Another Ride Around

I first want to thank you all for your prayers. There’s just something about knowing that brothers and sisters are praying for you that brings about such comfort and encouragement; so thank you! I also have been touched by many friends and family who have reached out to tell me they had experienced similar situations; that it can suck, but God still used it, in His perfect timing, to bring about the child(ren) they longed for. There were many grateful tears shed as I read your stories. Thank you for sharing them with me.

I have wondered through these months just how other women deal with this. Hearing that there are ones who have been through this and have come out the other side has meant more to me than you could possibly know. I praise God for you all and Him placing you in my life for such a time as this.

This past week I had an appointment to check and see if/how my body responded to Clomid. It did what it was supposed to do; providing more hormones so that there would be the potential of more than one egg released during ovulation. The hope is that at least one will be released on the right side where there is a tube that it can travel down. Unfortunately, this month, the ultrasound showed that all of the most likely viable follicles were on the left side.

I wanted to be upset when the doc told me that. All of this, and still nothing?! I thought. But really, I didn’t feel so bad. I laughed slightly to myself (is that strange?) as I praised God for the reminder that even with all of the doctors, medicine, & technology available, He is still in control.

Please don’t form an image of Him lording His power over the universe for “the good of the people” like Thanos or some equally horrible super villain (though I’m not sure if there’s anyone worse). Knowing that God is in control brings comfort and hope, because, indeed, “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” I don’t see the God of the universe looking down on me from on high laughing to Himself thinking, I sure showed her Who’s in control. No, that is not my God. His is more of a still soft voice that speaks lovingly of His promise to see me through, to sustain me, and to be all I ever need.

Also, as strange as it may sound, this news brought with it a blessing. The blessing of knowing already that this time around getting pregnant is highly unlikely. There is still the rare possibility of transmigration (where an egg starts on one side and somehow moves over to the other side…I have no idea how. That just goes to show how amazingly created these bodies of our are!), but it is just that, rare. In knowing this a couple weeks ahead of time I do not have to worry about thinking if some strange feeling could mean possible pregnancy and get my hopes up only to have them dashed when day 28 comes around. In knowing this I hope to stabilize my thoughts in the week to come so hormones won’t carry them away as is known to happen. All in all, I am thankful for this knowledge, though it is not what I had hoped to hear. I praise God for giving it to me so I may have peace of mind and the confidence that He’s got it in His ever-loving, ever-capable hands.

One thing I am not looking forward to is riding the Clomid carousel again in a few weeks. I know how it affected me this month, but I don’t know if it will be the same or different this next time around. Knowing what could happen, though, gives me somewhere to start from, I guess. I can only take it one day at a time, stay close to my God, His Word, and His people, and know that, this too, He will see me through.

In knowing what I know about it all, I will continue to delight in my Lord. I will continue to rejoice in His goodness and His grace. I will continue to pray to Him for peace and comfort and strength. I will continue to thank Him for these circumstances; though they are not ones I would choose for myself (or anyone else), I know He is using them for my good and His glory.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I pray, my friends, you are able to see the great hope in these words, and that you, too, would know that whatever it is you’re traveling through, the God of all creation sees you. He does not waste experiences or circumstances, but uses them. To accomplish His will. To refine you as gold. I pray you might find comfort in that.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

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Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

“O soul, are you weary and troubled?” Last night and this morning those words ran through my head among the lies that floated in last night and made for a difficult nights sleep. I couldn’t remember the rest of the words but I knew who’s voice I heard singing it. Just looked it up and thought I’d share, because maybe, just maybe, you’re in need of this encouragement too.

Love & blessings,

KJ

Of Sorrow & Shame

I want to be honest and real. Not to gain anyone’s sympathy or pity, but to let those who feel the same know that they are not alone. To let those who are living through similar circumstances know that those things they feel in secret, behind closed doors, are not ridiculous; they are deep and real and raw.

