[0:00:01] Lois: Hey guys, welcome to the R. F. W. P. Where we are seeking truth and finding God’s heart. I’m your host, Lois Mcnair and with me is my co host Emily Lewis and we are in bourbon Missouri.

[0:00:18] Emily: Can you believe

[0:00:19] Emily: it? It’s

[0:00:20] Emily: been my cup is so full and my energy is so low.

[0:00:25] Lois: My cup is full and my brain is

[0:00:27] Emily: fried.

[0:00:29] Lois: It’s like scrambled eggs and bacon because bacon, I love bacon. So that’s like the highlight. And then my brain

[0:00:36] Emily: is like scrambled. Your

[0:00:39] Emily: brain is fried and scrambled.

[0:00:41] Lois: It is, it is c and you can tell by the things that I’m using as an analogy to describe myself right

[0:00:47] Emily: now,

[0:00:50] Lois: but we’re um in bourbon Missouri Missouri. I can’t say Missouri Missouri. Yeah. Um, at the RFP meet up and it’s just been phenomenal and to be with people and their stories and and just fellowship together and just walk with each other and encourage each other and all the, all the things. But but in truth, like all the things. So, and today we have with us april, dearie and I’m so excited because we’ve been chatting a hot minute about this interview. So welcome. Okay, so normally on our sister seeker short stories, we uh each share a story and it’s not my turn.

[0:01:42] Emily: It’s your turn Emily. So,

[0:01:45] Emily: okay, so I’m stubborn a little bit.

[0:01:50] Lois: What, what did you say? Can you move a little closer to the microphone? You want this on record, can you move a little closer to the microphone,

[0:01:57] Emily: I’m stubborn and I’ve decided I have written off cardigans because

[0:02:03] Lois: cardigans, cardigan, not like backyard organs. Like the kids cardigan cardigans and

[0:02:11] Emily: sweaters. Yes, but I love sweat early square ones with like buttons down

[0:02:16] April: the front.

[0:02:17] Lois: Oh, that kind of garden. So like librarians where Yeah,

[0:02:21] April: not all of us wear them like

[0:02:24] Emily: that. Mine

[0:02:25] April: don’t have buttons. I don’t believe in those. Oh

[0:02:28] Emily: good.

[0:02:28] Lois: Yeah, by the way, april’s the librarian. Best job ever.

[0:02:32] Emily: I love it. But anyway, I I’ve been freezing in the A. C. Because I don’t know, I wouldn’t bring my cardigans with me. Me

[0:02:43] April: neither lift them all at home.

[0:02:46] Lois: So you were just too stubborn to bring your sweater because it triggers you this specific type of sweater. Why does it why?

[0:02:55] Emily: Oh because it like hides your shape and it’s just

[0:02:59] Lois: Oh, so you had to wear those before?

[0:03:01] Emily: Well I don’t think I had to, but it was the

[0:03:04] April: standard.

[0:03:05] Lois: Okay. Did you button it 14? Did you button it up all the way? No, brian Edwards would have

[0:03:13] Emily: if

[0:03:15] Lois: you know, you know, if you don’t know, I can’t

[0:03:17] Emily: help you. I love that you brought brian into that. We

[0:03:20] Lois: always have to bring brian in. Speaking of brian, you guys, did you finally did your dad joke face off?

[0:03:30] Emily: Yes, yes, yes, we did.

[0:03:32] Lois: Okay. I’m just gonna tell you right now you were awesome. You cracked me up. It was wonderful. I was so proud to be your sister. But brian is stone cold

[0:03:46] Emily: ma’am, he is awful and I want to go on record saying I didn’t laugh at a single one of his joke.

[0:03:51] Lois: You didn’t laugh at history.

[0:03:52] Emily: That’s why I lost. You lost because you

[0:03:58] Lois: couldn’t keep a straight face in your own jokes. But you did. He told me later that he had to fight really hard not to completely lose it on your last dad jokes about the alphabet soup and we’re not going to tell you guys what that was.

[0:04:17] Emily: I think he said he almost laughed because I was cracking myself up. So much. So true true. Anyway, cardigans, dad jokes. Oh this or that. Are you ready to play this or that? April mm

[0:04:33] Lois: Okay. Okay. This or that we should have music leading up toward there. So that I don’t know. Maybe somebody is there a jingle out there that says this or that this or that You just

[0:04:46] Emily: did it.

[0:04:48] Emily: Okay. So april would you pack light or would you over pack pack light, desert or mountain mountain lunch in a restaurant or picnic in the park, picnic in the park, summer holiday or winter holiday, Summer coffee shops or restaurants, restaurants, rooftop views or street views.

[0:05:16] April: Uh, rooftop

[0:05:17] Emily: relaxing or exploring. That’s hard.

[0:05:23] April: It depends. I guess I’ll say exploring.

[0:05:25] Lois: Can you say, can you say rex flooring like resting and exploring at the same thing to rest, rest, exploring wrecks, pouring

[0:05:35] Emily: scrambled

[0:05:35] Emily: eggs.

