Please Share: What verse or song is speaking to right now?

I LOVE hearing what God is teaching others in the moment. A few years ago I asked on my facebook about a worship song that is touching my friends right now — I was super blessed by the response (especially since I’m overseas and out of the loop with new songs).

Would you please comment with a verse and/or worship song that is special to you right now? I don’t even mean during this year or season or trial… just TODAY, at this moment, what is blessing your heart?

Thanks! I selfishly look forward to being blessed by your responses. ūüėČ

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Please Share this Blog!

The purpose of this blog is to offer Truth-based encouragement to women struggling with infertility. If you have been encouraged, would you reblog, Pin this blog or post it on your Facebook or Twitter (or other preferred social networking outlet)? There are so many others struggling in the same area, many of whom you’re not even aware of (most people on my facebook feed have no clue that we’re in a trial of infertility). They are silently hoping for someone to share something like this with them.

Would you help expand our encouragement to others?

Thanks!

Encouragement from all over (Various Resources)

In the last several days I’ve encountered all sorts of encouragement on the web. I feel like I keep posting the same pastors and writers over and over, but it’s because I really respect them, and they’re biblical, and maybe a little because I live overseas and don’t have easy access to new people. But definitely more the first two.

Lately, I’ve been trying to cultivate the habit of replacing thoughts-of-the-flesh with thoughts-of-the-Spirit (ahem, I’ve also been reading Galatians, if you can’t tell). This means, as a chronic worrier, when the “what ifs” move in and the anxiety starts to mount, instead of letting it build, I try to immediately put something else in my mind (“Whatever is true … think on these things”). For years my first line of combat has been prayer (“God, please stop these thoughts/calm my heart/make me sleep”); then reading or reciting scripture (“At times I am afraid, I trust in You)”. I’ve had to build up my arsenal in these really tough times, though, and one way I’m doing that is to always be reading at least one book of encouragement (though I may be reading a book for fun on the side, because sometimes reading books about suffering, etc. can bring me down, if I’m not in the right place for them). Anyway, it’s really been working, guys. I’ll be lying in bed, starting to worry, and will just get up and read my book until I’ve replaced the thoughts with truth.

Anyway, let me share with you some places I’ve found encouragement lately, and you can take your pick.

1.) Yup, you guessed it, I’m going to say it again… Tim Keller’s¬†Walking with God though Pain and Suffering¬†(specifically parts 2 +3). I actually just finished it tonight, and I practically highlighted the whole book. I’m glad I did, too, because now I can go back and reread some highlights when I need encouragement again (which will probably be in the next 10 minutes… or 30 seconds).

keller

2.) Tonight I found John Piper’s small book (under 100 pages)¬†When the Darkness will not Lift for free (pdf) on the Desiring God website. It sounds like the perfect thing for right now, and I’ll probably finish it in one sitting. It’s about how to have joy while waiting for the Lord. Perfect, right?

darkness

3.) My husband and I watched this encouraging 9-minute video the other night before bed. Sometimes a brief encouragement, as opposed to an hour-long sermon or a 300-page book, is just what you need for that moment. It’s a casual conversation between Pastors John Piper, David Platt, and Matt Chandler on trials and suffering. It made me cry, of course. I was the most touched by Matt Chandler’s words on being “perplexed, but not in despair.” And I learned that David Platt has faced infertility in the past, which led to my next encouragement…

4.) This short interview with Heather Platt was used by God to speak to one of my biggest fears right now — how to rejoice (and not wilt) when my close friend, who is pregnant, gets back to town in a couple months. Sometimes (not all the time, I know), it’s also nice to hear a good post-infertility, God-came-through story, which the Platts have.

5.) I also want to read Charles Spurgeon’s¬†Beside Still Waters, which has great reviews. I heard CJ Mahaney read it daily to his daughter when she was in the hospital with childbirth complications. It sort of looks like you can get the pdf for free here, but so far I haven’t gotten it to work. Let me know if you do, because there isn’t a Kindle version for sale that I can find, unfortunately.

stillwaters

6.) I read that factoid about Mahaney in this little list of resources I randomly came across. It’s meant for pastors to prepare their congregations for suffering, but I breached the system and am bringing it straight to you, no middle man. It has a few more books you may want to look into.

What are some places you’ve found truth-filled encouragement (big or small) recently? Perhaps a video clip, a sermon, a book, an article, a devotional or a song? Please add to my list!¬†

2014 – The year you read the Bible?

If you’re looking for a New Year’s Resolution, it’s not too late! Or, if you decided to grow spiritually this year, I have a tool to help!

I should say, I’m definitely a believer that it’s never too late to grow. Even if you’re reading this in November, it’s still a year from next November, so why wait until January? What’s so special about that month? I’m not really a fan of New Year’s Resolutions because I really think we should be making consistent goals, especially spiritually, throughout the year. One for the year is unreasonable, and not really enough. But I think resolving to read through the Bible is one of those exceptionally reasonable goals that can easily be achieved, and that you can benefit from throughout the year. And what else could you resolve to do that could be of such eternal value to you and most likely change your earthly life as you know it?

