Wednesday, January 18, 2017

His Sweet Promise

I like to begin the year with a 21-day Daniel Fast. It helps me to receive break through in areas I have been struggling with and gives me direction. It has become a special time of increased intimacy with my Heavenly Father. 

This year, I am fasting for my husband. His walk, his talk, his work, his relationships, and his God-given position as the spiritual leader of our family. His salvation and walk with the Lord have been heavy on my heart for quite some time. My biggest dream is for our family (our WHOLE family) to study, serve, worship, and pray together. I want them to have the greatest Gift of all - Jesus. Even though, God confirms in His Word that His will is just that for my family, I tend to listen to the enemy far too often. I fall into his trap when he tells me that my dream is hopeless, and my husband has too much pride to ever follow Jesus. The enemy tells me that it will always be me, all alone, leading my children to Jesus. I could go on and on with all of the lies that I believe that keep me in a constant state of defeat. So much doubt. So much unbelief. No freedom.

I'm in the last few days of my 2017 fast and while I've received some encouragement from the Lord in my husband's changes in behavior, a dream I had one night, and some prophetic words from my wonderful, godly girl friends, I was still not feeling like I had received what I was longing for.

But God is faithful. 

Last night, I was scrolling Instagram when I came upon an add for an app (it is called Verses) that helps you memorize Scripture, which is something I've been wanting to do more of. I installed it immediately, chose a topic and was given Joshua 1:8 to learn.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then, you will be prosperous and successful.

I went through several of the exercises in the app and committed it to memory. Then, for the first time in weeks, I opened my First 5 (devotional) app and it brought me right to the beginning of the Joshua study that they are currently working through. Joshua chapter 1! Coincidence? Nope!  However, while I enjoyed the devotion and found much of it helpful, it wasn't until I was in prayer this morning that I received that for which I had been searching. As I was journaling and asking the Holy Spirit where He wanted me to go in His Word, He reminded me of the "coincidence" from last night and had me open to Joshua 1. After a few verses, I was a weepy mess as God gave me the promise for which I had been waiting, longing, hoping, and fasting. 

Joshua 1:5-9

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
I strongly believe that there are no other verses in the entire Bible that would speak more life into me in my situation than these. This promise, meant personally for me today, jumped off of the page and into my weary heart. I know, without a doubt, that He has made me and my family a promise.

He has promised me that He will never leave me in this journey of leading my family to the Promise Land. In this case, the dream, the Promise Land, is that my entire family would walk with Jesus. With Him by my side, the enemy cannot stand against us. I can be strong and without fear because I WILL lead my precious loves to inherit the land. He wants me to pay close attention to obeying Him in the directions that He gives me. In this season where I am leading, He wants me to grow in knowledge of His Word. Cling to it. Meditate on it and be careful to walk in obedience of Him. If I remain faithful, He says I will have prosperity and success in my pursuit! I LOVE that He says more than once to be strong and courageous and encourages me to not be afraid or discouraged by what I see around me or what lies I hear from the enemy. Now, I know, without any doubt, that He is with me, and my sweet family, my sweet husband, His lost child, is in His hands. 

What an honor that He has entrusted me with the task of leading my daughter, my son, and my husband, to the Promise Land. Oh, I cannot WAIT to see it!

Amen!





Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Last Pregnancy Update - and More

I realize that I've been a total slacker with the blog these last few months. It turns out that while both of my pregnancies were pretty different, the main thing they have in common is my laziness. And this time, any energy I do have is reserved for Berkley. Even my husband hasn't gotten the attention that he deserves.

Speaking of Berkley, she is BEYOND excited to meet her little brother next week. She says she is most excited about feeding him and holding him.

I'm in the home stretch. My c section is scheduled for June 23rd which is 9 days away! Baby Tanner's room still isn't ready and I haven't quite finished making all the freezer meals I wanted to make beforehand. I still want to get a pedicure and a haircut. I also have a few more things I wanted to get squared away for work before I go on maternity leave, but if he arrived today, I would be pretty ecstatic. I'm absolutely dying to meet my little guy. I've really started dreaming about him which is fun.

These are my predictions about him:

1. He'll be longer than Berkley (19 3/4 inches)
2. He'll weigh less than Berkley (7lbs 1oz)
3. He'll have dark hair
4. He'll have his daddy's dimple
5. He'll be a bigger eater than Berkley and therefore chubbier (she was almost always under the 8th percentile for weight)

I think it will be fun to see how he compares to how I've been picturing him.