[0:05:40] Emily: Wake up earlier. Sleep in sleep in museums in sites or shopping and coffee. Mm

[0:05:49] April: Shopping and coffee.

[0:05:50] Emily: Oh really? Okay. Use a map or walk aimlessly. Use a map. Mm uh Public transportation. Or rent a car, rental, car hiking or suntanning hiking.

[0:06:04] Emily: Like I’m not allowed

[0:06:06] April: to sun tan. Not allowed to do

[0:06:08] Lois: that. Oh gosh right. Plus you know you’re not going to get a whole lot of sun through a turtleneck and a pair of

[0:06:14] Emily: kulat see

[0:06:19] Emily: clearly within

[0:06:19] Emily: rural areas. Yes,

[0:06:21] Lois: we laugh at each other pretty much all the time.

[0:06:26] Emily: Tropical destination or northern lights.

[0:06:29] April: Mm I have to go with tropical because why is like my dream vacation

[0:06:35] Lois: Or you could come down and visit me because I’m 15 minutes north of

[0:06:39] Emily: the last one, bungee jumping or scuba diving,

[0:06:42] April: bungee jumping.

[0:06:43] Emily: Oh there was like zero

[0:06:46] April: hasn’t done it.

[0:06:47] Emily: I’ve actually done it. Okay.

[0:06:48] Lois: You have to tell us that about the bungee jumping

[0:06:51] April: long before I was I F. B. I was in public school, I was a bus kids so I got to experience the things And we took a 8th grade trip to the mountains in north Carolina And I got to go on a 50 ft swing and all of my classmates got to take a chair. And so the first time I did it I screamed because obviously I’m like whoa, this is really high up in the air. The second time I was just like, okay, this is cool. No big deal. It was super fun. That’s

[0:07:20] Lois: on my bucket list.

[0:07:21] April: It’s fun. You should do it, I should

[0:07:24] Emily: make it happen. Mhm. Yeah so today we would love to hear your story and so let’s start with you can just give us an overview whatever you feel like sharing about who you are and um you and your husband and where you’re at. Yeah to start us

[0:07:44] April: out. So we found the RFP about a year ago um because of the field kit episode which was pretty cool. Um And it pretty much is what led us out of the I. F. B. Was that and mixed with Covid and I have to autoimmune diseases or some people say it’s one. Um I was born with hypothyroidism and um it’s it’s triggered a lot of other things they think the doctors don’t really necessarily know for sure. But I was born with hypothyroidism which basically means that your thyroid doesn’t make enough hormones two supplement your body. It has a lot to do with your digestive and your sleep patterns, things like that. Um It can also make you have at least in my case it’s made me have smaller organs, like my thyroid is tiny. Um I just had a thyroid ultrasound a couple weeks ago um just to see if there’s anything wrong because I’ve been having a lot of issues with my medication lately. Um But they found there was a few cysts but nothing to worry about thankfully. So that could turn into something that could turn into another autoimmune disease, which is hashimoto’s. Um but um, I’ll give a little bit of my back story. Um I don’t know for sure. A lot of what I say is just from what I’ve heard other people say from their experience with thyroid problems and other issues. Um, but I since I was born with that, um it could be, I don’t know for sure, but it could be that whenever my mom was pregnant with me, my dad was very abusive to her, I don’t know if anything happened. I’ve never asked her about it and that’s not something I want to make her dive into. But um, it could be that something happened and I would never blame her, it’s not her fault, but it could be that the reason I have all these problems is that, or it could be hereditary. I just found out my grandmother has hypothyroidism and wasn’t diagnosed for years and years. So it could be that. Um, but it’s also caused other problems and they, I’ve heard it said that uh when you have autoimmune disease, it triggers others, and a lot of people say you have three and I’ve got the hippo, which isn’t technically auto immune, but it can turn into that, that’s why I said what I said earlier, but it can turn into the hashimoto’s. Um and then As I grew up, my dad and mom were still married until I was nine and he was very, very abusive to my mother and I’d often hide away from it and I didn’t get the brunt of it thankfully, I just would hide in my room and I’d like to say that maybe because of that, the fact that I was born, it got my mom the courage to get away from him because she started saving up money and a secret bank account and she told me, you know, this is what it’s for. And I knew and I mean when you’re a kid you just, you know when something is wrong and I always knew that something was going to change or at least I hoped,

[0:11:01] Lois: can I ask you this real quick, like you said that you would hide what, what was that like knowing what was going on? Like even as a child this age, like what was going through your head and your heart and your mind when your mom is being abused by this person who’s supposed to be your loving dad,

[0:11:27] April: I guess I kind of thought until I got in school, I kind of thought that was just the norm. Um and he, the thing that would be the cause of the fights is he would go get drunk and then he would lie to my mom about it when very clearly it was very obvious that he was lying and to me, I knew that he was lying and I knew that I couldn’t trust him. And so any time he ever like was sober and he punished me for something I did, which I deserved to be punished for. Um I didn’t take it seriously. I was like, why, why should he be punishing me when he’s out here getting drunk, running into cops, literally backing into a cop because he was too drunk to notice he was behind him. Um and just all the things that he did went to jail a few times, I’m like, I know this is just, this isn’t right and I knew it and I just hit away because I knew that my mom wanted to protect me and there wasn’t much I could do, I tried to defend her sometimes he locked her outside one time in the middle of winter. And so little I think I was five little five year old me started like, like kicking and punching, like let her back in and eventually I think I was able to unlock the back door and let her back in. So I always knew, I mean like I said, kids just know, they just have that instinct where they just know that something’s not right, especially when they get around their school friends, they know that it’s not okay,

