Archives for posts with tag: god

Most of us have heard the story.  Most of us have been annoyed with how simple it seems.  Many of us are just fed up with anecdotes that friends and family use as tools during the discomfort.

Maybe God put a fireman at our window.  Why turn it down?  Do we have more faith by staying in a fire or climbing down the ladder?

That fireman just so happens to have a bag full of shots, pills, appointments, and ultrasounds.  Is my desire to use a doctor out of less belief or out of gratefulness at what he has provided? So how does that fit with my belief that God will provide?  487fb1eac0d6825658bf69e2ed7849d7

I think it fits well.  God is big and has the capacity to move mountains.  He is the immeasurably more.  But the real question depends on what my faith is in.  Is my faith rooted in what my current situation is or in what he has already done?

True faith is rooted 100% in what God has done through Christ.  My redemption has been accomplished and my faith is that I have been saved.  I can have the richest of faith that does not depend on any current circumstances.  As I have come to make that realization I have come to accept that my faith in God is not rooted in whether or not we conceive.  It is rooted in the place that is being prepared for me.  If my faith waivers in times of infertility it is not a true faith.  It is a conditional faith that is rooted in  something that has not been promised.

So when it comes to anecdotes that question what God provides I can be confident that my faith does not waiver when I accept the hand of the rescuer.  I am reliant on a miracle to get me through infertility.  Only God can create life.  Science may be a tool he uses to do so.  That cannot lessen my faith in him………..especially if my faith is wholly in him.

-“Abram”

 

 

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to be honest I have come back to this blog every couple months and read through all of your comments.  they have given me the comfort that I need.  they have helped me know I am not alone.  i used writing as a way to hash out my feelings and hopefully bless other people going through a similar story.  infertility is a long hard road of feeling alone and overlooked.

growing up I have always been able to turn to music for help.  it got me through my “teenage angst”.  i always loved how an artist could speak the words I wanted to say.  i loved connecting with the singer and knowing i was not alone.

///through the dark skies and the stubborn clouds….

last month a good friend of mine was able to pass along a burnt cd with the title “stubborn clouds” on it to me.  he said that this artist knew my pain and my waiting.  he said that this artist was able to hash through infertility in a way that hasn’t been done before.

these songs tore me apart.  these words described me waiting with “Sarah” for the monthly phone call that let me down.  these words described this vision I once had of God having perfect plans for my life but not coming through.  they describe me looking up at cloudy skies hoping that sun would shine through; hoping I could sing again.

this e.p. I was lucky to run across went through a short story of love and hope of that “someday” we dream of.

I really want to share these songs with you and hopefully bless you.  I am inspired to write again and go through these songs and the feelings I have had that are now put into melodies.  the artist has not yet released the full cd, so I will start with what they put online.  I hope you take the time to listen to the full story and go through the journey of finding hope in a hopeless situation

Stubborn Clouds

Once again in the waiting room
The smell of fear fighting your perfume
And the Holy Ghost and the devil take their turns
One speaks of all that I deserve
The other speaks in simpler terms of a fierce love that cannot be contained

I say I know the man who gives and takes
I’ve done him some favors so maybe he’ll save the day
Maybe not
I know the man who can raise the dead
I haven’t been faithful but maybe he’ll be instead
I sure hope so

Oh, I can see it now
Through the dark skies and stubborn clouds
Somehow you will break out and cover us all in a song
Somehow all of this chaos makes sense now
The fiercest of storms bring out the best sailors

Once again waiting for the call
Trembling yet strong for her
The deceiver finds an opening
He speaks of all you haven’t done
He denies that the war was won
In the graveyard, through the veins of a King

And I say I know the man who gives and takes
And it’s not about favors, it’s more about His story
He is love
I know the man who can raise the dead
He has done it before and he’ll do it again in us
He is love

Oh, I can see it now
Through the dark skies and stubborn clouds
Somehow you will break out and cover us all in a song
Somehow all of this chaos makes sense now
The fiercest of storms bring out the best sailors

may your story
flow through my veins
let me sing again
may your glory
fill my lungs
oh let me sing again

here is a link to the album stream

Brad Atkin - Stubborn Clouds
 

– “Abram”

numb-er

i am not sure if numb-er is a word, but it works better in my little play on words so i am going to go with it.  i added a dash so you wouldn’t think i was counting.

