Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Post Surgery Update

I am utterly amazed and in awe at the peace the Lord has brought me today.  I dreaded this day with everything in me and was crying as we left the house this morning not wanting to go.  But God surrounded me with His peace like I have never felt before.  Sure there were still tears shed, but I have been at such peace there is absolutely no explanation for it than my Heavenly Father answering the prayers from each of you.

We got to the hospital bright and early at 5am this morning and since I was one of the first people there they took me back almost immediately to a room.  They got me all doped up on medicine (Zofran for nausea, Pepcid to get rid of stomach acid and Reglin for something to do with the stomach) then sent me on to the pre-op area.  They put in my IV there and got me started on some Versed, which did not make me “relax” like it claims it will and has done for me in the past.  My nurse in that area was very sensitive and he told me that he was really sorry for our loss.  Several random people came in and out doing various things prepping me for surgery and the only thing that I really hated about that is that each new person asked what procedure I was having performed today.  I guess it’s their way of trying to prevent errors (each of them also asked my name and birth date and compared it to my wristband), but having to say over and over that I was having a D&C was quite difficult.  I have had surgery several times before so I was very familiar with all of the procedures and protocol, but today’s purpose was so different than all of my other surgeries. I did keep thinking, last time I had surgery here I was having surgery to help get me pregnant (my laparoscopy last year) and now this surgery is to get me not pregnant.  That was also difficult to stomach.

After last Tuesday when we saw no heartbeat I had stopped touching my stomach, looking at it in the mirror, etc.  But I am blessed that God brought a fellow infertility/loss blogger to my blog and she shared with me that she came to see those days as God giving her a few more days to hold her baby.  I am so glad that she shared that with me and allowed me to look at it that way.  After I read her comment, Barry and I both have been touching and holding my belly, treasuring our last few days with our baby.  We know that our baby is in Heaven, but we do feel blessed to have had every single day with that little one, even those days after we knew that little life was not there anymore.  I spent the morning treasuring those last few moments holding my belly.

After they took me back to surgery I was given the general anesthetic pretty quickly and obviously do not remember anything until waking up in recovery.  The surgery itself only took about 30 minutes.  I was really crampy and I was shaking when I woke up but they got some Demerol in my IV and in a matter of seconds my body was able to relax. I had another sweet nurse that was stroking my head when I opened my eyes for the first time.  I starting crying when I realized where I was, and that the surgery was over and my sweet nurse started tearing up with me.  She had a baby that only lived for 9 days and told me that she could understand my pain.  She stood there stroking my head, feeding me ice chips and talking to me until it was time for me to leave.  We talked about God’s plan and how He was in control. God placed her in my path for reason, I really needed that compassionate touch and reminder of His love at that time and will always remember that nurse.

Once I got back down to the outpatient surgery room and my dear hubby, that same nurse gave me a huge hug before she left.  I was in more pain at that point so I was given some Percocet and finally got to drink and eat something.  In case you don’t know me in real life, I am always always hungry…especially with pregnancy hormones still surging through my body, going without food for so long was very difficult.  But I got some saltines, graham crackers and a coke in me.  It was my first time drinking a coke since December because of Sugar Busters and then because I was an anal “don’t drink caffeine while pregnant” girl.  It made me sad to be able to drink a coke, but God was strengthening me so much that it didn’t make me cry.  Just made me sad in a nostalgic way.  As soon as I could get up and use the restroom we were on our way back home where I then took a Loritab because I was starting to hurt again a little by that point.  My goodness there were a lot of drugs in my system today…

That was a lot of details about the day, and you are a trooper if you are still reading.  Maybe it’s the drugs making me think that everyone cares about all those little details… :)

Throughout the entire morning at the hospital and this whole afternoon and evening at home I continue to feel at peace.  I know I keep saying that, but it really is something that I didn’t expect to feel so strongly.  Why do I doubt God’s ability to keep me at peace when He has never let me down before? 

Barry has been the best caretaker husband in the entire world and I am so blessed to have him in my life.  All of your emails, comments, texts and calls today have been an incredible comfort to us also.  Thanks to each of you that continue to lift us up in prayer, we feel it more than you can imagine.

