Thursday, September 12, 2013

::discouraged hope::

if i admit it, i'm pretty discouraged about dave and my infertility right now. this whole journey has been quite the process and my heart has been on quite the roller coaster for the last 3 years. i started out so excited (as any woman would) when we first started trying. as the months went on and my other friends were getting pregnant and then having their babies, and we were still not pregnant, my heart grew depressed. there were many sleepless nights and many tears shed. i doubted my own relationship with the Lord. i even doubted his existence. i experienced anger, and bitterness. by God's grace, i was never consumed. my emotions always came and went. there were more days of joy then there were of sorrow. but the days of sorrow still existed.

my feelings then developed into questions of, "do we even want children?" dave and i would be happy to hang out with our other friends' kids and then be even happier to take off at the end of the night and go to our own bed and sleep. and go on date nights. and leave for the weekend whenever we wanted to. i believe during this time the Lord really revealed to me that if he were to never give us children, that we would be ok. that the Lord's grace is sufficient. that he really satisfies my soul. that i could happily spend the rest of my days with dave, and only dave, and be the happiest, most blessed girl on the planet. i am so thankful the Lord let us experience this stage in this process.

but when i am still. when i really let my heart tell me what it wants. i know i desire to have a family. sure, kids are hard. i'm watching many of my friends deal with temper tantrums, sleepless nights, potty training, sacrificing their social life and so on... and i know that will not be easy. but i also know sitting around a christmas tree without a family, never attending a high school homecoming game, never getting to see my parents hold their grandchild, never watching dave read to our little ones before bed... will be so much harder. when i get to the root of it, i want a family. i really do.

they still can't explain our infertility. that's one of the hardest parts in this journey. its not like they can say, "here, take this pill" and ::bam:: we get pregnant. the Lord, for now, has decided to close my womb. i can say that without being sad - but it is still discouraging. a few months ago, dave and i decided to start the adoption process. after starting with an agency to adopt through ethiopia, there were some rules in the country that we weren't very excited about. furthermore, because of legal chaos, adoptions are taking 3-5 years to close in ethiopia. so last night we decided to look into uganda with a different agency. however, in their rules it declares that we cannot undergo any infertility treatments while adopting through them. in order to be the best parents to our adopted child we must "fully let go of the dream we have of having biological children." we also must be in "good" health (so we don't know if dave would qualify with his lupus). we also must give an update letter and pictures every 6 months to the country until the child is 18. we also must travel back to uganda every 3-5 years with our child.... are you kidding me?? seriously! we just want a baby! could you imagine if they had these stipulations for just getting pregnant?!? no one would ever have children!! :)

adoption is wonderful, but it doesn't replace being able to have a child of your own. its incredible how many people have tried to comfort me in this season with, "well, aren't you guys going to adopt?" i know their heart is to comfort me and i'm thankful - but reality is that it is not the same. they are very different. adoption is turning out to be so very complicated.

the whole thing is so complicated. i don't get it. why is it so hard for dave and i to have a baby? i've heard many of the answers - and i'm not trying to say this in a "know-it-all" kind of way... i'm just saying that i know the Lord has a reason. i know he's refining us and making us look more like his Son. but right now, it just sucks. i'm just discouraged. i'm not sad (although i have done my fair share of crying in the last few days... :)) i'm just bummed. why is it so easy for so many to have a family? i'm not asking to be pregnant this month or even next month... i'm just hoping that maybe the Lord will allow dave and i to experience the joy of getting pregnant and having a baby. and right now, it just seems like that will never happen. .

will you pray for us? will you pray that one day we would be able to have children? both adopted and biological. will you pray the Lord would continue to keep us in this carefully balanced state of contentment and desire? that desire wouldn't consume and that hope wouldn't crush. that we would look to the Lord first and foremost - and trust him even when it doesn't make sense to us. we would be so thankful.  we're so thankful for all of you and the ways so many of you have walked with us through this journey. we are so blessed.

