He cares for you

If you don’t already, I highly recommend you keep a personal journal through your infertility adventure. One reason I do is to jot down all the encouragements, especially from scripture, that the Lord sends me along the way. It’s really a blessing to look back on these, especially if I find myself in a dry patch when I don’t feel Him speaking or moving.

Several months back in just my normal daily Bible reading, I came across this passage. Have you ever just been innocently reading your Bible and stumbled upon a verse or passage and just felt, “Oh, this is to me!” I mean, yes, I know, it’s all to me, but sometimes you just find something and know it was given for you especially at that moment in your life. Well, this passage was that for me that day. I burst into tears and read it ten more times before writing it in my journal. It fed my soul with encouragement for weeks.

It was 1 Peter 5:6-11

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

I was spoken to, not only by the reminder (and that’s actually a command to cast your cares upon Him) that God cares for me, but the encouragement to keep myself strong so that the enemy does not get a foothold in my heart through this trial, because he is waiting for a chance. I know Peter wrote this to brethren being persecuted, but I even appreciated the reminder that “brothers and sisters around the world” are going through this and other sufferings, too. I also rested in the promise that God Himself will surely restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish me — all things I was (and am) really needing. He has the power forever, and there is great confidence in that!

By the way, since I mentioned it today, if you don’t read the Bible every day, you have to. Just a few verses, a section, or a chapter a day is easier than you think, feeds you more than you can imagine, and is the best way I can think of to let God speak to you. After all, you are probably always talking to Him — how are you letting Him respond? If you don’t know where to start, I recommend 1 Peter, mostly just because I talked about it now, and because it deals with suffering a bit. I also love the book of Luke, if you want to start with more stories (it starts with the Christmas story, that’s easy enough!). If you don’t own a Bible or if you own one in old English you hate to read, you can download the English Standard Version of the Bible for free on Kindle, as an App, or read it for free online. If you know of an organization that will mail a free hardcopy of the Bible to you, would you leave a note in the comments for fellow readers who would be interested? 

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On Happiness

Pastor Tim Keller on biblical happiness.

Book – “He Remembers the Barren”

This post is taken from this excellent blog: He Remembers the Barren. It was not written for or by me, I’m just sharing it with you.

The Book | He Remembers the Barren

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

Available on Lulu or Amazon or Kindle.

He Remembers the Barren by Katie Schuermann is a tender conversation with women in the church who wrestle with the issue of barrenness in marriage. Addressing questions frequently asked by those struggling with infertility, the author walks alongside the reader, relaying personal stories to both encourage and support those who are suffering. Issues such as thebookcontrol of our bodies, family planning, and the source of conception are examined through a theological lens, reminding the reader of her clear vocation in Christ and pointing her to the ultimate source of fruitfulness, vitality, and comfort, our Triune God.

With Psalm readings, beloved hymn texts, and collects penned by Dcs. Melissa A. Degroot, each chapter of He Remembers the Barren resonates on a devotional level that is pitch perfect for women struggling with the grief and shame which often accompany barrenness. This book also serves as a valuable resource for pastors, family members, and friends seeking to better understand the barren experience of a loved one.

Continue reading “Book – “He Remembers the Barren””

Through the valley of weeping, from strength to strength

A facebook friend just posted these verses about her recent miscarriage. I thought it fit perfectly for our blog.

Psalm 84:6-7 (NIV)

6 As they pass through the valley of weeping,
    they make it a place of springs;
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
    till each appears before God in Zion.

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Moment by Moment

One thought that always rolls through your mind, sometimes way back, sometimes way in the front (usually when you’re awake in the middle of the night), is about the future. What if this never works?, you wonder, How will I do another month of this? — or even, some days, How will I do another day of this?

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I want to encourage you to start relying on the Lord for grace for each moment. You may not be able to handle another cycle of this or another shot in your backside, but I invite you to pray like this: Lord, I don’t know about next cycle or the next shot, or the next time someone asks me when I will have kids, or the next miscarriage or the next [whatever] — but will You give me strength for just the one I’m in? I don’t know about the next day, but will You give grace for this day? Because that’s really all that’s asked of you right now. The Lord says, “I’m not asking you about next month or next week or tonight — can you do right now? Can you do today? Can you do this cycle? This ultrasound? This morning?”

And He will give you the strength for that if you keep your eyes fixed on Him (Hebrews 12:1-2). Don’t let your eyes wander past that, and don’t waste your energy on worrying about tomorrow– as Jesus said, “Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” And whatever challenge awaits when you get there, God will give you grace for it as you need it, just as He did for this one. And, hopefully, at the end of the day (or hour), you’ll be able to rejoice in the victories He gave you, more than you will dread and wallow in the defeats that may be to come.

