Faith and Surrender … they go hand in hand

A few posts ago, I wrote about this infertility journey being a “Faith Walk”.

It is a “Faith Walk” on the road of surrender and faith in Jesus Christ.

And as I’ve learned over the past 16 months, even though at times it is scary and frustrating, it is a very good place to be.

Long ago, I had to come to the point of surrendering my will for God’s Will. And through the part of my “Faith Walk” where I went through month after month of negative pregnancy tests and then three failed IUIs, I can now look back on that time and see the purpose.

God was teaching me the invaluable lesson of surrender. He brought me to the place where I was able to say, with confidence in Him, “Not my will, but Yours.”

If I was still thinking things should have worked out my way, I would be stuck in mourning. I would be mourning the pregnancy I should have experience in August 2007 and the baby I should have given birth to in May of 2008, of which would have now made me the mother of a 7-month-old baby.

But no, God had so much more planned! And I praise Him for that!

My faith is in Jesus Christ because as Scripture tells us in Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

As I’ve said many times before on this blog, God has lovingly taught me that my infertility goes beyond just an issue of egg and sperm having a hard time joining together.

That is the surface issue.

The deeper issue is there is a God who created mankind for the purpose of receiving glory through them and having a close personal relationship with them.

Scripture clearly tells us that God has ordained for us every day we would live before we ever were born! Which means, even before He knit me together in my mother’s womb, He knew endometriosis was going to be a part of my design.

But that certainly does not mean gloom and doom for me for the rest of my days!

God has taken my endometriosis, my infertility, and used it to draw me closer to Him, which allowed God to teach me to forsake my will for His perfect plan for my life.

Putting my faith in Jesus Christ is the only reason I have HOPE.

I believe with all my heart that if God wills, this time next month, I will be pregnant … that’s the faith part of this “Faith Walk”.

And as I’ve said from the beginning of this blog, I desire, above all, God’s will, for His ultimate glory … that’s the surrender part of this “Faith Walk”.

Faith and surrender … they go hand in hand.

One Day at a Time

If I would have known 15 months ago where this journey was going to take us I would have booked the next possible flight out to China to escape my life. So many times in life when we are in the middle of a crisis, we cry out to God just wanting to know where in the world He is taking us next.

If only I just knew what was coming next!

Haven’t we all been there at one time or another in life?

But through this journey so far I have learned that God, in His great wisdom, hands us life one jigsaw piece of the puzzle at a time because the truth of the matter is our little finite minds cannot fully grasp the whole picture at the beginning of a long journey such as the one I’m on now.

Sure, 15 months ago I had no idea I was headed here. But I wish to declare to the world that God has been faithful to us every step of the way. His Grace has been sufficient through everything. Through trying unsuccessfully for 6 months to conceive. Through fertility testing. Through four unsuccessful IUIs. And even through the incident when I thought I was actually pregnant but it turns out I wasn’t.

God was faithful through ALL that. It is by His Grace, His strength and  His peace that I endured all that.

I am once again reminded of Matthew 6:34, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

God supplies our needs in our time of need. Think of it this way: One staff aids a traveler; a bunch of staves is a heavy burden. God didn’t give us what we needed to get through 4 failed IUIs on the first failed IUI. Instead, he gave us what we needed to get through the first IUI that failed. Then a month later he gave us what we needed to endure our 2nd failed IUI. Then our third … and now, our fourth.

I do not have the answers as to why we have not conceived but I do know that God in his infinite wisdom has faithfully brought us through everything thus far – and He will continue. 

My future is still uncertain … to me. Last year this time I was hoping to be pregnant by the end of the year. Now here I am a year later and I still have no guarantee I’ll be pregnant by the end of this year.

But the name of the Lord shall still be praised!! God is a loving God. A God of hope, peace and joy!

Peace that transcends all understanding

I went today for the blood draw and my veins wouldn’t cooperate. So they did a urine test and it was negative.

If ever there was a day that I have experienced a peace that transcends all understanding, it is today. And that is the miracle and blessing of Cycle 4.