This has been my biggest struggle in the last year, bigger than the heartache of being single when I so very much wanted not to be. It was a desire I had while I was single, but really couldn’t do anything about it then. It is my desire to have children.

Now that I’m married it’s something that just comes next in my mind, and as I’m 36, sooner rather than later would really be great. And before there are pat responses that I have time and God’s timing is perfect, know that I know these things. His Spirit within me reminds me that I am His, He is sovereign, He is good, and He holds all things in His hands. These things I know. These things I cling to. I speak them to my broken heart again and again. I whisper them in the quiet. I say them out loud to myself through the tears. At times I want to scream them.

Because the truth of the matter is, while I know that God is good and sovereign, almighty and all powerful, I cannot help but mourn that which has not come to pass. And because I know these things to be true, I also feel shame in this sadness. Which only serves to make the sadness deepen.

And that is really what I want to share. That is really what I want those who feel the same to know. The shame felt in this sadness is not something you are alone in. More importantly, I believe it to be a lie from the enemy.

Mourning is not wrong, as long as we do not mourn as those who have no hope. The clincher is, though, that that hope isn’t the hope of one day being pregnant, it is hope in the eternal life we can only find in Christ. I, myself, am just realizing this and speaking this to my heart as I type these words.

Have I mourned as one without hope? I would be lying if I said I haven’t. But His mercies are new each morning. I may forget that and that is when the shame drags me deeper into the pit. There is great sorrow felt when I feel that I have let my emotions overtake me. Sorrow that I have not rested in knowing God will provide. Shame that I have looked to something else to be my source of joy in this life.

There is a difference between feeling convicted and feeling condemned. It is right that we, as followers of Christ, feel convicted of sin so we can repent and be in right relationship with God once more. Not resting in God and putting something before Him as our joy is sin and being convicted of that and repenting of it is only right. But when such shame and sorrow is felt so that we believe repentance is not possible or will not be accepted is a feeling of condemnation. In Christ, we cannot be condemned, for we stand in His righteousness. God knows our hearts. That feeling should have no power over us.

I’m sorry if this has been a jumble of thoughts. It is what comes from me wanting to share my story for the benefit of others as well as process through it myself.

Just as the pain of singleness is real and can be overlooked by the Church as a whole, so can the pain of infertility. It has been so rarely spoken of that I often ask myself and those around me how other women deal with this because I am at a loss. And at that same time, I know nothing we go through in life is wasted. This season has its purpose. I can’t tell you I know exactly what it is, but whatever it may be I pray I can glorify God through it.

I want those of you who do experience that know you aren’t alone. That pain is real and it can cut deep. I will not say that knowing Jesus takes away the pain; but knowing Him definitely sees me through it. Each month I come out on the other side knowing He’s still beside me, still loving me, still my everything. Sometimes it takes longer than others, but ultimately I know the God of the universe has this all under control. And if anyone does, I’m sure glad it’s Him.

So as not to give the impression that I’ve been mucking about in all of this, just me and Jesus, I haven’t (though if I had, I have to believe that would be enough). I have been blessed to have friends and family who regularly encourage me in this and keep my husband and I in prayer, not to mention a husband who is by my side through all of this, loving me through the sadness; ugly crying and all.

If you are going through similar circumstances in life, I pray you’re going through them with Jesus, the Light shining in the darkness, the One who provides Hope, and Rest, and Peace, and Joy, even through, especially through, trials and pain. And if you don’t know Him, I pray you would come to. The pain may not go away, but you’ll have the Creator if the universe by your side. And He’s a pretty good traveling companion.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

PS – if you see this through Facebook and comment there, don’t think I’m ignoring you if I don’t respond – I’ll be present there once again come April 1.

King of the World

I realized very soon how silly it was to set up a writing challenge for myself just a week before I was going on a 10 day vacation…especially when I wasn’t planning on bringing my laptop along. I’d like to say that I kept up with my reading, but in all honesty, I did not. I still struggle to go deep into God’s Word each and every day. Thankfully, His mercies are made new each and every morning; and so I brush myself off and try once again.

