For the one who has absolutely no more strength

This has been me at times. I have laid in my bed after starting one more period (or even just on a normal day) and thought, “Lord, I do not have a single ounce of strength left for this.” I have, at times, begged Him to remove from my heart the desire to have children. I’ve wondered if He might just make us decidedly infertile through some tragic event, so we could know for sure we will never get pregnant again (shoot us out of our misery, if you will). I have found the thought of one more day or month to be truly agonizing, let alone the thought of a lifetime without getting pregnant or knowing if I will.

And a few months ago, feeling exhausted from a tragic, emergency surgery and recovering on my in-laws’ couch, while likewise wrestling with other struggles from our life and work overseas, I was reading in Isaiah (that is: scouring the Bible for any fresh word of encouragement), when this verse was given:

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” -Isaiah 40:2

Did you hear those words? To those who have no might He increases strength. This is very different to me than the (equally inspired, equally important, equally truth-filled) verses that call us to strengthen ourselves (“Be strong…”). This is the verse to the woman at the absolute end of her rope. When you have no power left to do this one more time (one more day, one more cycle, one more year, one more whatever) — He meets you there with strength.

I beg you to be empowered (literally!) by this hope-filled truth today. It’s only appropriate to end this post by sharing the full context of this comforting verse. I encourage you to read Isaiah 40 when you have a quiet moment today, and soak your heart in this great truth about the Strong One who has enough strength for everyone.

 

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Lessons Shared from Miscarriage

I confess, I have never figured out a more attractive way to share blog posts from outside websites. If you have any insight for this, please let me know!

I saw this blog post on The Gospel Coalition website today and her 5 Lessons from miscarriage are totally on point, as far as my experience goes. I just needed to pass it on to anyone needing to hear them — and the writer, Abbey Wedgeworth, published this post this morning, just two days after learning her baby has passed away, before even fully miscarrying. I think that makes it all the more powerful for the struggling reader! I recommend some of her other recent posts on this subject, found on her own blog. For example, this one on “‘Should Be,’ ‘Would be,’ and the Hope of what ‘Will be.”

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.

Rejoicing with Those Who Rejoice

I’ve been wanting to a write on this topic, but she says it so well I’ll just share her post!

Dwell in Me

Joseph, favorite son of Jacob, was sold into slavery by his own brothers. The motive? That boy was daddy’s favorite, and they were jealous. Murderously jealous. In fact, if a tribe of Ishmaelites hadn’t shown up at just the right time, the original plan was to kill the boy, their brother, the favorite son of their father.

It’s really a sad story. I can’t imagine being so totally rejected by my own brothers and sister. It would be heartbreaking.

But this story has a truly remarkable ending. Joseph is raised up among the Egyptians. He becomes the number two guy in all of Egypt and prevents the people from starving during a severe, seven-year famine.

He also finds himself in a position to make an important choice.

When Joseph’s brothers who sold him into slavery appear before him wanting to purchase food for their families, he could have repaid their evil…

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Sermon Series – “Treasuring Christ and the Call to Suffering” (Piper)

I just stumbled upon this four-part sermon series by Pastor John Piper. I think I’m going to start working my way through it in the coming weeks, and I thought some of you may want to as well. If you listen, please come back and share any thoughts or words that were meaningful to you in the comments section!

John Piper’s sermon series, “Treasuring Christ and the Call to Suffer” is accessible by clicking these links: part 1part 2,part 3part 4

Enjoy!

I believe You’re my Healer

In Exodus 15, after God has Moses turn bitter water clean, He declares to the people of Israel, “I am the LORD, your healer.”

A lot of you surely wrestle with the healing needed in your infertility, and wondering from where and when the healing will finally come. You have a lot of decisions to make in terms of medications, treatments and operations. No matter what road the Lord leads you down, may you always be sure that the healing is ultimately from Him and nothing else. What perfect peace there is in that!

This is “Healer” by Kari Jobe.

Psalm 113 – Who is like the Lord? He makes the barren woman a joyful mother…

Guys, I’m floored by the Psalm I stumbled upon this morning! It reflects like every theme that is dear to my heart — praising God in all times, His sovereignty, His glory among the nations — then ends with a peaceful promise that, of course, brought me to tears. Here is Psalm 113 (emphasis added by me):

1 Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord!

2 Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore!
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised!

4 The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!
5 Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
6 who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?

7 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8 to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.
9 He gives the barren woman a home,
    making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!