Krysten Case ~ Redefining Our Good {Story 11 of 30}

The nurse called my name. My turn. I walked past the dozens of other girls in the waiting room, all scheduled for the unthinkable, just like me.

And that was that. I would get through this day and I would put it behind me. I’d straighten out my life, and I would never have to be back in this situation or this place again. Eventually it might even become a good thing. I closed my eyes and tried hard to believe that was true.

Fast-forward a couple of short years.

I was now in my late twenties, and much to my own surprise, I had given my life to Jesus and had married a wonderful man I’d met in church (of all places!) Not only had I found a prince, but I also instantly became an extra mommy to his adorable 10-year-old son, Kyle. The transition into my new little family had been seamless, and I was treated with love and respect from both of my boys.

We were enjoying a very good thing.

Unfortunately, Kyle’s biological mother had made some very selfish choices that were difficult for him to bear. The anger caught up with him. Before we knew it, we had a full-blown prodigal son on our hands.

I cannot even begin to describe the hurt we went through over the next couple years, fighting so hard for him and losing at every turn. All the anger he didn’t know he had was taken out on us. Parenting was excruciating for us both.

Fortunately, spending so much time on our knees and fighting back-to-back for a common good had given us a very strong marriage. Our beautiful partnership was a saving grace among the chaos.

Then, a bomb dropped.

My beautiful husband looked right in my eyes one day and said “I’m not sure how to tell you this, but I don’t think I want to have any more kids.”

Excuse me?

I’d heard right. He went on to explain that everything happening with Kyle had hardened his heart toward being a dad, and he couldn’t see anything but heartache and pain when it came to being a parent. He just didn’t want to go through that again.

He’s speaking out of hurt, I told myself. He will see how crazy all of this sounds when things aren’t so raw.

But as months went by and the topic came up again and again, I began to see that he wasn’t just saying that out of anger and hurt. He had really changed his mind and no longer wanted any more children.

What could I do? This wasn’t like being a little girl, promising my dad that I’d take care of a puppy if he’d only let me get one…please, pretty please?

The dam broke.

My voice was desperate as I pleaded with him to remember the conversations we’d had before we’d been engaged…the ones about both wanting children and how we’d adopt and how we would parent with common sense.

Had he forgotten? Or had he given me the bait-and-switch?

You had your chance, whispered the voice. Remember? You are responsible for this.

For the next two years, I wondered if I had married the wrong man. Every day I prayed God would change his mind. I expected that He would.

Bitterness crept in. Why, God, have you allowed this? If we could just get pregnant naturally, this wouldn’t even be an issue. I know if he took one look at a little baby that we helped create, his heart would melt. This was all just happening because we had a choice whether or not to pursue children.

A choice. You had a choice once. I guess you made your choice, didn’t you?

The voice was always there, always waiting to get its little dig in. I recognized it as the enemy, the father of all lies, but in the pain and anger, it sounded an awful lot like the truth to me.

I still begged God to change my husband’s mind. But after fighting for a couple of years, he abruptly showed me that He was now going to change mine.

I flopped onto the couch one day, utterly exhausted from shepherding my 24 little kiddos in the classroom all day. I’d spent my entire 30-minute commute home thinking about why I would never get to drive my own little one home from school.

I was in the ultimate depression-funk.

The last thing I wanted to do was open my bible and try to hear from this God who had ignored the desires of my heart. Then…

Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby. 
Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth!
You’re ending up with far more children 
than all those childbearing women.” God says so!
“Clear lots of ground for your tents! 
Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope, 
drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room 
for your growing family. -Isaiah 54: 1-6, The Message

Think big. Big?

Well, a family of 24 is pretty big, God. Could that possibly be what you mean? Could it even mean more than that?

Revelation burst.

It wasn’t overnight that my feelings changed. But with those words from thousands of years ago, God started widening my lens. My definition of the word “mother” started to expand greatly, even to include the unconventional version I was living. It’s even expanded further since  to embrace the new ways I am helping to mother/mentor other women in my life.

Embracing God’s new definitions doesn’t erase all the choices we’ve made, nor does it erase the earthly consequences of them. I’ve just come to learn that He will recycle those things from our past into new definitions of what “good” looks like for us, and those new definitions help heal old wounds.

God has redefined motherhood for me. He has redefined my entire identity. He is in the business of making all things new, even the definitions we cling to so tightly.


My name is Krysten. I am a wife, a mom, a teacher, and a follower of Christ, but not in that order. When I’m not herding a large group of seven-year-olds during the day, I’m likely making jewelry, reading several books at time, or trying out a new recipe. I’d love to bend your ear about becoming a modern-day abolitionist, becoming debt-free, or just about anything else that has the word “freedom” at its core.

Connect with me here:  Email or my blog.  To read more of my story, click here.


I met Krysten online and am thankful I did! I admire her teachable heart as she allows God to transform and mold long-held “definitions” or “beliefs.”  I pray for a teachable spirit like Krysten has.  May God always be able to “redefine” for us in such way that we see His redeeming hand.

Thanks for sharing, Krysten!


  1. I love you so much, friend. Thank you for sharing the stuff that’s not easy. And thank you for all the kiddos you touch every single day, whether in India or at school or those caught in human trafficking right here in Ohio. Thank you for the blessing you’ve been to my girlies–and to me. xoxoxoxo

  2. Beautiful job. Redefining what it means to be a ‘mom’… I’m living that, too. Bless you!

    • Thank you, Laura. I pray God shows you how BIG his definitions can be…in motherhood and in all things. I still say that if a half-dozen orphans showed up on my doorstep, I would gladly keep them all. But unless God does something like outrageous that, I believe He’s got me mothering everyone I am supposed to at the moment. : )

  3. Wow. Thank you for your honesty. I cannot have children and also thought we’d adopt one day…but the older we get the more unlikely that seems. And so every Mother’s Day, baby dedication day, baby shower day, etc. stings. Until one day my sweet husband reminded me of all the ways I “mother” every single day…I am a Christian counselor, mentor, and friend. While leading a group of 16 year olds at church, I thought “Hey. I am a mom of sorts. These girls look up to me and I get to speak into their lives!”

    Thanks again for your beautiful story.

    • Oh, Leigh Anne, thank you for your comment. So thankful that you’re able to see how you’re mothering those around you every day. I’m also thankful for our wonderful husbands, who speak words of truth to us even when we can’t see it. Praying that God continues to bless you with lots and lots of opportunities to mother those in your path. We just never know when something we say or do will impact someone’s life, and that’s part of mothering/mentoring too!

    • Thankful for this reminder after rereading comments this morning…our stories bind us. Connect us. I love how you were encouraged, Leigh Anne:)

  4. Peggy Barker says:

    Krysten: Your story really touched my heart. How brave and kind of you to share. I already look up to you as an amazing follower of Jesus and now even more so. You are right – God rocks! Love you sister. Peggy

  5. This is a deeply moving story in so many ways, especially the way something from your past dogged you. Well told, your journey! You’ve caused me to ponder today what may need redefining in my life, where I seem to be “walled in” with no “give,” and what I really need is a new definition…..not of my own, but from God.

  6. Wow, that is a very beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.

  7. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Lori McClintic says:

    God Bless You.


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