Monday, August 30, 2010

God is Still Faithful

(Guest blogger – Barry)

The past week has been the hardest that I, we, ever remember, and despite the hardships of the infertility journey thus far, we never anticipated as sudden a change of plans as this.  From one minute, laughing about trying to talk our doctor into another ultrasound (even though they don’t usually do one at 14 weeks) to a bit of anxiety when the portable Doppler couldn’t find the heartbeat, to what seemed like the longest minute of our lives as we watched and listened to the ultrasound, longing to hear and see what had been there the previous three ultrasounds.

Reliving this on “paper” is not easy, although it is very vivid in my mind, but I recap that appointment to say that just throughout the course of this week, we have felt the presence of the Lord like never before.  The prayers of family and friends, words of encouragement, and kind gestures like bringing meals at just the right time has meant the world to Lisa and I, and truly told us that we were not in this alone. 

As we began to recap last Sunday’s sermon, and change the focus of our prayers from mourning our loss to asking for a miracle, a peace began to come over us that neither of us can understand, but we know where it is from because the Bible clearly tells us (Phil 4:7).  We knew that regardless of what the ultimate will of God was, to pray for healing as we did on Sunday night with many many faithful believers (James 5:14-15), was in obedience to His word, and would glorify Him.  We and all of the people in that room at the church (there must have been at least 20) believed, and still believe, that God is capable of performing miraculous things, just as He has done many times throughout history.  That is why I think that even though it was not in His will for us to find that heartbeat today, He has something special in store for us that we have no idea about yet.  We will probably never know all of the far reaching effects of this experience, but just in a matter of days, our relationships with the Lord have been strengthened, other people have told us how their lives have been touched, and we have experienced the love of our family and friends like never before. 

Tomorrow morning, very early, we will be going in for the D&C procedure, which will be both physically and emotionally challenging, but we know that the Lord is in control of all things, and we have no doubt that He will be with us through this as well. 

Our pastor said in one of his sermons, “When we have nothing but God, we realize that God is all we need, and when we realize that, He is all we want.”  Please don’t misinterpret what I mean by this, because we know that we are so blessed in so many ways, however, losing a child, and all the hopes and dreams that go along with that, has made us realize how true this statement is, and puts many of life’s day to day “struggles” into perspective.  So many blessings get taken for granted, and I am as guilty as any of this, especially during times of triumph.  This week has shown us that if your hope is in the Lord, you will never be let down, no matter what falls apart around you. 

God is faithful, and he loves us and wants what is best for His children.  As long as we keep our focus on him, even when we don’t understand, I know that amazing things will happen, in His time.

“Faithful” by Steven Curtis Chapman

I am broken
I am bleeding
I am scared and I’m confused
But You are faithful
Yes you are faithful

I am weary
God please help my unbelief
Cuz You are faithful
Yes you are faithful

I will proclaim it to the world
I will declare it to my heart
Sing it when the sun is shining
I will scream it in the dark

You are faithful
You are faithful
When You give and when You take away
Even then still your name remains
You are faithful
And with everything inside of me
I am choosing to believe
You are faithful

I am waiting for the rescue
That I know is sure to come
Cuz You are faithful
Yes You are faithful

I’ve dropped anchor in Your promises
And I am holding on
Cuz You are faithful
God, You are faithful

I will proclaim it to the world
I will declare it to my heart
Sing it when the sun is shining
I will scream it in the dark

You are faithful
You are faithful
When You give and when You take away
Even then still your name remains
You are faithful
And with everything inside of me
I am choosing to believe
You’re faithful

So faithful

When I cannot have the answers
And I’m wanting to demand
I’ll remember you are God
And everything is in Your hands

With Your hands you put the sun and moon
And stars up in the sky
For the sake of love
You hung your own Son on the cross to die

You are faithful
Yes, You are faithful
When You give; when You take away
Even then great is your faithfulness
Great is your faithfulness
And with everything inside of me
I am choosing to believe

You are faithful
When You give and when You take away
Even then still your name is

You are faithful
And with everything inside of me
I am choosing to believe
You are faithful


