October 8, 2010 § 1 Comment
In part one of this series we discovered that God desires a quality faith. Quality faith says, “I know God is able, but He may not do what I desire Him to do. Regardless, I will not stop worshiping Him.” Part two of this series laid out how we develop a quality faith. Through seeing God working in our lives, we develop a faith that will hold on despite God’s ways being different than ours.
So in our third and final installment we are going to see how quality faith realizes God’s plans are not our plans. Can you see Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego standing before the king with their knees knocking together? They boldly tell the king that their God is ABLE to save them from the fiery furnace. I am guessing in their minds they were planning that God could cause the soldiers to refuse to obey the king, or maybe God will put the fire in the furnace out so that it can’t be lit again. I do things like that. I make plans for how God can save me out of a fiery furnace in my life. He can miraculously heal my friend so she doesn’t have breast cancer any more and needs no surgery or chemo. He can miraculously provide the exact sum of money my friend needs so that she can keep her house. He can repair a marriage without the hard work that generally goes into reconciling two people who have deeply hurt each other. He can miraculously open my womb so I can have the children for which I desperately long. Oh, I have great plans. However God often doesn’t save us from the fiery furnace, instead, He saves us through the fiery furnace.
In fact Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Do you see it? God doesn’t promise that you won’t have to walk through some flooded ground, or that you won’t have to swim across a raging river, or that you won’t have to walk through the fire. God does promise that He will be with you, that the waters won’t cause you to drown, and that the flames will not burn you. No sisters He doesn’t promise that your faith will keep you from these things, instead He promises to be with you through those hard times. He promises you that you will not drown or burn. It may feel like drowning and burning, but it is only the refining process. The process that brings maturity, the process that purifies your faith.
Father God thank You that Your plans are much better than my own. Forgive me for complaining about the fiery furnace and for doubting You as I walk through it. Be real to me and my friends who are walking through the water and fire. Cleanse us of our sin, refine us to be more like Jesus. Help us to remember the fire and water are part of Your plan. Let us rest in You as we long for more children. In Jesus’ name Amen.
In what ways can you thank God for being near you as you walk through the furnace of infertility? Share with me what you think.
September 24, 2010 § Leave a comment
I know God has plans for me, yet I long for a child. I am content and full in Him, but I long. I hunger for more. I desire more. In that longing, however there is contentment. The kind that says, “God I trust my dream to Your plans.” I still hope, I still long, but I am content knowing God is in control. I can rest in His love, in His plans, and draw near to Him, despite the longing. Often I draw near to Him because of the longing. Where else can I go? Only He can fulfill my longing. Only He can open my womb and fallopian tubes. Only He can knit a child together in my womb or heart.
Perhaps this is the contentment that Paul is talking about finding. He knows the secret to contentment in any circumstance. Phil 4:11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” I am sure when Paul was hungry he never stopped longing for food. Yet he was content. He was content because he drew near to Christ. Jesus, our source of strength and comfort.
How often do we let our longing disconnect us from our Source of strength, Jesus. Why not let that longing draw us closer to the Source of power? As we draw near we may find deep contentment side-by-side the longing. Just as an empty stomach will not stop longing for food, our hearts may never stop longing for children. Oh, but we can find contentment as we draw near to God.
Father God, thank You that through Jesus I can do all things that You bring to me. Forgive me for holding to my longing for a child. Help me to bring that longing to You as a daily or hourly or maybe even minute by minute sacrifice. Not to rid myself of this dream, but to come near to You to find the strength to be content in You alone. Thank You for Jesus. In His Name, Amen.
How can you use longing as a reminder to draw near to Him?
September 22, 2010 § 1 Comment
Oh to hold you in my arms,
to watch you while you sleep;
to wrap your tiny hand in mine,
to kiss your soft pudgy cheek.
Oh to know the sound of your cry,
to see the sparkle in your eye,
to know your gender,
to say your name,
all privileges never attained.
My precious babies 22,
all wonder and potential,
are you there on heaven’s shore
awaiting my arrival?
My dear ones,
I miss you,
your siblings and daddy say so too,
know you are never far from our thoughts,
until in heaven when we are with you.
September 8, 2010 § Leave a comment
I am in a waiting period in my infertility journey, but many of you are in a season of going. Going involves a different kind of waiting. When we are going, we wait for doctors, test results, social workers, or parental rights to be revoked. This waiting is filled with hope, expectation, and possibility. During my go times, I found myself desperately beyond comprehension hoping. Yet I was holding my heart back for fear that my going would result in nothing. Going was wonderful because we had a plan and a direction. Oh, but going was painful because we never knew what the result would be. Could we get pregnant with IVF this time? Will a birth mom finally choose us, or will IUI work this time?
So how do we get through the waiting while moving ahead without turning into lunatics? Practically, we don’t allow whatever “going” we are doing to consume us. There is a great big world out there beyond whatever road we are pursuing to have children. We have a spouse to love, respect, and encourage. There are friends to encourage, dishes to wash, stories to tell and hear. There is more to life than our going. In fact during this going season we can pick up a new hobby. Knitting. I love to knit. While I waited at doctor appointments, lab draws, and ultrasound checks, I knitted. I made things for friends, family, teachers. Maybe you are a technophile and filling your waiting with time on facebook, blogging, or video games is up your alley. I have also learned that memorizing God’s word is a great way to fill the time that could be squandered in waiting. Perhaps a verse on God’s faithfulness would be a good place to start.
