Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks in ALL Circumstances

"Be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." - I Thess. 5:16-18

This has become one of my favorite verses over the years, and yet it is so hard to live out on a daily basis. The holidays can be a difficult and sad time for those struggling with infertility, especially when you see all of the special "family moments" going on around you and the precious pictures of children with Santa.
A few nights ago, Johnathan and I decided to go ahead and decorate for Christmas a little bit early so that it would all be done when we got back from Thanksgiving in Bowling Green. We got out all of our Christmas boxes from the storage closet and turned on some of our favorite Christmas music (We have a tradition of buying a new Christmas cd every year).
As we were getting everything out, Johnathan and I came across Christmas cards that we have kept from years past. We saw pictures of our best friends before they had babies and then the more recent pictures with their babies. We began to talk about how three years ago we just KNEW that the next Christmas we would have a child in our arms or one on the way, and then that year came and went. Two years ago we said the same thing, and then that year came and went. As this realization started to sink in, tears began to come to my eyes. We never expected that we were going to be waiting for so long and praying for something so hard...three years from that moment.
As I cried, my incredibly loving and wise husband gently reminded me that it was ok to be sad, but that we have SO much to be thankful for. And he is so right. We are so blessed to have our health, our wonderful families, our amazing friends, a warm home, and a God that loves us more than we could ever imagine. Life could be a lot worse and there really is no excuse for complaining. So today, on Thanksgiving, I want to proclaim the words of Psalm 136 - "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever."

On a side note, a little update...I had my first appointment with an infertility accupuncturist on Tuesday evening. (I know, it sounds weird and earthy. But after reading a LOT of literature on it, I can promise you that it is sound and worth giving a shot.) The experience was definitely a little strange. I mean, who can say that they enjoy getting needles stuck in their stomack, feet, hands, and ears!?! But at the same time, it was very relaxing and gives me hope that my hormones might become balanced and my reproductive health might be restored. If any of you want to know more about it, I will be happy to share details and statistics. For now, I just ask for your prayers that this treatment will be a more natural healing to my very confused body. We know that God is the Ultimate Physician, which is one reason why we are taking a break from all of the medications and drugs to try something a little different. More to come soon. Love you all!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Rejuvenation for the Journey

Last week, Johnathan and I were reminded how blessed we are to have such wonderful family. Johnathan's little brother, Tyler, is a freshman at Lipscomb University this year and we LOVE having him here in Nashville with us. He is one of the most spiritually mature young men I have ever met, and he blows Johnathan and me away with His desire to follow and live for Jesus. A couple of weeks ago, he was given an assignment in his Bible class to do something that Jesus did. Most of his classmates chose to go downtown and feed the hungry, but Tyler had something different in mind.
When he came over for his weekly homecooked meal last Wednesday, he asked Johnathan and I if he could wash our feet. He told us about his assignment and explained how he wanted to serve us and show us God's love through this humble gesture. Although this idea may sound a little weird, Jesus himself said, "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another's feet" (John 13:14). Jesus, our Lord and Savior, took the role of a servant and washed his disciples feet. During Biblical times, this was typically the job of a house servant. Since they mostly traveled on foot from place to place, the servant would wash the dirty and calloused feet of the guests before they continued on their journey.
As Tyler was explaining to me why he was doing this, he mentioned our fertility journey and how long and exhausting it has been for us. He said that he wanted this to be an experience of rest and rejuvenation before continuing on our journey.
I cannot even tell you how much this meant to us. Even though the actual foot-washing was a little awkward, it was such an beautiful reminder of God's love for us and that He is going to give us just what we need to keep going. Even as I write this, I tear up at the thought of what Tyler did for us and the humility he showed by choosing to be "Jesus" in this way. Thank you, Tyler, for being such a precious and loving brother, but even more importantly, for being the hands of Jesus during such a tiring time of our lives.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Either Way, You're Gonna Get Stuck With A Needle!

So my sweet wife has been dying for me to make a post on this blog. Since we both really want this to be “our” story, I thought I would oblige. I was not really into the whole blogging thing until all of this crazy stuff started happening. I started my own blog that I have closed off to everyone else in the world, and I really do not plan to ever share its contents. It’s basically a place where I can retreat to when times are really tough. I would hate for any of you to read it and think less of me because there is plenty of profanity to go around. However, there is something rejuvenating when I get those feelings out, and has really helped. So kudos to the blogging world! I might possibly share a thought from my own blog someday; otherwise it’s just for me only.