You can listen to the song here.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Awesome Prayer Time

I am still in awe of the wonderful friends, family and church family that the Lord has blessed us with.  We showed up at church this afternoon expecting to meet with a small group of elders, and they just kept filing in!  There were probably 20 or more faithful, God loving men and women that joined us for prayer.  Some of our good friends from a different church also showed up to pray with us.  And all over the US and Canada (and maybe other countries, you never know with the internet…) there were so many of YOU praying with us this afternoon.  There were also many people that I ran into at church that told us they would be down on their knees praying tonight for us also.  It is amazing the outpouring of love, support and encouragement that we have received.  I am so honored to know each and every one of you and can never ever thank you all enough for being a part of our lives.

Our pastor led the time and began by explaining scripture regarding why we were doing what we were doing.  He explained the purpose of anointing with oil, and used olive oil to draw a cross on my forehead - because all healing comes through the cross.  He then asked everyone to gather around and everyone placed their hands on me and Barry and they began the prayer time.  The Holy Spirit’s presence was so evident in that place tonight and I just feel so honored to have been a part of it. 

We are members of a fairly large church so there were both men and women that we knew and that we had never met there.  Men and women so concerned with Kingdom work that they would drop everything that they had to do in order to follow scripture and pray for a couple they had never met.  What awesome prayer warriors!

It was such a powerful and worshipful time.  It is such an amazing feeling knowing that we are so covered in prayer right now. 

I have no idea how God is going to have this all play out, but I feel at peace knowing that we have obeyed scripture and believe in faith that He CAN work this miracle if it is in His will.  I will continue to pray tonight and tomorrow and look forward in eager expectation to see what happens at our Dr. appointment tomorrow afternoon.  Thank you all again for loving us and supporting us through all of this uncertainty and this testing of our faith.

“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.” James 1:2-4

New Twist to our Prayer Request…

Since our appointment Tuesday both Barry and I have pretty much accepted the no heartbeat diagnosis. It has been difficult (and is still difficult), but we have accepted it as final and have been grieving the loss. In the back of my mind has always been the thought of what if there was a mistake? Or what if God is going to work a miracle? I have tried not to think along those lines because it will only make our appointment Tuesday more difficult.

However, Saturday morning I woke up thinking about my pastor’s sermon this past Sunday. (I’ve included the link…please listen to the sermon. Our pastor does a much better job explaining everything than I am about to do.) We had been away from our church for almost a month with being in AK, out of town for a wedding, etc. so I do not think it was a coincidence that I was back in church for this exact sermon two days before our Dr. appointment. I could not stop thinking about it all day. The sermon was on James 5:13-20. Here are a few of the verses…

“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:13-16

I have heard these verses before and I guess have just brushed them aside because…who meets with the church elders and anoints with oil these days? But why not??? It is what the Bible says to do! My pastor told a story about a little girl at church that was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The mother called our pastor and asked him what he thought those verses meant and he said, “exactly what they say!” He got together some elders, prayed over the little girl and next time she went to the hospital (without any treatment) the tumor was completely and utterly gone…no trace it had ever been there. Another example that my recreation minister’s wife told me today…a lady contacted our recreation minister and her daughter was in the hospital, doctors had pretty much said she had hours/days to live. She asked our recreation minister about those verses and asked him to gather some elders and pray over her little girl. And guess what? Healed…alive and healthy today.

These ARE miracles…they are God answering the prayers of His faithful children. God WILL work miracles WHEN THEY ARE IN LINE WITH HIS WILL AND HIS PURPOSE and in order to bring glory to His name. We often discount these types of things as just cool things that have happened instead of giving credit to the Lord for His amazing, wonderful works. They are miracles…miracles still happen today.

We see tons of miracles in the Bible…one for example being Lazarus. The man had been dead for several days and Jesus raised him from the dead! The same God who displayed these miracles in the Bible is the same God that we serve today!!

These verses do not mean that God will answer every prayer for healing in the way we request. It does not mean that you have to have a certain amount of faith for God to answer your prayer. It does not mean that if God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we want that He didn’t listen or that we didn’t pray “right”. What it does mean though is that God wants us to be obedient - He wants us to ask Him for healing, He wants us to have faith and believe that He can work miracles, and He wants us to trust Him that His will will ultimately be done. He will grant our prayers whenever it is in line with His glory and His purpose.

