Be Brave!

braveI have two words for you today…. be brave! If you don’t read any further, if you don’t hear anything else today, I pray that you read and hear this…. be brave!

Life can be scary, it can be a real struggle. For those of us struggling with infertility/infant or pregnancy loss it may seem down right impossible. The countless doctor appointments. The medication that leaves you feeling like the forgotten character from One Flew Over the Cookoos Nest. There might be an unanswered or an unexplained prognosis or test result. Or there might be the ending you never saw coming. It all has an unreal ability to make you feel beaten down, crushed, or deflated. Even when you tell yourself you are ok with moving on, something pops up that makes you question your resolve.

But dear one, I encourage you, no I implore you to be brave! Deuteronomy 31: tells us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you, nor forsake you” The Lord goes on to command Joshua in verse 23 “Be strong and courageous…. I myself will be with you!” I have noticed that the phrase be strong and courageous appear roughly ten or so times throughout the bible. Each time it is mentioned the Israelites were up against some serious odds and still the Lord was telling them to “be brave”.

The definition of the word brave is: ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage. By definition, all of us who struggle with infertility and loss, are already brave. In trying to conceive and living after loss we “are ready to face and endure danger and pain”. All that is left is for us to now LIVE IT! Be Brave!

I’m currently reading an absolutely incredible book titled Girls With Swords by Lisa Bevere. If you haven’t read it you really must. Lisa Bevere writes in her book, “Don’t imagine that always brave translates to never afraid.” I pray you really soak that in. There will be times in any trial when you are afraid, but that should never stop you from being brave. Be strong and courageous because He is with you. And when He is with you who can stand against you (Romans 8:31). That alone should give you the courage you need to be brave! Mrs. Bevere also writes in her book, “Lovely one, if you dare to dream,, you must be brave enough to fight.” What greater dream is there than for parenthood? To finally conceive/adopt that child you have been longing for! Be brave enough to fight.

God did not create in us a spirit of timidity or fear. He created in us a spirit of strength and courage, all we have to do is fully trust that He is with you. Be brave on your journey for our Father is with you wherever you go.

*Do you need a little more encouragement? Here are some scriptures that will strengthen and encourage you as you press on towards being brave: Deuteronomy 31:6,7,23; Joshua 1:6, 9, 18, 10:25; 1 Chronicles 22:13, 28:20; 2 Chronicles 32:7. Also check out You Make Me Brave by Bethel Music (just make sure you crank up the volume really loud!).

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There is a time for everything…

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“There is a time for everything, and a season for everything under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

A lot has happened in our crazy life since I lasted posted a month ago. There has been the usual work, housework, bible study, and church stuff that happens year round. But there has also been some new developments in the “baby department”. After lots of prayer and some pretty intense discussions where hubby and I laid it all out there, we have decided to no longer pursue having biological children.

Many factors played into our decision but it was one that we agreed upon mutually. For us the ultimate goal is to be parents and we know there are other ways for us to achieve that. Before I go further please let me just say this is how we feel for ourselves. I don’t want to diminish or make anyone else feel any kind of way about their own decisions. Carrying a child and child birth was very risky for me and its not a risk either of us feel comfortable making again. But I applaud and pray for every couple who continue on this journey over and over again.

I’ve had some time to really come to terms with what this means for us and how I feel about it. I never dreamed I would be able to accept this for myself. But now that I have I am able to see how much God has blessed me. Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Even before I was “delighting in the Lord” the way I should have been, He still loved me and gave me the desires of my heart. I had always wanted to be pregnant, to feel a baby move and kick inside me. I dreamed of the day hubby and I could hear our baby’s heart beat on the ultrasound. I desired to experience childbirth and to hold my children in my arms while I told them about Jesus and how much He loved them. I sit here today in total awe and praise because my Heavenly Father has given me all those things. It didn’t end up looking like I had planned but He gave me the desires of my heart anyways.

Its taken me quite a bit of time to realize this however. I was too intent on clinging to a season that had already passed. I was focused on getting that season back, to focus on making His plan fit into the mold I had created, that I missed seeing my desires fulfilled.

Theres been a lot of growing and a lot of praying going on. And I’m so thankful that I’m allowing myself the time to heal and the time to let go. I think I stood in the way of us moving forward a while ago….. then again maybe this is exactly what God had in mind for us all along.

There has been a time for birth and a time for death. There was time for planting and time for uprooting. A time for weeping and a time for laughing. Theres been plenty of mourning but also lots of dancing. I’ve kept and I’v thrown away. I’m learning to be silent because I know all to well how to speak (more than I should sometimes). I’m learning that there is healing and growth when we allow a season to pass.

