I am who God says I am!

So we have moved to yet another new home (our sixth home in ten years actually) and with that comes meeting new people. Let me tell you for the mega introvert like myself, meeting new people is certainly not in my top five favorite things to do! I swear I get hives just thinking about meeting new people. I have to psych myself up for it. I run down every scenario possible trying to anticipate what questions may come up in the “get to know you chit chat”! I’m sure there has even been a time when I practiced in front of the mirror before leaving the house! Thankfully for me I’m married to Mr. Social Butterfly. When we go out together I usually let him do all the talking but unfortunately there are times when I must venture out in that big world all on my own!

I believe the biggest reason why I dislike meeting new people so much is because I know someone is bound to ask the dreaded question. Oh come on now you know the one I’m talking about…. “So how many kids do you have?” It always comes up. Just yesterday I was getting my hair cut and the lady trying to make small talked asked about my children.  It’s inevitable people always inquire about your children like its a requisite for women of childbearing age these days! Its the infamous “getting to know you question”. Now I can answer this question one of two ways. First I can say “No, no children for us yet” and then silently whisper “sorry Vance and Veronica mommy loves you so much and I promise I didn’t forget about you.” Which then leaves me feeling like I have just denied my own flesh and blood and I’m having an internal battle that the poor inquirer knows nothing about. While I’m battling with myself the other person always responds with “Oh don’t you guys want any kids?” To which I can politely chuckle and say “oh someday hopefully” or I can say “well you see my female parts never learned how to work properly and it just doesn’t seem like its our time just yet!” Or I can choose the second option: “yes I have two children. I have a son and a daughter but they are in Heaven now.” However this option shocks the inquirer and leaves them grasping for something else to say and I’m just standing there thinking “gee bet you wished you hadn’t asked that now don’t you!”

I have no idea why it is so important to ask a stranger if they have any children. At times I have felt as if my worth as a human in society somehow correlated with the number of children I did or did not have. Those with many children were some how of far greater worth in our society than I who for the moment is childless here on earth….. And then it struck me. I was looking at it with an earthy prospective. When I begin to look at it from God’s perspective a much more incredible picture of who I am begins to take shape.

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Image found at dailytimewithgod.com

When I turn to God’s word and ask Him, “God who do you say I am?” He answers: “You are my child (John 1:12). You are a friend of Jesus (John 15:15). You are a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). You are a citizen of Heaven (Philippians 3:20). You are LOVED by me and I chose you (1 Thessalonians 1:4). Most importantly you are of great worth, bought with a great price (Romans 5:8).” How incredible to see that I am all those things to my Heavenly Father.

Meeting new people will more than likely still not be one of my favorite things. But now I have a whole new perspective. I’m fairly certain people will still ask me how many children I have… its inevitable. And I suppose I will have to discern the best answer for the situation. But from now on I refuse to allow my mommy hood (or lack there of) to determine my worth or who I am. Because clearly the only thing that is important is who God says I am!

Image found at graciousjesusdaily.blogspot.com

Image found at graciousjesusdaily.blogspot.com

A ride on a roller coaster

roller coasterI love roller coasters. I must confess I’m finding I loved them more when I was younger, but I still love a ride on a good roller coaster now and then. The old wooden ones are the best. The sound of the cart clunking along on the way to the top. The wooden beams joined together that shows evidence of years of riders. The steady, slow climb to the top, that brief moment of anticipation and expectation before your cart plummets down the other side. In those first short moments your heart pounds and races a million beats a minute and then suddenly…. stops! Then the ride accelerates through highs and lows, corkscrews, and twists all before coming to a peaceful stop at the end. A roller coaster ride lasts mere minutes if you are lucky. All those sensations happening at once and then they are over leaving you breathless on an adrenaline high.

There is one roller coaster however that I don’t like. I loathe it actually. That roller coaster has an awful name. Can you guess what it might be called? It’s called the emotional roller coaster. And I’m sure if you have journeyed down the road of infertility for very long you are well acquainted with this particular roller coaster. You start your family building journey expectant and excited. Slowly chugging along sure that anyday now a precious baby will begin growing inside. But after sometime you begin to realize its not going to be that easy for you (you have now reached the top of the ride please keep your arms and feet inside the ride at all times and please fasten your seat belt…. this WILL be the roughest ride you have ever been on). From here you plummet at breakneck speeds to the ground. Joy and excited expectations have turned into grief and despair, which will mellow out as you prepare for what comes next in your journey. And again joy and contentment spin haphazardly into anger, bitterness, jealousy, and resentment. The ride rushes on in spontaneous patterns for however long you remain in your seat. Each phase of the ride varies in length and sometimes you think you’ve been on the ride for too long so it slowly rolls to a stop, but only briefly because you may be like me and just too darn stubborn to get off this evil ride. So around and around you go on the crazy emotional roller coaster. You laugh and enjoy it, you cry and scream for dear life to get off. Your emotions are all over the place you often wonder why no one has locked you up in a padded room somewhere!