I think it scared me to voice any of these thoughts today because I didn’t want people to think I was crazy or in denial. But I finally came to realize that I don’t care what people think. I care what the Bible has to say and those verses clearly give us instructions regarding what to do when “any one of you is sick”. Well, our little baby is “sick”…we need a miracle. I know what I saw on Tuesday…I saw no heartbeat. It was evident at 6 weeks, at 8 weeks, at 10 weeks…and it was not there on Tuesday. There was not a mistake in the medical equipment. We need a miracle for this little one.

If we had this baby in our arms and been given a diagnosis that was definitely going to end in death we would obviously be praying for a miracle, we wouldn’t just accept it. So why should we just accept this diagnosis? God is SO COMPLETELY CAPABLE of working this miracle IF IT IS IN HIS WILL. So why are we not praying that He will work this miracle, will bring healing to this baby in order to bring glory to His name. There would be no other explanation for it except for…OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WORKS MIRACLES.

So we contacted our recreation minister, who contacted our pastor who is contacting some elders at our church and they will be praying with us at 4:30pm this afternoon (Sunday). I am really really excited about it. Part of me is scared to really believe that this can happen, but that is the devil putting doubt in my mind. God IS capable of this miracle and we are believing that He can bring healing to our baby (I say our…but this baby has always and will always belong to the Lord…not to us…) in order to bring glory to His name! His will WILL be done in this situation and whatever the outcome - He IS in control. Our job is to be obedient. And then we must simply let God be God.

Please join us in faith in praying for this miracle. Please pray that God will heal this child in order to bring glory to His name. I am excited to see what God has in store for this whole situation!

Friday, August 27, 2010

“Cry Out to Jesus” by Third Day

Barry heard this song on the way home from work this morning and while we have heard it a million times it has new meaning now.  Specifically the first verse and chorus…

“Cry Out to Jesus”

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith and love
They've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering


When your lonely (when you're lonely)
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight



You can listen to the song here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

“Beauty Will Rise” by Steven Curtis Chapman

Well, I thought I had re-found this CD for my friend but apparently God placed it along my path for me too. The entire CD has been speaking to both Barry and I right now. It is amazing how God gives you the strength and encouragement that you need to get through one day at a time. And a lot of times that encouragement is from a song…

“Beauty Will Rise”

It was the day the world went wrong
I screamed til my voice was gone
And watched through the tears as everything
Came crashing down

Slowy panic turns to pain
As we awake to what remains
And sift through the ashes
That are left behind

But buried deep beneath
All our broken dreams we have this hope

Out of these ashes beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes
Out of these ashes beauty will rise
For we know joy is coming in the morning
In the morning, beauty will rise

So take another breath for now
And let the tears come washing down
And if you can't believe, I will believe for you

Cause I have seen the signs of spring
Just watch and see

Out of these ashes beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes
Out of these ashes beauty will rise
For we know joy is coming in the morning
In the morning

I can hear it in the distance
And it's not too far away
It's the music and the laughter
Of a wedding and a feast

I can almost feel the hand of God
Reaching for my face to wipe the tears away
You say it's time to make everything new

Make it all new

This is our hope
This is a promise
This is our hope
This is a promise

It will take our breath away
To see the beauty that's been made
Out of the ashes, out of the ashes

It will take our breath away
To see the beauty that He's made
Out of the ashes, out of the ashes

Out of these ashes
Beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes

Out of this darkness
New light will shine
And we'll know the joy that's coming in the morning
In the morning
Beauty will rise

Oh, beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, beauty will rise

You can listen to the song here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No Heartbeat

Barry and I had our regularly scheduled 14 week Dr. appt yesterday and they could not find the baby’s heartbeat.  The baby was measuring exactly like it should but no heartbeat was to be found.  We are in shock obviously…I actually felt the baby move on Monday night for the first time, which is pretty early but I am certain that is what I felt.  Like a little flutter, not a stomach grumbling or anything else.  I know that is what it was and by what the Dr. says because of the baby’s measurements and everything it had to have happened sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning before our appointment. I know feeling the baby was a gift from God although right now it is making things harder because it made things seem so much more real.  We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from friends and family and feel so blessed to have all of those people in our lives.  Please keep us in your prayers as we are really struggling with everything…we KNOW that God is in control.  We just can’t quite figure out why He is allowing this to happen…but He knows.  We are just trying to focus on the blessings even in the midst of the storm and appreciate every day that our baby was in our lives.  Please continue to pray for us as we figure out where and how to go from here…we have another Dr. appt on Monday to schedule the D&C, so we have many more tough days ahead of us but we know somehow we can get through this with our Heavenly Father’s love, comfort and strength. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

“Our God is in Control” by Steven Curtis Chapman

This is off of Steven Curtis Chapman’s CD “Beauty Will Rise”. I re-found it yesterday and in light of what my friend is going through I thought I would post it. I think it speaks to anyone whose dreams are not playing out like we would have wanted them to…the song is a reminder that even in those times GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL.

“Our God is in Control” by Steven Curtis Chapman

This is not how it should be
This is not how it could be
But this is how it is
And our God is in control

This is not how it will be
When we finally will see
We'll see with our own eyes
He was always in control

And we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
And we will finally really understand what it means
So we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
While we're waiting for that day

This is not where we planned to be
When we started this journey
But this is where we are
And our God is in control

Though this first taste is bitter
There will be sweetness forever
When we finally taste and see
That our God is in control

And we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
And we will finally really understand what it means
So we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
While we're waiting for that day

We're waiting for that day
We'll keep on waiting for that day
And we will rise
Our God is in control

Holy, Holy, Holy…

You can hear the song on YouTube here.

Asking for prayers…

I know you guys are GREAT prayer warriors and so I have a special prayer request…

One of my best friends is 12 weeks pregnant with their first child (after about a year of trying).  She went in for an ultrasound last week and the Dr. found a neural tube defect.  Normally these cannot be found so early, but since it was seen this early, the Dr. is pretty concerned.  Right now the baby’s brain is not developing as it should be.  My friend described it saying that looking at an US of a typically developing baby you should see gray when looking at the head and all they see is black, meaning the brain has not developed where it should.  The Dr. is having them come back on September 3rd for another US to see if things have improved.  If not, they will do an amniocentesis to see if the cause is genetic and to get more specifics about exactly what is going on.  If nothing has improved the effects could be anything from hydrocephalus, spina bifida to the baby only living minutes/hours after birth because of lack of brain development.

We are praying for a MIRACLE!!!  We know God is perfectly capable of miracles, we are praying that in this case He will work a miracle in order to bring Him glory.  We are praying that they will go back in September and that little baby’s brain will be perfectly developed!!  There would be no other explanation than a miracle!!!  Please join me in prayer for this tiny baby, as well as mom and dad as they are struggling with the “why’s” and “what if’s”.  They are strong Christian’s and know that their child is in God’s hands but their faith has never been tested like it is right now.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I have been home for only a handful of days in the past month.  Life has been crazy around here…between work trips, a friends wedding, vacation to Alaska, trips to see family…my house is starting to look quite dirty.  I would love someone to come and clean it for me…any takers?  No?  :) 

Earlier this month we were in Alaska for almost two full weeks and we had so much fun!  It had been two years since being up there so we were long overdue for a trip back home!  We didn’t do too much this trip because I wasn’t quite feeling up for it (apparently I get car sick now…so we couldn’t really do much traveling), but it was still so much fun!  Here are a few highlights…

P7310002We went to an air show and saw the Canadian Snow Birds, Blue Angels, and a bunch of other planes and helicopters…DSC02955 We went golfing…well, my dad and Barry went golfing, my mom and I went along for moral support.  :)DSC02888 Barry and my dad caught some fish and we brought home almost 40 pounds of halibut and salmon…P8030060 We saw some large animals…DSC03005DSC03010We got friendly with Smokey the Bear…  P8050071We celebrated my dad’s birthday…P7290071  We saw some pretty things…P8050075DSC02964And then we came home…DSC02866   

That was it in a nutshell!  Also included was a TON of good food, lots of sleeping, spending time with family, spending time with a great friend who has been on bed rest with her second child for going on 19 weeks!, going through all of my brother and I’s old baby clothes, seeing old friends from church, some more sleeping and eating…it was so fun!  I love Alaska and I love my family!