I’m so excited to share with you our new season we are finding ourselves in. Hubby and I have decided to become foster/adoptive parents. We are still early in the process but already many of the “expectancy” and “nesting” symptoms are showing themselves.

I may not be pregnant…

But we are EXPECTING!!

He WILL meet you where you are

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God is AWESOME! The fact that He sees me, hears me, and knows me just leaves me breathless. He is the author and creator of Heaven and earth. He reigns on high above all and yet He sees me, hears me, and meets me right where I am. My human brain just can’t fathom that.

I’ve been struggling a little more than usual lately. I’m sure its just because the holidays are quickly approaching and thats always a rough time for those of us in the IF community. I’ve been spiritually and emotionally drained. There have been more days where I have wanted to throw in the towel. There have been more days where I could almost feel the ugly bitterness and anger dripping from my heart. There have been days where I have asked others to pray for me because I was finding it especially hard to pray for myself.

That’s where I found myself last week on my way to church. I had the music on and I was trying hard to pray and prepare my heart for the message. I just told God, “You know I am hurt and broken. I’m on the verge of giving up and for some reason I feel like you just aren’t listening anymore. Father GodI’m praying and praying and I’m still here with a broken heart. Please just meet me today right where I am in hurt and bitterness.” As I finished praying I noticed what song was playing. It was “Jesus Bring The Rain” by Mercy Me. If you haven’t heard the song you must go straight away and find it on youtube (if I was more tech savy I would have found some way to include the song here but alas I am not). Part of the song goes like this:

Bring me joy, bring me peace

Bring the chance to be free

Bring me anything that brings you glory

And I know there’ll be days

When this life brings me pain

But if that’s what it takes to praise you

Jesus, bring the rain

Needless to say I was sobbing and I went right back to prayer. “God I get that. Believe me I know that there will be pain and I know you will use it for good and I know it is meant to bring you glory! I get that but I’m so tired of hurting. Please just speak to me.”

I kid you not the very next song that played was “He Knows” by Jeremy Camp. The song starts with:

All the bitter weary ways

endless striving day by day

you barely have strength to pray

in the valley low

How hard your fight has been

how deep the pain within

wounds that no one else has seen

hurts too much to show

And then the beautiful chorus cries out:

He knows, He knows

every hurt and every sting

He has walked the suffering, He knows

He knows, He knows

Let your burdens come undone

Lift your eyes up to the one who knows

He knows

I was an emotional hot mess by the time I pulled up to church. God had so beautifully spoken to me. He could have stopped right there and I would have been encouraged and lifted up. I would have felt God’s love poured out over my heart. But God is AWESOME and He doesn’t just meet our needs. When He pours out its to overflowing.

Praise Jesus and Hallelujah. God spoke to me again through the church sermon. The sermon was titled “How significant are you to God?” The key scriptures we looked at were Luke 19:1-10. Its the story of a man named Zacchaeus who lived in Jericho. He was the chief tax collector and reportedly the shortest man in town. He was extremely wealthily which was just the towns way to visibly see that he was more than likely getting wealthy from their taxes. Zacchaeus was probably not very popular. He had probably spent most of his adult life being called some not-so-names. But on this particular day Zacchaeus had heard that Jesus was coming to town. Zaccaheus wanted so desperately to see Jesus. So this very wealthy man, probably dressed in some pretty fancy clothes and the finest sandals tax dollars could buy, ran through town and climbed a sycamore tree and crawled out on a limb so he could see Jesus. Now bare with me I know you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with God speaking to me. When Jesus arrived in Jericho, He walked through town straight for that sycamore tree. He looked right up and called Zacchaeus by name. Jesus met Zacchaeus right where he was and called out to him. This same man who was more than likely the least popular guy in town was sought out and called by name by the Messiah. Jesus noticed him, He affirmed him, and Jesus wanted him.

In that moment I heard God whispering to me, “Brittny I see you, I hear you, and I want you!” God is AWESOME. He sees you, He hears your tears and your prayers, AND He will meet you right where you are. Even if thats up a tree, out on a limb, feeling like you are on the verge with no where else to go!

I can smile because of HIM

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1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

My heart is so over joyed! Three times in the last week I have had the opportunity to share my testimony with people. Each time the response was much the same… “Oh my goodness I’m so sorry but thats an incredible testimony”…. “Oh my goodness you are so incredibly strong”…. And my favorite, “WOW I would never have guessed you ever went through something like that because you are always so happy and you always have a smile on your face!” My response is always the same, “I can smile because of HIM”.

