just where I was I was like, I have been so excited, I had even posted on my Instagram, like a little Countdown to embryo transfer, like I was just, I just knew that that point, you know, in June was, it was gonna be it is perfect is right before my birthday, like, this is the perfect timing. And God was like not yet. So have the surgery a couple weeks ago. And again, another successful surgery, this time, he did the procedure a little differently to prevent any more scar tissue. Right now he has me on estrogen, you know, to help thicken the thicken the uterine lining, so that, you know, just the hope, just to provide additional prevention of or prevention of any more scar tissue. So right now, I'm still waiting, I do not have an embryo date, you know, I, you know, after this last delay, I was just like, Lord, you know, I, I'm fully and completely trusting you Not that I didn't before, but right now, I'm just kind of surrendering all of my, you know, timelines, because I had to me, like I had gotten attached to that date, like, I was like, okay, June 10, this date is perfect. And then I had already started planning the future in my head, like, Okay, if I get pregnant, then this is when the baby's due, like I had just gotten attached to that timeline, you know, and I was just like, I'm tired of that I'm tired of getting attached to these timelines, these dates, you know, these ideas and then being let down. So I was like, at this point, I'm not doing that anymore. Like, I'm just going to completely and fully trust you. And I want to be attached to you, like, I don't want to be attached to, you know, this idea of how I think my life is supposed to be your high think things are going to turn out like, because I just keep getting disappointed. So I'm so at that point, like, that's where I am now, like I am just whatever happens, happens, whatever date is going to be the next that's what it's going to be, but I've just in order to protect my mental health, my emotional health, because this journey is just so many ups and downs, so many uncertainties so much back and forth, you know, one day he had good news and things will be on track, then the very next day, you can get something that's just crushing. You know, so just to protect myself, you know, I'm like, I'm not getting attached to anything. You know, like, I can't. So, right now, um, you know, what they call in recovery from the surgery, which I've been doing pretty good, you know, no issues, no complications. And then, um, I went in a couple weeks ago, well, last year, two weeks ago, you know, just for another checkup, and they're looking at possibly September, but I was just like, yeah, okay, September. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. But, um, that's where I am. I'm just, we're still waiting. We're still waiting on our miracle. But we, you know, we God has given me a dream. years ago, um, about our child, he actually gave my husband a dream of our child, and, you know, we're just, we're just trusting and believing that God will fulfill his promise in his own time. You know, that's, that's where we are with that.

Nicole Clark :

Sherelle. Well, I have to tell you, I mean, because your faith, like is crazy. Like you. You have crazy faith. You know, I was unfamiliar with your story. And just like being on the outside, you know, seeing you know, you on, you know, on social media, and just like the words that you say, the encouragement that you bring, like, you have crazy faith. Yeah, with, it's so amazing, like, amazing.

Sherelle Gilbert :