This pregnancy has been quite a bit different in the following ways:

1. Eating habits

Berkley - I had the same thing for breakfast every day, craved carbs, sweets, fruit, fried okra, couldn't eat or look at chicken, couldn't eat any meat except steak, bacon, and sausage

Tanner - I get sick of foods after 2 or 3 days, not a lot of cravings except fruit and a few urgent needs for Chinese food and buffalo wings. I can eat chicken if I don't make it myself and I can handle red meat just fine.

2. Weight gain

Berkley- My belly was egg shaped and I got wider. I was 129 lbs when I got pregnant and 158 lbs when I gave birth, so a gain of 29 lbs.

Tanner- My belly is more beach ball this time and people say I'm all belly. It definitely looks different to me than it did last time. I was 132 lbs when I got pregnant and I'm 156 lbs with 9 days to go, so it looks like I will have gained a little less, but will be around the same weight at birth.

3. Baby movement:

Berkley - I always felt her right in the middle or on my sides. Movement intensified right at 28 weeks. In the last few weeks, she got the hiccups multiple times per day which drove me crazy.

Tanner - He's somehow kicking/punching my ribs and my cervix which takes my breath away sometimes. Movement also intensified right at 28 weeks. I feel hiccups but definitely not as much as I did with Berkley. I don't think he's any more active than she was.

4. Mood

Berkley - Time went by real slow. I felt like every problem or challenge had to be solved immediately. I was pretty emotional and wanted my husband around all the time. he nicknamed me "Hormonal Sally" :) Overall, I was happy and very lazy. I'm typically pretty active and exercise regularly, but NOT when pregnant.

Tanner - Time has gone by pretty fast. I have been happy, excited, and WAY laid back. I have not been called "Hormonal Sally" once! I didn't have the luxury of being quite as lazy as last time since I am a mom to a 4 year old now, but I was as lazy as possible.

5. Preparation

Berkley - I had a "to-do" list for myself and my husband that was about two miles long and had it all done a few months before she got here. Not to mention, she had a beautiful nursery set up when she got home from the hospital.

Tanner - My "to-do" list is just now getting finished and my husband's had like 5 items on it - two of which are still not done (no biggie). And his nursery? There's no theme or matching furniture and it's still not totally organized. Since we are in a temporary living situation, I didn't bother too much with the whole nursery thing this time. Poor second child. Ha!

6. Other symptoms

Berkley - headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, constipation, emotional, no libido, acne

Tanner - loss of appetite, thirsty all the time, hemorrhoids, digestive problems, irritable, increased libido, weird skin issues like I can see every bit of sun damage and age spots

One of the highlights of this pregnancy was my Baby Sprinkle. I have the best friends on the planet. Some of my favorite girls were kind enough to host a celebration in honor of the pending arrival of Baby Tanner and I couldn't be more grateful for their love, support, and prayers as we have waited for him.

Here are some pictures from that special day.




I also had some maternity pictures done by this sweet woman (who is now a friend) that I met at Publix. Here are some of my favorites:






And here are some bump pictures from along the way:
















The next time I post will probably be about Tanner's arrival, and while I don't want to be too ambitious on my short maternity leave, I have some more ideas for what I want to do with this space very soon.

Thank you for following along!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

He Hears!

I remember the morning that I learned that our first IUI had failed. Even with the slim 10-12% chance that my RE gave me that it would work, I was so disappointed. The tears began to flow, alone in my little half bathroom while Berkley waited for her breakfast, where I asked God to help me get it together. I didn't want to lose any joy or hope. I didn't want Berkley to see mommy cry. Then, I heard Him whisper, "It's OK to cry, but I can't wait for you to see what I have planned for you." It wasn't the compassionate and comforting way I was used to hearing that still, small voice. It was more like the look on my husband's face and the tone in his voice when he has a surprise for me. I held on to that moment for a long time. That hope and that promise. And I prayed that it would one day be very clear what He was referring to.

I was just sure that IUI was going to be the answer to our problems. I was so sure that I would get pregnant once we began treatment that I did a Daniel Fast the first 21 days of 2015, petitioning the Lord- not just for a baby, but for the baby boy I had desired for as long as I could remember. I thought that getting pregnant soon was a given, since we were about to begin our first treatment, so I figured that I may as well go for it! God likes big, specific prayers right? I prayed a different prayer for my unborn son each of those 21 days. I prayed that his life would give the Father glory, I prayed that he would lead others to the Lord. I prayed for his childhood, his relationship with me, my husband, and his sister, his future wife, his young adult years, his character, his personality.  I even prayed that he would have his daddy's dimple.