i have abandoned this community that i was growing.  i know that.  i am just going to pretend you are like old college roommates and jump right in where we left off; minus the cheap beer, video games, and staying up until i normally wake up for work.

i just had hoped that maybe by not writing so much as someone going through infertility that i would somehow not be defined by it.  somehow infertility problems would just slowly shrink down and nuzzle themselves somewhere in-between my lesser problems like being a people-pleaser and not being able to pick up after myself (im sure “Sarah” will give an AMEN to that). 

the slow fadeImage

(and yes, i am going to pretend nuzzle is the proper term here.  it is a great term for all married people to learn)

the problem i am finding is that i am denying my story; my part in an epic novel that is ultimately not about me.

i am so afraid of the “scarlet letter” or the “infertility goggles” or “coming out of the closet” that i deny what is going on here.  i am not owning the fact that all things are from Him, through Him, and to Him.  i am not owning up to the fact that i will never know His ways.

and the more i have ignored my story the more numb i have become to how this can change and shape me.

i care about all of you going through this.  i also need to go through this with others.  let’s dive into how to have faith and be men and women of prayer when faith and prayer haven’t seemed to work in our favor.

this has been a nice chat

– “Abram”

what do all of you think absence does to the heart?  does ignoring infertility make anything better?

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It’s been pretty quiet on here for the past few weeks. To be honest, I just haven’t felt like writing. I haven’t felt like thinking or talking about infertility. I’m getting tired of waiting and more than anything I just feel hopeless. The fertility drugs aren’t working and the wait is driving us crazy. To make matters worse, pregnancies are being announced on Facebook like they’re going out of style!

Can any of you relate?

So I gave myself a few weeks of pity parties/denial/re-decorating and now it’s time to move forward. I will choose joy and continue to believe that God’s timing is perfect. I won’t worry about my biological clock because I serve the Author of Time.

your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

Thanks for all your prayers lately!-Sarah

 

Hey fellow star-counters,

I think that’s what I’m going to call you guys. Star-counters. It’s a reference from the story of Abram and Sarah and you should totally check out the full thing in Genesis 15. But in my own words, Abram is having a hard night and he cries out to God, “Why haven’t you given me kids?!”

Been there? I have.

Many times.

So God tells him to go outside and look up at the stars. The God says to him;

“Look up at the sky and count the stars- if indeed you can count them.
So shall your offspring be.”

In the midst of Abram’s hopeless situation, God gives him a promise. God shows him hope. He causes Abram to look beyond his current situation. And I believe that God wants us to experience that same hope. He wants us to know He’s in control even when our hormones are not. He is the Prince of Peace and he wants us to know His peace even when we get another negative test result.

God may not have promised each one of us that our children will be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Or that we’d be able to have children naturally. Or even that our children will be perfectly healthy when we finally get them. But he has promised to be in control. One of my favorite promises that He’s made comes from Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord.
“Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
Plans to give you a hope and a future.”

So if the challenges of today are more than you can bear, take time to look up and count the stars. Remember the promises that God has made to you. He wants to prosper you and He has plans for your future.

I’ll be counting stars with you.

-S

we have been trying for three years. they tried for three days.

We’re back from Thanksgiving and we missed you!

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and got to spend some of it with family. Did any of you find great Black Friday deals? I stayed far away from that madness. I love to shop but pepper spray and pushing scare me. Abram and I spent our days with family and friends and even got to catch a few naps in between. As we were going around the Thanksgiving dinner table and sharing what we’re thankful for, I realized that this blog has been a huge blessing to me lately. You guys have become a community of hope for me and you remind me that I’m not alone in this scary land of infertility. Thank you for stopping by our site and encouraging us with your comments. I honestly can’t sum up how much that means to me.

I know that Holidays can be really hard when dealing with infertility, so I spent some time on Thanksgiving Day praying for each one of you. It’s hard when you’ve spent so much time hoping and dreaming of making the Big Announcement to your family but only have negative pregnancy tests to show for it. I know what that feels like. For those of you who follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/stillcountingst), you may have seen that Thanksgiving brought a very big announcement: My younger sister is pregnant.