Thank you. And that's what we've caught our journey, honestly, our crazy faith journey, because everything has been, you know, it's been crazy, you know, from us deciding, you know, to go ahead and do IVF like, we were just trying to figure out how to pay for it because IVF is expensive. We were um, my husband and I had a paid off a lot of debt last year. And then IVF came and I was like, I'm okay, Lord. How are we gonna pay for this and And we ended up having to use a card that we had just paid off. And I was like, Lord, like, we're trying to be out of debt. Like, how, why I don't, I don't understand how this is gonna work, like we're trying to be out of debt like, and now you're telling us to use something we just paid off to now, you know, to pay for the street and like, it just doesn't make sense. But we proceeded with that. And, um, you know, we, we decided to literally, um, a couple months ago, we were, we were at home and both of us on two separate occasions, you know, got the idea, the crazy idea to sell our house. And we're like, we both came to each other. We we, you know, talk to I have a my best friend is a realtor. And we're like, okay, let's, let's look into this. So we thought about it. And we prayed about it. And we're like, let's sell this house. Because what our house is the worst, you know, the value of it right now is far beyond what we paid for it. Not only can we pay off our IVF, but that will enable us to, you know, save and, you know, prepare for this next season. So that was another crazy thing we did you know, we're like, oh, I mean, we're not attached to our house, we're not attached to any of this stuff. Like, God is telling us to sell, we sold our house, we're in our lovely, I mean, our bomb apartment right now that we love, we love it so much. But we were able to pay off the IVF from last year. That is done, you know, so this the very thing that we were trying to avoid, like, okay, Lord house, how are we going to pay this off, and then now, less than a year later, is paid off. So it's like, guys been ordering our steps, every, every moment every month, you know, every with every appointment, or with every setback, you know? And my husband was telling me because I was saying like, you know, another delay another delay? And he was like, Well, if we are on God's time, is it really a delay? And I was like, You know what, oh, feels like, you know, think about it, you know, we're, you know, maybe delay by our own timeline or our own time frame. But if we're on God's time, then we're right on time, we're not delayed. So I just, I had to look at it that way. Like, yeah, you're right. Like, that's why I was like, I had to put aside my own timeline, in my own time frame and these ideas of, you know, okay, we get pregnant now, and I'll be perfect next year. And I was just like, you know, I have to let go of that. And, you know, get on board with God's time, because, you know, apparently, our timeframes are two totally different things. And if I keep getting disappointed by my own timeframe, like, let me just get on guys time, and then I'll save myself some heartache and disappointment, because I'm on his time, and his time is perfect. We're on time. So that, you know, it has been our crazy faith journey, because the things that we've been doing, from sharing our journey, because initially, I was not going to share, I was thinking I was going to share after we had our baby. And Lord was like, No, you're you're going to share now. And I was like, Oh, I don't know about that. And I remember my first blog post about it, I had it was sitting in draft mode for a year and a half before I actually posted it. Yes, I was just going back and forth. Like, are you sure, Lord, you want me to share this? Like, are you sure. And finally, when I shared it, like when I tell you like it was just so much like I literally felt free at that moment, because it was like I had been bound by so much shame, and guilt and embarrassment, that, you know, me sharing release, you know, pretty much broke those chains of that shame and embarrassment, it's like, you don't have to be ashamed of this like, and that's what that's what prompted me to share is because so many women, especially women of color, we um, you know, we're taught to, you know, keep things at home, you know, we're not taught to share things, you know, especially something as vulnerable and sensitive as infertility. You know, you're really, that's something you really need to keep at home, like, you don't need to talk about that. And for me, it was like, I wanted to break that stigma. Like I wanted to break that chain, for women of color and just women everywhere, just in general for couples for African American couples, because, and also for men too, who don't speak and who you know, who feel embarrassed as well, like me, sharing was for them as well. And to show that, you know, God is God can still get the glory even when you're going through difficult times. Like we don't have to wait until, you know we get our blessing to testify like you could still testify while you're going through because God is still good. You know it That's what I want people to see and to feel from me sharing whether it's an Instagram post or my blog post or my YouTube that guy can still get the glory and that me going through this like, I want you to see that this is not me because the real me I will be in the corner somewhere crying every day. But the to show you that this is God working through me to show you like, it's possible to praise God in the storm, it's possible to wait with with a expectancy and with hope and with joy. Like it's possible. Because so many times we feel like, you know, we, um, you know, we go through these difficult seasons, and it has to be a struggle, you know, we're, you know, it's a dark cloud, it's gloomy every day. And it doesn't have to be that way. You know, there are days where I'm like, okay, Lord, today, I'm not okay, like, I'm a mess, and I allow myself to be a mess. You know, I allow myself to experience all the motions, and then, you know, whether it's a day or two, but then that shows me like, you don't have to stay there. You know, it doesn't have to be your journey to waiting or your season of waiting or your journey to your miracle. Doesn't have to be dark and gloomy. It can be beautiful.

Nicole Clark :

Sherelle Oh, my goodness. Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing that. Oh, my goodness. Yes. Love your story. Love you. You are so great. So tell everybody you know where where can they find you online? Or on your socials?

Sherelle Gilbert :

Yes. So on Instagram and Facebook, I am She Experienced. You can also find me on YouTube. at She Experienced. Again, my name is Sherelle Gilbert. And I'm Oh, and my website is She Experienced .com.

Nicole Clark :

Awesome. Well, we will include all of those links in the show notes. But Sherelle I have your final two? Because this podcast is all about Matthew 5:16 and letting your light shine for the Lord. And I just truly believe that God uses our story to change the world. So, so how did your puzzle pieces lead you to where you are today?

Sherelle Gilbert :

I think um, each piece, each puzzle piece or each, um, difficult journey that God has allowed me to go on, has really led me to this point today. You know, I, when I was younger, I was just very timid and shy and not very talkative. But I feel like every situation has built upon the next, you know, every faith journey. Every faith walk, you know, has allowed me to be where I am today and to speak and to be a voice for those who feel scared or ashamed or timid or afraid. So that's how, you know God is piecing those puzzles together the what's a mystery to me is not to him. So that's how he's putting all that together.

Nicole Clark :

That's That was good. And then you just do such a great job of just shining bright and not hiding your light for the kingdom. Have you always been that way? And what can you share with us just to encourage us and help us?

Sherelle Gilbert :

Yes, so I have not always been this way I, um, I actually dealt with a, an issue or a period of low self esteem. And God had told me that I was going to speak about that. And that was like my first time where I spoke and shared what God has done. For me and through me. And, um, I just think that is so important. Whatever way God leaves you to share or to be a light or to shine. I just feel like it's so important that you um, you follow through with that, like you allow God to lead you in however he you know, tells you that you're going to share or you're going to be a light. But don't be afraid to share or to to walk in what God has called you to do. You know, he has different paths for all of us. And I just want to encourage everyone who's listening to not be afraid to share your story because everyone's story has a purpose. Every thing that we've all been through, has a purpose that's greater than us. You know, it's designed to help to teach to reach someone else. So don't be ashamed. Don't be afraid of whatever your story is.

Nicole Clark :

Love that. sherelle Thank you so much for being on the show.

Sherelle Gilbert :

You're welcome. Thank you for having me.