“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” James 1:1-3.
I have been through many challenges during the last month and half. I am currently recovering from my second ectopic (out-of-place) pregnancy in less than a year. Last July I suffered a right-side ovarian pregnancy that had to be ended in the emergency room room because it threatened my life. It was a very difficult experience because my husband Mark and I had been trying to conceive for a year. We decided to try again to have a child once the doctors said it was okay. Well, I found out last month I have a left-side ovarian pregnancy. This time it has been much more difficult because the pregnancy progressed a little further. I had to undergo a lot of testing just to receive a proper diagnosis. The doctor was cautious and pursued every option to ensure I was not misdiagnosed. This pregnancy is once again a life-threatening situation. The words of the radiologist in the hospital will ring in my ears forever: “There is nothing in your womb.” If the baby continues to develop in the wrong place, my ovary and fallopian tube could rupture causing massive internal bleeding and end my life. Sadly, I had to once again end this pregnancy. You can imagine how hard this experience is both physically and emotionally, especially when everything inside of you and everyone who cares about you wants you to have this baby and a successful pregnancy. I am blessed I still have my ovary and fallopian tube, and I did not need surgery. I was treated in a much less invasive way. This Thursday I must go in for another in a long line of weekly blood tests to confirm my pregnancy hormone levels continue to drop. It is a long and drawn-out process, and it will probably be another month before I no longer need to be under doctor supervision.
At first I was very scared and fearful for my life. I lost so much blood at one point and also began violently vomiting for hours that I thought I would have to call for help. At one point even breathing became a challenge. I grew very weak and tired, and it took every ounce of strength to make a quick rehydrating oral solution in the kitchen. With my husband out of state for several weeks and my family living in another state, I felt very alone. And it seemed liked the worst timing in the world! All I could do was cry out to God to help me. I felt completely helpless and out of control. I knew there was nothing I could do in my own strength. I had to remember that God is in control of everything that happens on Earth. I remembered that when we are weak, God is strong. He uses our weaknesses to show us His power in our lives. God’s timing was actually perfect. He was able to show me how amazing He is at coming through for me. I know He never leaves us nor forsakes us! He surrounded me with His presence and asked me trust in Him to take care of my immediate physical needs.
Then I learned a lot about God’s love and compassion. My mom flew in the next day and stayed for the next three weeks and took care of me. What we went through together in the first week was ugly, awful, painful and something that definitely drew us closer together. I hope never again to experience what I did during this time. My mom was such a blessing and help to me. She was willing to do anything for me, and she was willing to do some less-than-desirable tasks. As an adult, it was astonishing to watch my mother show me so much “agape,” or unconditional, love. This was real love–the kind of love Jesus showed each of us on the cross. Real love stands up in the worst of circumstances and perseveres and endures. When most people would call it quits, real love is still there willing to do whatever it takes to ensure God’s will is done. The next week the worst of my physical trauma was over, but the emotional trauma was just beginning. I cried a lot over my loss, felt guilty because of what had to be done, angry because this happened a second time, upset because others were having successful pregnancies all around me, and concerned because this has happened twice now and I still want kids. My mom was willing to listen to me share these thoughts with her. I didn’t want someone to speak to me; I just wanted someone to listen. My good friend came over and was willing to spend a few hours on her day off (and her husband’s birthday) with me and bring me lunch. God has been reminding me through all of this of scriptures that give me hope and encouragement. I will struggle with these emotions for a long time, but I know that God’s Word and the love and compassion demonstrated by others and by God will continue to heal and restore my heart, my body and my soul. My strength is renewed day by day.
Now I have hope for my future. I have felt very discouraged and downtrodden several times during this experience. There were times I knew Satan tried to gain a foothold. He tried to tell me I’m a failure, I’m worthless, I’ll never become a mother, I should feel guilty, I let everyone down, I’m being punished by God, I’m being treated unfairly compared to others, I should give up my desire for children, and I’m better off this way. Satan definitely likes to attack us when we’re feeling vulnerable. I felt kind of like Job did! Thankfully, I put on the Armor of God and fought against Satan. The Lord intervened on my behalf when I asked Him for help. Satan is still going to use the days, weeks and months ahead to try to attack me again. I have to be on my guard against Him. I love God’s promises. They are eternal. They are true. They will not be broken. They shine a ray of light where it is needed most. They provide comfort. They demonstrate God’s love. They encourage our trampled hearts. They lift us up. They help us soar on wings like eagles. They give us hope for the future. They drown out everything around us and direct our attention to God. In His presence is joy, peace, healing and restoration. We are new creations in Christ. He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. He inwardly renews us day by day. He formed each of us in the womb, and He had a plan ready for us before we were even conceived.
My faith has been tested and strengthened. My blog name is “Faithfull4him.” There were many times I doubted like Thomas. I have, and still, continue to stumble and fall. I know my faith was, and still is, being tested. It was scary. It wasn’t pleasant. It was ugly. It was raw. It was REAL. God wanted to see how I responded to the test. And He is still watching me. I see the doctor next week to find out what I guess you could call my “future fertility prognosis.” All I know is that God can produce miracles that defy medical explanation. God is above anything here on Earth. Nothing is impossible with God! With each trial in our lives, our faith becomes stronger. When things heat up and the flames scorch us, we are becoming strengthened. God can bend us and twist us and mold us more and more into His image. Our trials and tribulations will shape us into the people He has designed us to become. Imagine what a beautiful sculpture we will each be at the end of our lives! Our testimony for Christ will have new passion and new life through each trial God helps us through. God’s Word will touch us in new ways. Our view of others will change. We will have more love, compassion, empathy and sympathy for God’s people. Everyone is hurting in this life, and we are reminded of this fact each time we experience suffering in our own lives. In the end, we must remember that God really does work everything together for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Sometimes this good may be revealed on Earth as time passes, and sometimes we may have to wait to see it revealed in heaven. We are all part of God’s grand design, and each of us matters to God!
Pray this prayer: “Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for the love and compassion you have shown me. I am grateful for the sacrifice Jesus made upon the cross on my behalf. I believe in Him and commit to serve Him all the days of my life. I look forward to being molded into your image with each trial. I want to be a mature and complete Christian no matter what it may cost me. Everything I have, Lord, I give to you. May you remove the chaff from the wheat. May only your goodness remain in me. May everything be for your purpose and for your glory. May all glory, honor and power be given to you. I praise you Lord for being the Most High God, and I know your ways are higher than mine. I pray for your wisdom and strength. I ask for healing, restoration and hope in my life. I pray all of these things in your precious and holy name. Amen.”