Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ya'll, life is hard.

Hello friends.... I never know who is exactly reading this, so it’s always hard for me to say Hi. But after I post I am always so surprised/encouraged and...blessed...by the people that stumbled on this who I haven't spoken to in years who decide to drop me a line. So whoever you are- Hi Friend! I have to start this post like most of my previous by saying, it’s been a long time since I've done this. I guess that's the only perk of working 70-80hours/week is getting to blame things like this on your job. So I will use that as my excuse today. Also, I think God needs to really work things into my heart before I can make sense of it and then write anything with any meaning to it. Not that what I say is wrought with insight and meaning, but hopefully it at least makes sense?

Today is not just a post about me, but a post about...everyone I guess. It’s been about a year, give or take, since I started opening up more about our difficulty conceiving and our journey. And what has surprised me in that time is how many people have shared their hard stories with me. Some of them are similar to mine, and some are TOTALLY different, but in the end, even if it’s the opposite struggle it has almost been amusing to see how similar the lessons of the heart are. And so, that's why I say that this post is about everyone. Because we are all going through something hard. That is what I have decided. This life is hard. This life, sometimes sucks, and this life is not fair. I was listening to a Matt Chandler sermon the other day and he said something like "In this life God will teach us through pain and joy and laughter and tears and suffering, but in the next life we won't have to have the pain in order to digest His truth." (I paraphrased) How true that is and I long for a life when his lessons would just come without the heart ache. Because the truth is that my heart aches, and I am betting that yours does too (over something). I am struggling with infertility, but when I was thinking about this post I started to think of all of the stories I have been told: women struggling with sickness, struggling with finding a job, struggling with depression, struggling -hard- with envy, struggling with bulimia so bad that they knew before they took a bite of a sand which that they were going to through it up. Women who were heartbroken by the wrong doings of a husband, or a father. I think that my whole life I have had this "can do" attitude inside me. And the truth is, that until now, there hasn't really been anything that I wanted bad enough that I couldn't do. And here we are now, in a situation that no amount of positive thinking, or good communication, or perspective can change. And that is hard.

I am just thankful that this life won’t have to be my life forever. But this post isn't meant to be depressing, it’s meant to say what God has been saying to me. And that is a message of hope. That even though we didn't want or ask for this, that even though we didn't see this coming, and even though we may be in situations TOTALLY OUT OF OUR CONTOL, our Maker is not surprised. No, the creator of heaven and earth was not caught off guard by whatever we are dealing with. I don't believe that God causes bad things to happen to us, but I believe that he sees them coming and intends to use them.

Psalm 139:13-18
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!  Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.

We were fearfully and wonderfully made and ALL of our days were written in His book. We are not here by a divine accident, and our suffering is not without purpose! Whatever I am going through – God can use it! And I pray that He does, the only thing worse than years of this heartache, would be looking back and not seeing His purpose or His joy through it.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made, my body, though yet incapable of bearing a child, was made especially the way it is by the creator of the heavens.  He is teaching me dependence on Him, teaching me that his grace is sufficient. He is revealing to me the selfishness of my heart, and the envy that so easily lives there. And that is what I find encouraging, that He is using this hard time. And I hope that resonates with you and whatever hard thing you have had to live through. That He will use it to refine us, to make us more like Him. The place that I am in, and that we are in, is intentional. Our God knew this day would come – he knew that our bodies, or minds, or hearts would bring us here, and I pray that on the other side of this hard time I would look less like me and more like Him.

So that’s it, it is not new information. It’s not particularly insightful, but the power of these words in this hard time, has made this truth new in my life. He is sovereign, He is God, He is working this into something bigger, and He is working me into someone new. Praise Him.

1 Peter 1: 3-7
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Our Story

Hello sweet friends, Thank you for all of your prayers and all of the encouragement I have received from everyone following our story! This post is a long time coming because I’m going to talk about things that I wasn’t sure I wanted to share, and truth be told if I had known from the beginning that this was going to be part of our story I might not have started blogging about it. But in October God called me to open up, and even though I didn’t fully know what that would mean at the time, He did. And He still called me to write it.

My last post in mid-October was the first time that I had publicly talked about our difficulties conceiving. Before that family and some friends knew, but most people in my life were unaware of the difficulties we had been experiencing. So, when just a few short weeks after my post, I found out I was pregnant I felt kinda like a blog phoney! Sure we had been trying to conceiving for 14 months when it happened, but most of our friends just recently heard of our difficulties. I wasn’t sure how I was going to talk to people about it, but unfortunately things never got that far. My first prenatal appointment was at 6wks gestation and everything looked fine, unfortunately concerning signs developed at 7wks. We went back to the doctor, and at that time we were still able to see a heartbeat, but out baby had not grown and was still measuring like a 6wk baby. At that time we were told that it was a good possibility that I would go on to lose the pregnancy soon, which I did just after Thanksgiving.

It has been a difficult time for Travis and I, and the healing process is still on going. I waited to write this post because for the longest time I didn’t know what I was going to say – other than it happened. But, being the time of the year that it is, I have found something worth saying. The hardest part of everything to me was understanding why it happened, or more precisely, what was the point? My goal throughout this process has been to seek God’s glory in the midst of our fertility struggles, and I just couldn’t reconcile how the whole ordeal was at all going to serve his glory. During the week that we knew things weren’t quite “well” I continued to pray fervently KNOWING that my God was all-powerful. In our God breathed word we have so many examples of God raising the dead, parting seas, and healing the blind/sick. And I truly believed the same could happen for us. But it didn’t.

 And I just didn’t understand after 14months of infertility why he would give us a pregnancy and then not intervene on our behalf. But then I was reminded of another time that he didn’t intervene. Thousands of years ago, one evening a humble man prayed for intervention. He was 100% human, 100% God, and 100% perfect. And he prayed that the cup would be taken from Him, if it was God’s will. But it wasn’t.

 When he died on a cross no one understood why. But the truth was that God had a greater plan that anyone knew or could understand at the time. And if it hadn’t been for his death, we would all still be slaves to sin, unable to ever have the hope of grace and eternal life that we now enjoy so frivolously.

So, what was the point? I'm still not sure, but in 2 weeks we will all be reminded of how powerful he can be when he chooses not to intervene. So...

In 2 weeks I will praise the God of creation who is all powerful.

In 2 weeks I will praise the God who intervenes on our behalf.

In 2 weeks I will praise the God who does not intervene on our behalf.

Because sometimes the God of the Universe accomplishes his restoration story by not intervening; sometimes He is the God who, according to His perfect will, lets the heartache of this earthly life progress without interruption.

The truth is that I still don’t know why, but I now have come to know a peace that surpasses understanding. Because I will never understand, but I will always know that his will is for our restoration and sanctification, and HIS glorification.

Praise Him.