Friday, June 14, 2013


it can be a dangerous thing to ask "why". my husband gently reminded me of this not too long ago. and it is especially dangerous to ask "why" of our Maker. you see because, we never really know why. we never really know why He does what He does. scripture tells us his ways are not our ways, and that the Lord sits on his throne and does what He pleases. even when we think we know why He's done what He's done, we most likely do not. He is a mysterious God who is jealous for his glory.

now if you can safely ask why, and it causes you to worship, then more power to ya. you ask "why" all you want. but for me, "why" is a very dangerous question... for me, the simple little word leads my heart to frustration, confusion, angst and doubt.

i've openly admitted that in the last three years i've struggled with trusting the Lord's plan for my life. i often ask why the Lord has allowed what he has, as if i deserve better... when the truth of the matter is i don't deserve anything the Lord has chosen to give me, whether gifts or redeemed trials. what i deserve is eternal separation from our Creator- and he has graciously extended mercy to me, and then offers multiple gifts upon that mercy. undeserving. that's what we are. that's what i am.

it takes several perspective shifts in my thoughts to remind myself of these truths. God is in control. God loves me. God has a perfect plan for my life. some days are easier than others. know that you are not alone if you struggle with believing these promises. especially if the Lord has allowed several trials in your life. these truths are even hard to believe when we're not experiencing hardship.

when we rest in these truths, we don't really need to know why God has allowed certain things to happen- because we're already believing its for our best. because he loves us. because he's in control. because its part of his perfect plan. because he's jealous for his glory. that's why.

Monday, December 31, 2012


our pastor this weekend challenged us to reflect back over the year and think of all the ways God has been faithful to us...

i realize i have not posted a blog since march. there are several reasons why i haven't. i have wondered whether or not i should share the trials of this year with you all - but i feel that the Lord has been faithful in the midst of it. and any opportunity to bring him glory is a good opportunity, right? so here goes...

i want to share some of the context of how this year has refined both my husband and i. but i do not want that to be the focus. my prayer is that you will praise God for his faithfulness, mercy and compassion at the end of this post. but it is necessary to know the context of what we have been brought through in order to know how great He is.

2012 kicked off with the death of my grandfather. we lost him in february, and he is now in such a sweeter place. but his loss was devastating. he was the first grandparent i had ever lost. i love and miss him very much. that loss was soon followed by the death of my other grandfather- my mom's dad. there was only about five weeks between the deaths.

however, i did not have much time to grieve, as soon after, my sweet husband was diagnosed with lupus. this came as a complete blow to us. it was as if the rug had been completely swept out from underneath our feet. he had been having some on and off pains and other minor symptoms for months. but in february, his symptoms worsened - including chest pain that was inhibiting him from being able to get up off the couch and daily severe joint pain. we went to the doctor hoping that his aches and pains were from normal activity... but the nurse in me knew it couldn't be so. in my head, the worse i could come up with was rheumatoid arthritis. we were praying that it was not RA. the doctor did not seem worried. she put our minds at rest saying he was a healthy guy and that it was most likely just minor aches and pains. but she thought it'd be safe to run some blood tests just in case. we could not believe the words she said as she spoke them over the phone to us, "i am 95% sure you have lupus. i'm so sorry. i will refer you to a rhemuatologist."

now i know what you are thinking... what in the world is lupus!? those were my thoughts exactly. even as a nurse the only things i could think of about lupus was that dehydration caused flare ups and it primarily effected ethnic women. so how could it be lupus, right? there was no history of it in dave's family and he's about the whitest boy on the planet (and the handsomest too :)). but as the next few weeks unraveled, his diagnosis proved true. you see, lupus is an autoimmune disease that can effect any part of your body. where as with chron's disease, your digestive tract is effected - or with RA your joints are effected - lupus is a free for all. it can effect your heart, lungs, kidneys, skin and so on. and we saw the damaging effects it can have as my amazing husband suffered through his first flare up just days after we received his diagnosis. i will not go into great detail, but some of the things he suffered included nightly fevers of 102 or greater, joint swelling beyond recognition, weight loss, trips to the ER, nights of vomiting... it went on for weeks and weeks. it seems so unreal now to even think that all happened. even now i think "you don't really have lupus..." but then sure enough he'll get a little flare up and prove that he really does.

