Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Many are the plans of my heart

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

The Lord reminded me of this Bible verse as I was leaving a comment on someones blog a second ago. I can make all the plans I want for having a child, and yet the Lord is in control. His purpose will prevail. And I have to remind myself that His plan and His purpose is so much better than any plan I can conjure up in my head. I think the best plan is to have gotten pregnant a year and a half ago, but since that didn't happen, that was not His will. And His will for me is much better than my will for me.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 The Lord has a plan for my life but the Lord also has a plan for our future children's lives! Whether those children are by birth or by adoption, He has a plan for them! A friend told me once that maybe my child needs to be in the 8th grade in the year 20__ to lead someone to Christ. My mother-in-law mentioned that maybe our child's spouse has not been born yet. Who knows what the Lord's plans are for our future children, but HE HAS A PLAN FOR THEM! And that plan did not begin a year ago, or 10 years didn't begin in my timing.

His perfect plan for our children includes a purpose for them. "For by Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him." Colossians 1:16 God not only is going to create my future child in His timing but He will have a reason for creating that child at that exact time. A reason for Him! Everything He creates has a purpose and a meaning!

I wonder what kind of awesome plans He must have in store for each of us and our future children...

Monday, September 28, 2009

To exercise or not to exercise...that is the question

I feel very silly thinking these thoughts, but they are there, so I will share. During that 2ww (2 week wait between ovulation and finding out if you are pregnant this cycle - for all of you not in the infertility blogging world) I always debate exercising. I know they say that it is perfectly safe, but in my opinion, which is highly scientific, it's not safe. How is all of that jumping and jiggling around good for a little egg that is hopefully trying to implant itself? Doesn't it seem like running around would make a hostile environment for the poor little thing? I wouldn't want to stay in there... :) But seriously, it seems like all of that activity would shake it out. Maybe the debate is also slightly fueled by an excuse to be lazy for 2 weeks, I don't know. Now I know God is bigger than exercise and if this is the month for us to get pregnant than it is going to happen, exercise or not, but still... So this afternoon, to exercise or not to exercise?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"God does not waste a hurt"

I was reading a post on Remember All the Way's blog this morning and it got me thinking. She said that "I honestly don't think I'd be where I am, spiritually, had it not been for this chapter of my life!!" I have had that same exact thought many times. God will use these trials in our lives for His glory. I heard a quote somewhere that said "God will not waste a hurt." Normally it is in those hurts that we learn to trust Him and we grow the most. Who knows the many many ways that the Lord will use this hurt, and our growing relationship with Him is just one of those ways. I believe that my relationship with Him would not be what it is today without my infertility struggles.

It made me think of the song "God Speaking" by Mandisa. You can listen to the whole song here . The part that it made me think about is...

"Who knows how He’ll get ahold of us?
Get our attention to prove he is enough.
He’ll do and He’ll use whatever He wants to.
To tell us, I love you.

His ways are higher
His ways are better
Though sometimes strange
What could be stranger than God in a manger?"

He does work in some strange ways, but the Lord's seemingly strange ways are MUCH better than my ways. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9) His plans often don't make sense to us because we have such a limited world view. We can't see the whole picture, but God can. Dr. James Dobson, in his book When God Doesn't Make Sense says, "trying to analyze His (God's) omnipotence is like an amoeba attempting to comprehend the behavior of man." We simply cannot do it. But we do know that "all the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful." (Psalm 25:10) I have mentioned this before, but it might not be until we are in heaven that we know all the "whys" of life. We might not know until then why the Lord allowed this particular hurt in our lives. "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." (1 Corinthians 13:12.) But I love it when the Lord does answer some of those "whys" to the hurts we are experiencing! And seeing my relationship grow with Him is definitely one of the many reasons He is allowing us to go through this. The method might seem strange to me...But strange to Him? Not so much.