[0:12:58] Emily: but that’s how you realize like, okay and your mom was saving up. So you were always aware of it,

[0:13:06] April: but I think and this is something I’ve heard. Um I know that it’s not necessarily part of the RFP network, but I’ve listened to a lot of preacher voice and podcast and a lot of experiences on there. And there was a person on there that talked about, I think they said they have Crohn’s disease and they said that possibly a lot of that um a lot of autoimmune diseases are triggered by trauma, which I had that with my dad growing up. They were not um I. F. B. They were not in church. My mom grew up in a very Legalistic Pentecostal church with her parents and my dad, I’m not really entirely sure about him. I don’t know a whole lot about his background, but I forgot what was going with that. Um

[0:13:52] Lois: I interrupted you and ask you a question, Okay, we’re going back to what you, where you were in your story. Your mom was saving up money and she told you I’m saving up money. This is what this is for. Then what’s the next step?

[0:14:11] April: Well, we were able to get away. I remember one day my dad was either he left or he went to the bathroom or something and mom said, let’s go and we just left. We got in our truck and we just drove off to a hotel, a couple towns away where he couldn’t find us and we just hit out for a few days, moved in with my best friend. My mom was best friends with the mom. I was best friends with the daughter moved in with them for a few months until finally, uh, he left our house. I don’t know all that was going on with my mom in the background with the courts and all that, but pretty much she got him to leave and then we moved back in and change the locks. So that’s how we got out. And I’m grateful to her every day for that. I say that she’s my hero for that. She said that if it wasn’t for that, if it wasn’t for us getting out, he probably would have ended up killing us somehow because he was, so he would go off on his violent fits when he was drunk and he didn’t even remember doing it. So my poor mom got the brunt of it more than I did. But

[0:15:13] Emily: yeah, so that’s your, that’s like part of your story from home and like you were saying that trauma can trigger some of the health things, the health challenges that you’ve walked through,

[0:15:26] April: right? I don’t have Crohn’s disease. It’s a little more well known. A little more common, but it often gets lumped with all sort of colitis, which is what I have. Um I discovered that five months before I got married, it was awful. Like I’m about to get married for five months from now and I’m going to die because I didn’t know what was going on. But um, that’s what I think triggered that, but I’ll have to back up before that um When I was 15, this was after my parents divorced. Um I was nine years old when they divorced finally. But when I was about 14 or 15 I went to the doctor and my mom kept saying to my pediatrician, she kept saying, you know, why hasn’t april started her her menstrual cycle, this is not normal Because I was almost pushing I guess I was, maybe I was 16, I don’t know. But I was up in years, you know where I should have started moms like all me and all her sisters, we all started at normal ages, what’s wrong with her? The doctor kept putting it off every year saying, oh, she’s a late bloomer, she’s a late bloomer. And my mom’s like, look at her, She’s 15, 16 years old and she looks like she’s 10 and I really did look young. I showed pictures of myself to people when I was that age and they’re like, oh, you look like you’re in like second grade. I’m like, no, I was in high school, but thanks. Um So, but anyway, um my doctor finally said, ok, we’ll get some tests done and we’ll figure out what’s going on. So they took an x ray of my hand, which I know podcast people listening can’t see this, but there’s a bone in your hand, somewhere around here where it fuses together once you’ve like I just stopped growing and once you’ve hit your maturity, height and weight and all that hype. And so they said that that bone was not even close to being fused together and that it was three years behind. And so I’m like, okay, so, um, like 16, I got the bones of a 13 year old, that’s kind of weird. And then they kept doing more tests and I didn’t understand. Like I was like, I don’t care, like I don’t have to deal with having a cycle every month. That’s cool. Right? All my girl, you know, all my friends at school, you know, they were like, oh, this is awful. And I’m like, sorry, you have to deal with that. I don’t, but my mom said, well, no, this is important, you need to get this taken care of. So they finally did an ultrasound and they were like, showing me different things and they didn’t really exactly say what they were looking for. I didn’t understand. But then a couple weeks later they called my mom and told my mom that I had been born without ovaries and they said that my uterus was extremely small and just like my thyroid is, which I didn’t know until a few weeks ago, but they said that it’s pretty rare. I’ve actually never met anybody else like that. So I always, whenever I hear women that say, oh, I can’t have kids, You know, I’m like, well, hey, I get it because I really, it’s not just the incompatibility, like, some people would say, you know, their their spouse or whatever, they can’t work together, but for me, it’s just me and it bothered my mother more than it did me because I’m an only child. So that means that my mom who absolutely loves kids and had a lot of brothers and sisters, while one brother and some sisters and helped kind of take care of them when she was growing up, she would never have a grand kid because, you know, so that was and

[0:18:55] Lois: that’s, you know, that’s a dream knowing that we just recently had Marlowe 28 weeks, you know, I can see how that would be hard on your mom.

