October 13, 2010 § 4 Comments
I am enthralled with the Chilean mine rescue that is continuing as I type these words. I am amazed at God’s perfect provision for these men. I am awed at the faith, courage, and perseverance these men have displayed. The idea of being trapped underground for one hour freaks me out. The fact that these men have been there, alive, and generally healthy for months baffles me. It just goes to show me what our God is able to do. I am so glad to see fewer men underground as the hours pass by and I nearly dissolve into a puddle of tears as I see each man raised, essentially from the dead. I am in awe.
This awe is leaking over into my way of thinking about infertility. It often feels like I am stuck in a dark, confined space, when I know God made me for bigger things. I am made to bear children, I am made to mother children. Oh, but I am stuck in a dark hole. I am awaiting rescue. My all-powerful God can make it happen. If God can work things out so that a drill bit cuts into the emergency shelter the 33 mine workers were trapped in, then provide those men with pen, paper, and mental acuity so they can attach a note to the bit, letting everyone know they are alive, then my God can do a miracle in my mine of infertility.
I have said it before and I will say it again, I can get the miracle I want. God could miraculously give my husband and I another child, in my body. Since my tubes are tied, that would be nothing short of an act of God. God could also bring a child that needs adopted and place him or her on our doorstep. You see we cannot go through the emotional ups and downs of treatments or adoption. It would be too hard on us all. Instead, God would have to give us a child. One meant for us to adopt, and make it clear that he or she was from Him. Finally God could do a miracle in my heart and give me contentment in my current situation.
No matter how God chooses to get me out of the mine of infertility, I know He can and He will. I just have to be patient, like those miners. I have to stay in shape, I have to “arm myself with Christ’s attitude” 1 Peter 4:1. I have to trust in God. He is faithful. I just have to rest in Him.
Father God, help me to rest in knowing You are able, You are God, and You have a plan for a miracle in my life. Let my heart be teachable and malleable to Your will and Your ways. Forgive me for despair. Help me to rest in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
October 11, 2010 § Leave a comment
Echos again in my mind.
Ripping my heart open
for what is not mine
at least not yet.
Whispered this time,
as through time and space
from some unearthly place.
As if to say it is not time,
at least not yet.
In sing-song lilt,
almost painful to hear.
Yet peace is some how near.
A promise of forever, no more tears to endure
the day that has not come,
at least not yet.
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 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.
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.