I am just excited to see how else He will use this hurt!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why I am thankful for my infertility

15. I have never spent as much time with the Lord as I do now - reading my Bible, devotionals, praying and worshipping.
14. I am learning to be more open with personal matters. Why not share? Something that I have learned might benefit someone else.
13. I am learning more about myself - I am learning that I can handle much more than I once thought I could! And that is solely because of the Holy Spirit living in me giving me the strength to get through each day.
12. I am becoming a more compassionate, sensitive person...more in tune to others needs and emotions.
11. It has created in me an awareness of potential struggles that others might be going through. Some that I might know about, others that I might not ever find out about.
10. I am able to relate and understand the feelings and emotions of others experiencing infertility. I pray that for the rest of my life I will be able to minister to and encourage this population.
9. I am becoming closer with my current friends as they go through this with me.
8. I am making new friends in the infertility world.
7. I am learning to let the little things go. I used to get upset when things didn't go my way. Ex: Getting aggravated when dinner was ready and my husband was running late from work resulting in dinner getting cold, or planning on going out of town for the weekend and then plans changing. I am not a fan of plans changing, but this has put everything into perspective...
6. It has helped me put things into perspective. While infertility is my battle right now, there are people who are going through much more difficult times than I am.
5. I am learning to see God working in areas of my life and others lives that I was previously too busy to see
4. My husband and I are growing closer together and learning more about each other.
3. I am learning patience. I've always heard it said not to pray for patience...and I don't remember ever praying for it...But apparently I needed to learn it. :)
2. I think I am becoming a better, stronger woman.
1. My relationship with the Lord is so much stronger than it ever has been! He is teaching me that He is in control, to trust Him, that He will provide me with everything I need...I could go on and on!

What is everyone else learning through their struggles/trials - infertility or otherwise??

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:2-5

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Infertility Calendar

So here is how I (and I am sure the rest of the infertile world) spend their months...

Week 1: Period starts and the world crumbles. Another month has gone by without a baby. Taking us farther away from our goal of getting pregnant and feeling like the longer it takes, the greater the chance that we will never get pregnant. The week is mostly spent feeling depressed and crummy. Have to restart the fertility monitor to day 1. The worst time to find out someone is pregnant. Beware pregnant women out there who might just receive glares. Sorry...

Week 2: Time is spent drinking caffeine and taking Aleve or other medications that aren't baby friendly. This is the hardest time for me because there is nothing to do during this time except least I get to drink a lot of coffee and coke and chocolate.

Week 3: Time to start trying again! So now to concern oneself with timing and other stuff that I won't go into detail mother is reading this after all. :) Time to limit the caffeine, worry about if exercise is helpful or harmful, and begin to calculate when my next period should start (or hopefully not start). Oh and the acne! It is AWFUL around this time, much worse than when I was a teenager! Hopefully work schedules don't get in the way of this time...although I do a lot of traveling with my job, so sometimes it does. The world doesn't revolve around my infertility calendar? How dare they! Boo on work.

Week 4-5: Wait, wait wait...this is a time of being hopeful. Every month there is always a hope that this is the month. Now, however, there are new concerns. Everything out of the normal could be pregnancy symptoms - headaches, cramps, food cravings, increased sense of smell, heartburn - all of those mean I am pregnant, right? Unfortunately those are also all symptoms of PMS. Grrr...the confusion of it all. Living in anticipation and fear all at the same time - every single day. Hoping and praying that I won't start my period today, and each day that I don't start feeling like maybe it really is the month. This is the time that thoughts of getting pregnant, infertility, etc. are really all consuming. My prayer here is that "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:7.

Hopefully the cycle ends there and the world doesn't come crashing down around me again.

So, for now...Go week 3!! Is that too much information?? :)

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Friday, September 18, 2009

Short term memory

So, I can't expect people who have not gone through infertility to always be aware of the things they do and say that might be hurtful to someone going through infertility.  They can't possibly know the power of their words and how one comment can ruin my day.  But those who have experienced would think they would be more sensitive.  However this is not always the case...

Yesterday at a work meeting a lady who has gone through infertility told me she liked my dress and that  "you could even be 3-4 months pregnant and the dress would hide it!"  And she kept going on and on about it and looking at me suspiciously.

Facebook status updates that are updated 20 times a day that continually talk about their new baby.  From people who have experienced  infertility?  Don't they remember how hard it is to look through all of their friends status updates constantly talking about their babies??  Don't you remember that it feels like it is being rubbed in your face?

And of course the ever dreaded "When are you guys going to have one?" "When will it be your turn?" "Don't you want a baby?"  All from people who have walked this road...what in the world??!

Grrrr...people, people, people.  I pray that when I get to the other side of this I will not have short term memory loss!!  :)  And I pray that God will give me patience with those who have...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


"Worry is trying to fix tomorrow's problems with today's resources. God gives grace in daily doses." - Mary Southerland, Girlfriends in God

Isaiah 43:2 "When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you" (NLT).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Think on these things

I have amazing friends - I really really do!  One of these friends told me yesterday that she would "pray specifically for His peace that surpasses all understanding, and that you won't feel so consumed by thoughts of your circumstances and the "what ifs"."  Minutes after I read her message I opened my Bible and low and behold I felt smacked in the face with what I found. 

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received from me, or seen in me - put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9

I have read that passage a million times and never has it popped out at me like it did last night.  My thoughts have been consumed with infertility, not with things that are lovely, excellent and praiseworthy!  My thoughts I don't believe have been a sin, I think they have been a normal human emotion due to these circumstances.  The Lord created us with feelings and emotions.  But when my thoughts continually dwell on my circumstances, I am not living the kind of life the Lord wants for me.  He wants to be MY God of Peace, but to do that I have to give Him my thought life.  I have to make a conscious decision that I don't want to dwell on my circumstances - I want Him to have control of my thoughts, I want to dwell on His teachings, on His purpose.

Now I don't exactly know how to go about this in my human strength...but the great thing is that I don't have to!  I have a feeling I will be doing a lot of praying to the Holy Spirit in these coming days to take control of my thought life and to help me focus on praiseworthy, excellent things!

The power of prayer is amazing!

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Sometimes He Calms the Storm" by Scott Krippayne

All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong
Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our Lord is in control

Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn't mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child

He has a reason for each trial
That we pass through in life
And though we're shaken
We cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down
On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always be a quiet peaceful place

Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn't mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child

Sunday, September 13, 2009

God Designed Detours

I have spent the past couple of hours looking around on other blogs in this new infertility blogging world that I find myself in. It is an amazing community with so much support and encouragement from others who are going through the same experiences. It is a blessing that these women who do not know each other and probably never will can come together and encourage each other. The Lord has designed us for fellowship and this is a great example of how the Lord can use technology to bring about this fellowship! :) "But encourage one another daily" Hebrews 3:13

The sermon in church today was titled "Why the Detour?" (I think you will be able to find the whole sermon here will be titled "Are you Ready for This? Part 10) Immediately when I opened my bulletin and saw the title of the sermon I started to tear up. I tried biting my lip, closing my eyes and blinking to keep the tears back, so that I wouldn't make a scene, but that sermon spoke directly to my heart. I knew it would be hard to hear but I knew it was just for me. One of my friends has questioned me several times about how God can actually speak to you, and before we started going down this inferitlty journey I don't honestly think that I had ever slowed down enough to really hear Him speak. But now I constantly feel like the sermons, daily Bible verses and devotionals are written just for me. And that is God speaking to me! So amidst tears here is what the Lord was speaking to me today...

With God there are no detours. To us they might seem like detours, but everything that we experience has been filtered through our Father. Nothing takes Him by surprise, our detours can be God designed. This is a little hard for me to stomach because I would rather think of our inferitility as being an attack from Satan or something that just happens because we live in a fallen world. It is hard for me to think of it as a God designed detour. Why would God design infertility when it is causing so much heart ache for so many of us!?!

In Acts 28:1-10, Paul faced some pretty big detours. There were storms and ship wrecks and yet Paul faced the detours with peace and purpose. The Lord promised to bring Paul safely through to the other side (Acts 27:24), yet He promised that there would be detours on the way. When the Isrealites were escaping Egypt, the Red Sea was a pretty big detour and the Lord saw them through. He parted the Red Sea! Their faith didn't take them around it, it took them straight through it (Hebrews 11:29)! Our perceptions of the detours in life are often self-centered, we see them as interfering with our lives, as obstacles, when we need to see them as opportunities.

