Infertility – The Struggle & Unexpected Blessings – PART 1

When I was younger, I knew I wanted children. I used to have a certain number in my head – 8 to be exact. I remember talking to my married, child-raising friends about that number and being told, “Wait until you have at least one, first!” And so I looked forward to that day with great anticipation. I’ve always loved children, even in my years as a child. I couldn’t wait to have my own. I really wanted a son. My husband would laugh at me because most women seem to want daughters, but not me. I wanted little boys. I wanted him to have a ‘mini me’. It really warmed my heart to think about him with a little shadow!

When my husband and I got married, about 2 months in, I had gotten sick. All food started to make me nauseous, especially the smell of it. After dealing with the symptoms for quite some time, I went to my doctor and was met with her predictions. “Oh I know you’re pregnant, but let’s get these tests done. I will be more surprised if you aren’t!” I went to the lab and sat there, texting my husband, a feeling of nervousness and excitement in my belly. All of the what-ifs flooded my heart and mind and I allowed myself to imagine life 9 months from that moment. My name was called, specimens were collected, and I headed home to wait for the results. Those hours of waiting were hard. Finally, later that evening, that call came. My doctor called me personally to tell me the results. I wasn’t pregnant. She apologized for her negligent words and told me that she understood if I did not want to continue seeing her as my provider.

Over the years that followed, I was so mindful of everything – a late cycle, unexplained nausea, fatigue seemingly out of nowhere, headaches – you name it. Each month brought tears when my cycle would come. All of my friends were getting pregnant and our church experienced many ‘baby booms’ each year where babies were being born back to back over the course of several months. All the while, I tried to sustain a happy outer demeanor, explaining that it was all in God’s timing when I’d be asked about our desire to have children. There were many times that I cried to my husband, heartbroken over my unfulfilled desire and the careless words from others.

“You’re not getting any younger!”

“Do y’all even WANT kids?”

“You know – you’re next!”

“Have you tried changing your diet?”

“Look at you holding that baby, getting practice in, I see!”

“You know, if you want to adopt, you should get started soon!”

“When you (fill in the blank), then those babies will come!”

I heard all of those things and then some. Those comments made me even sadder. And I realized – we can say that we know that God is in control but or comments and thoughts can betray us, which is what happened with them and with me. The comments were unhelpful and mindless and often lent themselves to driving me into deeper sadness over our lack of children.

Baby showers were hard and I would avoid them often. I was happy for my friends, but mourned the absence of children in our home. The sight of cute little baby clothes and shoes pained me. I couldn’t do it! It didn’t seem fair to me!. There was no medical explanation for my inability to conceive. I was upset, but my husband helped me to realize that my beef was really with the Lord. Because He opens and closes the womb, and He had chosen not to for His own good purposes, my ultimate problem was with Him. That was a hard one to grapple with.

It became harder & harder seeing news stories about irresponsible, abusive, and negligent parents. They can have kids, but not ME, Lord? Really?! It was hard, it was sad, it was lonely. But, blessing came with it as well.

[ To Be Continued in Part 2 Next Week ]

 

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Talking About Submission (Desiring God)

The further we drift from talk of submission, the easier my life becomes… But as a follower of Christ, my desire is to see Jesus glorified, not my flesh. And submission is tied directly to the glory and honor due to our Lord and his word. To retreat from the topic of submission is to throw aside fundamentals of marriage that God ordained from the beginning. If ever there were a time to dialogue about marriage, submission, and the attendant glory of Christ, it is now.
Kim Cash Tate

This post was challenging and encouraging to me as a wife. Submission is something that is close to my heart and always has been, even prior to marriage. It is often seen as a dirty word, and I can appreciate how Kim Cash Tate pointed out the various ways that the topic of submission is often approached – apologetically and/or sympathetically. Submission is no thing to apologize for, as it is God’s intended design, nor is it something to gather around and lament about. It is a beautiful thing ordained by God that shows off a glorious picture of His wisdom, and yes, even His Gospel.

