I just wanted you to know that I’m back after a period of absence from the blogosphere. During this time, I started a wonderful volunteer position as the Volunteer and Events Coordinator at the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA. I enjoy my new responsibilities, as they are similar to the work I did in Boise, ID before the military moved us across the country. I thank the Lord for helping to find me a perfect position that allows me to give back to the community where I live doing something for which I am passionate. I am truly fascinated and often in awe and wonder over the works of His hands. God’s creation reveals who He is and His deep love for us. I feel closest to God when I am outside admiring His awesome creation. I often have to raise up my hands and say, “Thank you for your majestic works. I love you too!” Volunteering at this park is fun because I get to learn more about God’s creation and share it with others.
I also had surgery on April 17 to see if my doctor could diagnose my fertility issues and possibly find a reason for my past two ovarian pregnancies. My husband I met with the doctor yesterday for my post-op appointment and learned my right fallopian tube is blocked and should be removed to increase my chances of a normal pregnancy in the future. My husband and I are having more testing done and possible surgery on July 3rd to remove my tube. I have had a lot of emotional highs and lows through my fertility journey. It is very hard for a woman to find out she has problems becoming a mother and then to walk through each of the medical steps necessary to increase her chances of having a baby. Something that seems so natural and something we take for granted being women becomes a medical issue. I often feel like I am jumping hurdles in a marathon wondering how many more I will have to jump and where is the finish line. I have an amazingly supportive husband, and I have a wonderful God who offers me hope, comfort, peace and love each step of the way. God has been showing me lately that He is love (1 John 4:8), He loves me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3), and He has good plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11). During some of my most challenging moments He softly whispers in my ear, “I love you.” Mother’s Day is always hard, worldly Easter celebrations have such a focus on fertility and new life, and my birthday came and went last week without a child to hold in my arms. Psalm 121:2 says, “My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and Earth.” All I can say is that if you run to Jesus when you are going through a tough trial in your life, He will be there for you. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” God knows our yesterday, today and tomorrow. He has already been there. He understands what we are going through. God loves us through our journeys.
I know many people who say that God has given them a verse or song through a trial. I believe this true. I believe the Holy Spirit uses this as a way to encourage our hearts when they are low. He gave me the song by Chris Tomlin “Everlasting God” which talks about how we will have strength rise up when we wait upon the Lord. I believe the song ties to Isaiah 40:31 which says, “…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” My parents are avid eagle watchers, and they often send me eagle photos of these majestic creatures soaring through the skies. The eagles let the wind carry them where it will, and they glide into the breeze accepting where it will take them. It is hard to wait for healing or for something we desire to come to pass. I believe God teaches us a lot about patience and longsuffering through our trials. We must wait upon Him. He is our hope and our source of strength and renewal. He knows the right place, the right timing and the right circumstances to answer our prayers. He wants to shape and mold our character along the way to help bring us to maturity in Christ. That is always the hard part. A chisel screams, “Ouch!” But a chisel chips away at all of the excess, flaws and imperfections. The trials of our lives help shape us into the image of Christ, so we should thank the Lord for the work He is doing in our lives – even if it hurts a little. Or a lot.
It is easy to grow angry, bitter, resentful, jealous and envious through our trials. I briefly went through that period, but God helped me to root out the bad seeds. When we are angry, we can express this to the Lord. Tell Him why your situation angers you. God wants us to communicate and have a relationship with Him–in good times and bad! Ask the Lord to help you work through your anger and to accept your situation. We can’t compare ourselves to others or focus on what we don’t have in life. Everything we have is a gift from the Lord. There is an old saying that goes, “Count your blessings, not your problems.” I believe this is true. When we think the grass is always greener on the other side, our grass will soon wither and die without some attention. When we focus on all of the wonderful things God has freely and undeservingly blessed us with, it helps to make our problems pale in comparison. We have to remember that our God is for us, not against us. He’s not allowing us to go through a trial without some greater purpose for our lives that will ultimately lead to glory for the Kingdom. Again, He loves us with an everlasting love. God IS LOVE. When we cry out to God and pour over the scriptures in our deepest pain and sorrow, we can see just how much God loves us! On our darkest days we repeat God’s promises over and over again and let His words encourage our weary souls. Every person has trials in their lives. They may not show it or talk about it openly, but everyone is going through something. Someday YOUR story might be just what someone needs to hear as their story is unfolding!
God gives us Bible stories of ordinary people who have experienced extraordinary things as they go through their everyday, ordinary lives. As I read the Bible the other day, God pointed out a story to me. There are many stories of women overcoming infertility in the Bible. The latest story to hit home isn’t even about having a miracle baby. In Genesis 48 Jacob finally sees Joseph again and he even meets and blesses his grandchildren. Verse 11 says, “And Israel said to Joseph, ‘I had not thought to see your face; but in fact, God has also shown me your offspring!'” It must have been an incredible moment. Jacob had thought Joseph died long ago, and his wife mourned the loss of their son. She died before she could see Joseph’s face again, but Jacob was reunited with his son after many years of separation. God reminded Jacob of the promise to make him fruitful and create a multitude of people through him. The Bible is full of Old and New Testament stories that can give us hope when we are feeling discouraged. God can really speak to our hearts through His Word!
Whenever we go through a trial, we learn to pray without ceasing. We even develop a greater sense of empathy and compassion for others who are suffering around us. We start to develop an attitude of prayer. Prayer for healing, prayer for strength, prayer of thanksgiving, and many more prayers of every flavor. Along with prayer comes an attitude of worship. We learn to have joy in all circumstances because we know that Jesus overcame the world. What greater joy is there than this truth? We can always run to the cross and look at the mighty work done there. It is powerful stuff and even in an entire lifetime you and I will never be able to fully grasp hold of it. We praise the Lord for His great love and sacrifice for us. Everything else seems so trivial in light of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. “‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57. Always look to the great victory in Jesus Christ when you are going through a trial and seek victory in your own life. Jesus can help you to overcome too!
Next month marks three years of my trial. Through my infertility journey I’ve learned so much, and my journey still continues. I know God is writing a beautiful story through my life, and I love sharing every stage of it with others. I look forward to the ending, but I wait patiently to see how it will continue to unfold. I will look unto the Lord my God for strength with every unexpected twist and turn. I will thank the Lord for every small victory along the way. I will praise Him in the storm, and I will dance in the rain. I will search for that rainbow in the sky and think of the incredible promises of God. I am grateful for a God who loves me with an everlasting love! I look forward to keeping you updating on a regular basis, and I thank the Lord for each of you. May you be blessed and be a blessing!
Blessing in Christ,