Paul's detour was an opportunity for missions, to promote God's message, to witness miracles and to provide for his needs. When he was shipwrecked on Malta, the Lord used him to witness and to display God's miracles to those on the island. Our detours should cause us to look to God, listen to God and live for God. Don't sail past Malta by trying to chase our own agenda! Look at the detour as a place of ministry. Stop looking beyond the detour and instead look AT the detour. This is difficult because I want to just sail on past...I want to be finished with infertility and move on in life with a baby in my hands. But if i try to sail on past Malta I am missing out on God's reasons for allowing me to be on this detour in the first place.

Another point that pastor Ray brought up was that sometimes the detour in my life has nothing to do with me, it has to do with somebody else. Sometimes He's trying to get His message out of me and into someone else.

Maybe the detour is for many reasons. I have really grown in my faith, in my walk with the Lord since we have begun walking this path. I pray that the conversations I have with my friends and family and now this blog will change someone else's life too. I pray that I can be an encouragement to others and show them the love and comfort that I have received from the Lord. Who knows what else the Lord has in store through this detour in my life. But in a weird way I am excited to find out. Because He's got big plans for each and every one of us!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

All consuming rambling thoughts

The past few days my thoughts have been so consumed with this stuff. I have never really understood before when people talked about their thoughts just being consumed with something. But oh how I do now...all day, that's all I can think night I dream about it. I think about us not being able to get pregnant, about others getting pregnant, about what else I can do - should I see a new doctor and get a second opinion, are my medications affecting our odds, am I drinking too much caffeine, am I working out too much, not enough, am I eating the right foods. I analyze everything in my life to see how it might effect getting pregnant. My days revolve around what time of the month it is. I have to live like I am pregnant - not taking certain medications (Ex: Tylenol, no Aleve or Advil), limiting my caffeine intake, taking my prenatal vitamins - and then each month comes to an end and I am not. The heartbreak each month is something that I can't even put into words. Getting pregnant for those with infertility problems takes soooo much planning and analyzing everything, that it loses so much of the spontaneity and enjoyment. And it becomes a task, a chore, an all consuming way of life.

But something else that I have really been thinking about as I have myself a little pity party, is that those with infertility problems are not the only ones going through tough times. Everyone has battles that they will face, whether that they are fighting them right now, in the past, or in the future. While the issues that we all face may be different, the comfort and peace that we all need is exactly the same. While I cannot expect others to understand what I am going through, I simply can't understand what they are going through. Financial struggles, having a child in the hospital, losing a parent, battling cancer, having significant health problems...I see all of these things going on around me and it helps me keep things in perspective. There are always problems bigger than mine.

Something that I have learned through all of this (and I have learned A LOT) is to have more compassion for others. I don't think I have ever been incompassionate, but this has taught me to be more sensitive to issues that others are facing that I might not even know about. While my battle is with not having a baby while others around me seem to be very fertile, others might be struggling with the fact that they are single and haven't found the right one while everyone else around them is getting married. They might be struggling with how to even pay the bills while others seem to be getting along just fine. Whatever our battle we all need compassion - from our friends and from our family.

"Compassion is a human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another's suffering." (Wikipedia)

I thank the Lord that through this tough time, He is teaching me the art of compassion.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"If You Want Me To" by Ginny Owens

The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reasons 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 walk 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
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 valley
If You want me to

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"What If?"

"I've heard it said that when you're anxious, you're being arrogant. You're acting like it's your job to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders." Very thought provoking words from one of my devotionals (Journey magazine). When we are anxious about anything we are living in a "what if" world. Most of the things in this life that we are worried about, are all of the possibilities that could happen in the future. What if we can't ever get pregnant? What if I have to go through another baby shower without having one of my own? What if it takes another year or two or three to get my own "baby bump"? The possibilities of the future can rob us of the present if we let them. God gives us enough strength to get through TODAY, not all of the "what ifs" we can conjure up in our heads. When the Israelites were wandering in the desert, God gave them just enough manna for the day. Just like He gives us the strength to get through TODAY. If one of the "what ifs" comes true, then God will give us the strength to get through it - when that time comes.

