It will be bread and not a stone

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” – Matthew 7:9-11 (NIV)

For the years of our first season of infertility, this verse was posted throughout my house. It was on my fridge, above my sink, and next to my vanity. I read it when I woke and throughout my day — it stood as a call to remember the truth, and not allow my heart to swim in fear and worry about the future. To every woman walking through this struggle, the question about the future always hangs like a cloud over her head. How is this going to end? What will happen? Will we ever get a baby? Will this ever be over?

This verse bursts that bubble of mystery. Of course I cannot tell you exactly the details of how your particular story will end, but there is one thing you can know for sure: This will end with bread and not a stone. He is the Good Father. Better than your own, and better than any parent you can think of or dream of being. You are begging Him for bread now, and He will not disappoint you. I urge you to cling to that truth above all in these days – whatever the exact outcome will be, it will be bread.

This passage makes this newly classic song all the sweeter to me, so I’d like to share it with you today to listen to anew.

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Be my strength

A perfect follow-up worship song for our last post about God giving strength to those who have none. This is a precious, peaceful song about walking through a life in which our strength comes from the Lord alone – we ask Him daily to be strong for us, and in the end we will testify that He was faithful in this.

I’ve tried to stand my ground
I’ve tried to understand
But I can’t seem to find
My faith again

Like water on the sand
Or grasping at the wind
I keep on falling short

So please be my strength
Please be my strength
‘Cause I don’t have any more
I don’t have any more Continue reading “Be my strength”

He’s in the waiting

“My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast;

I will sing and make music.” 

-Psalm 57:7

I read (and wrote a lot about) Tim Keller’s book Walking with God Through Pain in Suffering in the last several months of our first infertility journey. One thing among many that always stuck with me was his noting from the Psalms when the psalmist talks to himself. “Why are you downcast, O my soul?” He says in Psalm 42. Keller writes a lot about the value of this “self-talk” — it’s a skill in counseling yourself out of a real or impending emotional pit. As a Christian you already have a strong foundation of things to self-talk about. You know the truth, even if you slip away from it in despair.

This song calls that idea to mind. “Stay steadfast, my soul!,” cries the singer. And as a voice of experience (who is also fighting the pit with you), I call out with her from the next verse: “He’s in the waiting!” Be strong in this struggle, friend. If you’re wondering where God is in all of this, you have found Him. This is exactly where He is — in this struggle, in this mess, in this pain. He’s right here — in the waiting.

Slow down, take time
Breathe in He said
He’d reveal what’s to come
The thoughts in His mind
Always higher than mine
He’ll reveal all to come

Take courage, my heart
Stay steadfast, my soul
He’s in the waiting Continue reading “He’s in the waiting”

So I will not worry or fret

Another cry-fest song for me. Lately I listen to it almost every day. The quietness of the song with the reminder spoken to my soul that He is the one who holds my days and my life is so perfect.

I know you have a lot to worry about. Will this treatment work? Will this home visit go ok? Will you finally get to take home this child? Did you miss your ovulation window? But this is the truth: The great God of all the universe is holding those things in His hands. He is in control of those outcomes and you may need to breath and pass that trust to Him a hundred times a day. He knows what you’re hoping for. He is kind. He has a plan for those things. I don’t mean you can trust Him just to give you whatever you want — I mean You can trust whatever He decides to do with those situations, even if it’s not what you were hoping. What He chooses is a good plan. Release it to Him.

“Holding My World”
And this is Your world, you made it
And all of creation is breathing because You sustain it
Jesus, by your powerful word
You spoke out the earth and the heavens
Continue reading “So I will not worry or fret”

This is my confidence: You’ve never failed me yet

I need to remind you all that I live overseas in a non-Christian environment. It takes a while for new worship songs to get to us, so don’t laugh if I’m sharing stuff you heard months or years ago (cringe!). Just take it as a providential reminder from the Lord!

This song puts a lump in my throat every time I hear it. It speaks beautifully of our fertility story so far. We saw the Lord be awesomely faithful, and now we’re longing for and trusting Him to be faithful again.

“Do It Again”

Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yetYour promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You’ve never failed me yet

I know the night won’t last
Your Word will come to pass
My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus You’re still enough
Keep me within Your love
My heart will sing Your praise again

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet

I’ve seen You move, You move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again

 

 

 

This day is better

Better is this day in the Lord’s plan — even a painful, brokenhearted plan — than a 1,000 days in any plan different than this — even a picture-perfect, no troubles, all-I-ever-wanted plan.

