Monday, March 26, 2012

Miscarriage #3: Faith in the Waiting

It's another gloomy day and I continue to wait. It's been 4 more days. I hesitated to share before because the pain is still raw. Today I feel compelled to share, thinking my story might help someone else who is hurting. Please read on.

I wrote the following on Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yesterday the sky was dark, dark clouds looming overhead. I noticed and thought it was reflective of the looming sadness in my heart. I had cried a lot the night before. I felt numb as I drove. I prayed. We made it to the hospital. After a shuffle of papers and pleasantries, I once again lied down on that cold table, in that dark room with the white tile ceiling.

Only 2 weeks before the sonographer found a tiny baby with a tiny heartbeat. Still, I continued to bleed and all signs were pointing to bad news. This time, I looked at the sonographers face for any signs as she moved the probe. Her expression was void. Before long she shared. She said the opposite of what I wanted to hear. This time a tiny baby, but no heartbeat. She was sorry. So was I. Oh, so was I! I could hardly stand to lie there a moment longer.

Already a slow and agonizing 2 ½ weeks of bleeding, wondering and waiting. Now, I wait some more. This time to physically lose my baby. Her soul is gone, but her tiny body is with me. The possibility of surgery lies ahead. Neither option is what I want. I wanted a precious bundle to hold in October. Instead, I mourn and wait for more pain to come. Waiting is hard!

I am left wondering why, again. A third miscarriage seems almost too much to bear. It doesn’t make sense to me. It hurts. I am sad. All the while, I have prayed. I know that God is the Giver and Sustainer of life, so I wonder why He allowed our baby to die. I wonder why I must suffer…and why it has to be so drawn out. I wonder what He is doing. All normal feelings and questions when faced with the hard things of this life.

I’m thankful I can go to Him with the hard questions. That He cares and understands and gives comfort. He knows my heart. What would I do without Him?

As our pastor reminded recently, “Faith is taking God at His Word.” I say I have faith, now it’s time to live it. I say I believe His Word, now it’s time rely on it. I say He is good, but do I believe it when He allows such hard things to happen in my life?

I read the Psalms and they bring me comfort.

Psalm 33:4-5, “For the Word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything He does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the LORD fills the earth.” And it goes on to say in verses 20-22, “We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.”

My hope is in Him and Him alone, for I trust His holy name. I believe His Word. Everything He does and allows is just and good. I don’t understand, but really I don’t have to. I trust Him. I choose faith. Faith that His unfailing love surrounds me and that He will see me through, as He promised He would.

My Loving Father holds my child in Heaven. I named her Faith. Someday when I reach the Gloryland and get to embrace Faith for the first time, she will be whole. His plan will be revealed. I will understand. Until then, I will trust, even on the hardest days, amidst tears, grief and even physical anguish. He is my comfort. He is my hope and confidence. He is enough. In Him alone do I trust.

The sky is full of dark looming clouds again today. I go about my daily activities as usual. I wait. I cry. I pray. I meditate on His Word. I trust Him. I kiss the cheeks of the two precious gifts He has given to me and my husband, our little sons. I thank Him. In the midst of the gloom, He lights up my darkness and fills me with hope.

I pray that YOU are filled with hope today too, my dear reading friend. Remember His Word is true and YOU can trust Him, no matter what your circumstances. Whatever you are going through, choose faith!

Follow up post to this one: Faith Continued

You might also want to read:  He Gives and Takes Away (a blog post I wrote after miscarriage #2)

In the midst of my loss, my miniature daffodils bloom. Life given!
“The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD” Job 1:22

Friday, March 16, 2012


Our topic at MOPS this month was “self-control”. Probably not the most popular topic. I mean, who really wants to talk about denying self, right? And, yet, I think it’s an important subject. If you are anything like me, you have probably felt more “out of control” than “self-controlled” in one area or another at some point in time…maybe even right now.

Does self-control seem out of reach? Impossible? Unrealistic?

I have felt like that at times and, in some areas of my life, I feel like that now. Yet, God’s Word says to think clearly and exercise self-control (see I Peter 1:13). Do you think He would have instructed us to exercise self-control if it were impossible to do so? Remember what you feel and what is true are often two different things.

I’m definitely not an expert when it comes to self-control. I still struggle in areas. But, I have learned a few things on the subject in my lifetime that I would like to share with my Christian friends, and remind myself of, at the same time.

1. It is not impossible!  You can change! How do I know? I use to bite my fingernails down to the wick. I quit. I was in a destructive relationship and living a destructive lifestyle. I was able to change. I use to recklessly spend money. I got out of debt and am now very frugal. If I can do it, you can too! Nothing is impossible with God! (Luke 1:37)

2. You can not do it alone (but you can do it)! It takes reliance on the Holy Spirit. You can try all the positive thinking techniques and “fast and easy” schemes out there. They might even work for a time. But, most likely, you’ll fall back into old habits. Truly practicing self-control requires a dependence on what I call “Spirit-control”.  Knowing we can not do it within our own strength, but we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13). I’ve heard people say, “God never gives us more than we can handle.” I believe God gives us more than we can handle all the time, but He never gives us more than He can help us handle! You are able because He is able!

