Friday, January 31, 2014

When Getting Through is Enough

It's been a while since I've written. I know my last post was pretty depressing, so part of me was waiting for something really positive or inspirational to happen before I wrote again. My original intent in writing was to show a picture of what life is like when you're waiting on God, so not writing because I haven't heard anything is self-defeating.

So, what's it like to wait on God? Right now it's incredibly isolating. We've passed a few bugs around our house this year, and I have yet to go a full week disease-free. This has caused me to miss all my time in the church nursery, and miss my daily Bible study. I haven't been able to develop the workout routine I wanted, and my eating habits are just as horrible as last year (who WANTS to cook when they're sick?) I'm hopeful February will bring health and wealth, but I'm not holding my breath.

I know that I'm not the first woman to struggle with carrying a second baby to term, and I know I won't be the last. But right now all I really want is someone to wrap their arms around me and tell me it will be okay. I want a shoulder to cry on. I know I've needed that a lot these last few years, but waiting and continually not having answers is exhausting. Watching these friends arrange outings, those friends pop out baby after baby, and others disappear for their annual vacation while you're sitting at home cleaning house and attempting to make ends meet is frustrating. I've tried taking the occasional hiatus from social media, but that results in my missing out on important announcements. We don't know why I haven't carried a second baby to term. Yes, William had a chromosome disorder, but that didn't necessarily cause the miscarriage. Even if it did, by all estimates I should have conceived again by now. I know God is teaching me something right now, I just wish I knew what it was.

So until then I continue on. I keep going about the daily routine, putting a smile on as often as I can, and reminding myself THIS IS NOT THE END. She knows how her story will end, and she has her happy ending, but those ladies waited just like I am. Now, for today's mission: If you've experienced something that changed you; a miscarriage, the death of a parent. divorce; anything that left you staring at the ceiling asking "Why, God?" find a woman in your circle to share it with. Don't assume everyone knows, someone may not. Find someone who is walking a road eerily similar to yours, and pray with her and for her. Remind her that her story isn't finished. Send her a card or take her out for coffee once in a while. I know I'm not the only woman in the world who feels alone. Shed a ray of hope into someone else's storm. God bless and good night.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Choosing Faith Over Fear

Some days I wonder how I've made it this far. Some nights I go to bed worrying so much about the next day, I'm terrified to fall asleep because I don't want to wake up. Every day I have a choice to make: Fear or Faith? Each presents its own challenges. I would love to tell you I choose faith more often, but would that be honest?

We've been "not preventing" pregnancy for close to a year and a half, and we're no closer than we were a year ago. I don't cry everyday of my monthly anymore, but there are still days when my heart just breaks. I made a list of the pregnant moms I know and started praying for them. I can't believe I've been doing that for almost a year now! I'm happy to pray for them, and it has helped me to take the focus off getting pregnant, but there are some announcements that cause me to look at the ceiling and say "Really God? Really?" My list is a mixture of happy families, broken marriages, women who never wanted kids and women who have struggled to have "just one more". I love each of these young women, and I've enjoyed praying for each of them. I'll be honest, when I started praying daily part of me hoped I would conceive shortly afterwards. God had other plans.

I want to be "better". I want to be "normal" again. I haven't tracked periods, cervical fluid or any other conception topics in forever. I've prayed again and again that God would have control of my pregnancies. If I'm not going to have another baby, that's fine. I just want PEACE with that decision. I don't have peace. I'm not pregnant. What am I missing? I've tried so hard to rid my life of my many sins, and each time I ask forgiveness for one, God shows me another. As soon as I'm comfortable with a current situation, at work or at home, at church or in my relationships with non-believers, God shakes it up.

Today I continue to trust that God has a plan. His plans are bigger than my dreams. I have faith THIS IS NOT THE END. Someday, God will give me peace with my princess here and two blessings in Heaven, or He will grow our family in the way He sees fit.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When You Feel Like Quitting...

There are days when I wonder, is it worth it? What am I waiting for? We could start the adoption process in many countries right now, and have a newborn before our daughter turns ten. How fantastic would that be? It wouldn't, because that's not God's plan for us. He's calling us (me specifically) to wait and to trust His timing. 

A sweet friend gave me a new devotional for my birthday in November. I wasn't reading it everyday, but I've been fairy consistent this year. It's called 365 Pocket Prayers for Women, and you can buy it here. Today's entry was about quitting, and I was reminded of a few things. 

1) I need endurance. Parenting has been compared to a marathon, and is not for the faint of heart. It will take all the skills I have, and many I don't realize I have, to care for another newborn. This time of waiting is teaching me to hold on, and press forward even when I don't see the finish line. 

2) If I give up now, I will miss the joy of reaching my goal, and the blessing of serving Him in the meantime. I don't know how many people read or care about my blog or anything I do on Facebook. At the end of the day all that matters is did I point people to Him? If not, then it was all in vain. My goal is still to bring home a healthy baby from the hospital. There is no reason why my husband & I shouldn't be able to do that. I firmly believe that is God's will for us, and right now we just have to wait. Oh it sounds so easy when I see it in print, but surviving the day to day can be so difficult. 

3) We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair... We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you... That is why we never give up. 
2 Corinthians 4:8, 14, 16

Your challenge is different than mine. I don't have any answers for how to deal with yours. I don't even have any answers for how to deal with mine, I'm just telling you what I'm trying. Some days I think it's working, then other days I doubt it because the tears won't stop flowing. No matter what I feel, I know in my heart God loves me and He has a plan for me. He feels the same way about you. Will you trust him today? 

This song was on my heart as I began writing today. Enjoy. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Encourage One Another

As Christians we are called to do many things. Uplift each other in prayer, bless those who persecute us, be slow to anger, among countless other teachings. I started this blog hoping to encourage others who are struggling with "planning" their families. Now, I'm asking for your help.

Each month I wait the tears are fewer and the pain lessens a bit. I know God is calling me to be still and wait right now, two things I'm horrible at. As I look over my calendar for 2014 and how quickly it's filling up, my heart breaks a little because I don't know how long I have to wait. Today is one of those "take it one day at a time" days. Sometimes it's still minute by minute. I've been snowbound and alone for most of the last two days, and I've had plenty of time to fear the future. Here's the thing: I know I don't need to fear the future. I know God is already there, and He's got great plans for my family. But it still hurts now. I decided to sort through a box of paperwork and found a mountain of sympathy cards from William. My heart still breaks, because it doesn't feel like we've come any further in building our family. We love each other, and we trust God's will, but we don't have any assurance that things will change.

Here's how you can help: Most of our country was blanketed with snow over the weekend. Many moms are pulling their hair out as they eagerly wait to return their children to school. Many elderly are alone and afraid to ask for help. If you can safely leave your house and help someone, please do today. Watch the little ones so mom can take a nap (or just play Candy Crush!). Take a loaf of bread to your elderly neighbor, and ask if there's anything else you can do. If you can't leave your home or are blessed to be away from this mess, send someone you've seen struggling a Facebook message or text. Better yet, mail a card of encouragement. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, Dollar General sells cute ones for less than a buck. Take some time and let someone know you're thinking of them.

If you have any stories of how God blessed someone you know after a LONG period of waiting, I would love to hear them! If you would like me to share their story on this blog, tell me. I can change any names or identifying information. If you don't expressly ask me to share it, I won't.

Remember this year: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11