After each failed IUI (6 in total), I was disappointed, but I knew that I was just one month closer to my answered prayers.

In the hundreds, maybe thousands of prayers that I have sent up to heaven in the last few years, many of those included a request for a baby. Almost as many were that my best friend and I would get to experience pregnancy together again. This friend, let's call her a sister, was planning her wedding at the same time that I was. She then had her first baby 7 weeks after I had mine (also with very little trying to get pregnant). We both had emergency cesareans and gave birth to two little blond haired, blue eyed angels. Without conspiring about it, we both began trying for baby number two in the exact same week. Since that week over two years ago, we lamented together, cried together, prayed for each other, praised Him together, thanked Him together, questioned Him together, but mostly grew in faith together as we waited for our babies. Neither of us had a diagnosis. Both of us had failed IUIs and a miscarriage. 

Let's just say that it doesn't take a prophet or a genius to see that the Lord made us friends for a reason. That He wanted us to take this walk together. So, while we both prayed for our little miracles, we also prayed that we would receive them at the same time.

I once read that God loves to jump out and surprise you. That He waits behind corners, in anticipation of the perfect moment, to surprise you with the best gifts, so that you will not be able to mistake His hand in the miracle. Now I see what the Spirit meant when He told me He couldn't wait to show me what He had up His sleeve.

I am 20 weeks pregnant (from a no-treatment cycle) with the baby boy that I prayed and fasted for. We actually found out that it was a boy EXACTLY a year after that fast. AND my best friend, my sister? Yeah, she's 13 weeks pregnant as well. Also, without any treatment. Also with a baby boy. That's 7 weeks behind me JUST LIKE OUR FIRST PREGNANCIES four years ago. After over two years of secondary unexplained infertility, we are rejoicing TOGETHER in these miracles and praising Him for His crazy, beautiful, sovereign, incredible ways.

I speak for both of us when I say that this is an experience and a whole lot of answered prayers that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. We will look back and see Him in all of it.

He hears you!  So, don't be afraid to ask for the big and the crazy and the impossible and any little details in between! He loves to wait behind a corner, in anticipation of the perfect moment, to jump out and answer your prayers. Give Him all the details and all the specifics so that He can have all the glory. He wants to show you that He hears, that He loves, that He gives good gifts to His children.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

WAY Overdue Pregnancy Update and My Infertility Interview with The Amateur Nester

I'm so sorry to those of you who have been following along and were wondering where I have been! After my last post, some serious nausea set in, then I got the stomach flu on top of the regular nausea. I certainly don't want it to sound like I'm complaining because I was rejoicing in the symptoms, but they definitely knocked me off of my feet for a while.

I am 11 weeks today! We have seen the baby (no twins) and the heartbeat twice now. After our first ultrasound, we gave the news to Berkley and her reaction was anti climatic to say the least. I was entertained/disappointed at her lack of response after months of her praying for a brother and a sister, but my husband wasn't surprised. I guess that for an almost four year old, they need to see something to get excited about it and since the baby isn't here yet, there is little for her to get excited about. But she is slowly asking some really cute questions and keeps reminding me to tell her when the baby comes out as if we will somehow sneak the whole thing past her. Haha!

Here baby is at 8w5d:

The baby is measuring right on target, which gives me a due date of June 30th 2016, but the cesarean will likely be scheduled up to a week before that. I often get asked if I would consider a VBAC after having a cesarean and the truth is that I probably would except for three things:


  1.  I was led to believe that the problems I had during Berkley's birth would still be there the next time around, so why go back down that same road? 
  2. I LOVED going into labor, wondering when it was going to happen, but it really will be so much easier to have the cesarean scheduled so that my mom can plan ahead to be here to keep Berkley while we are in the hospital.
  3. I get two extra weeks of maternity leave when I have a cesarean


#3 is the hardest to argue for me! I needed those two extra weeks last time and was so grateful for them.

I have "graduated" from seeing my Reproductive Endocrinologist and will see my OB for the first time next week. With the holidays ahead, a trip planned for New Year's, and trying to pack some fun things into the all-wonderful second trimester, I think this is all going to fly by.

