Just Be Still

I remember like yesterday the month of August 2008. We did our first IUI cycle in July and at the beginning of August we learned that the IUI had not worked and I still wasn’t pregnant.

Instead of jumping into another cycle right away, I felt like God just wanted to me take the month off and just be still before Him.

God used that month to teach me and prepare me for what was to come.

I feel like I am once again in that spot.

In the spot where God wants me to just be still before Him and know that He is God and He’s got what is to come – whatever that may be – under control.

He wants me to turn the worry off and just know that as he brought us through the journey that blessed us with Little Bug, He is going to do it again on our journey to #2.

I hate being human.

Because I am human I worry and I am afraid.

It is a constant daily battle to push the worry and fear aside and instead put my focus and faith in a God that I know has another beautiful plan for us as we seek to grow our family.

The Bible tells us we can’t add a single day to our lives by worrying, yet, even after all God has done through the miracle of Little Bug, I sit here today worried!

Makes no sense whatsoever.

And yet, it makes all the sense in the world because … I am human!

Fortunately, my faith is in the Lord and I know just what to do when the worry creeps in.

Turn away from my worries and fears, put my faith and trust once again in the Lord, accept the strength God has given me because I am a child of His and take the leap of faith God is asking me to take knowing He is walking with me and He already knows what is going to happen.

God doesn’t promise ‘easy’ but He does promise a future that will prosper me and bring me hope.

My relationship with the Lord isn’t something I “do”. It is who I am. And ultimately I know this journey to #2 is not about me, or even another baby.

It’s about God.

It’s about God receiving glory in and through me as I walk this path.

And it’s about being still before the Lord and allowing Him to teach me and mold me through this time into more of the person I was made to be.

 

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Some More Thoughts

I know where all this sadness is stemming from.

It is coming from a dread of the future, which is pure silliness.

But, let me explain anyway.

While I felt total and utter relief from not having to continue to deal with Tracy drama over the next 5-6 months, after things have settled over the past two weeks I have realized that while those 5-6 months would have continued to be one wild ride, there wouldn’t have really been a lot of unknowns in dealing with Tracy.

And unknowns are scary, no matter how you look at them.

Sure, there would have been much more drama with Tracy. That was a given.

But ultimately, I knew the drama would only last a season and because of Tracy’s circumstances, I knew that she would be classified as very “low risk” as far as her deciding to parent. Basically, that isn’t even an option for her.

As much as I hate Tracy’s lifestyle and pray that she one day is freed from the chains of her sin, parenting not even being an option (or desire) for her really does provide a sense of “security” for an adoptive couple when all comes down to it.

Now, we head into the unknown.

Right before we got the call that Tracy was pregnant, Dave and I briefly discussed a timeline of planning for #2, knowing full well that God’s timing is our utmost desire.

We both felt we would be ready to start the adoption process after Little Bug turns two. We both think a three-year age gap would be ideal, but, like I already said, we know better than to plan and assume that our plans will also be God’s plan!

So, the lawyer’s phone call at the beginning of December certainly didn’t line up with our plans but we took the leap of faith and went with it, trusting God every step of the way.

And, as always, he was faithful … every step of the way.

I know that as we begin the adoption process again (most likely before the calendar says 2012), God’s faithfulness will be the thread that weaves our journey to #2 together.

As overwhelming as it was to think of dealing with Tracy for 5-6 months, it is also overwhelming to think of dealing with a new birth mother, a completely new situation.

So many unknowns. And unknowns are scary.

While Tracy certainly proved herself to be full of surprises, I know her. I know how she operates and I knew she had to place her child when it was all said and done.

And as crazy as it sounds, all that did bring a measure of peace that dealing with the unknowns just doesn’t offer.

So it’s a good thing my peace does not come from my circumstances.

My peace comes from the Lord.

I seriously couldn’t do this without my faith in the Lord. Where would my hope be?

In my next birth mother?

Wow. That is a scary thought.

No, my faith, my hope, my trust, my joy, my strength ALL come from the Lord.

And His supply is endless.

Facing our Fears

I just finished watching a Beth Moore video from the study “Esther”.

Wow!

My mother is going through this study at church and said I should watch this particular session because it is all about (yep, you guessed it!) fear.

Two parts of this session really stuck with me.

*****

There is no denial in courage.

Let me explain because when I first heard that, it really wasn’t making a whole lot of sense to me. But, as Beth began to explain further, the truth behind that statement astounded me.

What does that statement have to do with my fear about doing IVF?

Well, first I must ask myself, “What is my greatest fear about IVF?”

Answer: That at the end of everything, I will receive negative blood test results again and still not be pregnant.

The reality of this situation is that this very well may happen. I may go through IVF only to still not be pregnant at the end … my greatest fear.

I could go into this with the attitude of, “This is going to work, it has to”. But this would be living in denial of reality because the reality of the situation is it very well may not work.

There is no courage in saying, “IVF not working for us is just not a possibility. It has to work!”

So what is courage??