“But the Holy Spirit produces...self-control…Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:22-25

3. You aren’t going to “just change”!  It takes a lot of Thinking and Praying to see lasting results! It requires a change of mindset. We have to think about what we are doing rather than merely going through the motions of everyday life. It takes active effort and thought. Even more so, it requires persistent prayer. We have to ask God for strength, will-power and to help us think clearly. We have to speak to Him often, asking for His help, throughout the day. We must recognize our moment by moment dependence on Him. Perhaps that is why His Word tells us to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17).

4. The enemy will try to discourage you!  Don’t let him. You’re probably going to mess up at some point. A mess up doesn’t equal failure. Instead of beating yourself up, repent, move on and do better next time. He will tell you that you “can’t” and that you “won’t” and that your not able. He is a liar! He wants you to give up. Stand on the truth of God’s faithful Word rather than the whispers of a lying thief whose goal is to destroy you (I Peter 5:8). He wants to keep you in a place of defeat. If you are a believer, remember greater is He (the Holy Spirit) that is in you, than he that is in the world (the enemy)! (I John 4:4)

Self-control truly is not out of reach. We don’t have to live feeling like areas of our life are “out of our control”. God gave His Holy Spirit to those of us who believe for direction and power. Wherever you are struggling, know He knows and cares and will help you if you seek Him.

Let’s review! We must remember, it is NOT impossible. We can not do it alone, but we CAN do it! It takes thinking and praying. And although the enemy will try to discourage us, God’s Word is full of encouragement!

"So do not fear, for I am with you; be not dismayed because I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Distracted and Discouraged

I find that I’m all too easily distracted.  Does any of this sound familiar to you?

I get a few jobs done while my boys are napping, so I sit down to write or read my Bible. I notice the bathroom light on. I think, “I better turn that off.” As I do, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Look at my hair! I think, “I better do something with this mop!” I fix my hair and my makeup…right after I clean the dirty toilet and sink. I remember that I’m suppose to be writing or reading, so I sit back down. Boy, I sure am thirsty. I go to the cupboard to get a glass.  Suddenly I remember the laundry in the dryer. I fold the load of laundry, then remember to make myself a glass of tea. I finally sit back down. Out of no where I remember that e-mail I’m suppose to return. I log on. I hop onto Facebook. Fifteen minutes pass before I remember to return that e-mail, you know, the one I logged on to return. I remind myself to get back to writing and reading. I sit down. My boys wake up from their naps. They need my attention. I didn’t write or read. I was DISTRACTED.

I think it’s human nature to get distracted. But, I believe this place called distraction is just the place the enemy of our soul wants to keep us. In fact I believe his two greatest schemes are DISTACTION and DISCOURAGEMENT.

Think about it, whether we’re distracted by our own faults or insecurities, our long to do list or responsibilities, our trials and tribulations, or just by life in general, we lose focus. When we lose focus, we tend to get discouraged. When we’re discouraged, we become even more distracted. We tend to focus on the lesser things rather than the more important things. When we’re distracted and discouraged, we’re less fruitful. And we aren’t experiencinb the abundantly life God promised us! If he can keep us there, he wins!

Perhaps that’s why Paul felt the need to warn us:

"…do whatever will help you serve the Lord best,
with as few distractions as possible.”
I Corinthians 7:35

Recently I have sensed the Lord guiding me to simplify my life. Less distractions. More focus on what is really important, Him and others. That means giving up some things and not wasting time, because I know this life is fleeting. It also means being aware of how easily distracted I am (and most of us are), and making a conscience effort to stay on track. I only have so much time. Why waste it on the lesser things? Why waste my days being distracted and discouraged when He has provided all I need to be focused and encouraged?

“Don’t be afraid for I am with you. 
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.” 
Isaiah 41:10

I'm not saying we should shed every ambition, in fact, we shouldn't.  I am saying, there is a time and a place for everything (even facebook, if you so desire). And, of course, there are household chores that we all must do. I mean, who else is going to do your dishes, right? But the old saying “First things first” applies here.

We must focus on the more important things first! Then, the other things will fall into their proper places.

“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart,
all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. T
his is the first and greatest commandment.
A second is equally important:
Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39

We were created to be people of influence. However, we will never be all God created us to be, if we allow distraction and discouragement to overcome us. Not only will we miss out, those around us will too. We can’t afford that!

Ironically, the antidote for discouragement is the very thing we are distracted from. We must find time to be in God’s Word, to fill our minds with His truth. And if we only understood, really understood, even as the enemy understands, the power we have in prayer, we would never fail to spend time in conversation with God. If we seek Him, we will find Him. When we follow Him as our Good Shepherd, He gives us a rich, satisfying, and abundant life (see John 10:10), not discouragement and distraction.

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice!
…Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything
we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and
minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:4, 6-7

If you are a follow of Jesus Christ, remember all that you possess in His name! I know life comes with many challenges, but He supplies all we need (see Philippains 4:19)! It’s all too easy to forget. Don’t allow the enemy to bully you, and keep you in these places of Distraction and Discouragement. Spend time with the Lord daily, being strengthened, refreshed and rejuvenated. You will find yourself more FOCUSED and ENCOURAGED, influencing others and living the life of peace God promised to those of us who seek Him!