But I want to be honest. Sometimes my heart still feels infertile. Since God has conquered my infertility, the enemy is coming at me in other ways. He's invoking fear that I will lose this baby, that something is wrong with my baby, things that never even entered my mind with my first pregnancy. I've heard that if you've been infertile long enough, then you "know too much." I once had a friend tell me that she won't stop worrying until she's holding her baby in her arms. I remember thinking that was so sad, but part of me understands that now. I've heard so many stories of heart break and my eyes are wide open to this devastating world of infertility and infant loss. It is very difficult to keep those fears at bay.

But I'm fighting back with joy! Every time those fears set in, I fight back with all of the beautiful scriptures that I learned during these last few years just as Jesus did when He was rebuking the enemy in the desert for those 40 days. My joy comes from the Lord and I will hold onto it with all my might.

This is also way overdue, but I was interviewed over at the Amateur Nester here.

Also, I promise that I will not be only blogging about pregnancy!  I have some more ideas coming.




Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Shocked, Confused, and in AWE of His Faithfulness!

WARNING: This story is one of answered prayers and miracles. If you are still waiting for your prayers to be answered and your heart is broken and still pleading for your own miracle, I completely understand if you want to stop reading now. Please come back here when you have your own miracle to share with me. Keep praying! He hears you! I'm praying for you too!

It's been 8 days since I took that test and I'm still in shock and disbelief. But most of all, I'm in awe of His faithfulness.


Just in case you haven't been following along, we had been trying to conceive our second child for about a year and a half when we finally saw a specialist and were diagnosed with unexplained secondary infertility. Since then, we had six IUIs with one resulting in an early loss. My impatient and longing heart was ready to move on to IVF, but at the suggestion of my doctor to try just a few more IUIs my husband and I agreed that we would give that a try.


But this month, we were on vacation for the first part of my cycle and I had a work trip scheduled right at my ovulation time.  So, not only would we be unable to pursue another treatment this cycle, we wouldn't even really be able to try on our own. Or so I thought...


I was excited to take a break from even thinking about it for a month and just enjoy our vacation.


Well, the vacation came and went. My work trip came and went. My brother-in-law moved in and his girlfriend was also here for two weeks. It's been a pretty crazy month.


Since I had little idea about when I actually ovulated, I wasn't sure when to expect my period. At the very latest, I was expecting my period on October 26th. I had been spotting on and off for a week which, for me,  is a sign that my period was coming.  But the spotting was much lighter than usual and on the 26th, the spotting went away which never happens, so I finally caved and took a test.





It was positive within a few seconds and I mean VERY positive! First, I laughed. Then, I asked God if this was for real? Then, I called my husband and hung up. I wanted to be excited when I told him, not confused and tentative. Then, I called my doctor, but they were out to lunch. Then, I called my BFF (who has been going through this EXACT same thing for EXACTLY the same amount of time) and we both laughed some more and freaked out and speculated about how this could have happened, then we praised Jesus!


I was able to go get a blood test at my doctor's office within an hour, but wouldn't have the results until the next day. I was really trying to wait until I had those results to tell my husband, but I just couldn't wait.


This is pretty much how that went:


Me: Hey, look what I got yesterday (shoving the positive test in his very sleepy face)

Husband: I don't know what that means
Me: It means that I'm pregnant
Husband: Huh?
Me: I'm pregnant
Husband: But how? I don't understand.
Me: Yeah, I don't know and I don't get it either, but it's true.
(some happy dancing and big hugs)
Husband: It's just SO weird!
Me: It's God!

He came back and ask more questions throughout the day and proceeded to get more and more excited. It was fun to watch him process this news as I had done the day before.


Then the nurse called with my lab results... I was going to be thrilled with a HCG over 100 and a Progesterone level over 10 (was expecting it to be a little low because of the spotting that I had).


This is how that conversation went:


Nurse: Nicole, congratulations, your HCG is 2,595.

Me: What? Did you say TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED NINETY-FIVE?
Nurse: Yes
Me: SHUT UP!
Nurse: Yes, and your progesterone is 49. Did you do an insemination this cycle?
Me: Nope
Nurse: Hmmm.  Well, Nicole, you are very, very pregnant.

My HCG 48 hours later was 6,118. These numbers are very high for 4w4d and 4w6d, respectively.  When I asked the nurse if there was anything to be worried about with such high numbers (I was slightly concerned about a molar pregnancy), she said "well, they are really high, which is typically an indicator of twins, but there are also plenty of pregnancies with high HCG, but only one baby. We just won't know until the ultrasound."