Courage is looking flat in the face of “it” (IVF not working) and not denying that it could happen. Instead, I deny it’s authority over me. 

That is courage!

Which now brings me to another part of the session that really struck me.

Beth told everyone to write the following on a piece of paper:

And if _______, then _______.

The first blank is for our worst fear. Beth named endless possibilities for things we are afraid of that could be written in that blank …

  • And if my husband cheats on me,
  • And if my child dies,
  • And if there is no money left in the bank,
  • And if I am fired from my job,
  • And if I am infertile,

The list is endless and we all have something we can fill in that blank. (Go ahead, fill your blank with your worst fear.)

Then Beth went on to fill in the second blank with how we tend to first react …

  • then I will just die inside and never feel alive again.
  • then I will cry myself into a deep depression.
  • then I will never feel joy again.

Beth then said, this is instead how we must fill in those blanks …

  • then, God will still be faithful.
  • then, God will take care of me.

And if _______, then GOD.

If we allow anything but God to fill that blank, we will be left in the grip of fear.

My trust in God throughout this IVF cycle cannot be conditional trust. I cannot go through this IVF cycle trusting that IVF will work.

Sure I can and will pray that IVF results in a pregnancy. I will daily lay my heart’s desire before the Lord and ask others to pray the same. And I can certainly pray asking God to let the cup of “failed IVF cycle” pass me right on by.

But I won’t live victoriously and in freedom with that kind of conditional trust. Instead I must enter this IVF cycle with an “If this, then God” trust and faith in Jesus Christ.

If the IVF cycle fails, then God will take care of me and He will still be faithful.

Not …

If the IVF cycle fails, then I will loose my will to keep living life.

God hasn’t called me to trust him conditionally, to trust Him only when things are in my favor. No. God has called me to trust Him. Period.

Towards the end of the session Beth asked a question:

From Genesis to Revelations, what is the most frequent command in the Bible?

Don’t be afraid.”

Then she asked another profound question:

Can you imagine living without fear?

Courage comes from the Latin word “cor” meaning “heart”. Courage comes from a heart that is convinced it is loved. That is why, as 1 John 4:18 tells us, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”

I do not have to go through IVF in the grip of fear.

God is perfect love. Perfect love drives out fear.

Before I step one foot through the IVF door, I already have victory.

Victory in Jesus.

(Same goes for you!!)

Quest Continues

As I continue to find verse after verse about fear in the Bible, I am finding several resounding themes among many of the verses.

Do not fear.

I [God] am with you.

God is our refuge in times of trouble.

God is our strength.

(I see everyone of these truths from God’s Word as an arrow I can shoot against fear when it comes to try to take over as I continue to walk this journey in the next few months.)

Today’s verse I found in Nahum.

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. Nahum 1:7

And this is what I wrote in my journal:

God is so good! His mercies never fail. They are new every morning. It is only a good God who could take a bad thing such as infertility and make good come from it. I honestly cannot say the past year and a half have been “bad”. So much good has already come because I serve a God who is always good!

God is my refuge and because I am His I have a hedge of protection around me. I like to think of God being my refuge like a raincoat protects us from the rain. With God, there is protection. Oh, yes there is still going to be rain. God does not promise me all sunny days. But when the rain falls, God is my “raincoat”. The rain falls all around me, but it cannot penetrate my skin because I am protected by the raincoat.

God cares for those who trust in Him. God is my creator and He planned all my days before one of them was lived. I can trust Him to get me through whatever lies ahead.

Today’s Truth plucked from God’s Word to be used later in the battles ahead: My God is my refuge. He is good and I must trust Him.

*****

Thank you so much to everyone who has left an encouraging comment. I love checking my email and seeing more comments waiting to be published! Your words of encouragement and prayers mean so much to me. Thank you!

My Biggest Fear

In this decision-making process, I have come to realize that my biggest fear in moving towards any direction is fear that at the end we will still hear those five dreaded words: “Sorry, you are not pregnant.”

Realizing this was Step One in not allowing fear to consume me.

Step Two is diving into the Word of God and pulling out verse after verse about fear.

The fear I’m talking about is not the reverent fear we should all have for God.

The fear I’m talking about is a downright all-consuming, dark-cloud-hovering-all-around-you kind of fear.

God has a lot to say about both types of fears and the verses I’m digging out of the Bible have to do with the “dark cloud” kind of fear. 

Every day I am spending time looking up verses about fear and then writing the message behind them in my “infertility journal”. Then I write down the truth from God’s Word I received for that day. I’m on day three and the first verse I found was:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity [fear], but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline. I Timothy 1:7

Here is what I wrote in the journal about this verse:

God is my creator and He did not create me with a spirit of FEAR. God has given me a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline. A spirit of power! We also know from Scripture that when we are weak, we are strong because of God’s power and strength within us. So as I go through whatever lies ahead in the near future, I must cling to this and know God has given me the power and strength to endure whatever happens. And when I look inside myself I should see power and strength from God pushing out all fear.

Truth One: God has given me a spirit of POWER – not fear.