While, yes, I know it isn’t always easy, it is beautiful & it speaks loudly to a watching world. There may be situations where it may feel difficult to submit. In those moments, we can, by the power of the Holy Spirit, battle our sin and flesh and put it to death in order that God may be honored and glorified.

May the Lord continue to enable and help His daughters see the wisdom and grace in His plan of submission.

The Gift of My Beloved Husband

wpid-20131207_200733.jpgOn mornings when my husband wakes up before me, I know where to find him. I sleepily stumble into the dining room where I see him sitting at the table, iPad and/or Bible open, with a cup of hot coffee. It’s an encouraging sight to me; I walk toward him and he embraces me. (His hugs are one of my favorite things!) I try not to linger around too long since he is having his quiet time in God’s Word but I can’t help but sneak a quick snuggle in. It’s a precious sight to me to see my husband pursuing the Lord in His Word. It blesses me because I know that as he learns and reads, the Lord will bless him and cause fruit to bear.

Lately I have really been reflecting on the grace that the Lord has shown me in granting me David as my husband. Although he is not perfect (and neither am I!), he is perfect for me. Through many ways and in many times, the Lord has used David to clearly show me His Son, the Gospel, and remind me of His own love, protection, guidance, & provision toward me.

As I prayed one Tuesday afternoon, I thanked the Lord that I do not have any worries or concerns when it comes to finances. My husband handles the budget, makes sure all bills are paid, puts money in our savings account, and spends time forecasting for the future. I worry about nothing in this area. I am not worried that our lights will get turned off or that our car will be repossessed or that there will be a lapse in any area. I am not worried that we will get a notice on our door saying our rent is late. I am not worried that he will put me in harm’s way; I know that he fiercely protects me and looks out for me. I know that he loves me. I don’t doubt it at all. And in this same way that I am so secure in David’s leadership, protection, and provision, I know that my Savior is all of those things and more!

While David fiercely loves and protects me, my Savior does all the more! David provides for me what I need; my Savior does so all the more, perfectly! David shepherds me well; my Lord is the ultimate Shepherd. And while as humans, we let one another down, we sin against each other, we hurt each other, my Savior will never be guilty of any one of those things.

Yet, in all of our imperfections, I love him dearly. I always tell him that he is ‘my favorite’. He is my best friend, my sweet man, my Beloved. He is a true gift from a gracious God to me who always holds out the Gospel before me. He stands with me and helps me fight lies, suffering, and pain with the Truth of God’s Word. He encourages me to read it rightly, to make sure I’m reading the Word in its proper context. He shepherds me through wrong thinking and he has grown to be an empathetic and sympathetic man. He embraces, yet laughs at (!) our differences (and they are many!) but respects me as the individual that God created me to be. The Gospel and the Word of God is never far from his lips and in that, I know how extremely blessed I am!

I remember, years ago, when we were in the courtship phase, I confided in a sister and told her that I could see myself submitting to his leadership! Years later, I must admit – it is a joy to come up under him! In a world where submission is a dirty word, I readily do so.

Beloved, I pray that our marriage is one that honors and glorifies the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you!

The Blessing of My Beloved

pic24Thursday morning started off as any other morning did. It was an off day so I woke up around 8 to the sound of my sweet husband getting ready for work. As he continued his morning routine, I got out of the bed, made us some smoothies, and cleaned up my mess. I have been dealing with horrible allergies for the past few weeks (hello, cedar fever!) so I ran and grabbed some tissue to blow my nose. As I bent down, I felt my back lock up and I could not stand up straight. This had happened back in August, but this was a bit different. After he left for work, I tried to make it through the day normally, but time would very quickly tell that that would not be possible. David came home from work early to help me get to a doctor. He patiently helped me dress, get in the car, and helped me walk. Never once did he complain or give off any indication of inconvenience. He sweetly comforted me during my appointment as I cried from sheer pain, and he took such great care of me over the next few days. He helped me with whatever I needed! I was so grateful for how he sweetly & selflessly served me. Although he had much on his plate, he never made me feel like a hindrance to those things. He gently took, and is taking, such good care of me with a smile on his face. What a blessing you are to me, Beloved. Thank you. :)