Many people I know have recommended the YouVersion Bible App, specifically the component for reading the Bible in a year. It gives you a plan for a section from both the Old and New Testament each day, and keeps track of your progress. It will even link you up with a friend for accountability. And it’s free!

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If you don’t have a smart phone, you can easily track down a reading guide online. Here are a few:

If the thought of reading the whole Bible overwhelms you, I recommend starting smaller, instead of not starting at all. Try reading just the New Testament — it’s the size (and probably shorter) than any “normal” book you’d read, and much of it is stories, so it will hold your attention if you’re not accustomed to reading the Bible.

And to be honest, you don’t really¬†need¬†a special plan. Continue reading “2014 – The year you read the Bible?”

“God never says ‘no'” (and other lies that disappoint)

About a year ago in my small group we were discussing God’s will and prayer. One very sweet woman, in sharing her thoughts, said this quote:

God never says, “No.” He only says, “Yes” or “Wait.”

When she said it, people made a contented sigh at the lovely idea, myself included. It wasn’t until later, while I was riding home on the subway and reflecting on our discussion, that I reconsidered it and had to confess to myself,¬†“Um, wait a minute. That’s not true.”

truthI think similar refrigerator-magnet devotional thoughts get tossed to and fro at an especially high rate when someone is going through a hard time. It’s like people need to say something, and they figure it’s better to say anything that sounds nice — even if it’s not true in the slightest — than to say nothing at all. And people who are struggling without a solid foundation beneath them will take anything they can get.

Last spring I Skyped in to a conference at my church on infertility, miscarriage and child loss. At one point they had a panel of women who had experienced such tragedies, and they were asked a variety of questions. One question was, “What is the least comforting thing someone said to you in your affliction?” There were a few unkind things to mention, but the responses that stuck out to me were non-truths like the one above. One woman, a friend of mine who lost one baby in a car accident and another in stillbirth, said the thing that bothers her the most is when people try to comfort her by saying her babies are now angels. While she knows they mean well, it irks her to hear things like that that just aren’t true, and therefore aren’t comforting to someone who knows truth.

So let me address the fallacy about prayer mentioned above. Let me say that yes, we always have hope in prayer. God can do anything, and He makes lots of promises about prayer in scripture. I can’t explain it, but at the same time, it is true that God sometimes just says “no” to our requests. There are biblical examples of this. Continue reading ““God never says ‘no’” (and other lies that disappoint)”

What’s a special infertility verse for you? (Interactive)

This is another interactive post, so get your pencils ready.

retreatI want to know (so I can mooch it off you, of course), what is one verse or passage that has been very close to your heart during your infertility?

If you’re like me, there have been¬†many, maybe even a new one every week or month, that God has given you for hope and encouragement. Will you share just one (ok, I may allow two, if you really can’t pick) that has stuck especially close to you?

If I had to pick one, I may still go back to the one that started it all (including this blog – Post #1!) for me:

Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

-Matthew 7:9-11

…Ok, now you go!

isa

Question: What’s the hardest part for you?

This is an interactive post. I’m curious to know what is the hardest part of infertility for you? What do you struggle with the most about all of this? Your answer may be different today than it was months ago, and may change again, or it may be the same from day one. Not only would I like to consider how to speak to those struggles, but I find great unity and encouragement (and I think others will as well) to hear people in our same situation are wrestling with the same things.

Your answer can be about anything. It may be that medical things are gross or scary to you, or, like me, it may not really be about the infertility at all, and may be more along the lines of understanding why God doesn’t answer prayer, or it could be something like fearing a future without children. Any answer is acceptable, because it’s¬†your answer.

Please leave a comment, anonymously if you prefer, and tell us what is the hardest part of your infertility.

Please Share: The words that stick

2511So we’ve discussed how sensitivity can be sinful and we need to pray past it. It doesn’t change the reality that words hold weight. The Bible says this is true:

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. (James 3:5-6, ESV)

1821My curiosity wants to ask you about the worst thing someone has said to you in your affliction.¬†But we all know if we go down that road, we’ll just dig a pit of bitterness and anger to wallow in. So instead, I want you to share the best¬†thing someone has said to you. Depending on your story and/or your heart attitude, this may take some thinking. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” They may spread your encouragement to others; it’s also a good practice to dwell on the things that produce joy in you, and not the opposite.

One thing that comes to mind for me is when we were talking about our trial, early on in it, with some friends who had once had a still birth. I just remember them saying, “It’s hard to say anything that will make you feel better, but we are so sorry you have to go through this. We know it really sucks.” That was so much more meaningful to me at that time than any advice they could’ve given. It’s so simple, but we knew they knew how we felt and it touched us to have someone say that.

So what about you? What is the best thing someone has said to you in your infertility?