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 29, 2010 § 1 Comment
In part one of this series, we learned that God is not looking for quantity of faith from us, but that He is looking for quality faith. The type of faith that says God is able to give me a baby, but if He doesn’t give me a baby, I will still serve and honor Him.
The question is where does this type of faith come from? I mean seriously clinging to God who doesn’t seem to work for you; at least not in the dark longings of infertility. So where do you get the kind of faith that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had when facing the fiery furnace?
They built their faith on their past experiences with God. Daniel chapter 1 relates the story of these three young men, most likely no older than 12 or 13. King Nebuchadnezzar had taken them into captivity, away from their homes, their parents, their temple where God met with them. They were in a pagan kingdom, ruled by a ruthless pagan king. It would have been easy to turn away from their faith. Instead these three and Daniel decided to keep God’s law and not eat the “choice” food from the king. Instead, they ate fruits and vegetables. They kept themselves pure and for their obedience, God blessed them with more knowledge and health than the other young men. Thus the king put these four young men into positions of importance.
Their past experience with God laid the foundation for their statement of faith while facing the fiery furnace. Is the same true for us? Do we have God experiences from which to draw quality faith? Do we have a history with God, seeing His hand and His miracles around us? Or do we close our eyes to God working in our lives?
Sisters let us look to our past and ask God to show us His hand in our lives. As we see Him working our faith will grow in quality. The kind of faith that honors God. This faith may not result in a baby of our own, but it will result in praise and honor to God.
Precious Heavenly Father, thank You that You do work in our lives. Thank You for the million miracles that I overlook every day. Forgive me for putting on my spiritual blindfold and refusing to see You in the symphony of my life. Help me to take my blindfold off, show me Your hand in my life, increase my faith. Oh Lord, I desperately want to cling to You, but I can’t do it myself. Help me to rest under Your mighty hand as You cling to me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
How is God working in your life?
September 27, 2010 § Leave a comment
I have felt the pressure from others that if only I had enough faith, then God would give me a child. I never should have used fertility treatments. So I have decided to do a series of posts on faith and infertility.
Have you ever thought, if only I have enough faith, I can have a child? I just need to visualize it, or imagine it, maybe I just need to say the right words. Certainly then God will hear me and open my womb.
Is that how you feel right now? Are you feeling burdened that you don’t have enough faith to get what you want most, a child? Do you wonder how much faith makes it “enough” so that you can have a baby?
Oh sweet friend, Jesus does not equate the quantity of faith with healing. Sometimes when He healed people miraculously he mentions their faith. However He doesn’t mention a quantity of faith, but a quality of faith (See Mark 5, Matt 18, and Matt 15).
This quality faith is the kind that knows God is able to do anything, but He may choose not to do it. It is the kind of faith that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had in front of the fiery furnace. They tell the king this, “‘our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.'” Dan 3:17-18 (ESV)
Sisters let us dwell here for a moment. Do we have faith that God is able to make our bodies work properly? Do we believe that He can open our wombs? If we answer yes, then the question is: will we still love and serve Him if He never gives us a child? That is the quality of faith God is looking for. Do you have it?
Father, thank You for being faithful to us. Forgive us for our lack of faith. Lord we hand over our hopes and dreams for having children. We lay them at Your cross. O Lord give us the kind of faith that helps us cling to You regardless if You give us children or not. Thank You for loving us while we long and ache for children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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 20, 2010 § 8 Comments
Infertility is the cause of many tears I have shed over the last five years. Sometimes I was so raw that I felt the tears would never stop. A flood from some deep dark place that would only ebb for a few hours and then break loose again. What is truly amazing to me is that God knows. He is there. The Bible tells us, He is the God of all comfort, but we often forget that He remembers our tears.
Psalm 56:8 (ESV) says, “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” The word tossings means a lamentation, or wandering. Haven’t you felt that way? Not knowing what to do next, not finding relief from the grief, wandering, tossing. Oh and God has kept count of it all. He knows what is going on inside you. He alone can truly say, “I understand.” Not only that, but He keeps our tears in a bottle. God holds our tears in a bottle to remember them, to memorialize our grief, and to let us know He cares. He doesn’t let one tear drop to the ground without catching it. Isn’t that wonderfully amazing? That the God who holds the universe together, the God that made the mountains, the oceans, the Grand Canyon, cares enough about me. A person made from dust and to dust I will on day return. I am like a dandelion, here today and gone tomorrow. Yet God keeps my tears I have shed because He cares for me! Not only does He keep my tears in a bottle, where they get mixed up and it is difficult to know if that one tear was for my children I will never hold or for the time I broke my arm. No He wants to know why each tear was shed. So He records it in His book. Oh some of the tears I may wish I never wasted. Tears over toys or sin I thought I needed. However most of those tears written down to see will be an amazing testimony of God with me. I cannot wait to get to heaven and see those tear records. My bottle of tears. Honestly I suspect my bottle will be quite smaller than others. I suspect that I have lived easier times than many others. Yet God doesn’t say that I will only keep the tears of those who really deserve to cry, no He will keep all our tears. Recorded for us to remember. In heaven we will have the full picture, we will see God’s glorious plan through the tears. What an amazing way to see God glorified – through our tears!
Are you crying tears of longing, grief, and pain today? As you cry remember God is gathering up those tears, writing them down, and loving you through this difficult time. When you can, thank God for His amazing gift of remembrance that we may glorify Him in our tears.
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.