You see God is the source of my strength and my comfort. Its been such an incredible lesson in God’s love, compassion (and comfort), and His peace that surpasses all understanding. On my own I would be drowning in a dark pit of despair. On my own I would be stuck, shrouded in depression and hopelessness. But because of Him I can smile, I can rejoice and give thanks, and I can share with anyone who will listen all the wondrous works He has done in me.

Its also been a great lesson in sharing. God doesn’t give us these beautiful stories, written on our hearts for us to cling to or hide. He gives us our stories for us to share and proclaim all His great works. You just never know who you will minister to when you share your story. Just the other night when sharing with my neighbor about our loss she was able to share about hers. This woman was given a chance to share, an opportunity to recognize she too carried a life that left this earth too soon. This beautiful woman who probably hadn’t had a chance to really share this precious life with anyone spoke of her child and all the things she had hoped for.

I urge you to share your stories. Be bold and encouraged. You story just may help someone else heal!

*If you are reading this blog for the first time or you are stopping by from IComLeavWe you can find my testimony back in June titled I Share With You My Testimony!

An extra dose of comfort

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The last few days I have needed an extra dose of comfort that only God can provide. Its been such a battle between joy for my sister, excitement for these precious little boys God has gifted to us to love, and sorrow for my own loss. Especially after she texted the other night when she was discharged from the hospital after her C-section. My precious nephews were born on Wednesday of last week and have been in the NICU ever since. Praise God that they are doing so well after being born at 32 weeks. Its just brought back so many emotions that I didn’t expect to deal with.

Anyways the other night she texts me and of course she feels guilty as it is for texting me of all people but she needed comfort. She says, “I’m being discharged from the hospital and I didn’t realize how hard it would be to leave them there all alone. Will you please pray for me?” I’m sure she struggled immensely with reaching out to me of all people but we are a family who prays for each other and she reached out to her big sister. My earthly self was screaming “How dare you complain to me about this. At least you babies are touched and fed and snuggled so tightly in warm blankets. I had to leave my babies cold and alone knowing they were waiting to be picked up by a funeral home. How dare you come crying to me looking for comfort.” I am ashamed that I even have earthly thoughts like this. Thankfully I pushed my earthly thoughts away and was able to offer her comfort.

The next day I came across 2 Corinthians 1:3-5,

“Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (emphasis mine).

God has not showered me with compassion through my darkest times for me to store it up. He hasn’t poured out compassion and peace that surpasses all understanding for me to bottle it up and ignore those around me who are hurting. God has poured out an abundance of compassion and comfort so that after receiving it and healing (even though it doesn’t seem like it sometimes) I can then pour out that compassion on someone who is hurting. It doesn’t matter that my loss was permanent. That when I left the hospital that night with empty arms I wouldn’t be going back to get them when they got better. In that moment when my sister texted me she was hurting and her pain was real, and God has called, prepared, and equipped me to offer her comfort.

Would you like to hear something beautiful!? One several occasions over the last few days friends from various parts of the country have sent me messages saying that God has placed me on their hearts and they are praying for me. These friends had no idea what was going on they just knew they needed to pray. God saw me hurting and He called people to pray. He again poured out His compassion and reminded me that my pain and suffering never goes unnoticed to Him.

My Heavenly Father also never misses an opportunity to speak to me. Just the other night (the day that I was hurting a little bit more than the other days) I opened my nightly devotional and 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 spoke to my heart.

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

Even as the day was drawing to a close My precious Heavenly Father saved up a beautiful promise to share with me. In that moment I realized I’m going to press on through the hurt, I will finish this race God has called me to run, and someday I will receive my eternal reward and my precious Vance and Veronica will be waiting there at the finish line to welcome mommy home! Jesus tells me in this world you will have trouble but take comfort my dear child I have overcome this world!

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God can make the impossible possible

IMG_0884Yesterday was one of those days where I had to remind myself of all the impossible things God has made possible. I needed the refresher because yesterday was one of those days where imaging I will ever have a baby seemed like a giant impossible! Oh did I forget to mention that while I was having “one of those days” my sister was in labor and gave birth to my twin nephews last night! Perfect timing right!! It was one of those days where the weight of infertility felt like it was crushing down on me. So its days like yesterday that draw me closer to God’s word and all the times God made the impossible possible.

I turn to the book of Joshua and watch as the wall around Jericho falls and the city delivered into the hands of the Israelites, and all it took was some marching and some trumpets and a whole lot of Godly intervention. I look to the “mighty warrior” Gideon and how he took on the Midianite army with a minuscule army. Not only did they take them on but they were victorious. God made that possible.