[0:19:07] April: Yeah, that was the hardest part for me was my mom. And at this point I was in an I. F. B. Church, I started going when I was 13, um actually your best kid, I was the best kid. Yeah, I got picked up when I was nine with, when I stayed the night with one of my friends, which was the first time I ever got to do that, because though my dad was not a F. B. He was very controlling and he always wanted me there at the house, he would never let me go anywhere. So I stayed the night with one of my friends and we went to this church and that’s where I got saved and I was nine and then I didn’t go back there again because I didn’t say a lot with her. Um but then at 13, that’s whenever I got invited to a vacation Bible school uh by my Stepdad’s nieces and nephews and my cousins, my step cousins. And that’s what got me in church. And uh I got I got a family and the church kind of sort of distantly related to me, they’re like my step like 4th 5th cousins removed. I don’t know what they are, but the whole family that was a mom, dad, son and daughter that kind of took me under their wing and I rode the bus and I wasn’t like a typical bus kid that just ride the bus. And the family just kind of visits them whatever they were actually involved in my life and I will always be grateful to them for that. They actually left the F movement years ago and which was hurtful to me, but I get it now, mm. And since then I’m like, okay guys, you right? Yeah, I get it now. So, um but that’s what led me to church.

[0:20:46] Lois: So this this diagnosis, you know, being born without ovaries knowing you wouldn’t um have Children. And yet you’re in an I. F. B. Church. I think that’s kind of where you were starting to make that connection.

[0:21:05] April: Yeah, it was I didn’t really tell anybody at first because I had always heard preached, you know, women are to have Children and barefoot and pregnant will not necessarily that, but a lot of times and for me that was already hard to listen to because I guess because my hormones were so messed up, Um I wasn’t getting the proper hormones all those years until I was 16 and they put me on some things to fix that. So when I was a little kid, most of my friends would have their little baby dolls and they’d be carrying them around saying this is my baby doll, this is my baby, I’m taking care of it and I’m over there like playing with many, like those little power wheels toys and my bike and playing with my super Nintendo. I wasn’t into all that I had barbie dolls, but not, they weren’t like my Children and I never had that instinct and a lot of people don’t believe me when I say that, but I really didn’t because I think, I think that God makes us with the hormones we need two be want to be mothers and to want that experience because I’ve heard it said, I don’t know this personally, but I’ve heard it said that once a woman has a child, she has like, I guess hormones that make her want to have another kid or makes them want to be a mother, even if they were terrified of being a mother, once they have a kid, they’re they’re totally fine with it, but I don’t know that personally. So,

[0:22:28] Lois: but you didn’t you didn’t physically grow up and with with the proper amount of hormones in your system and not knowing that you didn’t have ovaries at the time and then everything just kind of

[0:22:43] April: Yeah, it’s um did you feel

[0:22:47] Lois: pressure? I think you had mentioned this before and that’s the only reason I brought up because it I guess it could be in any church. But did you feel pressure in the church that you were attending that thought process of um did it affect what you thought your worth was like because you already knew in your mind you were not going to be able to have Children?

[0:23:09] April: Oh yeah, it really messed with me when I found out because not only was my mom finding out the hardest part, that was the hardest, but the next thing that was the hardest was, look how messed up you are. Like, you’ve got all these health problems, why would any man ever want to marry you? Why would you want, why would you even be worth anything because you can’t have Children? And that’s like a big thing in the I. F. B. You can

[0:23:35] Lois: use your own internal conversation.

[0:23:37] April: Yeah, but it was heavily influenced by the church and it makes me mad, not that, not that my home church was meaningfully malicious. I do have a lot of respect for them. They’re still, because that’s where I got saved and baptized and all of that. So I don’t mean to disrespect them at all because they’ve been nothing but kind. But I think some of the things they taught, they didn’t realize how hard that was for me to stomach that so often would be like, I think the first few weeks after I found out, I would like often have a hard time sleeping because I just was so upset and there I am with my thoughts by yourself. Yeah,

[0:24:18] Lois: nobody else has walked through this and you don’t feel like you can talk to anybody.

[0:24:22] April: But nobody Yeah, nobody gets that. Because, like I said, I’ve never met anybody that’s born without a uterus. I hear often I hear that a lot. They’re like, oh yeah, I get it. Like, well, yeah, I guess you kind of do, but I don’t have

[0:24:35] Lois: the uterus. Okay. And so we’re probably going to have to preface this episode. Some of the guys that listen to us. I don’t hear that.

[0:24:42] Emily: I don’t want to hear this one, but

[0:24:44] Lois: so they

[0:24:45] Emily: need to hear it. Can I say that?

[0:24:47] Lois: Yeah, of course you

[0:24:48] Emily: can say that. I think they need. I think there’s an even men and women, like there’s this stuff that we, I feel like we can talk about. It’s like taboo or

[0:24:57] April: something. That’s why I couldn’t talk about

[0:25:00] Emily: it. Yes. And that’s the whole point of this episode. So well preface, we can preface and be like, hey, you know,

[0:25:08] Lois: we’re all Children in the room.