When we stress out and are anxious about things, we are a) sinning and b) trying to do God's job (which is actually sinning). Listen to these verses from the Bible...

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything with prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends ALL understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-8

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." Matthew 6:34

We could find many other verses about anxiety in the Bible, but those are some of my favorites. It is so easy to stress about about the "what ifs" when you are trying to get pregnant. There are so many unknowns and constant reminders around us - pregnant women, babies, children, TV shows, media, etc. But I sure don't want those unknowns to consume my thoughts. I want to enjoy this whole process, and I can't do that if I am so anxious about what the future holds.

God's timing really is amazing. I read this devotional the day before we went to go see the urologist to get my husband's test results from the semen analysis the first time. We had to wait several hours before we actually got to see the doctor and I don't think I have ever been that anxious up until that point in my life. All of the "what ifs"... his sperm count be zero, we could be about to find out we could never have biological children...our lives were about to change. The whole time during that wait we were able to keep reminding ourselves that all we were anxious about were the "what ifs". Things that might not happen! We were able to surrender the unknown, all of those "what ifs", to our Lord. We had to pray that he would take all of the unknowns from our minds and give us peace pretty much constantly during that wait, but man...the Lord really can give you an incomprehensible peace!! Look back at Philippians 4:8 "And the peace of God which transcends ALL understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus". The peace only He can give is so far from anything we can comprehend on earth. It is a peace that we would not be able to achieve if we tried for a million years. I know that I would not have been able to make it through that day, or this whole process without that peace from the Lord! Thank you Lord for your peace that transcends my understanding!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I wish I didn't have to be writing this

So, I have played around with the idea of starting a blog for awhile, but needed an outlet today and here I am. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for about a year and a half now and it just simply does not get easier as the days go by. You think you are handling it well and then something comes up and you fall apart. That was me today. I found out a friend is pregnant after missing one birth control pill and here we are TRYING desperately for a year and a half and nothing. Life just doesn't seem fair sometimes, and yet the Lord doesn't promise us life will be easy. He tells us we will have trials, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds." James 1:2 But it is very hard to consider it joy when we are going through tough times.

Our story...I have always wanted children. Ever since I was little and all of my friends were playing "wedding", I played daycare and mommy. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was "a mommy". I carried a baby doll around until, embarrassingly, about 8th grade. After we got married I left it up to my husband to decide when it was time to start trying to get pregnant. I was ready at any point. After about a year and a half of marriage he said that he thought it was time. Yea! In the back of my mind I always wondered if we would have infertility problems, but you never REALLY think it would happen to you.

At the 6 month mark I started really having doubts and concerns. I had seen my OBGYN and he had told me to not worry and at a year we would pursue other testing. Well that year came and my husband and I both started going through test after test. Blood work and semen analysis, ultrasounds and more blood work, exams, etc. My husband was found to have a varicocele, decreasing his sperm count and requiring surgery. My doctor recommended I have exploratory surgery to check for endometriosis and tubal blockage. The varicocele was taken care of after several hours of nervewracking (on my part) surgery and they found endometriosis for me and cleaned that out. So now it is basically more and more and more waiting. We are both "good to go" now and my doctor recommends we just keep trying. That is the HARDEST part. I feel much better doing SOMETHING to help our odds, but this waiting is awful.

That is it in an extremely small nutshell...more details to come I am sure. The Lord has taught me so much through all of this and I expect to learn more to come. My prayer through all of this is that if the Lord is allowing us to go through these tough times it has to be for some reason. I may or may not know that reason this side of heaven, but I want to learn whatever the Lord is teaching and I want to be used by the Lord for His purpose. That is part of the reason I decided to start this blog. I have received so much comfort from the Lord that I want to be able to help someone else who is going through their own struggles. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 My prayer is that the Lord will be able to speak through me to help you through your trials too.

So, stick with me, I have never blogged before but really feel the Lord calling me to do this. Hopefully we will learn more about this whole waiting thing together (whether you are waiting for a baby or for something else in life) and come out on the other side with perseverance, character and hope. "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:3-5