Oh man.

We knew the announcement was coming, but nothing can fully prepare you for the moment.

I can’t help but think it should have been me. We’ve been trying for 3 years. She and her husband tried for 3 days. Literally. It was their first month trying. I wanted to have the first grandchild and make my family excited and proud. I wanted to be the one to make my parents grandparents. That was supposed to be our announcement. She got to break the news to family while going around the table and sharing “thankfuls”. How picture perfect is that?! Why does it make me feel sick?

Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Proverbs 13:12a

Every time I hear someone is pregnant, I literally get a stomach ache. Jealousy and disappointment overcome me. I want to be happy for them and get excited over every little detail, but I feel like I don’t have it in me. I just can’t get over the question of “why not me”? When will it be my turn?

But a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12b

But at the same time, I’m happy for them. I’m happy for my sister. I’m learning to make a very intentional decision to choose joy. There’s going to be new life in our family and that brings a ton of excitement. And by God’s grace, my reaction has been good. On my own, I would have yelled and screamed and pouted in the corner when I heard her good news, but God’s showered loads of grace on me over the past year just to prepare me for this moment.

The writer of Proverbs sure knew what he was talking about when he said hope deferred makes the heart sick. I’m tired of waiting. Tired of being heart-sick. I want to make that announcement soon. I want to experience my deepest longing fulfilled. I want to know the joy and fullness of the tree of life.

But until then, I will trust God’s timing.

Someday I’ll get to make my Big Announcement.

I just have to keep reminding myself.

I’ll just try to cope with these stomach aches.

How do you guys handle when your friends or sisters make the Big Announcement?

I mentioned last week that one of my closest friends recently suffered a miscarriage. I can’t begin to understand the pain she’s experiencing, but I imagine the feeling of loss is immense. Maybe some of you have been there. She had that positive pregnancy test, experienced all of the usual pregnancy symptoms, and even had a growing belly. Her calendar was marked, her work notified, and her joy was growing faster than her belly. And then tragedy struck. She lost the baby. All of her plans shattered.

Less than a week after the miscarriage and D and C, she sent me an e-mail titled “I am thankful.” In the midst of the storm, she was able to praise Jesus and tell of his faithfulness. At a time when so many would disown God, she clung to Him and chose to trust His sovereignty. Her response reminds me of the Willis family’s powerful response I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.

The e-mail my sweet friend wrote detailed all the ways that God provided in the midst of their tragedy. She ended it with a poem that she gave me permission to share. It’s about her time at the hospital and her experience with the D and C, but I think it’s encouragement to all of us that we can be thankful no matter what we’re going through.

I am Thankful

I never thought we’d be in this place,
but we’re thankful to be, to experience His grace.
Today we’re thankful for the goodness of the Lord,
and that He gave us not just enough, but immeasurably more.
He made a nurse obedient to His tug,
He provided another nurse Mollie and a teddy bear to hug.
A doctor not willing to hurry, giving us not a reason to worry.
Loving parents right there at our side,
reminding us in Him to abide.
He made a room open up, so He could continue to fill up our cup.
Each moment was ordained, right there He remained.
Even though our hearts are breaking,
it was for a greater purpose He was making.
Our families at home down on their knees
through the power of prayer our fears were released.
Every prayer was answered,
every concern removed.
Our plans may have been shattered,
but His was proved.
His timing is perfect, His ways secure,
In our loss, His love endures.
Scared and confused,
the questions abounded,
In the midst of it all,
we were surrounded.
We know not the reason,
We cannot question His plans,
We do know our little one
is now in His hands.

I am so blessed to know this awesome woman of God! Please keep her and her husband in your prayers and maybe leave an encouraging word here for them. She pops in here occasionally and I’m sure she could use the support.
This Thanksgiving, let’s challenge ourselves to remember what we’re thankful for. In my family, we go around the dinner table and all share one thing we’re thankful for. Let’s pretend this blog is our table, what are you thankful for this year?