[0:25:10] Emily: Just

[0:25:11] Emily: like if you listen with discretion is like but that’s this conversation is so needed because of the stigma. Because

[0:25:21] Lois: of the stigma of a lot of kind of conversations that were taboo. And I I say that generally, but I don’t want us to get off track. But here’s the thing that I see not knowing not not not being a medical professional, but I’m just like, you hear, like you said, you hear some women, oh yeah, I understand I was born without a uterus but they still had the hormones too, sustain their body in a normal growth pattern. But you didn’t even have that. So, you know, slowed your growth. It messed with all your thought processes and everything. So that’s a that’s a completely that’s a whole another level right there.

[0:26:07] April: Mm And I often have this conversation so I will just act it out here. But um whenever and I don’t want to This is something that’s very highly controversial. Maybe more controversial than your modesty episode. But this is

[0:26:21] Emily: I don’t know I could be wrong but this conversation had to bring that up. Yes, I did.

[0:26:32] April: Um, but this is a conversation that happens so often and I don’t want to tell people that they can’t say what they need to say because not everybody knows what’s going to upset somebody. So I’m not saying be afraid to ask people but be careful when you ask people if they’re having kids, especially when you can tell, okay, they’re in their thirties, they’ve been married awhile. What’s the deal? Well, maybe it’s none of your business and I don’t like to be harsh like that, but maybe it’s not. And typically the conversation goes like this. Usually it’s like either me or him, usually me, because the woman of course, is more responsible for this for whatever reason,

[0:27:14] Lois: But you roll your eyes out loud.

[0:27:16] Emily: The

[0:27:18] April: but usually it’s like, so either either I get so You pregnant yet actually had a lady do that to me whenever I got sick with my old sort of colitis, I dropped £30 within about a month or two and I was sick. I was sick. I was really sick too. I looked really gang li and my eyes were sunken in. I look gross to me, I look gross. And so I gained a few healthy pounds back because that’s what you do when you get to eat again, because I didn’t eat for a while because I was terrified because of the ulcers. Any food can trigger it. Well, it can make it worse, but so I gained a few pounds back like normal and I was wearing this dress that had like an empire waist and but it wasn’t, I looked at myself in the mirror after this all happened. I was like, I don’t know where she got that from, but she asked me if I was pregnant and I felt like the fattest you just person in the world at that point, not that I’m saying pregnant women are fatter, but you know,

[0:28:22] Lois: but

[0:28:24] April: but I mean, you can’t, I’m not going to say that, but because I can’t speak to that. But um so after that, I was I was working in our churches christian school and I was expected to help with, I think it was carnival sunday and I was expected to help with that because of course, and after she said that, that’s when I was walking out to go outside to start the Carnival stuff and when she said that, I just felt like terrible. So I went in my car and cried for about an hour, not because I was sad that I couldn’t have Children because like I said, I never had the gifting for it or the, I guess the call to do it, but I just felt terrible because I couldn’t because the way she said that, I was like, how can you say that to somebody and just be so rude about it? I thought it was rude, How many years ago was this? This was just last year? They must spend the year before that. So yeah, it hurt me pretty bad because I’m thinking, I don’t think I look that bad. But yeah, that it bothers me, but typically that’s how it goes, they’ll ask you, are you are you pregnant? And I’ll do the little hand motion or they’ll say, oh, when y’all having kids and then it depends on who it is. And if you feel like having that conversation, I’ll say, well, you know, I can’t or I can’t say I don’t want to because that gets me in trouble, especially in the RFP because they’re like, how could you not? But usually they’ll say, oh, well, what do you mean? You can’t, you know, God can work miracles. I’m like, of course you can. But in my case, it would be very very, very medical anomaly. And it would probably require a lot of uh bed rest and hospitalization. And I’ve already got enough health problems going on as it is. And so I’m like, well, of course, yeah, of course I don’t deny that, but I really can’t. And then sometimes I get into it sometimes I don’t and if I do, then the go to statements is, well, you could always do like a sarah and I’m like, yeah, but it wouldn’t be my child, technically. And I’m not going to put another person through that just for that. When especially when I don’t think I would be a very good mother because I don’t have that mental

[0:30:44] Emily: hormones the instinct.

[0:30:46] April: Yeah, sure

[0:30:47] Lois: because because it is a, you know, I don’t know what the research says, I’m sure you’ve done a lot of research, but the physiological aspect of that desire

[0:30:57] April: and all of that?