No words can adequately describe how much I have feared this day. I can only say I was terrified of once again having negative results. Which is why for the past three nights I have cried myself to sleep just in the anticipation that it could happen.

What scares me the most is the road beyond three failed inseminations.

With all the other cycles, as soon as I learned it hadn’t work, we moved to the next cycle. But this is our third insemination. At our September 29th appointment, he briefly told me what would be next if this cycle didn’t work.

He said it has been consistently seen in their office that if three IUIs do not work, there is usually some underlying issue that was not detected in the initial testing. Typically, the patient undergoes laproscopic surgery to detect an underlying problem, such as endometriosis.

As I cried myself to sleep those nights, I envisioned myself depressed with no hope and no reason to go on with life. I really did not know how I was going to handle that news.

But today I received the news of my third failed insemination. I cried and cried and cried some more. But even in the first few minutes after hearing the news, I had this unexpected peace wash over my entire body.

We drove to my mom’s office and she came out and climbed into the car with me in the front seat and just held me as we all cried. I cried but my mind could not go into the depths of despair as I had expected.

I could not even become anxious about what lies ahead. Looking at me, a heap of tears and tissue sitting there in the car, you would have thought someone had died. But there was, and is, a blanket of peace surrounding me.

It really is a peace that passes all understanding. I can not fully explain it in words.

I just know on a day I expected to feel dead and hopeless if I once again received negative news, I feel the absolute opposite.

I’ve often thought through this process, “Why pray if God already has a plan and will see that it is carried through. Does prayer really make a difference at all when you are dealing with a Sovereign God?”

Well, today I have experienced prayers, YOUR PRAYERS, making all the difference in the world to me.

All these prayers have lifted me up to my Heavenly Father so that I can only feel peace – His peace.

I cannot thank you enough for praying. Please, please keep praying.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God will go with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Ready, Set, GO!

Eggs? Check. One, possibly two.

Sperm? Check. 137 million frozen. Hopefully 40-50 million survive the unfreeze.

Injectibles? Check. 7 vials of it.

hCG injection? Check. Tonight at 9pm.

IUIs? Check. One scheduled for 2:30pm Tuesday. The other scheduled for 9am Wednesday.

As I mentioned before, this has been a whirlwind of a cycle. It is only by the grace of God that ALL this has come together to be ready for 10/7 and 10/8.

God, this cycle has been Yours since Day One. Do as you please but can you please, please, please let it happen? Amen!

No matter what happens this time around I can rest assured God will do something amazing…like He did through Cycle 1 (Tina), Cycle 2 (taught me Who He is) and Cycle 3 (sent me immediately into whirlwind cycle 4).

Aren’t you excited to see what happens next?

I am!

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Poor puppy…she’s getting nervous with all this “Faith Blanket” and “Faith Rocking Chair” talk. She thought she was going to just always be an only [furry] child!

Putting my Hope where it belongs

One of the hardest things to do during a cycle is to remain cautiously hopeful during the 2-week wait.

I want to believe with all my heart that all I’ve just gone through to even get the chance of a 2-week wait will pay off and I will hear words I’ve dreamed of hearing for a long, long time. I want to believe sperm will meet egg and baby will result 9 months later.

But then I think about all those months I was so hopeful only to have my dreams come crashing in on me in the form of another negative home pregnancy test or the arrival of the unwanted period.

So I remain cautiously hopeful during the 2-week wait. And that is so difficult. Because if I am believing I am pregnant, I know I may only be setting myself up for another great disappointment. But if I never hope it will eventually work, why even go through with the treatments?

See the dilemma here? But it does not have to be a dilemma anymore. A very wise friend of mine helped me see this in a brand new light.

I must not put my hope in a positive pregnancy test. I must put my hope in God.

That totally changes my outlook on hoping this month will be the month! Instead, my hope is in God. My hope is in knowing that even if this month is not the month, God is still the same God He was before I again receive that dreadful phone call.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5