Friday, May 27, 2011

April 2011 - Stepping Stones gals are back!

Hooray for repeat-sharers :)  Yes, that was probably grammatically incorrect, but you know what I mean, right?

Janet and Lynn (and Leslie in spirit) again blessed us with some of their God-given wisdom.  First, a few random thoughts I wrote down as they shared...I promise it'll get more cohesive as this post moves on.  Who knows what I was thinking at the beginning?

Hebrews 12:11 - Discipline is training in righteousness, not a punishment for sin.
Job 3:16 - the Bible recognizes stillborn babies as infants.
Isaiah 65:20 - in heaven, babies won't die before their time

A few things Janet remembers learning during her journey through infertility:
- the world is not out to get me
-those around me who are fertile are not out to get me
-couples with kids, or with a certain number of kids, are not blessed while I am not blessed (kids don't define whether or not I am blessed)
-focus on the blessings I HAVE received
         -God says, 142 times, to remember
-keep my eyes on the path God has for ME, not the path He has for others
-He has a unique purpose for each of us.

In Isaiah, it says that God does not thresh all grain the same. He knows the exact pressure for each piece of grain, for it's intended use. We have to trust that the way God is choosing to thresh us is exactly right for the purpose He has chosen for us.  (And the way He is choosing to thresh another person is exactly right for the purpose He has chosen for them as well.)

Be more honest and open with friends and family members.  Remember that if one partner is infertile, both are infertile (it's not about blame or who is at fault - you are ONE body).

Walk outside your door and find someone you can minister to.  Isaiah 58:10 - as you minister, your grief lifts.  Janet shared that at one point in her journey, she quit kicking against God's plan for her life, and invested in a ministry.  (Doesn't have to involve kids though!)  The ache in her heart remained, but a joyful ache, not a bitter ache, believing God's best for her.  You have to lay it down and let Him pick it back up if that is in His plan.  Make God the singular source of your delight.  Psalm 37:4 -He will either give you what you are currently desiring or show you something else you are desiring (or that He causes you to desire).

She remembers God asking her "will you love me if I don't give you any children/any more children?"  If you don't get what you want, how will you regard God? God's word is to give life, not to steal life. You will reap what you sow - choose now how you will respond to God's chosen gifts.

Never consider adoption as a second best option.  Adoption is God's FIRST choice - look at how we, as Christians, are considered to be part of His family!!  Sometimes God closes a womb and opens a heart.  But adoption should never be the fall-back option.

Journal - it is important to be able to look back and remember God's faithfulness.  Look back at the lessons learned...but also keep moving forward!

Make sure your hope, faith, trust, and confidence are in God - not in your doctor.  Think medical decisions through to the very end, so you are not caught off guard by a morally or ethically difficult decision that resulted from a previous choice you made.

Enjoy life - don't lose it to bitterness or wishing for kids or more kids.  Wishing for kids can become a controlling disease.

You have permission not to attend a baby shower!  For Janet, there was a time when attending a shower caused her to question God, so it was best that she not attend.  It wasn't about jealousy or anger.  And if you are hosting a shower, it can be very helpful for those struggling in this area if you include a line like: "if for any reason you can't come, know that you are loved, welcomed, and excused."

God wants to comfort us, but it's our choice whether or not to receive it.  Focus on God - the Giver, not on the gift you seek.  If you gain children but lose God, you have lost it all.  Are you wanting something more than you are wanting God's will?

If I can't have what I think is best, God must have something better.  Trust Him. Yield to God's purpose in your circumstance.  Quit kicking.

Oh, one more thing - angels are not recycled people!  When a baby dies, it is not accurate, necessary, or even helpful to say that God needed another angel.  :)

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