I love this quote from the GirlTalk blog: “If you can’t pray away the pain, pray through the pain.” If you have to — and you may have to — pray a million times a day to get through each little battle, instead of praying for each of them in a frenzy days or weeks in advance. And God is faithful, He will not give you more than you can handle (1 Cor. 10:13), and as He promised Paul, so He promises you, that His grace is sufficient for you. So pray for moment by moment grace, and let your thoughts stop there.

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Today was a valley day

Today was a valley day. A day when you cried a lot. Like a lot, a lot. The pharmacist tells you your total and you and your husband’s jaws drop and you have to figure out what to do. Again. A day when you give yourself a shot at your kitchen table while your husband feeds you instructions and you both feel so alone together. A day when you stop to pray a hundred times, just to get through it. A day when googling gets the best of you and steals all of your optimism. A day when you keep rereading verses and listening to songs you know by heart, to encourage your heart. You and your husband are irritable and fighting from the stress. You are weak. You are truly weary. You feel like a wimp. You feel forgotten. Disappointed. You don’t want to be dealing with this. There were so many other things you were supposed to be doing with your life at this point, and three blood tests in a week wasn’t one of them. This is a nightmare. The worst-case scenario is your real-life situation, and it feels like it’s never ending. You are walking through the valley of the shadow of death and it feels like it’s killing you. You feel like a speck in the ocean as it keeps sweeping over you, and Lordwhen is this ever going to end? You are thirsty for mercy and this is a day when you feel like you’re only sinking deeper. This is the real valley — the real deal. It hurts physically, spiritually, emotionally. It is dark and it is real life. Today was a valley day.

…But even in the valley, You are faithful. You are working for our good and for Your glory.  

He will not grow tried or weary

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I love this passage lately. I used to think it was over-quoted, but lately it is what I really need to know. Being in the valley makes you so weary and tired. It is so easy to feel that you may stumble. But take rest in this: the LORD [His name is YAHWEH] absolutely NEVER EVER gets tired or weary. And not only that, but He makes others strong. Think about that: He never loses strength, and He increases the strength of everyone else. I barely have enough strength for myself a lot of days, let alone someone else, let alone everyone else. But if you hope in the Lord, you get new strength. And you will not be weary or tired, no matter how long this “run” keeps going. You will not faint, no matter how far you walk. He increases your power, and He understands every single thing. Don’t you know? Have you not heard?

Be strong and wait upon the Lord

Can’t you so relate with David in Psalm 27:14 as he encourages himself in his trial?

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

I urge you to hold this verse close to your heart today, and repeat it as many times as needed.

There is a beautiful song based on that verse, which offers strong reassurance based on scripture. It’s called “Wait on the Lord” by Enter the Worship Circle. Here are the powerful lyrics, followed by a video performance.

Wait on the Lord, oh, my soul 

Wait on the Lord, oh, my soul;

Be strong and take heart,

Be strong and wait upon the Lord.

 

He is beautiful and good

He’s the lover of all men

He has rescued us before 

And He will rescue us again.

He is faithful and true

He is living and just

Surely He will deliver us.

You are not forgotten

Though this passage was written about Israel in her struggle, the principle still reigns true for you in your affliction, if you call yourself one of God’s people. It blessed my soul greatly when I stumbled upon it on this blog: Julianna Morlet [Just a heads up: her blog may be painful to read if you’re struggling with jealousy, as God recently gave her a child. Also, just a heads up: if you’re struggling with jealousy, your blog post is coming soon.] If you ache with feeling like God has forgotten you in this seemingly dragging, e.n.d.l.e.s.s. season, this is His answer for you today, my friend:

Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth;

burst into songs you mountains!

For the LORD comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones.

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the LORD has forgotten me.”

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?

Though she may forget, I will not forget you!

See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me.

-Isaiah 49:13-16

Though You Slay Me

Several blog posts I’ve stumbled upon regarding suffering and trial have referenced this song. I thought this would be a good time to share it, since we talked about Job yesterday. It’s based on another amazing thing Job said in his trial, “Though He slay me, I will trust in Him.” Wow again, right? This post could also be titled “Another reason Job got a book about him and I won’t.”

The Desiring God blog shared about this song in their post entitled Song for the Suffering.

It’s “Though You Slay Me” by Shane & Shane. Here is my favorite version: