It has been a long year. Back in May I shared that we began the process of embryo adoption with the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, TN. On November 15, we travelled to Knoxville and I received an amazing birthday present, one I thought for so long impossible – I became a mom. Just these last few weeks have been nerve-wracking with many emotional highs and lows, joys and fears. And a long path still lies before us, full of unknowns. But the Lord knows, He hears us and He cares for us. And as we pray, we pray that above all else God would be glorified through this journey.
Below is Ben’s summary of the process to date. We appreciate all your prayers. Continue reading
When Ben and I married eight years ago, I never expected to struggle with infertility. I assumed, as most young couples do, children would come along easily when we wanted them. When our trouble started about five years ago, I found myself shocked and dismayed, my dream of a family shattered. Continue reading
The Valley of Vision
“Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty
thy glory in my valley.”
Valley of Vision, Banner of Truth
The valley – the depths where we feel our need of Jesus – has been on my mind a lot lately. Feeling my inadequacy is not a comfortable place to be for someone who loves independence and self-sufficiency.
But the valley is where we find our richest joy because it is there that we see clearly our great need and our great Savior. It is the kindness of the Lord to remind us of our need so that we come to Him, acknowledging He alone can meet it. Do not hide from your sin. The guilt and shame of it has already been dealt with by Jesus. Take every opportunity to confess sin to God and remember the righteousness of Christ in which you now stand.
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret
2 Corinthians 7:10
Sunday was my husband’s ordination service. He is now a pastor in the PCA.
It was a long road to get here – four years of seminary and three grueling years of exams. And I, for one, did not bear it well. I spent the years complaining in self-righteous resentment, angry that God was not following my plan for our life. I doubted He was doing what was best for us. How could something so difficult and painful be good for us? Why wouldn’t He just give me what I wanted? Continue reading
This week I’ve been dealing with my yearly sinus troubles. I usually try to fight through it by taking cold medicine and vitamin C packs without stopping my normal schedule. And every year, I eventually can’t stand it anymore and have to go to the doctor and take a day to rest. It drives me crazy to be at home, forced into inactivity. My tendency to define myself by my works causes me great anxiety when I am incapacitated. There are dishes that need to be washed, meals that need to be made, chores that need to be done. And on top of that, I fret over the money I won’t earn with a missed day of work. What will we eat? When will I have time to play catch up? Will we make our monthly budget?
Practically, I live as if the world will fall apart if I stop for one day. I fail to believe that God will care for me and think I must do it myself. Continue reading
Tonight my husband will go again for examination for ordination – what we hope and pray will be the end of a two and a half year ordeal. For weeks my mind has flitted between the impending joy of this trial ending, and the possible disappointment if it continues. Particularly, I have wondered how I will handle either of these outcomes. As the day has drawn closer, one quote has repeatedly come to my mind from an article by Sinclair Ferguson entitled “Our New Affection.”
Reflecting on the passage in Philippians 4 where Paul says he has learned to be content in any situation, Ferguson says, “Only when our Christ is big enough to satisfy us can we be content no matter our particular circumstances; more than that, satisfied with the circumstances and not merely despite the circumstances.” Continue reading
The pastor at the church I attended in college once used an illustration that has stuck with me ever since. He told the story of how his wife and children were in a horrific car accident. When he received the call informing him of the accident, there was no information about the condition of his family, whether they were alive, injured, or dead. In the frantic rush to get to them, this question kept going through his head: “Is God still good if I get there and my whole family is dead?” Continue reading
This past Sunday I was feeling the familiar weight of sadness and anger heavy on my heart. I put things in front of me to distract myself from the feelings, but this anger towards God over my difficulty to have children sat there still, stewing under the surface.
During our Sunday evening service, we have a time of prayer and praise where people can share their needs and thanks. A dear friend that was recently diagnosed with cancer was there that night. She has been undergoing chemotherapy and has often had to miss church. But that evening she raised her hand and said “I’m thankful that I got to go to church twice today.” In the midst of her pain and struggle, she was intentional about recognizing the goodness God has shown towards her. And I realized what an ungrateful wretch I am. Continue reading
The question “Why?” has loomed large in my mind for years now. At every turn in our path, it pops up and I demand answers from God. Why has He not allowed us to have children? Why has He frustrated our adoption process? Why has He provided so many baby items but no child? Why does He give others so many children but not give us just one? Why does He let this painful struggle continue when He could so easily fix it?
If only God would give me answers maybe the pain would be bearable. But my thoughts always come back to the truth that I may never have children and I may never know why. And I don’t like that. I need to understand. I need to know the reason. I need God to explain Himself to me, to justify why I must endure these difficulties.
But I don’t always get answers. And God is not obligated to give them. Continue reading
A lot of my life has been spent hoping and waiting – for college, for marriage, for my husband to finish seminary, for a church to call him, for children. I hope for something, and then I wait.
Some of those times seem never-ending, like starting a family. We hope for children, but month after month my husband and I have waited with nothing to show but disappointment. We hope to adopt, and after waiting through the long approval process, we have continued to wait for that fateful phone call saying there is a child for us.
We are still hoping and waiting to be parents. Continue reading