Here’s a great quote for your Saturday that a reader passed on…

“Stop telling God how big your storm is, and start telling the storm how big your God is!”

Friday, August 13, 2010

Girlfriends in God

Several people today have commented about the Girlfriends in God devotional.  I thought it might be helpful to know where to find it!  It is an online devotional.  You can read it on their website or you can sign up and they send you daily (except for the weekends) devotionals.  They are great!  Go here if you want to sign up!  Click on “Receive GiG Daily Devotionals by e-mail” and you are on your way!

Strength for the Storm

This is my Girlfriends in God devotional from yesterday.  It is all about facing the storms in our lives that are sure to come.  I have heard this Bible verse many times (and I think have quoted it on here before) but this devotional really delves into the verse.  I really like the part about the tribulum and endurance.  Hope you enjoy!

Strength for the Storm by Mary Southerland

Today's Truth
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. Endurance then develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation."

Friend To Friend 
Life is filled with storms of one kind or another. In the midst of those storms, we tend to respond as if God has somehow been caught off guard. The storm makes no sense. We can't explain why terminal illness strikes godly people. We don't understand how our strongest friends can become our fiercest critics. The anguish of a broken marriage or the overwhelming heartbreak of a prodigal child drives us to doubt God's purpose, plan and provision. The fear of financial ruin paralyzes us. God understands. 

The Bible is filled with men and women who were storm survivors - people of God who endured great pain and weathered intense life storms because they chose to follow Him.  The Apostle Paul, known for persecuting and murdering Christians, was forever changed when he met Jesus Christ. While God gave him a life of great power and eternal impact, it was also a life filled with great storms. Paul learned to "patiently" endure the troubles, hardships and calamities that came his way. (2 Corinthians 6:4 NLT)

Because grain was a precious food source to the Romans, threshing grain was a natural part of every day in ancient Rome. In pictures of early Rome, one man is always seen stirring up the sheaves while another rides over them in a crude cart equipped with rollers instead of wheels. Sharp stones and rough bits of iron were attached to these wheels to help separate the husks from the grain. This simple cart was called a "tribulum" from which we get our word "tribulation." 

No Roman ever used his tribulum as a tool of destruction - only refinement. God uses our trials and storms as tools of refinement to build in us endurance. The word "endure" comes from two Greek words that when combined, give the meaning "to remain under."  It is the capacity to stay under the load, to remain in the circumstances without running away or looking for the easy way out.

The purpose of every storm is to purify and cultivate endurance. Like Paul, we may sometimes feel as if we are being torn to pieces under the pressure of circumstances. But his challenge to the Romans compels us to re-examine our perspective and response to each storm we face. "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. Endurance then develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation" (Romans 5:3-5 NLT).

Endurance is never passive. It is the picture of a soldier staying in the heat of the battle under terrible opposition but still pressing forward to gain the victory.

There are few things that we can count on in this unpredictable life - but we can count on storms to come. We can also count on God's continual and unfailing strength for those storms. When the hard times come, when bad things happen, we do not have to wonder where God is. Instead we can hold on to the promise that is found in Jeremiah 16:19, "Lord, you are my strength, and my protection. You are a safe place for me to run in times of trouble" (NLT).

An old seaman once said, "In fierce storms we can do but one thing. There is only one way to survive. We must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there." Richard Fuller commented on the old seaman's words:  

"This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you. Reason cannot help you. Past experiences give you no light. Only a single course is left. You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may -- winds, waves, cross seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers -- no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness and his everlasting love in Christ Jesus."

No matter what storm rages in your life today - no matter how fierce the winds or how high the waves may be - where you are is no surprise to God. Heaven is not in a panic. Keep your gaze on Him and your glance on the raging waters. "Lash yourself" to Him and He will supply everything you need to stand firm in the storm.