in the midst of this diagnosis, we are still barren. a few months after dave was diagnosed, the doctor i've been seeing thought it would be best for me to have surgery (i did not know that endometriosis can destroy organs if left untreated!) the doctor thought that i may have endometriosis but was not sure. i didn't know if i wanted to put my body through surgery - but as stated above i also didn't want to take the risk of endometriosis damaging my organs if indeed that was what i had. and boy was it ever what i had! after an hour and a half under the knife the doctor had removed profuse amounts of endometriosis from my little body. they were hopeful we'd conceive within six months of my surgery. but here we are five months out, and yet, no baby.

so whew. deep breath. i realize that's a lot to soak in. and that's just the big stuff. we've also endured dave's dad losing his job, my parent's losing their 3 year old pup just a week before christmas, and a church family crisis that has rocked our world. not to mention the fires, the shootings and all the sadness outside our little world... (is Jesus coming back yet or what?? :))

so where is Jesus in the midst of all this? where was God in 2012? you see if you haven't given up reading this incredibly long post by now, you just got to the best part... here's the sweetest things i've seen in the midst of our hardship:

  • when my first grandfather died, his mind was completely intact. i got to tell him that i loved him and what an incredible grandfather he was. and the Lord was merciful and took him quickly. we had the sweetest conversation about Jesus and heaven a few weeks before he died, and i know that's where he is now. probably fishin.
  • when my second grandfather died, it brought back family who i had not seen in a long time. his memorial service was very sweet and i was able to connect with people i hadn't seen in years.
  • when dave received his diagnosis, so many of the little pieces came together of why the Lord did not allow for us to have children yet. there were so many days when he was so sick where he needed my one on one attention. one night when we were driving back from the ER at 3 am, he took my hand and said, "well sweetie, at least we don't have an infant at home." he was so right. i could stop and praise God that he knew in his sovereignty that my sweet husband was going to need every last bit of me during that month and a half- and i'm thankful that i was able to offer him my undivided love, prayer and heart.
  • when dave's dad lost his job, God provided quickly through his armed services retirement fund. the time off has actually allowed him to think through what he wants to do for a job and it has actually blessed him more than he ever thought it could.
  • when i had my surgery in august, the dr was scared he may not be able to get all of the scar tissue out. and not only was he able to, i suffered zero damage to either of my ovaries or tubes which is one of the biggest risks of endometriosis and its surgery. it brings tears to my eyes thinking about that even now.
  • since dave's flare up in april, his medication has been effective in keeping him from having any other flares. he has had multiple days where he has been completely symptom free. we are slowly but surely figuring out his specific triggers that send him into flare ups. and by God's grace we hope we will never experience one again!
  • the crisis we've gone through as a church body seems to only have strengthened our church. we have a long road ahead, but God's glory has been so evident through his people.
  • oh and also, we have paid every medical bill, paid off our loans, and had a getaway surprise trip to the cayman islands in november. we are so blessed by our family, friends and loved ones who have shown us deep support and love this year.
now how's that for faithful?? our God is an awesome, awesome God. and although its been one of the hardest years of my life- i can say i love Jesus more now, at the end of 2012, than i ever have before. i trust him in every way. and i know, that even though i don't always see it, he is working all things for my good. because i love him. be encouraged that God uses even the hardest things to refine us and to make us look more like his Son. and there is no one else i'd rather look like. it is only by God's grace that i can look back over this year and praise him for all we've been through. i am thankful! what a faithful God we serve!

if you would like to find out more about lupus please go to this website: it is accurate and credible. or feel free to ask dave and i questions! 

also i love this song. i feel like it captures our year well. i hope you like it too :) happy new year to all of you!

Friday, March 23, 2012

::arms length::

i don't know how many of you have ever felt hurt by God...

in all honesty, my time in the Word and my prayer life has been severely lacking lately. its not that i'm angry at God, and really i cant remember the last time i was truly sad about our struggle with infertility... so why has my time spent with the Lord been so absent lately? i wake up longing for quiet time with the Lord, but as my morning progresses, i set aside my Bible and my journal and go along with my day. and trust me, i am reaping the consequences of my lack of time in the Word... i hate being in that place where you know if you spent more time with Christ your heart would look drastically different, but your walk is so dry, and so then you don't have motivation to make effort. its a sick cycle really... and its exactly where the enemy wants you to be.