[0:30:59] Lois: You know, I would think that that would be somewhat absent. It’s

[0:31:03] April: very difficult and it’s it’s not that I hate kids or anything, I’m just kind of like, okay,

[0:31:09] Emily: so it’s almost like they’re trying to solve a problem for you because to them, it’s a big deal. So they’re like, their brain is just like, well, this is what I would do, which you have no idea what you do, the general, you like, we speak to things because we think, oh yeah, this is what I would do, but we have no,

[0:31:28] April: but I didn’t ask,

[0:31:30] Emily: but I didn’t ask. I did not

[0:31:33] April: ask her and I’m okay with it. And I do have to get to that because the next thing they say right after that is, well, you can adopt and I’m like, well, and I usually, I have a funny retort for this, I’m like, well, I wouldn’t want to ruin some poor child’s life. My bad parenting. I usually try to joke it off because otherwise it’s either going to turn into a long conversation that I don’t want to have or they’re just going to think I’m I don’t know, they’re just going to think there’s something wrong with me just because I don’t have that desire

[0:32:04] Emily: something you said to us when you told us your story originally, you said the Children’s ministry isn’t where you feel called either. And can you talk about that a little bit because there is especially in fundamentalism or really super conservative, um, churches where the women that is, they’re calling like, you just assume that that’s what they’re and do you want to speak to that? Sam?

[0:32:34] April: Yeah. I got a lot of strange looks whenever, especially because when you’re a knife be, you don’t, you don’t volunteer, you get volatile old. So every time I would switch churches for whatever reason, the nursery person was the person like the nursery director or whatever was the person I tried to avoid like the plague because I think they hated me the most because they’re like, well, why don’t you? And I’m like, okay, but I’m not going to name any names, I won’t do that. But there was one church I was in and there was this woman who could have Children and claimed she didn’t want them and would always try to pass off her nursery duties on other people, particularly single women. And I never understood that. I always thought that was unfair. I’m like, okay, but you have like three kids in there, shouldn’t you? I mean you’re probably going to be with them anyway and they’re your kids wouldn’t you want to be in there? I mean if I had a kid in there and I had the instinct and the desire for it, I would want to be in there with my own child once in a while to make sure things are up to par and doing good in there, but she never wanted to. And I thought, man, that’s really weird. And then she confided and opened up to me and a friend and said that she never wanted Children. I was like, wow, that’s that’s so sad your poor kids. And I’m thinking and you want me to do that and you want me to do that to a kid whenever I don’t necessarily want to have them either. Not that I hate them, I just don’t feel what’s my calling. And actually my coworker, I told her the other day that I was coming on the podcast and she was just surprised and excited and she said what are you talking about? And I told her and she said, well you know, I think that um I don’t know if she’s necessarily a christian, but she did say, I think that there’s a higher power that put you on this earth for something not necessarily to have kids, but you have your other things that are your things that you do. Yes. So she’s actually my temporarily right now, she’s my supervisor and she was teaching me my brand new job that I’m about to start. And she’s like this can be your thing, you know, so I the um the collection development manager at the library basically making sure we have the books we need and putting them in the system so people can find them. She said this can be your thing because you do this full time and you’re good at it and you research books and you know what you’re doing, you do this stuff outside of work anyway. That can be your thing. Or I have three cats that I do have the instinct with them, but because they’re animals and they can take care of themselves because there are cats and most of the time they’re like, leave me alone. But and you do

[0:35:17] Lois: have a husband.

[0:35:18] Emily: Yeah, I do have

[0:35:19] Emily: him. I love that she spoke that over you though, like, yes, let’s sorry. I’ll say UNtwist the narrative, let’s untwist this that you have to have this specific, we’re going to put this in a box and say this is what a woman’s calling has to look like and it should involve Children or should involve a husband or it should involve Children’s ministry or whatever. Yeah, I love that she spoke that over

[0:35:44] April: you. There’s plenty of other things I can do. But yes, I couldn’t like my husband used to do the sound booth in our church And he he rarely gets sick. Lucky and one Sunday he was and I have watched him do the sound booth so many times. I knew what buttons to push and what Mike’s to turn up. So some of the other men that worked in the sound booth. They’re like, oh he’s not here this morning. Um you want me to do it? I was like, I can do it. And they were all like shocked. Like, are you sure? I said I’ve watched him do it 1000 times. It can’t be that hard. And it wasn’t actually, there was no problem except for one of the sound or one of the people in the microphone forgot to turn it on. That was not my fault, maintained that that was their fault. But other than that they didn’t have any complaints and they didn’t even notice any difference that I was doing it and I’m like, see a woman can do it sometimes. I did the camera because they had a camera in the balcony by the sound booth. I did that sometimes, but quietly because if I didn’t, they’d be like, oh well we can get brother. So, and so up there to do it, like I can push a button, I can move a camera, it’s not hard. So there’s other things I try to find to do, but a lot of times, you know, they were kind of like, well why are you doing that? You know, brother? So and so can do it and I’m like, well, so can sister. So and so here. So yeah, I got a lot of that. Yeah,

