Monday, October 30, 2017

Part 10: Wake Up!

With IUI we had prayed like we prayed all these months - a lot. Pleading prayers, Oh God, would you answer them? Every morning, every night together. Throughout the day. 

But I began to think...did my life look different? 
Was I spending my time differently? 

Sure I spent time with the Lord. We made sure He was well aware of our plea. And He’d revealed Scripture and meaningful moments for us over the months. But here we were, in one of the biggest battles of our lives, and I was operating like a soldier on light duty. From the outside looking in, I’m not sure you would have been able to notice a difference from months before to now. One night I sat on the couch scrolling through Instagram with something mindless on TV in the background. 

What the heck am I doing?! 

Instagram? Instagram wasn’t going to give me a child. I needed to make a change. 

It's not that Instagram is bad...I still get on...and will, in fact, use it to tell you all about this post. But mindlessly scrolling in that moment felt so empty.

This wasn’t living like we were in one of the biggest battles of our lives. This was life as normal. I was whoa convicted. 

This shift brought a snap back into action for my faith. Instead of just trying to hold on, it wanted to claim new territory in my our lives.

And so that night I went up to a room in our house we hadn’t paid much attention to. 

The future nursery. 

Aside from that label, it functioned as any extra bedroom with inherited mismatched furniture, virtually no decoration. 

I plopped myself down in the middle of the room and prayed. Just opened my heart up to God. 

And the next day, I reread The Circle Maker. In a day. 

Why wasn’t I praying circles? Why, in the name of Jesus, wasn’t I circling this desire God placed in our hearts? Claiming His promises right here in this very room?!

Well, no more, I say! I went into the room and moved some furniture around. The bed? It was going to the middle. I was going to make a circle path in this room if my life depended on it. It was tight, almost laughable. But I could fit.

And the circling began. 

Lap after lap, my playlist singing it’s tunes.

I couldn’t wait to tell Stephen that night!

In the course of a week, that room went from neglected to pulsing with life and energy. 

A holiness. 

I belted worship music, sometimes through squeaky I’m-trying-not-to-cry voice.

Thank you, Lord, that no one except my husband could hear me. (And thankfully, he already had a ring on his finger...he was committed!)

This became our space to circle our desire, but even greater than that, circle the Lord’s promises regarding this desire. 

It finally felt right. We were making headway. 

Who knew that endless circles in a bedroom could cause forward momentum?

And in that forward momentum, God revealed a truth I once knew:

He loves it when we bring our desires to Him. 

He loves it even more when we bring ourselves to Him. 

And that’s what this was. This was bringing myself to Him. My time. Sacrificing my desires - sometimes watching a show on the couch or an earlier bedtime was more appealing...sometimes after a 12 hour shift on your feet, the last thing I wanted to do was circle our room...on my feet. 

But did I want to move the heart of God?

Did I want to give Him all of me? For His glory? 

It was about time I started acting like it. 

Sidney Howard, author of Gone with the Wind, said, “One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.”

What was I willing to give up?

And the most amazing thing was this: I already had all the reward I could want in Christ Jesus. The more time I spent circling, the more filled with Him and joyful I was. The more the end goal of starting our family became the byproduct of time with him. 

He was the treasure. 

He IS the treasure!

Walking in this shift has felt easier for us. Peaceful. 

It felt right.

But explaining it to others is hard. We’d hear things like, “So glad you guys are taking a break! That should help relieve stress.”

We aren’t taking a break.

There’s not a thing wrong with doing that, but it isn’t what we are doing. We have kicked our prayer life up a bunch of notches. 

We are sacrificing. We are circling. We are fasting.

It certainly isn’t taking a break.

And in the explanation of moving from intervention to intercession, some look back at me with blank stares. Encouragement in their words, but their tone says it all. Others are right there with us - believing and trusting and asking God for a miracle.
I remind them (and myself), God moved mountains when He brought Stephen and me together. He did what only He could do. He made a way. He will do it again. There’s a reason why Spirit of the Living God was our first dance song! :) These lyrics get me every time:

When You speak
When You move
When You do what only You can do
It changes us
It changes what we see and what we seek

One night in September, I found myself at another Forme event (Facebook link here!). This time nestled outside amidst a gathered body of women, believers worshiping in sweet surrender, a backdrop of tall and mighty trees reminding me of God’s steady might and faithfulness. And the night’s theme was “God is my...” 

