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”

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Throwback Thursday: You’ll get through this

I wrote this while I was still waiting for my baby, but past the darkest days of our trial. I still mean it, probably now more than ever, and if you need to hear it right now, I sincerely hope it encourages you.

I know some of you are in your darkest hour. I remember what it was like to be in the deepest depths of the pit of despair. I remember walking around my house and spontaneously bursting into tears, even surprising myself with the level of sorrow inside of me. I remember lying in bed, inconsolable and broken, literally crying out to the Lord in my weariest, tear-soaked voice, “Where are You? Where are You?” I remember thinking it was never going to get better.

ps40The Lord has not yet given me a child, but He did answer many of my prayers to make it better. Little by little, He dug me out of the pit and provided the joy and strength I needed. It’s not always totally better, but it’s better than it was.

And in remembering this, I think of so many of you who may be reading this, aching inside, dying inside, lying broken at the bottom of the valley. And you probably don’t need a lesson, a rebuke or even a Bible verse. You just need to be reminded: You’ll get through this. It’ll get better. You can do this. I know it seems unthinkable, relentless, unbearable and hopeless. But you can do this. This is not the end of your journey. There is hope — there is always hope. It’s bad now, but it will not always be like this.

If no one else has told you yet, let me be the first: you’re going to get through this.

You’re in good company. Before His death, Jesus pleaded with God to spare Him from the coming agony. God didn’t. On the cross, I believe, He had His time in the pit, as He was crying out, like you and me, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” But God came through for Him, and He will for you.

joy comes

If you are seeking advice, the best I can say for today is to start praying earnestly that God will give you what you lack inside. For me, it was real strength, joy, peace, and hope. And He will be faithful and give you those things. It may take a few days, weeks, even months. But He will not leave you in this pit. He will come for you.

It’s going to be ok.

Reposted from November 4, 2013.

Michelle Duggar on the loss of her baby

I’m not sure if this will be encouraging to any of you, but I decided to share it just in case. She talks about how she handled grief when she lost her 20th child, among other things related to that. I know sometimes it can be a blessing to hear someone in a similar situation discuss it. Let me know your thoughts!

I will walk through the valley if You want me to

The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear
And I don’t know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I’m gonna walk through the valley if You want me to

‘Cause I’m not who I was when I took my first step
And I’m clinging to the promise You’re not through with me yet
So if all of these trials bring me closer to You
Then I will go through the fire if You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When You lead me through a world that’s not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I’d never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me and I’m all by myself
And I can’t hear You answer my cries for help
I’ll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the darkness if You want me to

When I cross over Jordan, I’m gonna sing, gonna shout
I’m gonna look into Your eyes and see, You never let me down
So take me on the pathway that will lead me home to You
And I will walk through the valley if You want me to
Yes, I will walk through the valley if You want me to.

No Fight Left

Here is a perfectly poignant song for those of you who may be feeling like you’re in your worst days right now.

The great ache

ps55

It’s no secret now that I am expecting; I’m currently 7 months pregnant. I can genuinely say that, as I expected, each and every day feels like we’re in a dream. It’s truly unbelievable that this is happening to us, and still unfathomable that we may really hold this boy in September and he will forever be a part of our family. However unimaginable that is to you, dear reader, it still feels to me, as I sit here with a bump and am piecing together a little nursery.

I still don’t know for sure how long this blog will continue. God keeps providing things to write and share, so I keep posting them. But I won’t pretend that I will forever have relevant words to speak into the despair in the hearts of barren women. I will always care deeply, and always have the wisdom and insight I gained from my experience, but my lessons in life will keep developing and changing and so will the fresh thoughts I have to offer.

There is one thing that clings to my heart that I’ve been wanting to write about.

ps62

While I know that as the months and years go on, I will forget many parts of infertility and think of it less, there is one aspect that will always stick with me. I still feel it anew when I hear about or meet a woman struggling with infertility. It’s that terrible, deep aching that no one else can understand unless they’ve been through it, too.