I did read 1 Samuel 8-10 before we left on vacation. It tells of how the Israelites wanted a king because that is what they saw in all of the neighboring nations. God sent Samuel to them to tell them of all the things a king would do to rule over them, things that no one really wants. He warned them, and yet they still insisted that an earthly king is what they wanted. One to judge them and seek justice on their behalf. One to go before them and fight their battles. After Samuel relates this all to God, God tells him to do as the people want. To find a king and set him to rule over them.

We can read this and ask how blind the Israelites were. We can ask why they didn’t see that God Himself was their King, so why would they want a fallible man ruling over them instead. Did they not see and remember how God had judged them and sought justice on their behalf? Did they not remember how He went before them into battle and secured their victory?

Surely it’s not hard for us the think these things of the Israelites. But how often do we look at out own lives and think similar things of ourselves?

Have we sought after something more than we’ve sought after God, thinking “This is the way the world does it, so this is the way I want it too”? Are we surprised when we get our way and then realize it wasn’t what we wanted at all? How about when God doesn’t give us what we want and then we see the mess it could have been if He had; has that ever happened to you?

After reading these chapters I heard this song on the radio. It seemed to sum up what I had been thinking so completely that I knew I had to share it. I hope you take a few moments to listen.

 

Wherever you are, I pray you have faith to trust the King of the World with all you hold dear. Decisions you must make, the ones you love dearly, your very life. Never forget that He is holding you in His hands.

 

Love & Blessings,

KJ

 

An Omnipotent God

I’ve read through 1 Samuel 4 a couple of times and the one thing that I keep coming back to is the fact that the Hebrews thought bringing the Ark of the Covenant into battle would give them the victory. Instead, though, they were met with devastating ruin and that which was most treasured by them, the Ark, was taken as a spoil.

Now, I know that God is not surprised by anything. Nothing catches Him off guard and there’s nothing He cannot handle. If God had wanted the Israelites to win the battle, they would have won, no question.

 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? ~ Jerimiah 32:27

I do wonder the reason for them losing. These are my two thoughts on the matter:

  1. God foretold that Eli’s sons would both die on the same day. In the loss of the battle, both of them were killed, thus bringing about what God foretold. That is a pretty easy conclusion to come to, the second is more of my pondering.
  2. What did God think that they just brought the Ark with them? There is no mention of them petitioning God Himself before the battle, but still they thought the presence of it would save them.

That second thought has just made me wonder how often I do that. How often do I think God will get me through something without actually reaching out to Him? Granted, He knows what’s going on, and yes, He can help us without our asking. Ultimately, as I said before, His will will be done, but I think I tend to take such things for granted, thinking that His will always matches with what I would like to happen. Sometimes it does, but often it doesn’t and who am I to say that’s wrong?

So, where’s the good news? Even when things seem darkest, God knows what is going on. He is not looking in the other direction. He is not taken by surprise. Perhaps He is using the darkness so that when the light comes you cannot help but be drawn to it.  That you will have no doubt of its existence. The flame of a candle burning in a lit room may be hard to see. A flame in the darkness cannot be mistaken.

If you are experiencing darkness, keep your eyes upon the flame. I pray it becomes evident to you and that it grows so that the darkness flees.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

 

A Mighty God

In reading 1 Samuel 2 tonight (you can read it here) one thought rose above all the rest; our God is mighty. Hannah goes to the temple with Samuel to give him into the Lord’s service (he’s about 3 or so years old) and she prays a heartfelt prayer. Overarching the whole prayer is the fact that God is in control.