I can turn to the book of John and witness as Jesus turns five small loaves of bread and two small fish to feed 5,000 people. I don’t know about you but no matter how I try to slice a loaf of bread and a filet of fish I just can’t seem to get it to stretch that far. Again another impossible that God made possible.

Now if these stories aren’t enough to snap me out of the funk I was in yesterday there are so many others I can turn to, to remind myself that God can easily make an impossible possible. But what usually brings me the most comfort is when I look to the women in the bible who also thought having a baby was impossible. What better source of comfort than to be inspired and comforted by women who have lived with the pain of infertility! When I look at them side by side and see the children God blessed them with it blows me away.

Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was barren. The same Abraham whom God told would be the “Father to many nations”…. and his wife was barren. Years, and years, and years go by and still no baby for Sarah. But God was faithful to His promise to Abraham and Sarah. Even after the instance with “the other woman”, God still blessed Sarah with a son. This son would be the first in a long line of descendants. Isaac’s wife Rebekkah was barren. Genesis 25:21 shows us that Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was barren. God answered Isaac’s prayer and Rebekkah has not one son but two! Twin boys Jacob and Esau. Jacob is one of the most influential people in the Old Testament and the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. Rachel gave birth to Joseph who because of his faithfulness in all circumstances became the second most powerful man second only to Pharaoh. This positioned him in a place where he was able to provide for Israel during a time of great famine. Or how about Hannah. Oh dear, sweet Hannah. Her story tugs at my heart strings more than the others for some reason. Hannah prayed with all her heart for a precious son and God answered her prayers. Hannah gave birth to Samuel who later becomes a priest and a prophet, a man of God who anoints the first two kings of Israel. I can also read about Manoah’s wife who gives birth to mighty Samson who is one of the great judges in a time of great rebellion. And we can’t forget about Elizabeth. Elizabeth was barren but God blessed her even in her advanced age. Elizabeth gave birth to John the baptist. THE John the baptist! The very one that Jesus called the greatest man born of woman.

As I look over this list of women I can’t help but realize that I am in good company. I’m sure at one time or another each one must have felt like having a baby was just impossible. For some it was old age, for others maybe it was just taking way too long. For me sometimes I feel like I’m getting too old. Sometimes I feel like its taking way too long and I’m running out of time. And then there are times when I look at the finances and the burden of paying for yet another round of treatment seems like an obstacle we just can’t possibly tackle. Thats when I have to remember all the impossibles God made possible. I have to remember that yes on my own it is impossible but I am not alone. The burden has been lifted! God makes even the most impossible possible! He did it for Sarah, Rebekkah, Rachel, Hannah, Manoah’s wife, and Elizabeth. And someday, in someway, when He says its time, He will do the same for me. Yesterday was my pity party, today I get back to God’s reality. Today I rejoice for the new lives that God has blessed us with. I may not be loving on my precious babies right now, I can love on my precious nephews.

Life On The Infertility Super Highway Part II

IMG_0878Welcome back as we continue our road trip on the infertility super highway! If you missed yesterday’s post I would recommend reading Part I before reading Part II. Probably the worst part of any road trip is the traffic jams! After living in Hawaii I have a whole different understanding of traffic jams! The freeway actually becomes a parking lot twice a day Monday through Friday and more often than not on the weekends as well. There are traffic jams on the infertility super highway as well. They come in the form of failed cycles of IUIs and IVF. They come when the money you have budgeted runs out. It comes to a screeching halt when devastated by the loss of a pregnancy or neonatal death. However the traffic jam manifests in your life try and approach them in a positive way. I know this is so much easier said than done. When you find this hard to do turn to James 1:2, “Consider it pure joy, my brother, when faced with troubles of many kinds”. Believe me I know this is a hard pill to swallow. But I can attest that there is joy to be found in our traffic jams! And sometimes the greatest joy is the joy you experience in your greatest trial. If you are currently stuck in a traffic jam crank up the music, roll down the windows, look around you at the beauty all around you. The beauty you would probably have missed had you been flying down the freeway traffic free.

Like any road trip there comes a point when you have to take that exit and get off the freeway. You’ve found the exit and you go from 60-0 in a matter of seconds. Sometimes you get off where you want to but other times you are forced off for reasons outside of your control. Maybe you have been successful and your exit is called mommy-hood. Maybe your exit is called adoption and its leading you to a freeway change. Maybe your exit is called rest. Or maybe your exit is called child free. Whatever your exit is called recognize that the off ramp isn’t the end of the trip, it’s merely a transition from one route to another. You just have to keep driving!