Though I did not struggle with jealousy, by God’s grace, I remember that great ache when someone would post a pregnancy announcement or new baby photo on Facebook. It was a pain that instantly pierced my heart. Sometimes I moved on from there, and sometimes my soul would whisper to the Lord, “Will it ever be us??”

I recall last summer as we were still waiting for Him and praying through treatment options (which we later did, without success), some days we spent visiting family when I, for some reason, could not shake the ache all day. Little did they all know that just an inch beneath my surface I was absolutely dying. If the right (or wrong) words had been said, I would’ve burst into tears in an instant. The ache was haunting me.

Many, many mornings I would wake up with the ache. Will it be today, Lord? I would wonder. And more often, going to bed, my husband and I would ache together, praying in sobs that mercy would finally come soon. Just say something, Lord. We are dying down here. 

When I hear about a woman’s infertility, that’s the first thing I think of — that ache. How, even fighting obsession and keeping her eyes fixed on Christ, it can be so hard not to think about it some days. Even taking all of your joy from the Lord, the sadness can hang over like a cloud.

The truly hardest part for me was not knowing if it would ever end. So few trials in life could be endless, but this one had real potential. Would the ache be there forever? Will I have to just get over it? Is that even possible? I would look at older, childless couples and wonder if the ache was still there. Or did their mercy just come in the removal of the ache?

But what sweetness in knowing that others know our burdens, and even more so – that God feels our ache. Now that we’re in a different season, I feel closer with the Lord, knowing He always knew that silent ache that most others never saw at all. I know it’s hard to feel right now, but He really knows your heart. He is walking beside you and aching with you and holding the better plan in His hands. And I’m so sorry for your aching — mercy is on its way, my friend. I’m no one to know how or when, but hold on to hope!

ps142

Wait in the quietness until light goes up in thy darkness

George MacDonald wrote: 

[God] changes not because thou changest. Nay, He has
an especial tenderness of love towards thee for that
thou art in the dark and hast no light, and His heart is
glad when thou dost arise and say, “I will go to my
Father.” . . . Fold the arms of thy faith, and wait in the
quietness until light goes up in thy darkness. Fold the
arms of thy Faith I say, but not of thy Action: bethink
thee of something that thou oughtest to do, and go to
do it, if it be but the sweeping of a room, or the prepar­-
ing of a meal, or a visit to a friend. Heed not thy feel­-
ings: Do thy work.

I found this quote while reading this precious, short, free e-book: When the Darkness will not Lift by John Piper. 

You’ll get through this

I know some of you are in your darkest hour. I remember what it was like to be in the deepest depths of the pit of despair. I remember walking around my house and spontaneously bursting into tears, even surprising myself with the level of sorrow inside of me. I remember lying in bed, inconsolable and broken, literally crying out to the Lord in my weariest, tear-soaked voice, “Where are You? Where are You?” I remember thinking it was never going to get better.

ps40The Lord has not yet given me a child, but He did answer many of my prayers to make it better. Little by little, He dug me out of the pit and provided the joy and strength I needed. It’s not always totally better, but it’s better than it was.

And in remembering this, I think of so many of you who may be reading this, aching inside, dying inside, lying broken at the bottom of the valley. And you don’t need a lesson, a rebuke or even a Bible verse. You just need to be reminded: You’ll get through this. It’ll get better. You can do this. I know it seems unthinkable, relentless, unbearable and hopeless. But you can do this. This is not the end of your journey. There is hope — there is always hope. It’s bad now, but it will not always be like this.

If no one else has told you yet, let me be the first: you’re going to get through this.

You’re in good company. Before His death, Jesus pleaded with God to spare Him from the coming agony. God didn’t. On the cross, I believe, He had His time in the pit, as He was crying out, like you and me, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” But God came through for Him, and He will for you.

joy comes

If you are seeking advice, the best I can say for today is to start praying earnestly that God will give you what you lack inside. For me, it was real strength, joy, peace, and hope. And He will be faithful and give you those things. It may take a few days, weeks, even months. But He will not leave you in this pit. He will come for you.

It’s going to be ok.