Several women standing in courage sharing their story of how God is their confidence, light, strength, peace, guide, redeemer... 

Love this amazing print from Heavenly Lettering
from that night. Check out her Etsy shop!

We had an opportunity to write on huge canvases our “God is my...” word. Mine?


He is my freedom from fear. Freedom from infertility. Freedom from lies. 

I am FREE. Because of my God.

It will take a miracle, this pregnancy. 

But I am free to trust the Lord for that.

It all rests on Him. 

Its strange to be asking for a miracle for myself. I've prayed countless times for God to move mightily in the lives of those around me. 

But to pray with my hands on my stomach, asking the Lord to do a miracle inside my own womb? 

It's a strange and powerful thing. 

I'm not writing this as a petition for prayer for us - obviously if you feel led to do that, please join us! But more so, my heart is for awareness and freedom for every couple experiencing infertility. 

I am tired of Satan's foothold in this area for couples. 

He's attacking marriages across the nation. I firmly believe one of the ways he is doing that is through infertility. Weaseling his way in and wreaking havoc through fear. 

He certainly tried for us. 

And it ticks



So more than anything, pray for the enemy's hold on infertility to release, for couples to get in His Word, to read and claim the promises of the Lord, to pray for and trust the Lord to move in their situations. 

Let’s be a support for each other on this painful, lonely, often dark journey. 

Our God is a good God. 

He is a mighty God. 

He moves mountains. 

Let's ask Him to move mountains in His name. 

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

Matthew 17:20

This is my "Faith Board" I put up in the room!
Thank you Meghan for the nudge and Mom for the
name! I needed a place with all the Scripture
in one place. It's still a work in progress, 

but it's coming along!
Maybe make one of your own?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Part 9: The Promises And The Ask

***Just a reminder...this is our story...God asked me to share it, it is not to say it is right and any story is wrong...all of our journeys through infertility can reflect God's beauty. This is just me, writing my heart. :) ***

In the midst of me feeling crazy, there was the book. 

Supernatural Childbirth

The book my patient’s sister had sent me. I hadn’t read it except for the prayer we prayed each night. 


I can’t tell you except for God’s timing. I needed it just at the moment He reminded me of it. 

It was a Wednesday night, I opened the book after coming home from church. I read and read and read, waiting for Stephen to come home too. We were still in that waiting time after IUI. My period was late. Not normal for me. But was it just the medication delaying the inevitable? I was exhausted from trying to read into every little thing my body did. I was so very weary of being in this mental back and forth yo-yo: we are pregnant, no we can’t be, but we might me, could we really be, nope we aren’t, but...could we still be? 

I had had enough. 

I needed something more than my thoughts to go on. Something more than the comfort of Scripture. I needed to know exactly what God had to say about all this. 

So I read. 

Parts of His scripture I’d read before but never in a time I needed those words. Yet here they were! It’s easy to miss them when you’re far removed from their content. 

But now? 

They were a lifeline. 

His words. Bold. Promising. Truth.

After that first night, I hadn’t finished the book, but I knew enough to know that God didn’t create anyone to be barren. 

Barrenness wasn’t in His plan. 

It wasn’t His will. 

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.”
Genesis 1:28

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.
Psalm 128:3-4

He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother.
Psalm 113:9

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law...
Galatians 3:13

“He [Christ] himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2:24

But you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst. There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days."
Exodus 23:25-26

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
Mathew 18:19

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask- we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
1 John 5:14-15

And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be free from your suffering.”
Mark 5:34

Healing! Freedom! Freedom from this fear! 

That sounded like my God. 

And the very next day? My body told me moments before leaving for work that indeed, IUI was not successful. 

Hello period. 

You know what? I was sad like every month before...but something was different this time. 

I didn’t feel shaken. 

I began to think about my body undergoing the whole IUI regimen again - which would literally have to start the next day. Day after day of some intervention - a probe inside, swallowing a med, peeing on a stick, the IUI procedure, more medications. I simply couldn’t do it. 

