Alissa shares the lessons learned from her life’s challenges breaking the poverty cycle, surviving infertility and watching her preemies struggle to live.
About Alissa McClure
- Raised in poverty in a broken home
- Became a teacher
- Children’s book author
- Married her best friend
- Struggled with infertility
- Gave birth to preemie twins and almost lost them
- Summer of 2018 released her first book for adults called, “Joy On! Ten Ways to Add More Joy to Your Life”
Lessons from a Broken Home
First, Alissa shared an experience she had in first grade where she learned that there was a better way to treat people than she was taught in her home.
From this experience, she learned to watch people outside of her home that were happy and doing good things and tried to incorporate those examples in her own life.
It must have worked with a nickname like “Smiley.”
Lessons from Infertility
After trying for over 5 years to get pregnant, she started to feel broken, frustrated, and that she was the only one that was struggling with this challenge.
She visited many specialists in the Houston area and no one could figure out what was wrong or help her.
Alissa wondered why God wouldn’t bless them with such a good goal of having children.
She wondered if maybe God didn’t trust her or think she was worthy to be a mother. Alissa said lots of prayers asking for children, but received no answer.
- Satan is cunning and places doubts in our minds because he doesn’t want us to feel good about ourselves.
- You are not alone in your doubts and inner struggles!
- It took Alissa years to realize that as a teacher and working with the young women of her church that she was able to “mother” children, and she was finally able to be okay with that. And she loved those girls and her students as best as she could.
- She told God that she was finally okay with the extent of her motherhood in March and found out she was pregnant with twins in July.
- Alissa feels like she needed to reach that point where she could submit to God’s will before He blessed her with children, but everyone is on their own path and the answer might be different for other people.
- Find an infertility support group. God will guide you to others who are struggling with the same issue, but you need to be willing to open up and talk to others, because often they have no idea.
- She almost felt both joy and sadness when she found out she was expecting: Joy because it had finally happened, but sadness because she didn’t want to tell her support group friends that were still struggling with infertility. It was kind of like a “survivor’s guilt.”
- Extreme gratitude for every child God gave her–even when they are fighting she reminds herself, “I begged for this!”
Tip 1: Never ask a woman if she is pregnant!
Tip 2: Don’t expect people who struggle with infertility to participate in baby showers, it is often too hard for them to straddle the happiness and grief at the same time.
Lesson for others: Don’t judge someone if you see they don’t have children–sometimes it is not by choice. Be kind in your comments.
Birth of Preemies
Next, Alissa shared her story of getting pneumonia and having to deliver the babies 10 weeks early by Emergency C-Section. Then her babies got a Staph infection and were balancing between life and death.
Alissa remembers thinking as she watched her babies struggle for life “This might be it for me. This might be my one chance for motherhood and I might never take my babies home.”
- She learned to be grateful for each moment she spent with her babies.
- Faith is shown in our works: She spent two months in the NICU beside her babies. Finally a nurse came up to her and said, “You must have a lot of faith.” Alissa wondered what she was talking about, but the nurse explained that she was there every day and she was smiling.
- Look up and serve no matter where you are. After that, Alissa reached out to the other mothers in the NICU and formed like a mini support group.
- God has a plan and He is aware of us even when it feels like we are all alone.
- It is hard to leave your baby at the hospital and go home without them.
- It is also hard to watch others come and go from NICU faster than you.
- Have mini pity party when discouraged and move on.
Tips to help others in this circumstance: Offer to drive them to the hospital (especially if they have had a C-Section and can’t drive.)
Book Recommendation for Preemies
Preemies: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies
- This book is great because it explains medical terms and give explanations for acronyms used in the NICU because the nurses there speak a different lingo
- It is also good to read how common these things were and that you weren’t alone in having your baby experience them.
- Examples: it explains why the the baby has a feeding tube in their nose and or an iv on their head.
- Keep going. Don’t give up.
Inspirational Quotes & Shareable Memes
Favorite Bible Verses
1.Matthew 6:28-30 “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”
Back story of this favorite verse: As a child she only had 4 outfits and so she had to figure out which outfit she would need to wear twice that week (and this was important to her at this time because she didn’t want people to know how poor her family was).
Her takeaway: Why am I worried about my clothes when the Lord will provide for me? God will always take care of us.
2. Luke 1:37 “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
The tricky thing here is often Alissa feels like she is getting inspiration coming from God and her very next thought is a doubt and she has to remind herself that with God nothing is impossible!
How to Connect with Alissa
Alissa’s Joy On! Course
Get Alissa’s Joy On! book on Kindle for 99 cents!
Background to writing the book Joy On!
After her 4th baby, Alissa experienced postpartum depression that took a long time to recover from. When she found out she was pregnant with her fifth baby, she was so worried she would have postpartum depression again. Her husband encouraged her to start doing the things that enabled her to recover from it the first time right away.
So, she started thinking about those things and doing them and it eventually dawned on her that these are things that she should share to fulfill her life mission: to bring more joy to the world.
Sign up for Alissa’s Joy On! Course here.
- Signups are only through January 31, 2019, so act quickly.
- In her course, you will focus on one topic each month with January doing some prep and preview exercises and December doing evaluation.
- Listeners of Stories of Hope in Hard Times get a 20% discount on this $48 course (that’s right–making it only $38.40 for you to be coached in a small group and have 2019 be a year of JOY for you!
- Your coupon code for this 20% discount is: HOPE2019.