As I said in my last blog post, Mike and I are currently in a waiting period. We have finished our last month of fertility treatments for now, and we are praying about what direction we need to go next. While we are trying to enjoy the break and each other during this time, it is also really hard to remember some days that this is not the end of our journey to becoming parents. With all of the disappointments we have endured these past few years, it's hard to be optimistic and think the best is yet to come for us. It's so hard to know what the Lord's plan is for us, and if that will include children, and if so, how that will all come about. It is a constant, daily struggle to give it back to the Lord and trust in His plan and His timing. Luckily, He is right there with us, walking beside us and giving us little reminders that He is still working, and His plans are going to be so much better than what we could ever have imagined.
I have been doing a Facebook bible study with some ladies at our church, and it has been really good for me. Basically, we all are reading the same book, usually the same chapter each week, and we have a Facebook group that we use as a discussion board for everyone to write on to share what spoke to them the most. We have been reading the book "Stumbling into Grace: Confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually Clumsy Woman" by Lisa Harper. A part in one of the chapters really spoke to me this week. In this passage, Lisa is talking about letting God author our life stories, even when it doesn't match up to our own plans.
"I am stingy when it comes to handing God the pen. Sometimes He has to pry my fingers loose, but with each new page of my story, I'm learning to trust His narrative more. I'm learning to believe in an ultimate happy ending, even when I don't like some of the chapters He writes, because as Paul reminds us in Romans: 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.' (Romans 8:28). We can become more content by giving God the sole authorship of our biographies."
I think this is such a powerful statement, and so important for us to grasp, but oh so difficult to actually do. Ultimately, I think all believers know and acknowledge that God is the one in charge of our lives, and the one in control of our destinies. But how often do we wrestle with Him for control of the pen? I know I do! Maybe I'm the only one, but I certainly think that sometimes the man upstairs can use a few pointers from me, and a little help to bring my great ideas to fruition. I'm trying to convince the author of my life that I know better than He does how the ending should play out. I think sometimes He must just laugh at my ideas, thinking, "Why would you want to settle for that when I have so much more to give to you?"
Lisa writes in this chapter that she never thought she would be approaching 50 having never been married and never having had kids, but that is where she is. In the same way, I never thought I would be turning 30 without having children, or at least being pregnant. I never imagined that I would have to celebrate 2 pregnancies, only to lose those 2 babies weeks later. I never imagined having to spend thousands of dollars on fertility treatments and putting my body through crazy physical demands with no good results, but that's exactly how it has happened. In my mind, this is NOT how my story was supposed to unfold! And I know I have told God more than once just how I thought my life should go instead.
But when I am close to becoming overcome with sadness and frustration, I always have to go back to Romans 8:28, and ask myself if I truly believe those words. It says God works ALL THINGS for the good of those who love Him...not some things, not most things, but ALL THINGS. That means that God will work good out of our countless fertility treatments, the loss of our first 2 babies, the tears shed and the stress endured. I don't know HOW or WHEN, but I have to trust that the Lord WILL, in HIS timing. And I have to trust Him for that now, not after we have our miracle home with us. I posted a passage on Facebook earlier this week from a devotional that I read that gives good advice for trusting God during the waiting periods.
"A lot of times people think, 'I'll have a good attitude as soon as I get over this health issue' or 'I'll give God praise when I get through these tough times.' But that's not how faith works. As long as we're negative, discouraged, and focused on our problems, it limits what God can do. You've got to give God praise first, and then the breakthrough will come. You've got to change your focus first, and then things will change in your favor. Praise always precedes the victory."
I think this is such a powerful message, but again, tough to put into practice. I am trying to meditate on this and stay in the Word so that I am reminded of these messages. It is so easy to be overcome by the insignificant life stressors that are thrown our way, but it is so hard to remember to trust ONLY in the Lord during this waiting period. No one knows what our story will look like, or when it will come to pass, but until then, I am waiting and trusting that the Lord has plans for our life, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future.
"Waiting! Yes, patiently waiting!
Till the next steps made plain will be;
To hear, with the inner hearing,
The Voice that will call for me.
Waiting! Yes, hopefully waiting!
With hope that need not grow dim;
The Master has pledged to guide me,
And my eyes are unto Him.
Waiting! Yes, still waiting!
I know, though I've waited long,
That, while He withholds His purpose,
His waiting cannot be wrong."
-Streams in the Desert