My numbers are in green. Sky. High.




My little girl has been praying for a brother AND a sister for months... could it be?


Now, we anxiously await the ultrasound which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 10th. Praying that we see a sweet little heartbeat (or two?).


I'm praying that I get to carry this little miracle (or miracles) for the full nine months, but even if it's only 9 days, I will rejoice in all the answered prayers. I will praise Him all of my days!


At every bump in the road, He has strengthened me and filled me with the hope, love, joy, and patience that I needed to make it through cycle after cycle. I'm not saying that I never had doubts and moments of despair. There were plenty of times that I wasn't sure if I trusted Him.


BUT GRACE!


I don't deserve it and I'll never fully understand it, but thank you Jesus that you are faithful. Thank you that you keep your promises no matter how many times I fail to believe them. Thank you that you have answered so many of my prayers with this gift! And THANK YOU that you have used this season for my good and Your glory!


I pray that if you are still in a season of infertility that you are filled with hope. Our God is able and He has a plan. Of course I feel joy about this gift I have received, but my heart still hurts for those wonderful mommies-to-be out there who are waiting so patiently for their time.





If I already know your name, I'm praying for you by name. If I don't know you yet, I'm happy to pray for you by name if you contact me!





Monday, October 5, 2015

IUI #6 Outcome and ANSWERS!!

I'll just get right to it: IUI #6 was not successful, so I kept my consultation with my fertility specialist. If #6 was not successful, he wanted to review everything and discuss next steps - IVF.

Before even mentioning IVF he said that he noticed something about all of the data from the last 6 IUIs.  He confirmed what I had been rolling around in my head: Only 2 of the 6 IUIs were done when I ovulated on my right side - 1 of those 2 times, I got pregnant.  That, coupled with the fact that my HSG (dye test) from last year revealed that the dye VERY easily got through the right tube but took MUCH longer (like 15 minutes) to get through the left tube, leads him to believe that I may have a blockage in my left tube, making it more difficult to achieve pregnancy when I ovulate on the left side. Just to recap: 4 out of the 6 IUIs were ovulation on the left (bad side).

Since he affirmed my suspicion about the tube, I also mentioned that since giving birth to my daughter, I have had at least 3 nurses/doctors tell me that they had a very difficult time getting to my cervix because of my tilted uterus. My question was that if they were having a hard time finding it, was the sperm having a hard time too? Was this the reason why we might not be getting pregnant on our own? He told me that since a tilted uterus is not a problem for most, he can't confirm my suspicions but definitely wouldn't rule it out. So, there is a chance that the sperm is having a hard time getting to and through my cervix.

Sorry for saying "sperm" so much ;)

My doctor said that we could try a few more IUIs where they would treat me as if I had a blocked tube, so any cycles where ovulation is happening on my "bad" side, would be cancelled. The downside is that we obviously have no idea when I will ovulate on the right side again, so we may be waiting a while for another IUI attempt.

We also discussed all of the IVF options... regular/fresh cycle ($14k), freeze all/embryo transfer ($17k), and freeze all/genetic testing ($20k). Yikes!

I slept on all of this information and had decided that if it were my choice, we would just move forward with a regular/fresh cycle of IVF. I was tired of waiting. I had mentally prepared for IVF anyway. We have been saving for this...

Then, I presented all of the options to my husband and he was not comfortable moving forward with IVF without giving IUI on the "good side" another shot.

I was a little shocked by his preference (I thought he would let me decide. ha!), but it immediately felt like the right thing to do.  I really was counting on his voice of reason as this is a much more emotional decision for me.

Now that the decision has been made, I have been able to process the discussion with my doctor and am feeling so much relief.  Even though these are just theories about why we haven't been able to get pregnant since tests can't really confirm that these are the actual barriers to our success, I feel like I FINALLY have some answers. I have researched and guessed about some physical reason as to why this has been such a struggle for us and am so relieved to finally have SOMETHING to blame, but more importantly, something specific to pray about!

The coolest part about any of this is that I was telling my sister about the doctor appointment and the first thing that she said is that she has been praying that I would get some answers!  I LOVE answered prayers!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lord, Help Me Overcome My Unbelief


In Mark chapter 9, a demonic spirit had been torturing a man's son since childhood. The man had tried everything to help his son and was hoping that Jesus WAS the Messiah and that He could do what no one else could do. The man said "... if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

"'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for one who believes."

Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe”… pause… Jesus gives him that “knowing” look… then “help me overcome my unbelief!"

Like the man with the demon possessed son, of course I believe in God and that Jesus is His Son. I also believe that He CAN do absolutely anything. I know He is ABLE but is He WILLING?

Sometimes I feel like miracles are for “other people,” and I wonder if God has one for me. I wonder if I have too much sin for Him to care about my requests. While my head knows that He loves me, my heart feels like He’s forgotten me. This gets me all confused about what He says in His Word. For instance, how are we supposed to pray over and over again, pleading with God to give us another baby in the name of Jesus and NOT doubt that He will come through for us? We all know of times when we have prayed for a miracle or a healing and God’s answer was “no”. Even Paul, the greatest missionary in history, prayed that God would remove his physical pain, and His answer was "no". Sometimes His sovereign answer is "no". And yet, we are commanded to ask and believe that we have received... BUT, GOD, I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO THAT! HELP ME OVERCOME MY UNBELIEF!

And He did… after months of praying with so much doubt and unbelief, He has helped me believe Him. I’m sure that I still have a lot to learn, but I am finally feeling freedom from the stronghold of unbelief. He is so faithful.

This is how He led me…  

I don't know about y'all, but I am surrounded by His Word... I have my quiet time in the morning with my Bible, I have Bible and devotion apps on my phone, I subscribe to several faith-based blogs, I'm always reading Bible based books, I follow Christian figures on Facebook and Instagram, several of my friends share verses on Facebook or send me texts, and I attend church. Aren't I such a good girl? Just kidding... my point is that when you are this submersed in His Word, you are opened up to the opportunity for God to speak to you in "themes" (and countless other ways). And for WEEKS I saw verse after verse, devotion after devotion, and sermon after sermon on the topic of unbelief. It was a bit ridiculous. OK, God, I get it. I receive the confirmation that I have a problem with unbelief, thank you for trying to help, but none of this is helping me overcome this stronghold of unbelief. My faith still feels crippled. What now? 

It's a good thing He knows me so well because He led me to a book (my main love language ;)) that has helped in a BIG way. I love that He knows EXACTLY what I need and how I need things explained so that I fully understand. You guys! If the doubts and questions that I mentioned above sound anything like the chatter that goes on in your head too, you MUST READ Believing God by Beth Moore immediately. This is my first Beth Moore experience. That woman has a GIFT for teaching. In just the first 80 pages or so, I felt like my unbelief was gone, and I feel like I have received the keys to the kingdom! My faith and trust in the Almighty has been restored and the best part is that it was an answer to my prayer… you know, the ones I felt like He wasn’t even hearing. His mercy is astounding.

Because I am confident that others struggling with infertility might feel the way I was feeling with unbelief, I wanted to share a few excerpts from this book that might also speak to you: 

1.    In the Gospels, Christ called those without faith to believe in miracles an "unbelieving and perverse generation" (Luke 9:41). On the other hand, He called those who focused entirely on miracles a "wicked and adulterous generation" (Matt. 16:4). Either extreme can be wildly offensive to God. The reason Christ could dub miracle cravers as adulterous is because they worshipped God's wonders more than God Himself. Equally idolatrous, sensationalism suggests we can believe God as long as He does what we tell Him to do, as if we were the potter and God the clay. (page 60) 

We may not get exactly what we are asking for every time. I may not get a baby from this final IUI. Maybe IVF is God’s plan to give me the miracle I’ve been asking for. Maybe it’s not and He has a miracle baby planned for me next year or when I finally give up on trying or maybe His miracle is adopting a baby from China. But how can I not believe Him just because His plan (to prosper me, by the way) looks different than my prayer? Who am I to tell the God of the Universe what kind of miracles He can do to win my belief? For me, something clicked when I read that last part. I don’t want to be the child who stops trusting her Father just because she’s not getting exactly what she wants when she wants it.