as we were driving to church the other day i was reflecting on why i was keeping the Lord at an arms length. lately i have loved to pray for others in my life, but have not wanted to trust the Lord for requests in my life. i feel like i've been down that road before, and it is "safer" for me to not open my heart to hope. (by the way, how skewed is that perspective?? :)) a few months ago when i finally hit my anger stage with this whole journey, i was so broken with the Lord. being a person who doesn't really tend toward the emotion of anger, i did not know how to handle myself. so trust me when i say i praise God that he quickly brought me out of that stage in this whole process because i really don't know what i would've done had he left me there for long. but i think it was a stage that i definitely needed to experience. it showed me how quickly i can think i've been given something i don't deserve, right? life isn't fair! why does a meth addict who doesn't even care about her child get to have multiple babies but dave and i can't even have one. listen to that thought... as if i deserve a child any more than she does. in all honesty, we deserve nothing. in fact, we deserve eternal condemnation and hell. that is what we deserve. and the fact that God has given us anything more than that is nothing short of a miracle. we take so much for granted.

but even though i understand all of this to the small degree my brain will allow me to, it still didn't explain the reason why i wasn't letting God in. and as we were driving i realized that i feel hurt by God. as if he were a peer to peer relationship, i feel like he hurt me. now obviously this statement is not true. a wise friend once told me, "the Lord allows for our hearts to break, but he never intentionally breaks our hearts." in the process of our molding, and our journey with God, we will always encounter hardship. the Bible promises us this. but God also promises to always sustain, always provide, always be a shelter we can run into and find strength. always. we so easily allow our thoughts of God's character be based on our surrounding circumstances. and that is the enemy at work. God is always good. He is always faithful. His love never fails. ever. isn't that a sweet promise? let your heart truly soak that in today and forever. believe the best about our Heavenly King! he deserves nothing less.

i'm lovin this song right now. it really speaks to my heart. i pray it blesses yours as well.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

my story

lately, i've been thinking about what i really want in life. (now take this with a grain of salt, because if i have learned anything in the last 18 months it is that i have zero control over my life...) i'm discovering that i have been incredibly influenced by what my friends and some of the people who are around me really want in life, and it turns out those things are not what i really want. i thought i wanted a really big family, to have all my children really young so that we could be young with them and so on and so forth. i thought 26 was the ideal age to have a baby, and then that window slowly came to a close. so then i thought, yeah 27! 27 is a good age to have a baby... but now that window is slowly coming to a close... so now i think 28! come on 28! right? but in all reality, that may not be the story God is writing for me. and as i slowly let go of these "ideals" i thought i really wanted, i'm discovering that i'm falling in love with the story the Lord is writing for me. and as i've let go of my expectations, God has not disappointed me. He knows and promises me he will give me exactly what i need. so why do i fight it so hard?

its so easy to compare yourself to those around you. but step back, and really evaluate what is perfect in the story that the Lord is writing for you. at one point in scripture, i think its peter who asks Jesus if a group of men will be going to heaven after Christ promises heaven to peter and john. peter points over to them and says well what about them Jesus? will they be going to heaven too? Christ looks at peter and says, "that is of no concern of yours." you may be looking around you wondering why so-and-so has what you don't and why God has not given it to you yet. but just as Jesus said, that is of no concern of yours! the story he is writing for you is what is perfect for you! and no one else. let him write. and trust him as he accomplishes the good work he began in you.

love this song lately! hope it blesses you :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

perfect timing

so... i haven't written in awhile. part of that was because we didn't have internet for quite some time after moving in and part of it is because i just couldn't bring myself to write. the last few months have been a bit of a harder journey with the Lord (let's just say i had some anger and bitterness in my heart that i didn't even know existed until these last few months...) but God is so graciously bringing me out of that and i am ready to write again.

so just a quick catch up of the last few months - when i encountered my anger stage (for the first time in 16 months) a sweet friend of mine pointed out to me that i may be going through the stages of grief, which i had already OBVIOUSLY thought of on my own being a Human Development and Family Studies major and all... (nope. hadn't thought of that at all. thanks a lot CSU ;)) anyways. as i processed through that thought i felt like so much came together for me. no i haven't experienced the loss of a child, or even a miscarriage, but perhaps i am grieving the possibility of children lost by not being able to maybe ever even have a child. now notice all the disclaimers i put in that sentence- that is because i believe my God is still able! and i am trusting him for that.