I often wonder if my jumbled emotions reflect a wavering faith. I feel at times that if I’m not riding this crazy ride with an appearance of joy and constant contentment that some how a chink in my faith armor has been revealed. As a believer I KNOW that God will always provide for all of my needs. I KNOW that His grace is always sufficient in all circumstances. I also KNOW that He has a great plan and purpose for my life. I KNOW this so why do I hurt? Why am I so angry, bitter, and jealous at times? Why do I feel such sorrow at our loss that at times that it takes my breath away? Why do I feel as if sometimes God has forgotten all about me? I suppose the short answer is I’m human living in a fallen world. However Jesus tells us in John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble…” It should come as no mystery to me then.

When reeling like this I look to Jesus. The whole “what would Jesus do” saying comes to mind. Jesus was sent to earth fully God and fully man. He experienced life, it’s joys, pain, anger, and sorrow during His time here on earth. But while Jesus experienced all these things He never wavered, never lost sight of who He was and to whom He belonged. For Jesus it wasn’t the fact that He felt these emotions it was how He expressed them that brings me encouragement and guidance. Jesus rejoiced with those around Him. He wept openly and privately. He cried out to His Father in Heaven even asking “Father why have you forsaken me?” But the one thing Jesus never did was sinned. He never let His emotions control Him or His actions. And although Jesus is the Son of God and the complete image of perfection I can still use this as a guide to how I express my crazy emotions on this crazy ride.

I will never waver in my faith. I will never allow anger, bitterness, or jealousy harden my heart or cause me to turn away from me Father in heaven. I will pray and seek God’s guidance prayerfully as I seek His will and His plan for our future child. I will try and take off my running shoes and exchange them for laid back “slippas” and remind myself that I can not rush ahead and try to beat God to the punch. I will remind myself daily, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27!

A baby for my birthday

IMG_0738My birthday was yesterday, and just like every other birthday or holiday my husband spent the last week asking what I wanted. Immediately off the top of my head I thought, “I want to be moved into our new house already” (we have been moving cross country for about a month and a half now). Of course there is no way for him to speed up time or move our position on the housing list so that was out of the question. And since we are living in a small hotel room there isn’t much necessity for any household item, so I was stumped. What was one thing that I wanted for my birthday? “I want a baby” whispered my heart! 

Although my mind was contemplating tangible items I might fancy, my heart knew the one true thing that I desire more than anything!

We live in an age of instant gratification. We want something we rush out to the store and buy it. I have one touch shopping on my iPhone and iPad. With one click I can have that item purchased and preparing for shipment within seconds. If money isn’t an object for you, you can have just about anything you desire. However the last time I checked there wasn’t a little baby emporium that keeps adorable cherub-like babies on the shelf. I’m sure if there was one I would have stocked up on babies a long, long time ago!

So needless to say there wasn’t a baby for my birthday waiting for me. The longing, the ache, and the desire is still there. At times its unbearable. At times the thoughts and feelings of guilt and shame creep in and overwhelm my whole being. I know however that those thoughts do not come from above. They come from an enemy whose soul mission is to cause me to stumble and turn my focus away from my Heavenly Father. So I fight harder. I cling to God’s word and His promises for me. And I pray…A LOT!

Just the other night actually, I was wide awake hours before my alarm went off for church, and while contemplating for the hundredth time “always a godmother, never a mommy” I began to silently cry out to God. “Father God I pray for a miracle. I pray for a son to carry on my husband’s name. Father please don’t forget me or my desire.” I call these my Hannah moments! Anyways I eventually fell back to sleep and thought the moment was over. That was until I was sitting in church and the chaplain boldly announces the message title was “Where Is My Miracle?” It was one of those moments that make you sit up straighter in your seat and look around to see if anyone else can spot the target the preacher just placed on your forehead!

I won’t share the whole sermon with you, I know there is no way I can do it justice anyways. I will share with you the practical questions I was left with:

  • Am I willing to be obedient (even when it seems crazy)?
  • Am I willing to give God all the credit?
  • Am I willing to endure hardship?

Now I know thats not to say you merely answer yes to all these questions and sit back waiting for miracles to rain down from heaven. What I think the chaplain was saying was when we are obedient, when we are willing to completely remove ourselves from the equation, we allow God to work out things in far greater ways than we can imagine. We just need to allow God to come out of the box we have tucked Him into recognize that His ways and His miracles will never look like how we expect them to.

Its difficult…. shoot if there is a word that is even stronger than difficult you can insert that here…. waiting on God. I can’t seem to understand the why or the when. And I will admit it’s a daily struggle. But I know there is healing in the name of Jesus. I know that if He is allowing me to endure the hardships its because He will be glorified at the end. I also know that I need to seize hold of God’s grace especially in the moments when he pain and ache of my empty arms seem the worse. One day my Heavenly Father will be the only one to take credit for the miracle He is preparing to do. One day I will look back and confidently say, “All this for your glory Lord!”

Most importantly I will remember and cherish the fact that I have already received the most precious gift of all. I have received the gift of eternal life. I have inherited the kingdom of heaven and all that my Father chooses for me. My precious savior and redeemer carried my shame and sins and endured the cross (the ultimate of hardships) so that I may freely receive His precious gift to me. Everything else is just an extra blessing He has chosen to pour out to me!