Every road trip is different. We all take different roads, drive different cars, and have different experiences. One thing that is necessary for all road trips though is a road map or GPS. We can’t get to where we are going if we don’t know how to get there. God’s word and the Holy Spirit must be the road map on our infertility road trip. He is our strength when we are weak. His voice whispers words of affirmation and encouragement just when we think we can’t go any further. And He directs our path when we turn to Him. Proverbs 3:6 says, “Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take”. We may make the plans but the Lord will direct our paths (Proverbs 16:9). Its so easy for us to get in the car and drive and just wing it. But that only leads to dead ends and unnecessary detours. Seek God’s will and plan for your journey. Trust that He will select only the very best route for you.

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Life On The Infertility Super Highway Part I

At church yesterday the pastor started his sermon by referencing the Rascal Flatts song “Life is a highway” and though his sermon continued about sin and the detours we try to take to work around it, it made me think about infertility. It seems like I can draw some kind of connect the dots game with infertility and almost anything else. Rest assured I put infertility on the back burner and paid attention to the pastor’s sermon and the words God wanted me to hear. After church however I couldn’t escape the truth behind the simple statement “life is a highway” or rather “life on the infertility super highway”.

When we plan a road trip, or just get in the car to go somewhere we expect to start the car, pull out of the driveway, and drive to wherever it is we are going. We obey the traffic laws but we hope and expect to just get to where we are going. I think we expect becoming mommies (or daddies) ill happen much the same way. We get married, do the “deed”, and bingo-bango two pink lines and nine months later a beautiful, healthy baby swaddled tightly in your arms. Sadly for so many our road trip to mommy hood isn’t so easy.

The beginning of the infertility journey reminds me of a roundabout. There is one way in but several ways out. Everyone else seems to know exactly where they are going and there I am sometimes I’m confident and sure and other times I’m stuck going around and around until I figure out which way to go. The worst roundabout I have ever experienced was several years ago in Paris. I swear it was like seven lanes wide and I don’t think anyone knew what the direction of travel was or if they even cared. It was a giant free-for-all. If you find yourself at this point in your infertility road trip take heart. It won’t last forever. Be patient, eventually you will discover your way out.

As you continue on the infertility super highway you will inevitably happen upon a yield sign. Your yield sign may be waiting on God to determine what to do next. Your yield may be  stepping back and allowing a mommy-to-be in your life to be filled. Your yield may be taking a break between treatments . Whatever your yield sign is be encouraged. This is the time I have found that God does some of his greatest work. Allow Him to pour into you. Be refreshed and renewed by the Holy Spirit. Believe me I know how hard this is. I’m a take chafe, proactive type of person and this “yield” time I’m in at the current moment has been the greatest challenge for me. But I can say with full confidence that while I have been yielding, God has been hard at work in my life.

So you’ve been diagnosed, you’ve determined the course of treatment thats right for you, and you are moving forward. You have reached your on ramp. Everyone else is traveling at a high rate of speed and you are just trying to catch up. You have to merge, find an opening. Sometimes thats easy and sometimes thats hard, either way you are on and traveling along like everyone else.

It doesn’t take long at all once you’ve merged on the freeway to remember that even though you are traveling at the same rate of speed your road trip isn’t like the other travelers. You hit a patch of bumpy road. You can still drive on this road and get to where you are going, but goodness it’s an inconvenience. Maybe you are switching doctors or treatment options. Maybe the treatment and the struggle to conceive is straining your relationships. The bumpy roads on the infertility super highway are inevitable but they don’t last forever. Recognize your pump roads and appreciate them. Consider them a sign from God that rough road is ahead if you don’t patch up the road you are on.

Now if you are stubborn like me and you have ignored the “bumpy roads ahead” signs in your life you are bound to run right into a pot hole. Some pot holes are small, sneak up on you, cause a little bump, but little else. Others are giant pot holes that you can’t avoid. Losing Vance and Veronica was the biggest pot hole I have ever encountered. It WRECKED me. Put my “car” out of commission for quite sometime. This pot hole required serious roadwork and a long detour.

God is the master road worker. His tool box and the equipment He has to use is beyond comprehension. He takes His time, never rushes, or cuts corners. When God begins His “roadwork” you can be sure He will complete the good work He has started. He will put up detour signs, and like me you might get frustrated that you couldn’t just take the easy way. But God’s way is always the best way! God’s roadwork results in new pavement. There is nothing like driving on a freshly paved road. Its smooth and quiet. Its like sailing more than driving. When you have found yourself on the “new pavement” on your infertility highway you will know that its the way God has chosen for you!

*The road trip doesn’t end here. Stay tuned for Life On The Infertility Super Highway Part II.

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!