[0:37:15] Lois: I know that your story is different. You know, I know when you first we first connected about it is different and difficult to even share your story because of the stigma that you have felt over the years of you know, not being able to have Children and all that. I want to push back a little bit with you because just because I think that um if you felt led to have Children to adopt because we know physically union, you would know that. And then if that were the case, if you felt that you would be a great mom, because of what you walk through as not that you’re called to that, I’m not saying that, but I’m just saying I want you to see your own self worth because of what you walk through as a child. Because you saw what your dad did to your mom because of the strength that you saw your mom have because of the fact that you are this genuine and transparent and willing to tell your story and willing to push back on those people who are trying to push a different narrative on you because they don’t know what you’ve walked through, They don’t know you know what it’s like to BE 16 years old and sitting in a doctor’s office and saying you don’t have any ovaries, you will not have Children. You know? And then to walk through thinking that no man is ever gonna want me because I am I’m not, I’m not a complete woman. And so I’m just saying you have so much more to give, I’m glad that you’re a librarian. I know that that God’s opened that door. You were telling me about your new job and all that, that’s awesome. But I want to tell you you in and of yourself, just you not april the librarian or april that this or that or the voluntary church, but you just in sitting with here, your spirit and what you have to give and what you walk through and the fact that you’re still walking with jesus is amazing to me. So no, that and know your worth and know that whatever God calls you to do, you’re going to be great at it. And sometimes I’ve had close friends that have never been able to have Children or whatnot and sometimes they end up having lots of sons and daughters that they disciples and poured into that didn’t necessarily live with them and I, I just feel like in this, during this time you have so much to give because of your story and so we can have lots of family members that never came from her household.

[0:40:09] April: I do. I think this is an unofficial thing that I’ve never really proclaimed, but I guess because of what I watched my mom walked through whenever I see a friend of mine, especially particularly women with a guy that I know is terrible. I’m super defensive and I’m the first one to be like, nope, I’m not God, but no, I know how he is.

[0:40:33] Emily: See right in that moment you’re already a mama bear. I

[0:40:40] Lois: seriously, I genuinely have a gentle spirit and a kind spirit and yet a strong woman and that’s that’s beautiful, it’s a beautiful thing april.

[0:40:56] Emily: I would love to know, how did you meet James? Because it makes me mad that that message was internalized that because you could not have kids or because you this or that you were less valuable. So how did you meet

[0:41:10] April: him? So um I actually can think the I. F. B. For something. Um

[0:41:15] Emily: That

[0:41:18] April: one thing now um Well it turns out that um I made my journey almost in a circle because I was born and raised in north Carolina and then I went to the wonderful glorious house Anderson graduated from there. Oh yeah, that’s a whole other story

[0:41:38] Emily: Interview Part two. Yeah.

[0:41:42] April: Um and then I finished there and this was like in the early or the late two thousands 2011 when I finished um So this was during like a bad recession with the economy and I worked at the telemarketing job there, I still have nightmares about that by the way I really do. Um But so then I went to Iowa to college up there marvin smith um harvest baptist bible college and then I graduated my masters there and then I was up there in Iowa and I was living with three roommates um and we were just kind of, we felt stuck and this is when we all of us started questioning the F. B. Actually because of some of the things we experience there in the college but I won’t get into that. So we decided, you know it’s time to leave here. We’re all dead end jobs were in a church that pretty much everybody ignores us. Um Because there was a rumor going around that we got kicked out of college when we in fact had graduated. Um Not sure. Yeah, the college students were allowed to come to our house either, but I guess maybe because we had our diplomas hanging up on the wall, maybe that would prove it wrong. Um So then we were just, we were sick of Iowa is really boring up there. I’m sorry if you live there but I was bored. Maybe there’s cool things there that I don’t know about but the town I lived in was supremely boring. It was far a couple hours from des Moines which was where all the fun stuff was. So um but we were just like well where do we go next? And so I’m actually gonna call somebody out in a good way. Um I got on a house Anderson like facebook page and I said, hey is there anybody that has any churches hiring for christian schools? Because one of my roommates had a teaching degree, the other one had a general degree and I had a graphic design degree and I thought maybe I could use that for something and our other roommate was getting married and staying in Iowa so we left her there, we abandoned her, she’s got her husband she’s happy. But anyway, so we decided, well let’s let’s get on here and see what we can find. Well then um Katie, um oh Katie, her maiden name is Richie, she’s in the RFP group. Hi Katie, um she’s walker now. She actually mentioned the church that we ended up in. Um she’s like, hey, contact so and so at this church and the in the school and they’ll talk to you about it. I don’t know that we ever contacted them though, I think we just came down to that church and decided to visit and we kind of felt like that’s where we needed to go. And so a couple months later we just went ahead and moved down to Arkansas and I’ve lived there for seven years now almost and that’s actually my husband’s in the room with me, so I’m going to look at him a lot. But we were, we were there visiting for the first time in june or july and I was looking across the room across the church and I saw him and it was in the summertime, so most of the college students were not there and I saw him and I like, I saw how he was like smiling like he’s doing right now and I said oh he looks like he would be a super nice guy and well he is spoiler alert um so when we moved down to Arkansas, he was in my sunday school class because it was all like age based and uh I found out that he was the same age as me, but in college because he took a couple years off before college and then we just kind of would always do the FBI thing of smiling and making eye babies at each other after sunday school,