Let's Pray 
Father, I am so tired of trying to weather the storms of life on my own. I need Your power and strength to face each one. Please teach me to turn to you first. Help me learn to patiently endure the hard times and honor You in the midst of them as I walk by faith.

In Jesus' name, 

Now It's Your Turn 
Look back at the storms you have come through. Have you learned more about endurance? Are you stronger now than you were then?

Memorize Romans 5:3-5. Examine the storms you are facing today. Choose to rejoice in the midst of each one, knowing it is an opportunity to trust God.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Very Cool God Thing #3

The day before our first ultrasound (6 weeks 5 days) I was so anxious.  I was so scared that they weren’t going to find a baby, or it would be an ectopic pregnancy, or the baby wouldn’t be growing as it should.  The “what ifs” were running rampant in my mind.  I strongly believe the devil was trying to steal my joy and make me doubt my Lord.  I opened my Bible that night still feeling very anxious and low and behold guess what Bible verse my devotional was on that night!?!

"Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be freed from your suffering," (Mark 5:34 NIV).

Woah.  I read it and thought surely I was just reading into it, but why do we do that?  Why do we doubt the Lord when He gives us a promise like that? 

You can find the whole story in Mark 5…it is the story of a woman who had been bleeding for years and years.  No doctor, no treatment could stop the bleeding.  She had such faith that the Lord could heal her that she knew if she could just touch Him she would be healed.  “Just as her faith reached out to touch Jesus, God's healing power reached down to touch her,” (quote from Girlfriends in God).  As soon as she reached out and touched Jesus He knew what had happened and turned around to talk to the woman.  And that’s when He said those special words “Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”  And she was healed! 

So cool that the Lord would speak to me those same words the day before seeing our little miracle for the first time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This Specific Child

I received an email from one of my good friends today (well, she sent it a long time ago but I have been out of town for almost 3 weeks) and I wanted to share a quote from her email. 

“Isn't it crazy to think that if you'd gotten pregnant any other month it would have been a different egg and different sperm with totally different DNA? It would have been a completely different person! God knows what he's doing - and I think he was waiting for the right sperm and the right egg to be ready so He could create the exact, unique person he wanted - this baby who's growing inside you right now is exactly who God has been waiting to create! How neat is that?”

I think it’s an awesome reminder and hopefully an encouragement that God doesn’t do things haphazardly.  For those of you still waiting for a child to be in your arms, there is a reason why God wants a specific child – that specific egg and sperm to come together…and that time has not happened yet.  God doesn’t want any of us to have just any child in our homes (whether through birth or adoption) He wants all of us to have a SPECIFIC CHILD.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Very Cool God Thing #2

Alrighty...on to my next story. The day we told our family that we were pregnant was the day Barry's mom had a colonoscopy and was told they found a tumor that looked malignant. It was hard sharing our news with her after she shared that with us, but I believe that she needed that happy news to encourage her in the face of her not so happy news! In the course of more procedures and tests to figure out what all was going on, they also found suspicious spots on her lungs, however the biopsy came back negative...the tumor and spots on her lungs were supposedly benign. The Dr. decided to go ahead and remove the spots on her lungs as a precaution and that surgery was scheduled. As soon as the Dr. removed those spots he knew right away that they were malignant. Because of that, a surgery that was supposed to be laparoscopic, turned into a surgery with a pretty huge incision (big enough that the Dr. could stick his whole hand between her ribs and feel around her lungs looking for more spots!!) and a stay in the ICU. The biopsy this time showed that the spots on her lung were malignant, probably metastasized from the tumor in the colon...so they want to remove the tumor now as soon as possible. She will be having a port put in next week and will start chemo soon thereafter to shrink the tumor before they can take it out.

ALL that to say...when I was talking to her in the ICU the night after her surgery she told me that the ONE thing keeping her going, keeping her from becoming depressed, was knowing that this baby is on the way. AKA Very Cool God Thing #2 - God KNEW she would need this baby to get her through the coming months, and He orchestrated it all so that she would have this encouragement! Just another reason why we had to wait for over 2 years for this little miracle!