Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why NOT me???

When tragedy hits or things get tough, it seems like the first question we tend to ask God is, "Why me"??? As it started to become apparent to me that infertility was going to be one of my struggles in life, I remember asking this question often. ...God, why would you allow a 16 year old girl to get pregnant and not me? Why would let a woman that you know was going to have an abortion get pregnant, and not me? What did I do to deserve this?...
And then it hit me - life is not meant to easy and if it was easy, none of us would need God. What makes me think that I should be exempt from the pain or suffering in the world? What makes me think that I am better and deserve more than other people have? My selfishness started to become very apparent to me.
I heard a friend say recently that the enemy's greatest tool is to keep us focused on ourselves. If our focus, energy, and attention is all on us and our needs, we lose sight of our purpose in life, which is to love God and love others. How can we unconditionally love others if we come first?
So, every time I start to think "Why me?", I try to replace that thought with "Why not me?" What if God is trying to use this trial to strengthen me or make me more like him? What if God is using this struggle to test my faith? Or bring more glory to himself than it would have if I had gotten pregnant right away? Or make me appreciate and love my children all the more?
For someone whose life has been pretty easy up until now, I have no doubt that God is using this in some way to transform me, mold me, and make me stronger than I was before. If this is what it takes to get me to where He wants me to be, then bring it on! It is never a struggle that I would ever wish on anyone, or myself, but I fully believe that God's ways and thoughts are far beyond my own (Is. 55:8-9) and that He can and WILL do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20)!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Confessions of a Grumbler

Last Sunday night I got to experience what church should really be like. Dave opened up his time of teaching for a time of repentance, and one by one people stood up to confess their struggles and repent. I cannot even begin to tell you how real and honest people were, which was so refreshing. I was reminded of the beauty of accountability and how God has given us "family" to help carry us through the trials and tribulations of this world. Since I didn't stand up and share my confession at church, I wanted to use my blog as an outlet to repent. So here it goes... "I repent of trying to control my own life and force my agenda and timing on God, rather than submitting to His plans for me." As much as I try to live in submission and surrender to Him, I still run back to my safety net of trying to control it all on my own. So, I ask for your accountability and prayers as I learn to truly submit everything that I am and all of my dreams to God.

I remind myself so much of the Israelites in Exodus 16 who grumble because they are hungry and thirsty. They had been first-hand witnesses of God's amazing works (the ten plagues, the passover, the parting of the Red Sea), and still, STILL they doubt His faithfulness and ability to provide what they need. They begin to grumble and complain to Moses and Aaron about not having enough food to eat, and so God begins to provide them with a daily portion of manna to get them through. What I love about God is that He doesn't give them more than they need, but just enough to get through that that their reliance on Him will continue, and that they will have to trust that He will provide for them each and every day.

As I read this story a week or so ago, I was so convicted of being just like the Israelites. I have seen God's mighty hand in so many ways, but I still complain when things don't go my way or grumble when things don't happen like I think they should. Yet God is always so patient with me, just like He was with His people back then. He provides me with MORE than I really need each day, but also keeps me searching and hoping for more in the days and months to come. I know now why Jesus told us to pray, "Give us this day our DAILY bread", because He wants our full dependence to be on God and His ability and desire to provide for us.

As I see the people in Haiti starving, thirsty, and crying out in pain after the earthquake that devastated their country, I cannot do anything but stand in the presence of God and repent for my selfishness and discontentment. I am so blessed and have no reason to be complaining about not having a child yet. God faithfully provides what I need each day, and I have been reminded more than ever this week that I need to just be thankful and praise Him for His blessings.

Quick update...Johnathan and I went to our first adoption seminar yesterday. We left feeling very overwhelmed by all of the information, but with even a bigger heart to bring a child out of an orphanage and into our lives and our home. We have another seminar to attend this week, and ask that you continue to pray for peace and guidance as we choose an agency and country to adopt from. Right now we feel like God is leading us in a certain direction, but will wait to share the exciting details with you until we know for sure that God wants us to pursue that route. We love you!


Friday, January 15, 2010

A Friend Loves at ALL Times

I was blown away recently when one of my friends (who already has children of her own) told me that she had bought a book on "infertility" just so that she could read it and try to understand what I was going through. I was so amazed that a friend would give up her precious time to read about a topic that she wasn't even struggling with, in hopes to help encourage me and be a better friend to me in my darkest hour. WOW, I am blessed! It really made me take a hard look at my heart and wonder if I would do the same thing for my friends who are struggling with various things...and shamefully, I have to admit that I am often too selfish with my time. This was a real wake-up call for me and gave me the desire and motivation to be a more devoted, compassionate friend.

Once she finished reading the book, she passed it on to me in hopes that it might help me too. So far, the book has been awesome. I can relate to everything she says and I would highly recommend it to anyone struggling with infertility. Some of the things in the book are a little different that what I am used to (since she is a strongly devoted Catholic) but our feelings, fears, and desires are all still the same. I'm sure that I will end up posting sections of the book on my blog, but if you want to get it yourself it is called, "A Spiritual Companion to Infertility" by Julie Irwin Zimmerman. Even for those of you who aren't struggling with infertility, it really might help give you insight into what the day-to-day battle is like.

The past month has been one of the hardest yet in our three year journey, and yet things seem to be taking a turn for the better. My body finally seems to be regulating itself (after two months of acupunture and God's miraculous work!), and I am so thrilled to see it go back to "normal" after years of inconsistency and unpredictability. I am truly amazed at how acupuncture really seems to balance out the hormones in the body and help your reproductive organs to do their job! Since going off of birth control, I haven't had a regular cycle without the help of fertility medications or hormone injections...until now! YAY!! I am giving God the glory each step of the way and praying that our chances of conceiving will greatly increase in the coming months!

On a different (yet similar) note, after much prayer and consideration, Johnathan and I have decided to attend a couple of different seminars to learn more about international adoption, and to see if God might be leading us down this road. For a long time now, we both have been convicted that this is something that God wants us to do at some point in our lives - we just don't know exactly when. We really need prayers for God to give us clarity on when exactly He wants us to pursue this, as well as what agency and country He wants us to adopt from.

So, as you can see, there is a lot going on and yet so much to be excited about and grateful for! The holidays were rough, but we have hope that we are going to get to experience some beautiful miracles in 2010!