The last couple of days have been kind of a roller coaster ride. On Monday, we had an appointment at NFC (fertility clinic) to kind of go over our options. Going there is always bitter sweet. You either leave pumped up, excited, and hopeful or you just want to isolate yourself from the world. This time proved to be no different. Basically, we really only talked about IVF. The dreaded In-vitro. I guess it kind of stunk because for so long we have really seen this as our last resort for having our own child. Brooke and I are by no means nonbelievers of In-vitro, I just don’t think we are strong enough emotionally, and Brooke physically to proceed. While we knew it was coming, B and I felt very deflated that we have gotten to this point. I guess the one perk is we would have a higher chance of getting those twins we both desire so often. Needless to say, Monday was not our favorite day this week.

Tuesday, however, had a lot of hope looming in the distance. Long story short (I will let Brooke give you the details, cause I am not really interested in getting technical) we had a consult with an acupuncturist. Sounds kind of crazy huh? Well like I told my buddy Marc the other night…. before I was in this situation I would have thought that acupuncture was ludicrous (I mean who signs up to get poked with needles?), but when you get to places of despair, any solution that has HOPE is worth checking out. So we did. We know of some people who have taken this route and highly recommend it. I guess the most appealing attribute of this option is that it’s natural. No drugs, No hormones, No over stimulated ovaries!! What more could a man ask for? Honestly, this was the first medical professional I have talked to in a long time that seemed to get it. While he did not want to offer us false hope, he was very confident, 70 – 75% confident that he could do something to help us. Those are the highest percentages I have seen thus far. We were not his first couple to come in needing help after the detrimental effects of birth control (what I will now refer to as “the enemy”). With a combination of a better diet, some herbal medicine, and some acupuncture, this guy might help us at least take a step in the right direction. Its cheaper, its better for you, and the %’s rock, so this my friends is our next step.

I ask for prayers and laughs. Those are the only two things you can do for us. Thanks to all of you who have walked down this journey by our side. We could not have done it without you. Hopefully soon, I will let you know how things are going from my perspective.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

While I'm Waiting

Most of you have probably heard the popular song by John Waller called "While I'm Waiting" featured in the movie, Fireproof. The first time Johnathan and I heard this song, we both fell in love with it and basically adopted it as our anthem for our journey. (I even have it as my ringtone.)
Anyways, the lyrics go like this...

I'm waiting, I'm waiting on you Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on you, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting, I will serve you
While I'm waiting, I will worship
While I'm waiting, I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm sure that most of you can probably relate to this song in some way, because I know that Johnathan and I are not the only ones "waiting" on something. Some of you are waiting to find that special someone, some of you are waiting for that perfect job to line up or trying to figure out what school to go to, and hopefully all of us are waiting and longing for heaven - a place with no tears or pain. As I mention in almost all of my posts, God's timing is perfect, but it is sure hard to stay strong and persevere sometimes.
This song serves as a great reminder to me that even while we are waiting, we can still make the most of our lives and of God. We don't have to stop living just because God hasn't answered our prayers yet. In fact our period of waiting can be some of the most precious and valuable times of our lives because God can use it to shape us and draw us closer to Him.
Johnathan and I have refused to "stop living" just because life hasn't gone according to our plans. Looking back on the past couple of years, I think about all of the things we have been able to do and be a part of because we have not had children yet.

1. We have been able to help plant a church in downtown Nashville, which is now like our family. Getting to watch God work and do so many awesome things through our church has strengthened our faith in so many ways and given us more opportunities to serve.

2. We have been able to help lead a couple of mission to Australia and one to a Hispanic community in Ft. Worth, Texas. We are leading one again this March.

3. I get to go to work everyday and love on the girls at Friendship Christian. Even though I feel unworthy and unqualified to teach Bible, I have no doubt that God still has me there for a reason. Also, my girls give me a taste of what it is like to be a mother because they are like children to me.

I could go on and on, but these are just a few of the things that we are grateful to have been able to be a part of, and that we might not have been able to give 100% to had we gotten pregnant. We know that our time will come to be parents, but until then we are going to WORSHIP, SERVE, and PRAISE God with every opportunity we get! Satan will not keep us from living life to the fullest, even while we wait.