[0:45:32] Emily: I

[0:45:36] April: went

[0:45:36] Emily: there, I hi babies,

[0:45:45] April: so we were kind of doing that for a while, we were just like looking at each other and smiling and saying hi once in a while and then trying to remember um it was the day before, you know it was easter um I went to uh the church early for sunday night service and there was a bunch of college students in the fellowship hollow that’s connected to the church and they were all just kind of hanging out in there before church and one of my friends there um I’ll name her first name, her name is Rachel, um she plays the violin and my friend that was, my roommate brought her, what is it called, UKulele and I brought my flute, we were going to have a little jam session back there and I sat down besides somebody’s stuff, not knowing whose it was, I thought it was my friend Rachel’s stuff. Well then in walks James, my husband, not at the time, obviously, and he walks in

[0:46:42] Lois: and sits down, You guys were making I babies. Yes,

[0:46:44] April: we were very

[0:46:45] Emily: flirtatious,

[0:46:48] April: but he walked in and sure enough his stuff was right next to me, so he sat down and we started talking and then right before church started he asked me if he could get my number so we could text and then it all just kind of snowballed from there and we went through all the house Anderson people, you’ll get this all the stages of the relationship, the whole um I got your number. I like you, we’d be my girlfriend, I love you engagement stages that are mentioned in the book.

[0:47:19] Emily: Yeah,

[0:47:21] April: yeah, so we went through all

[0:47:23] Emily: that. Sorry. All

[0:47:24] Lois: I can think of right now is, hey, I just

[0:47:28] Emily: met you crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe. Oh,

[0:47:39] April: kind of accurate. That’s how we met. And then I think um I’m gonna have to fact check this. We were already dating whenever I told you. No. Yes, we were, yeah, we were we were dating at that point, we were boyfriend and girlfriend and we had not dropped the love bomb yet and it was a couple of months into it and I thought, you know, I really need to tell him this because it’s only fair for him to know that hey, I’m not having any kids, we’re not going to carry on your bloodline. Sorry, It ends with us, But so I was like, okay, well, I guess I need to tell them. And of course being I F B. We had to have like 40 chaperones and we were at Mcdonald’s of all places and I told him I just I just out and out told him, I was like, well, I need to tell you this, you need to know this. And um still to this day. He says that that’s when he knew that he loved me because he was so amazed that I would just share something like that with him. So important. And so about a couple weeks later, we ended up saying, I love you have a pizza place

[0:48:52] Emily: with 40 chaperone.

[0:48:54] April: Yeah, of course. So that’s how we met and then about a year later got engaged and married in our church. So we’ll have to renew those vows elsewhere though. So

[0:49:08] Emily: yeah, wow. So how long have you been married?

[0:49:12] April: Four years.

[0:49:13] Lois: That’s awesome too. Mm And I love the fact that because again, going back to your transparency and your vulnerability, just being candid is what was the turning point for him to know. For sure. I love this girl because he loved you for you, not because of what could be here. Just

[0:49:42] April: you. That’s what he that’s what he always says. And I love that

[0:49:46] Lois: good job. James.

[0:49:48] Emily: Yeah, crying over here. Well,

[0:49:53] Emily: that’s what you said, he’s jesus,

[0:49:56] Emily: I’m crying, You’re crying. Just follow this shopping onions grate. Mhm

[0:50:05] Emily: Thank you for sharing april I know that this is going to help us untwist some narratives and remember to see people for their value of who they are that your husband exemplifies and that you embody like because we all need that there’s stereotypes that we immediately assume the minute you hear things and I love that your story helps us bust those wide open and I appreciate you for just living out you. And I know people may have felt may have made you feel like you had to apologize for exactly who God made you to be. But I love that you don’t apologize for exactly who God has made you to be. So I have one last question because we have to keep this tradition going, I want to know if you have a dad joke to share

[0:51:07] Emily: with you have to

[0:51:10] April: I will I’ll give my husband credit for this. It was kind of a joint effort. But what do you call a church that recently had their eye FB pastor leave gluten,

[0:51:20] Emily: free blood and free.

[0:51:32] Emily: Exactly.

[0:51:33] Emily: Did you hear what they said? Like a six year old and 12

[0:51:38] Lois: year old, I should open the door and say guys were trying to record a

[0:51:41] Emily: podcast here, do it. All right. Yeah. Oh, okay. Uh huh. Because

[0:51:57] Lois: we were just getting messed with you guys. They’re probably like freaked out.

[0:52:00] Emily: You thought it was. You thought it was the people, we don’t even get me to, we were going to mess with them now. They

[0:52:06] Lois: probably think,

[0:52:08] Emily: well actually it was

[0:52:09] Emily: there too. Okay.

[0:52:10] Emily: Okay.

[0:52:12] Emily: 321. So I would love to know how you met James because

[0:52:19] Emily: it makes me Mhm.

[0:52:23] Emily: Yeah. Okay guys, I was actually kind

[0:52:27] Emily: being serious.

[0:52:30] Emily: I was kidding about the making fun. A few parts. I was not kidding about the recording part. I’m glad you’re having

[0:52:36] Emily: fun because we have a lot of fun. We gotta have a

[0:52:40] Emily: blooper out of this somewhere. Sure.

[0:52:43] April: I think that’s where you’re yelling at

[0:52:45] Emily: me away.

[0:52:47] Emily: 321.