2.    Beloved, no one, no matter how brilliant, persuasive, or credentialed, should have the right to take away our hope. The God we serve is able (Dan 3:17). Everything is possible (Mark 9:23). Nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). We can always hope and pray diligently for a miracle. If, in God's sovereignty, He chooses to accomplish His purposes another way, let it not be that we have not because we ask not (James 4:2) or that we have not because we believed not (Matt. 9:29). Second Corinthians 1:20 tells us that "no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ." Christ gave His life so God could say yes to the fulfillment of His promises in the lives of believing mortals. Therefore, I am utterly convinced that any NO an earnestly seeking child of God receives from the Throne is for the sake of a greater yes, whether realized on earth or in heaven. (Page 61)

Christ gave His life so God could say YES.  God WANTS to say yes. The very first words that God ever says in the Bible are “As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.” His plan is to build His kingdom of believers; to bless His children with offspring. If, in the rare case that His answer is “no” I am now more confident than ever that it is not because God forgot about me, or I haven’t been “good” enough to receive a miracle, or He’s not in the mood (yes, that one has crossed my mind), or that I’m not significant enough, or that I’m low on His list of priorities… it’s because He has a purpose and a plan that is far better than anything we could fathom. When I pray for all of you who are going through infertility, one of the things I ask for is that if His answer is “no” for any of you (and myself) that He would strengthen you and guide you to the “greater yes” that He has planned for you. That He would heal your broken hearts so that you would be open to the miracle He had in mind all along. The plan that will prosper you, not harm you.

3.    Beth Moore also says:

If I'm convinced that God really loves me and has certain priorities for me that may take precedence at times, then I am "safe" to walk by faith. I am freed to know that my God is huge and my God is able and that if I don't get what I asked, if I'll cooperate, I'll get something bigger. I'm going to believe Him to do anything His Word says He can, then if He chooses not to, I don't have to assume...

·       He doesn't like me

·       He doesn't answer my prayers like He does others'

·       He hardly knows I'm alive

·       He can't do it

·       He's never willing to do it

·       I didn't have enough faith

·       I wavered for a split second

·       I have that sin in my past

·       I'm a failure

·       I've made a fool of myself

Instead, I get to know that a greater yes is in progress, and I can count on the bigger miracle. We are safe with God. We are safe to believe Him for miracles. (page 80-81)

Can I get an AMEN?! I am positive that I’m not the only one who has assumed at least one of the above when I received my monthly BFN. I am so comforted to know that that momentary “no” not only means “not yet”, but it means “I have something even better!” Now THAT is something I can ask for and believe that I have received without any doubt.
To summarize another of Beth's points in Believing God: she discusses how the "old" covenant from the Old Testament was based on big signs and wonders (burning bush, splitting the sea, manna in the desert, etc) and the Word written on tablets, but after the resurrection in the New Testament (new covenant), the miracles and wonders (even better than burning bushes) are done in and through each of us by the Holy Spirit as the Word is now written on our hearts. Not that He doesn't still perform miracles and wonders for us, it's just that His priority is the miraculous work that He does in our spirit. 

I KNOW I’m not alone when I tell you that I have like a hundred scenarios in my head of how God might deliver my miracle. Like, maybe He will give me a baby the cycle before we plan to do IVF, or maybe it will be THIS month so that I would be due on my birthday, or maybe He’s going to give us TWINS, or maybe I’ll get my BFP on Christmas morning- what a great gift to give my family on Christmas! Sound familiar? Throughout this journey, I’ve always been looking for the external miracle. As long as we continue to worship God, not the impending miracle, I don’t see anything wrong with looking for ways to give Him glory. The world is full of beautiful stories where a family was blessed with a baby at the “perfect time” or in the “nick of time”. I love those stories. But God loves us. His priority is His relationship with us. And He cares a lot more about the work He is doing in us through infertility than about our version of the perfect time to bless us with a baby.

With IVF being a very real possibility for us in the near future, I have been praying about it a lot. The whole thing is terrifying. The cost, all the decisions, all the appointments, the crazy hormones, the NEEDLES! I will need the strength and the courage and the joy of the Lord more than ever. I will likely experience a dependence on Him that I never have before. And you know what? I kind of like the idea of relying on Him completely. I like the idea of walking so closely with Him. And maybe that’s the reason why IVF was part of the plan all along? I have no idea, but I’m letting go of my idea of the miracle and trusting Him for the “greater yes”.


Heavenly Father, please forgive me for not always recognizing the miracles that you perform in me. Forgive me for trying to be the potter and You the clay. Thank you for the assurance that there is purpose in my pain and that however you choose to answer my prayers is for the "greater yes" in Christ. Thank you for helping me overcome my unbelief. Thank you for freeing me from my version of what Your miracle should look like and giving me the freedom to see what Your version of a miracle looks like. Thank you that you prioritize Your work in me over performing signs and wonders. I trust You. I love You. Amen!

 
 

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