I could not. 

My body wasn’t my own. It didn’t know up from down. No hormones functioning on their own. Granted, they weren’t functioning properly on their own before meds, but here was evidence they weren’t functioning properly with medical help either. 

I needed a break from medicine. From it all. 

That night as Stephen and I dialogued about the last month, about the book, it became very clear what God was asking us to do.

Let Me do this, Me alone. Let me show you.

He wanted all the responsibility on Him. He was going to make this happen. In a way where He and only He could get all the glory when that healthy pregnancy occurred. 

It was scary in a way. A relief in other ways. It was definitely uncharted territory. To believe on Him for healing from infertility without medical intervention. 

It was one of the most special nights we’d had. So connected to each other. So surrendered to our Lord. 

Stephen prayed, “God, You have our attention. Come move mountains. Come do what only You can do.” 

We were claiming is promises. 

And that night, we felt a shift. 

Fear was replaced with faith

We prayed out of faith, not fear. 

We talked out of faith, not fear. 

We believed in faith without fear. 

We trusted in faith without fear. 

We had moved from intervention to intercession.

I turned in my childhood fear for a childlike faith.

Thank You, Lord, for making this possible. For your freedom. For your sacrifice on the cross that frees me from sickness, from fear, from failure. Frees me from the curse of the law. Frees me to walk in all your promises, believing them for us, for our lives. Because You are so faithful and so good. Your word is clear. We believe and receive what You have spoken. 

Every word. 

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through Him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
2 Corinthians 1:20-22

Yes. And amen!

Get those words on repeat in your head by listening to this fabulous song "Yes and Amen" by Housefires! YouTube video link here.

Also, have since discovered this incredible (more updated) gem of a book! God's Plan for Pregnancy: From Conception to Childbirth and Beyond by Nerida Walker. It came out in 2012, verses Mize's book which came out in 1993. I HIGHLY recommend it!!

Ok y'all. Only ONE more post to go! Thank you for hanging in there with me. For reading, praying, encouraging, sharing your stories with me. Check back in a few days for the final post!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Part 8: I Just Want To Be Normal

So the pre-IUI appointment was made. As I drove back to Georgia that Thursday night, I cried all the way. And listened to my worship playlist. Belted the songs through tears. What else could I do? As one of the songs says “Oh where else would we go but with the Lord of Hosts” (from “Psalm 46 (Lord of Hosts)” by Shane & Shane). And so I sang. 

And sang. 

And sang. 

Until I was hoarse. 

The next morning, waking up super early for my appointment, I was panicked. I didn’t feel settled, but I chalked it up to unknown territory, and a night’s sleep in our bed without Stephen. (He didn’t come home until Saturday.) This was something new again. I don’t like the unknown. As I sat outside waiting for the office to open, I honestly felt scared, I felt out of my league. 

And I’m a nurse

I can’t imagine this for people not used to the medical world!

But I also felt defeated

Having a child, starting a family, it all came down to this? So many tests and ultrasounds and probes in places I’d rather probes not go. 

But I’d do it all if that’s what it took. 

And so, ultrasound done, very detailed plan in place, prescriptions called in, I drove to work, put on a happy face, and helped deliver everyone else’s babies for the rest of the day, feeling more broken inside than I cared to admit. 

The next day, Stephen returned home. It was our anniversary. The day my body officially told me we weren’t pregnant. 

Thanks, body. What an insult. 

We had an amazing night downtown anyway, no thanks to the cramps and headache. Through it all, it was a sweet night of reminders of that amazing day, one year before. A fancy rooftop dinner, our top tier wedding cake, our wedding video, sharing memories and laughter. And the next morning we boarded a plane for a fun week in New York. 

We both needed it. The time away. Time exclusively together. To have fun and disconnect from the world. Time to just enjoy each other. 

And we did. So much. We were free to do whatever we wanted to! Go here? Ok! Check that out? Sure, why not? 

There were moments where the feeling of failure would creep back in. How could it not? 

The child crying in the store. 

The sweet family at the restaurant. 

The little baseball-capped boy and his dad at the ballgame. 

