I woke up like this. It always makes me laugh when I see shirts and hashtags like this. I take a look at myself, my growing bump of 28 weeks and think “NO WAY, DID I WAKE UP LIKE THIS!” It has been such a long journey. Five years of infertility to get pregnant once and loose sweet Oliver. Several more failed IUI’s. Another year and pregnant again but loosing Emery after our first round of IVF. 200+ shots that either I or Nick gave to me. More vitamins, different minerals, oils, blood draws and acupuncture. Even eating the core of several pineapples. Late nights reading any and every article on how to become pregnant and that’s only after learning what all the BCP, TTC, BFP, BFN, DPO, HCG, HSG…. (seriously I could go on) acronyms meant.
All of that, got me here. Sitting on the couch with my laptop, feeling two precious little girls moving inside me. But while this is the moment I have waited for, I have friends that are miscarrying, others grieving the loss of family members and some that still have empty wombs that long to feel life. And my heart just breaks for them and I feel completely helpless. I’ve been there and I still can’t figure out what to say. Saying nothing isn’t an option because I remember the loneliness and feeling like no one understands. But I don’t need to come up with my own words when God has so sufficiently provided His own words already.
Romans 12:12 ” Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Revelation 2:10 “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.”
Psalm 112:6-7 “Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
Psalm 29:11 “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”
Revelation 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
These are the words I read when I’m still scared to walk into the ultrasound room for fear of bad news. These are the words I read when I miss my babies in Heaven. His words are the words I sing over my doubts. His words are the words I pray over you today, my friends.
You are not alone.
Fear. It’s that one thing that can send shivers down your spine and paralyze your present. And it’s not from God. It’s not of God. God wants nothing to do with it.
I’ve been really wrestling with this one. Isn’t is so easy to fall into fear. Fear of the future, the biopsy results, being alone, living life without having children of your own. I find myself being halted daily by thoughts of what if’s. But this isn’t how God wants us to live. This isn’t a life reflecting the grace of a Savior. When we become Christians we accept the fact that Jesus died for our sins and that means accepting the fact that we aren’t going to be punished for anything we have done wrong. He took it all. But it’s easy to wander and wonder. It’s easy to start to believe the lie that maybe the bad things happening to us are our fault. That somehow we deserve all this pain and suffering and grief.
But I won’t have it. I’m tired of believing these lies. So I’m going to reread these scriptures until it becomes so engrained in my brain that fear has no room. There is no fear in love. And GOD IS LOVE.
Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,”
Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do no be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
I have an app on my phone of daily devotionals. This one was too good not to share. The app is called DVO and you can download it here.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Ps 34:18 (NLT)
“Have you ever fainted? Or been severely winded? Passed out? The feeling of going down and losing control of your responses and senses, watching the world slowly fade from colour to black… it’s frightening. You lose all sense of space and time, and you’re forced along by whatever has gripped you. All you are aware of is you and your pain.
Dark, confused, nauseated, tight chest, numb legs…
When you start to ‘come to’ and you realise that the blotchy shapes around you could be people, that the itch on your hand and shoulder could be someone else’s hands holding you, gently shaking you awake, making sure you’re breathing… another emotion floods you. There’s no word for it… but it’s a connectedness. “I am not alone and someone is helping me.” It doesn’t take away the pain, it doesn’t fix a broken leg, or heal a disease, but it strengthens the heart and cures the spirit.
A bond forms between people who experience each other on the brink of life. To know someone in their most vulnerable, stripped away moment is intimate and sacred. A silent knowing forms and there are no words to communicate what’s been shared.
Life takes interesting turns and none of us are immune to the sudden blows that assault our personhood, spirits and hearts. But in those moments, something beautiful takes place. Pain blinds us and takes our breath away, for a time we can’t see or hear or feel, but when we come to, we realise that God was there the whole time. And in this intimate, raw moment of uncertainty and pain and vulnerability, you look God square in the eye, feel His breath on your face, His embrace holding you up and His love filling your chest – rock solid.
As time goes by, the wound heals and you find your feet again. You may not ever wish your experience on someone else, but you wouldn’t change that moment with God for anything in the world. Beauty from ashes, life from death. A great paradox.
I don’t know why bad things happen, I don’t know why some prayers seem to get answered and others don’t… but I know that in your moment of heartache, God is there. All the questions in the world cannot drown out the love and grace He pours into that sacred moment. So hold it tight.
Broken hearted? Open your eyes, breathe… God is close.”
I have an app on my phone of daily devotionals. This one from yesterday was too good not to share. The app is called DVO and you can download it here.
|“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk not to stand still in terror, but to walk and make spiritual progress upon my high places of trouble, suffering, or responsibility!|
|Hab 3:19 (Amp)|
|This verse is very dear to me. About 4 years ago, my family went through a very difficult experience… We were left torn, heartbroken and empty. I had no idea how to move forward from it, how to rebuild my life and my confidence; I remember being filled with fear and uncertainty. I turned to the bible and started to read… but nothing seemed to be ‘getting in’… It was like the words on the page were as empty as I was.Until I found this scripture.|
It lifted off the page and filled my heart and mind with hope.
He is your strength. It’s OK if you feel weak. It’s OK to go through seasons of vulnerability. It’s OK to be frail in heart and spirit. IT IS NOT FAILURE! And it happens to us all. It’s OK, because GOD IS OUR STRENGTH.
2 Cor 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Some of us, perhaps most of us, are embarrassed by our weaknesses and seasons of hardship… But in those seasons, no matter how we get there, the important thing is NOT to cover up the pain or shroud ourselves in embarrassment, but allow God to be our strength. Open up to him, lean on Him, depend on Him…
He is your personal bravery… Not someone else’s or the crowds… yours. He will help you be brave and will lift your head high so that you can face tomorrow assured of His love and strength. He is your invincible army – unshakable, indestructible… Consistent, strong, true… Nothing can separate you from His love.
There’s an old English proverb that says “a smooth sea never made a skilful sailor.” Embrace your season of hardship, don’t be embarrassed or defeated by it… You can get through it; He is your strength, and there is always HOPE.”
June 16 – DVO