When we start out on the direction God has given us for our infertile journey, let us not forget waiting is a big part of going. As we wait, let us rest in God knowing that; “The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 God is before us leading us down the path, waiting with us and never leaving us. He is telling us to trust Him with the results and not be afraid or discouraged. He promises to never leave but more than that to never forsake us. Amazing but true. God is in the midst of it all.
Are you going? Are you waiting? Tell me about what you are doing. I would love to pray for you.
September 6, 2010 § Leave a comment
So we are waiting for God to perform a miracle. Right? A miracle in our bodies, so we can have a child, a miracle in circumstance so that a precious child who needs adopted comes to our door, or a miracle in our hearts so that we are content with our current situation. As we wait, we pray. We sometimes beg, other times we timidly ask, still other times we may practically yell our requests. However we wait. We wait for God to move.
The amazing thing is that God promises to renew our strength as we wait on Him. More than that, as we wait, God wants to give us a new perspective of Him. So He mounts us on eagles wings. He promises that we will run and not be weary. Ladies, He wants us to serve Him as we wait. Whatever form it takes, let us be faithful to run hard after God. Let us never waste our waiting on sitting like a bump on the log. However God isn’t done with us yet. On those difficult days when we just don’t have the energy to run, God promises us that we will walk and not faint. Ladies that means that on those hard days when we are struggling with God over our infertility. When we barely have strength to put on foot in front of the other, God is going to sustain us to keep us walking in Him.
In other words, as we wait, we grow in Him and we become stronger. I don’t know about you all, but I certainly could use more strength for the journey.
Father, thank You that as we wait for You, You will renew our strength. Father help us to wait on You and not on that pregnancy test or the next exam or the next blood draw. Help us to wait on You, on Your wisdom and Your direction. Father that our strength for the journey through infertility will come from You alone. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
September 3, 2010 § 2 Comments
I confess I am not always eloquent, nor do I much grace. I am a klutz who is too familiar with the taste of foot because I often find my foot in my mouth. When it comes to infertility it seems the world around us has foot-in-mouth disease. People say things that must seem funny or insightful to them, but feel like arrows piercing our aching hearts. At least that is how I have felt lately.
I have been dodging arrows. People hear I have three kids or see me with them and jokingly ask, “Are you ready for another.” They think I will quickly say, “NO!” They don’t know that I desperately want more and that I am sad that I have lost so many. I try to dodge the arrow, to pretend I didn’t hear or to laugh it off. Some days I answer, “I would like more, but I can’t have more.” Other days I even explain myself further. “Two of my three are IVF babies, but we don’t have any more embryos, so we can’t have more.” The explanation could drag on and on about the miracle I am praying for and waiting on God to accomplish. In the mean time I am dodging arrows.
Sometimes those arrows hit home and hit hard. I get mad or frustrated. I can really let those emotions drag me somewhere I don’t want to go. So instead I have been praying for wisdom and discernment. I have been praying that as I don the armor of God, I use it wisely. That the belt of truth will be my foundation, that the breastplate of righteousness will guard my aching heart. I pray my feet will be ready to go to spread the gospel regardless of my unruly emotions. I hold high that shield of faith because it helps me ward off the fiery darts Satan throws at me. I pray that my salvation will guard my mind as my helmet and that I will use God’s word as the sword of the Spirit in gentleness and love. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Sisters, infertility is a battle we are walking through, but God didn’t put us on this battle field helpless, defenseless, or offense-less. We have Godly armor available for our use, as others toss hurtful, crazy, off-the-wall comments toward us. We have to choose to wear it and pray for wisdom about how and when to use certain parts of it.
Father God, we are longing for children and You have said no, at least for now. So we pray that You will give us the strength to don Your armor. Help give us wisdom about when to use Your sword and when it is time to dodge arrows. Father, we thank You that through Your power and wisdom, we do not have to face these hurtful comments alone. Thank You for Your love and provision. Amen.
What are some arrows you have and thrown your way lately? Share with me some of the crazy or even uneducated things people have said to you.
September 1, 2010 § Leave a comment
I have been praying for a miracle. A miracle within my body so I can somehow conceive another child naturally; or a miracle that lands an orphan on my doorstep ready for adoption, no strings attached; or the biggest miracle of all, the one in my heart for contentment for my current situation.
I am not talking about liking the fact that I cannot without a miracle from God get pregnant naturally. I can never fathom enjoying the fact that against my will, I cannot add another child to my family. I am talking about the contentment that is found in God alone. Not the kind that I muster up, denying my true feelings, and hold tight to because I am afraid if I breathe wrong I may blow the peace and contentment away. I am talking about the type of contentment that is contrary to my human nature. The type that says, “God I would prefer to have more children, I know You are able to do it, but Your will, not mine be done.” This type of contentment is the kind Paul connects with Christ’s power.
When I lay down my preferences, my plans, my dreams, my hopes, my directions for life, and I allow God to have His way in me, then I can have contentment in Him despite my circumstances. In Philippians 4:12-13 Paul writes, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” So when I find contentment in Christ, I have His strength to do anything. Through contentment in Christ I have His power to face infertility. I have His power to not personalize comments that unintentionally pour salt on the wounds infertility has worn. Finding contentment in Christ empowers me to move beyond myself and my wounds, so that I can reach out to comfort others going through the grief and pain of infertility too.
Contentment in God empowers us to face infertility without tearing ourselves and our relationships apart. Christ’s power is ready and available to us. Are we ready to find contentment in Him?
Leave a comment about what you are struggling to lay down at God’s feet so you can find contentment in Him. I’ll be praying that God give you the strength to lay it down so He can empower you to face infertility. Bless you sweet sister!