My Journey to Joy

July 31, 2012

Songs for the Journey- Great is Thy Faithfulness

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k1WhFtVp0o

“…All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided…”

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March 21, 2012

Myth: God cannot be loving if I cannot conceive

Filed under: Shared Findings — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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Infertility is a part of our family. Our family of two. We talk about it like we talk about the weather. Sometimes so much that we are so sick of having to talk about it. It’s become our familiar friend. Month after month we’re reminded that something we long for just wasn’t meant to be. And we wait. We are getting good at waiting.

 It has always been a battle of the mind. Fighting against the thoughts that it creep in muddling our sanity. It must be our fault. I must have done something to be this way. Maybe if I do this, we’ll get pregnant and we won’t have to walk this road anymore. It has become a cyclical road: hope followed by the silent reminder that things are not as we hoped.

 Our journey has been recorded through words on the page. Emotional words, words filled with sadness, but mostly words filled with hope and faith. Because we’ve learned we are not that different from you. And we want you to know that you are not that different than we are, even if you have children…

…Infertility is a funny thing really. Women and men have battled infertility for centuries. The Bible tells us so. Ninety years of barrenness Sarah waited. I’ve waited 2. Seems silly really. But somehow that doesn’t always change the hurt inside. Did you know that 1 in 8 couples suffers from infertility? In our 2 years I’ve met 8 couples that are walking this road.

Do you know someone who’s battling infertility? If you do, they need you to remind them, God is good. So many think if we don’t get what we want when we want it then God must not be good. If I’ve learned anything through the waiting it’s that my God is INCREDIBLY good. God being good is not equated with getting what we want. Seeing infertility as good might sound a little sideways; you may want to stop reading. Please don’t. Infertility isn’t good in and of itself. It’s a product of the fall. But through this waiting I’m learning more about who He is. And for that, I’m grateful.

How we view adversity can affect our entire being. You may not believe in my God. You may not call Him by name. He may not be your best friend. But He’s mine. Creator of the Universe, Jehovah Jireh (Provider), all-powerful, all-sufficient, loving. He’s my God. And in this trial the words of the Book of Life have become my strength. In the tears, when no one can truly feel my emotions. He can. When I feel alone, my soul finds comfort. He’s always with me. If I ask why, he whispers in my ear. My ways are not your ways. When my heart cries, Are you there? He answers, Always. If I ask how long Lord? He gently answers, I’ll carry you.

I’m thankful He takes me in His arms. He wraps me in His love. He promises me that He will never leave me or forsake me. He bottles my tears in His book and gently wipes them away. He is familiar with my pain. He has waited. He has hurt. He has wanted. He has asked for the cup to be taken from Him. He’s good. All the time. And because of Him, I can walk through the fire and not be burned. I can hope that He will hear my cries and answer me. And I can be content because His best is better than anything I can imagine.

 It hurts. It is painful. It is a battle. There are days I have questioned His goodness. There have been plenty of times I’ve acted like a 2 year old, spitting angry, stomping my feet in imperfect selfishness. And I’ve felt empty every time. But I’m always brought back to the truth. He’s good. There is no evil in Him. I am not being punished and neither are you. We are being made holy by way of life’s trials. And He’s been there. And He’s with us. And by the road of infertility, or cancer, or MS, or by any adversity, we’ll be made to be women who Hope with great faith and are Content in Him. We’ll have great joy even in the midst. That’s a strong woman. I want to be a strong woman. Believe He’s good. It changes everything. I promise because He promised me.  ~Andrea

http://comeabide.blogspot.com/2011/04/myth-god-cannot-be-loving-if-i-cannot.html

September 15, 2011

Hope

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

Hope is a powerful thing.  It is what drives us.  It keeps us looking ahead, reaching.  It’s the light in our hearts makes us hold on when things are hard.  But it’s also dangerous.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick… Proverbs 13:12

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of this verse.  Unfulfilled hopes are painful.  Disappointment is hard to carry. But I was missing something important.  Deferred means “withheld for or until a stated time.”  (Merriam Webster)  God’s time.  And there’s more to the verse!

but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

That’s what hope is!  Believing that this isn’t for forever!  There is something more!  I have something to look forward to!

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. Psalm 31:24

Hope is absolutely necessary.  For a while, I tried my best not to hope, fearing how painful it would be when I was disappointed.  It didn’t work.  For one thing, I reacted every time any new possibility presented itself- heart pounding, palms sweating, mind racing.  What’s more, it took away my motivation.  Why would we continue working towards this goal if we never thought it would happen?  I don’t know when or how, but I believe God is working through everything for His purpose in His time.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.  Psalm 16:9

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.  The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentation 3:21-26

I love the promise God made to Israel, and I believe it will be true for me too.

The Lord your God wins victory after victory and is always with you.   He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life  with his love.  The Lord has promised: Your sorrow has ended, and you  can celebrate.  Zephaniah 3:17-18

July 21, 2011

He Knows

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 7:39 PM
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Daniel and I have been on this journey for several years now.  Some things are different, but many aspects remain the same.  I’ve discovered that even the sweetest, most caring friend can zone out after hearing about common adoption problems or infertility struggles for the 50th time!  At other times, I’ll do my best to explain how I feel, to be met with a blank or puzzled look.  That’s when I realize: they just don’t get it.  As humans, we can’t fully empathize with others.  I’m sure I’ve had that look many times when someone was telling me about their struggles.

God knew that we would be limited in how much we could help each other.  That’s why there’s a greater Resource available to us!  It’s not just up to people…we have an Advocate who is touched with the feeling of our infirmaties (Heb 4:15)!  He sees and understands, even when those we love don’t or can’t.

You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me.”  He knows.

But what about when it hurts so much that it’s hard to even pray?  “Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say…”  He knows.

But what about the big, scary possibilities?  We’re so powerless, so liable to be hurt!  “…with your powerful arm you protect me from every side.”

What about those nights, those painful times when it all rushes back in, when the hurt has seemed to last so long, and things that I thought were resolved come back to torture my mind?  “…you see in the dark because daylight and dark are all the same to you.”  He Knows

But why, God?  Why does it have to hurt so much, and for so long?  “Your thoughts are far beyond my understanding, much more than I could ever imagine.”

God, I want to learn the lessons that You have for me.  I believe that you have a purpose for all of this; please don’t let me miss it!  “Look deep into my heart, God, and find out everything I am thinking…lead me in [Your] way.”

And maybe a promise for our little one?  “You are the one who put me together inside my [birth]mother’s body, and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me.  (Maybe creating even now?!)…with your own eyes you saw my body being formed…”

He knows where I am, and He knows where my baby is.  So thankful that He knows!

Italicized selections in quotations from Psalms 139

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