-Sarah

it has been very interesting in this long process finding out who my wife has told and realizing who i have told about what we are dealing with.  the random people who are keeping our secret are a unique mix of people.

we feel this overwhelming shame of telling people we can’t get pregnant.  there is a fear that they will judge us, tell us what we need to do, get weird around us, or keep secrets to protect us.

it is almost as if we did something shameful to put us in this place

but we haven’t done anything to put us in this situation.  this is the hand we have been dealt.

to be honest i am extremely scared of telling my parents.  i have let them in on glimpses of what we are going through, but i have always hated their reactions and it is putting a wall between us.  they tend to react with all the wrong clichés and do not seem to understand how hard this is.

my wife has told her mom but it seems like her mom, who is typically incredibly supportive and thoughtful, has no idea how to respond.  we get cards in the mail to get over colds or do well on tests, but never to tell us she is praying we get better.

i really wish infertility could be seen as a disease.  i wish people understood we are handicapped by this.  i wish people understood how many couples are struggling with infertility because their bodies aren’t functioning properly.

maybe then i could come out of the closet and let everyone know that our bodies need healing and that we are struggling to make this work.  that same confusion that people get when they find out they have cancer is the confusion that i live with; why me.

maybe someday this blog will not have to be anonymous.

but for now i want a get well soon card.  i want to be told it is o.k.  i want to be told that I am o.k.

until then i will continue to put up a wall and keep this secret to myself.

how have all of you decided who to tell and who to not tell?

– “Abram ”

when this is a bad thing

Everyone around me seems to be getting pregnant by double-dipping their tortilla chips or sharing a glass of water.  On the other hand there are millions of us trying every pill, shot, diet and dish we can find with hope of having a child.  Infertility is unfair.

when this is a good thing

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).  Salvation is unfair.

it is a lot easier for me to get upset that life is not fair.

i am not ashamed that i get upset.

i do wish that i could catch myself rejoicing every once in a while that life is unfair.

Schwimmbrille

Image via Wikipedia

This is everything

let’s face it

this is the issue that is in our face on every webpage, Christmas card, night out for dinner and discussion with friends that are parents.  this is the issue every morning that my wife has another ultrasound or blood work.  this is the issue at every family gathering or party where we get the questions.

this is our current struggle.  this is not the same struggle, but this is the MAIN one.

this defines the angle i look at every sermon or worship song about healing. this is our blindness; our invisible leprosy.  the current stage of infertility grief makes it into almost every quiet time or nighttime prayer.  this is what i define myself as.  everything goes through my “infertility goggles” where i stretch and skew every comment to pertain to one single part of my life.  each bible verse i read is about how I can’t have kids.

“Ohhhh, the parable of the sower is about plants? not reproductive seed?  The parable of the laborers isn’t about drinking wine to help have children? Why all the talk about the vine and bearing fruit?  God actually wants me to bear fruit other than children?  The parable of the good Samaritan is definitely about my acupuncture specialist though.”

okay, maybe a little far fetched from what i was going through.

but i know we need to embrace this struggle.  this is our story.  this can be used for good or bad because we are part of this club and experienced it first hand.

Yet this is not everything

 this is not who we are

we are full of other stories

i read many of these infertility blogs and i feel people have just tagged themselves like they are just another lab rat with a single purpose.

we need to get past this.  i know it is difficult.

our interactions with friends and family go beyond us not having children.  our purpose here goes far beyond changing diapers and watching a child graduate.  we can contribute tons more to this world and grow in a ton of different ways.

i made a conscious decision to go through church services and meetings with friends in the last month focusing on other areas of my life. i was amazed at what i have been missing. my friendships go beyond fatherhood and i needed to realize that i cannot put God, family, friends, my job, and my hobbies on pause.  God is not done working in them yet.

My story is not who i am

my hope is that this infertility becomes my story and not just who i am; that i can still deal with every other issue in life and grow in all areas.  whether it be music, friendships, my career, my faith, or anything else i am passionate about, i will combine them with my current struggle to help determine who i am and who i am becoming in all of this.  i will take on situations as they affect me, not just as they affect my infertility.

i will break my infertility goggles and live life to the fullest in ALL areas

– Abram –

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