dave and i have recently had some testing done at a doctors office here in town. so far, all of the testing has come back completely normal. completely normal. which means that if God has so chosen to, he could have easily given us a baby at any point in this past year and a half. he has a reason for why he has not! and seeing all those results has only confirmed in my heart more than ever that his timing is perfect! he does not delay! he does not make mistakes! he knows exactly what he is doing. and he has planned before the beginning of time, in his perfect sovereignty, my life, dave's life, and and life of the little ones he may or may not give us. God is so incredible!

its amazing how when you go for quite some time without something, you start to question how much you really want it. this month marks 18 months for us. a year and a half of attending baby showers, receiving baby announcements, hearing of pregnancies and then seeing those babies be born... and i am still barren. i feel like as hard as this last year and a half has been at times, i am finally starting to really embrace where God has us. God has given me four and a half incredible years of marriage with my amazing, Christ centered husband and i couldn't ask for more. in fact, lately i've been scared that a baby would really mess that up ;) (of course if we got pregnant, we would be thrilled...) but for now, i'm thankful for sleeping in on the weekends, going to old town and staying up late eating fudge and ice cream, being freed up for ministry with women whom i love and adore, and learning from my friends who have children so that if one day the Lord does decide to give us a baby, we will be able to tell them how much they were prayed for and how excited we are to have them.

this verse really spoke to me a little while ago. at several points in the last few months i have bought into the lie that God's word has nothing to offer and that it won't comfort me anymore. oh man this could not be further from the truth! for all of you who God is calling to wait on him for something- trust him! surrender! fight to be in his word daily! he is worthy! keep asking! he wants your heart. and in his perfect timing - he will answer. it may not be yes - but he will answer. and his answer is always worth waiting for.

"From of old no one has heard
   or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
   who acts for those who wait for him"

::isaiah 64:4::

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

too wonderful

one way the Enemy frequently attacks my heart in this season is by making me feel defeated. its amazing how i can read so many promises about the Lord and have him reveal himself so abundantly and consistently in my life and then one little prayer goes "unanswered" and i doubt everything he's proved to me that he is. i am so faithless! and yet he loves me the same... i'm so thankful that even in my wavering God loves me in his perfect way. i've never known such love!

a few days ago i was feeling weak and inadequate to fight hard against the lies that were coming my way... "you're never going to get pregnant" - "you're never going to find a job" - "you will always be in debt" - so silly right? but so believable in the moment... its amazing how some days the spiritual warfare is so intense you are literally fighting the battle moment by moment. God is gracious to meet me well on these days and to help me fight - but this day i was feeling particularly susceptible to Satan's schemes. i was on the phone with a sweet friend who challenged me and asked me what scripture i meditate on when feeling this way and this is what came to mind. i wanted to share with you so that you who may feel similarly to me may be encouraged.

in genesis, God promises Abraham that his offspring will be as numerous as the sand on the shore and the stars in the sky. many years go by and Sarah, his wife, is infertile. although God has promised them that their offspring will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, they panic and Sarah tells Abraham to sleep with their servant, Hagar. yeah, this kind of drama is in the bible, can you believe it? :) so Hagar becomes pregnant and of course drama ensues... but that's not the point of my story. Sarah and Abraham doubted God's promise - just as i do everyday with the ones he's promised me... and even after they mess everything up, God redeems it - as he always does. God appears to Sarah, years and years after she has stopped menstruating (in fact they think Sarah was around 90 years old when she gave birth to Isaac!) and tells her that she is going to conceive. now hang in here with me because this is where it gets really good! Sarah laughs when the Lord tells her that he is going to open her womb, and the Lord replies to Abraham, "'why did Sarah laugh and say, 'shall i indeed bear a child, now that i am old?' is anything too difficult for the Lord?'"

is anything too difficult for the Lord? in some translations the word, "difficult" translates to the word, "wonderful"...

is anything too wonderful for the Lord?

anything? what are you not trusting the Lord for? nothing is too wonderful for the Lord. nothing. our God is able! i believe Lord! help my unbelief.