The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and on them he has set the world. ~1 Samuel 2:6-8

I don’t know about you, but I find much comfort in this fact and was glad to be reminded of it once again. I can never be reminded of this too much, as I am all too quick to forget this in times of stress, anxiety, worry, and fear. BUT, knowing God’s got this, as well as everything else on the earth, brings me peace. This bit just adds to the comfort that this knowledge brings:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28

Through the whole part of Eli’s sons being awful and not following the rules God set for them I wanted to have a “REALLY?” moment; like “God has instructed you as to how you are supposed to deal with the offerings from His people so that they also provide your food and you are so unsatisfied with that that you take what rightfully belongs to God? REALLY?” But then I realized that I do similar things each and every day. I take time that rightfully belongs to God and squander it on things that don’t matter. I take potential gifts and talents that God has given me to use for His kingdom, and I ignore them because I don’t want to put in the effort. How grateful I am that Jesus came to be my redeemer so that I will never come to the same end that Eli’s sons did.

It was not only the sons’ actions that were in the wrong though; there was also the fact that Eli heard about it, told them to stop, but did not seem to go any further when they did not listen. A man of God comes to him to tell him that he has put his sons above God and there will a drastic price to pay; the death of his sons. And again I’m reminded of how I easily put things in my life above God. Some of them are even good things, but as God is the best thing, nothing should come close to comparing to who He is and all He’s done for me.

There’s a lot for me to still think about here; reminders of God’s great promises and also conviction of things that need to change in my life. I am grateful to have God’s Word; that through it the Holy Spirit can open my eyes to these things, help me to change, and draw me closer to my God. I pray you’re aware of His work in your life, too.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

God Only Knows

How many times have you heard those words, “God only knows”? How many times, when you heard them, did you associate them with something positive? Until recently, I must admit, I always heard and said those words with a negative connotation. In my thinking, I heard them as sarcastic and maybe a little frustrated; similar to the response “Who the heck knows?”.

My thinking changed, though, in a late night conversation with a dear Sister of mine. We spent an evening together; preparing dinner & taking it to her hubby at work, playing with the munchkin, catching up on old episodes of “Once Upon a Time”. The last episode ended and we started chatting. At least a week prior I had felt the need to talk with her and explain some things that had happened in the past few months. I thought she might already have an idea, but needed to fully verbalize it all; not just for her, but also for myself.

And so the conversation started. It was about a lot of what I write about here – being single, thoughts on dating, the desire for a family. And then I asked the question that I can never find an answer to. The very same question many girls and women, alike, ask themselves when faced with heartache when a relationship has ended or there is a lack of one altogether. “Is there something wrong with me?”

“No,” she answered emphatically. “You are amazing. God only knows why you are not married yet. I have been praying for you because I know it is something you desire, and it’s something I want for you, too. You are my Sister and I love you. I know He has something awesome planned and I’m excited to see what it is.”

Praying for me, really? I was struck at God’s providence in this as one of the main reasons I had for this conversation was to ask her if she would be praying for me. To find out that she already was…well, I was more more encouraged and felt more love than I can express, even now. We continued our conversation with smatterings of tears and laughter, sometimes both at the same time. I left (much later) that night feeling as if a weight had been removed.

As I drove home, those 3 words were stuck in my head. God only knows. And it clicked.

“I am the Alpha and Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” -Revelation 1:8

If He is the first & the last, the beginning and the end of it all (which He is) then He is sovereign over all. If He is sovereign over all (which He is) then He knows all. If He knows all (which He most certainly does) He, well, knows all.

If He decides to reveal any of His knowledge to us, bonus. If He doesn’t (which seems more often than not when you’re in the middle of something), that is where faith comes in.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1

If God, only, knows who He has waiting for me to marry (and again, yes, He knows), I should have no complaints. He, the Almighty, knows what He has in store for my future. Am I glad He’s the One running the show? The One Who has had it all in His sight before the foundation of the earth? Most definitely, yes, and indeed! I know if it was all up to me, it would be a waaay bigger mess than I could deal with.

I can take comfort in that which God only knows, because if only one could know what the future holds, wouldn’t you want it to be Him?

Love & Blessings,

KJ