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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. 😉

How sweet is His word

honey

I know you shouldn’t really advertise when you’re fasting and such, but I’m kind of excited so I have to share.

For Lent this year I decided to give up sweets and replace them with the sweetness of the Word. To kick it off, I spent time in Psalm 119, soaking in the beautiful verses and searching for some to memorize as I fend off my sweet tooth. In the process, I found some special verses for all of you! So please allow me to share!

“My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to Your word!” 119:25

“My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to Your word!” 119:28

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in Your ways.” 119:37  (I thought of hours of destructive googling time and time spent on forums, etc.)

“This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” 119:50

“At midnight I rise to praise You, because of Your righteous rules.” 119:62 (I thought of hours of sleepless nights, praying instead of worrying.)

“Let Your steadfast love comfort me according to Your promise to Your servant.” 119:76

“Great peace have those who love Your law; nothing can make them stumble.” 119:165

Also, I would love to hear if you are doing anything special during this Lent season, if you don’t mind saying!

Your Infertility Encouragement Mix-tape

I have googled around for similar lists on more than one occasion, but haven’t found much (or much that I like). These songs have been featured on this blog, some more than once, but I thought it might be nice to have them all in one place. I am not a particularly musical person, but I find great comfort in having truths and encouragement sung to me.

In his wonderful book Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering, Pastor Tim Keller talks about the value of being able to “talk yourself down” when in a hard trial. One way this comes is from building a foundation in your heart of truth, scripture, and song. You can also gather these things along the way, which is what I’d like to offer you today. It may seem silly and pointless, but you shouldn’t underestimate the value of repeating truth to your doubting, struggling heart and mind — even if it’s a song on repeat for the thousandth time. Maybe that thousandth time will be what finally convinces you and gives you peace. Or maybe that thousandth time will be the end and you’ll have made it through steadfastly.

It was really hard to make a short list — I kept thinking of more and more gems that blessed me! But in the end I chose ones that stuck the longest and touched the deepest. Perhaps in the future I’ll do a “Part 2.”

Please feel free to let us know which one/s speak to you the most right now, and add your own to the list to encourage the rest of us!

These are in no particular order, I think (except maybe the first one). I will add a favorite lyric with each.

1. “Sovereign Over Us” by Aaron Keyes

Even in the valley You are faithful, and You’re working for our good and for Your glory.

2. “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman

Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes.

This song isn’t particularly meant for trials, but I love the idea of daily telling your soul to bless the Lord, no matter what comes.

3. “I Need You Now” by Matt Redman

In a dry and barren land I bow down; I need you now.

4. “Though You Slay Me” by Shane and Shane, featuring John Piper

This is a great song, but I especially treasure it for the John Piper clip in the middle. His cry of “It’s not meaningless!” still rings in my heart. 

5. “We Are Blessed” by All Sons and Daughters

We are loved at the end of our rope. 

6. “The Lord our God” by Passion

From this darkness You will lead us, and forever we will say, “You’re the LORD our God.”

Thanks to Liana Berrus for sharing this one with me.

7. “God Moves,” Performed by Sovereign Grace Music

When tears are great,
And comforts few,
We hope in mercies ever new,
We trust in You.

(…and all of the lyrics, really!)

8. “How Firm a Foundation,” a classic hymn, I especially love the version by Chelsea Moon & the Franz Brothers

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

9. “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” another classic, I also love the Chelsea Moon version, but it’s hard to find online so I’ll go a totally different direction and share this Lauryn Hill version, because why not?

10. “Taste and See” by Shai Linne – yup, it’s Christian rap. My husband and I enjoyed rocking out to this song and album in the hardest parts of our trial while being on the road a lot.

God is good all the time – no intervals!

11. “Waiting Here for You” by Christy Nockels

If faith can move the mountains, then let the mountains move.

12. “Desert Song” by Hillsong

All of my life, in every season, You are still God and I have a reason to sing.

13. “The Silence of God” by Andrew Peterson

And the Man of All Sorrows, He never forgot
What sorrow is carried by the hearts that He bought;
So when the questions dissolve into the silence of God
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not.

14. “Hold on to What you Believe” by Mumford and Sons

Hold on to what you believed in the light when the darkness has robbed you of all your sight.