Saturday, November 23, 2013

Faith & Fertility

**So sorry for the weird repetitions in the first version of this post. I don't know how that happened!*

This post has been brewing in my head for awhile now. In the past few months I've been wrestling with my faith and what that means for our fertility. I'm kind of a "black and white" thinker and have a hard time letting in the "gray." I want to be able to have an answer for everything and, well, infertility kind of prevents that.

I've been struggling with a few trains of thought/faith. I've wondered if I should believe that we WILL conceive and that it's just up to God when the timing is. I've wondered if it's my lack of faith that has kept us from conceiving. I have also wondered if it's "my fault" that I haven't been able to get pregnant because if I had just trusted God more it would have happened.

Slowly but surely God has spoken to me that none of that is true.

Whew! What a relief!

In the midst of wondering if my faltering faith was our true "problem" God spoke to me at our church's All Saint's Evensong Service (planned by my wonderfully talented husband!). The Gospel reading was from John 11, the story of Lazarus's rising from the dead. But, what struck me was the very beginning of the passage. When Jesus was told that his friend Lazarus was sick he responded by saying, "“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it." -John 11:4

First of all, Jesus knows that Lazarus will die. Even though he says that "this sickness will not end in death." Of course Jesus also knows that HE will raise Lazarus from the dead and that THAT is the true ending of the story. What a miracle!

But really, the part that stuck out to me in the midst of me crying out to God for an answer and wondering WHY we are going through infertility was "it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." There's my answer. God has allowed us to go through infertility and the suffering along with it so that Christ may be glorified. And you know what? THAT is the best reason.

However, that doesn't mean that I know exactly HOW God will be glorified through our infertility. So, I'm praying every day that God will reveal that to me and that He will show me how I (and we) can best glorify Him through this circumstance. Could it be that He will be most glorified through a miraculous conception? Maybe. Could it be that He will be most glorified through another miraculous adoption story? Maybe. Could it be that He will be most glorified if, despite a very discouraging diagnosis and journey, we continue to praise God for his goodness and faithfulness to us, trusting that He alone will be our ultimate source of contentment and joy? Yes, definitely!

So, that's where I sit right now. Asking God for me to glorify Him through my attitude and focus on Him. Do I falter? Yes. Do I still have questions? Yes. Can our infertility journey still be confusing and frustrating? YES! But, I know that God has brought us through this in order for us to glorify Him and so I must trust each day that He will do what brings HIM the most glory, NOT what makes us most happy. The truth is that if we're trusting that God will do something for us and waiting for that thing (which for us would be another child) then we're missing the point. The point of prayer is not just for God to give us what we want. The point is for us to be closer to Him.

Over 2 years ago I did a great Bible Study by Beth Moore called, "Believing God." It was about trusting and believing God to do great things and it was a great study! But, now 2 years later I have been thinking about one of her key points throughout the study. She would say that if we ask for something from God in faith He WILL give it to us, unless he has something better planned. I've been pondering and praying about this thought too.



But, here's the thing. Our sanctification and a closer walk with God is ALWAYS BETTER than whatever we can ask for! Even if that "thing" we're asking for is something so good and even blessed like having children! Even having, loving and raising children is not as good as the process of becoming more holy and content in just Christ. That's hard for me to say, because it may mean the loss of dreams for us. 

Plus, the process of sanctification is not easy and involves suffering. Just Sunday my convictions were confirmed by our pastor who taught from Luke 21. The visual he gave was so powerful as he reminded us that Jesus encourages us to "lean into the suffering" and not avoid it because "b
y your endurance you will gain your souls." (Luke 21:19) Oye. Sanctification is no easy business and always comes when you just would rather life go as you planned. But oh,"tis so sweet to trust in Jesus."

"Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace."

9 comments:

  1. Great post! It can be so hard anytime you're going through a difficult time and you want to question God. I've been there and like you, I want to ask "why is this happening to me?" I love your thoughts. Despite it all, I think we have to keep going on with life and continue to praise God. I think that's a great testimony. That doesn't meant it's easy and it doesn't mean it hurts less (unfortunately).

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  2. This is SO well written and well stated! I admire your perspective, and you inspire me.

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  3. You all are so sweet! I'm so grateful for your comments for 2 reasons! 1. They are encouraging. 2. They led me to re-read this post and realize that I had a few paragraphs repeated. Oops! It should be fixed now. :)

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  4. Yes!!!!! He will get the glory!!! Amen! Sweet new cover photo!

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  5. @Rachel - Spend more time with me at our house when I'm unshowered and "bumlike." You'll be less inspired. :)

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  6. Hey! Guess I strayed from blogging. I made a Facebook page where I do occasional updates. Although, the reality is that there hasn't been much to report. We were asked if we wanted to be shown for a couple of special situations. Otherwise, no news. Our worker has reported when we talk that we have been shown though. We are going to update our profile book in January, to include pictures of our new home we bought in August. Hopefully a few teaks in the book might help. We are also considering opening up outside of Virginia, but hesitant for our own reasons. So just trusting that God will put it on our hearts if that is the path we are meant to take. Feel free to follow our Facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/TheMannFamilyAdoption?ref=hl

    Thanks for checking in! :)

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  7. I'm definitely following you on fb now! :)

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  8. Oh man as I started reading this post, my heart so reached out to you. They are questions I've asked myself. But as I continued reading you gave the exact thing I would have said to encourage you if we were sitting down for coffee and asked for guidance, help, and encouragement. It's all about Him, it's not about us. And coming to that place of sacrificing our plans for His glory, has been a process - but one that is worth the living once we find that place of peace. My life is so a testimony of that.

    Beautiful post. Beautiful!

    Hannah

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