Daggers to my womanhood. 

Its amazing sometimes to me that we walk around whole beings on the outside for all the jabs life takes at our souls. 

My greatest desire, to be a mom. The things I long most to give my husband, children. 

I couldn’t do it. 

Sometimes the reminders were so painful, I’d nestle my head into Stephen’s chest and let the tears fall. His embrace always comfort and strength. And his reminder: “Babe, that’s just not true. You’re not a failure.”

But there was no pregnancy was there?

For the most part, we were able to put this aside and thoroughly enjoy our time in NY. Between the food, the shows, the sights, the Yankees, the fireworks, staying in Times Square. 

We made so many fun memories!

In Times Square totally looking like tourists!

In Times Square trying NOT to look like tourists! :)

But our New York trip ended all too soon. Upon our return, we had a week of "normalcy" before we headed to camp with our students. But we were on a timeline. I had a week for my body to cooperate and ovulate. If it didn’t, I’d need to give myself a shot, then proceed with IUI. Twice. 

One guess on whether my body did its job.

Nope. Sure didn’t. 

Failed again. 

This time we had a way to make it do its job. A shot. But in the process of prep for the procedure, somehow the office had missed giving me all the information - maybe because I’m a nurse and they assumed, maybe because I had been to a couple of their offices instead of just one...for whatever reason, I didn’t know what to do. 

When exactly do I give myself the shot? Does it matter where? I knew timing was super important. 

In the process of trying to figure all this out - on a weekend (of course), I had a moment on the couch, anxiously awaiting a text, then a phone call, that I knew this wasn’t me. I was literally on the verge of freaking out.

Who am I? I’m not an anxious person. I don’t second-guess everything I do. What am I becoming? I don’t like how this feels!

Fear and anxiety had taken over.

I felt panicked again. Not a feeling I’d like to become accustomed to.

I finally got it all figured out, just in time for the next steps. 

IUI on Sunday and Monday. Sitting in that office again, my husband down the hall doing his part, I was so broken. So sad that this...this was how God meant it to be? 

This is what You had in mind for us to start our family? Why can't we just have sex like normal people?

It was in this very moment that none of this felt right for us. I didn’t understand why it had to be this way. The gift of eros love that God has given was amazing...but it couldn’t produce a family for us?

And yet, here was our chance, our boat. 

It was done. The IUI. Once. And twice.

After the second procedure, we rushed from the office to church and literally jumped right on a bus to head to camp with our students for a week, no one knowing where we were or what had just taken place. The mess of thoughts and emotions in my mind. But I wasn’t going to miss this week for the world - my last camp with my 8th grade girls before they went to high school! 

On a whole, it was an incredible week seeing God move in and through the lives of our students. It was emotional and overwhelming in amazing ways. But, personally, it was one of the loneliest weeks. Putting aside our personal journey for the good of these students. I didn’t always do it well. 

Early mornings. 

Late nights. 

Teenagers 23 hours out of 24. Leading them in one of the biggest weeks of their lives. 

I was tired. 

Way tired. 

In every way...spiritually, emotionally, physically. And they could tell. How do you lead when you’re asking deep hard questions yourself? I finally shared with my girls that Pastor Stephen and I were in the midst of a personal battle that took a lot of my energy, giving no more details than that. And their faith that week? As the speaker at camp had said, sometimes you ride on the faith of others until your own catches up. That’s exactly what I did.

Life went on as “normal” for a couple more weeks. And by normal, I mean, thinking of it all the time, inserting medication twice a day, constant body reminders of the possibility that a pregnancy might just happen this time...or not. And yet, as always, we were hopeful. 

I tried to not think about it every second of every day. Tried not to interpret every little twinge in my body. Tried not to tick off day after day with no definitive answer. I cried out to God, begging Him for this to be the month. I read Scripture telling of His power, His might. I believed He could do it. And then one trip to the bathroom could make it all unravel. 

I’d convinced myself a hundred times I was pregnant.

And a hundred and one times I wasn’t.

It can truly make a person crazy. 

Here's the link to my playlist. It has helped keep me sane and helped settle my soul countless times. It's not specific to fertility, so check it out if you need some soul-filling tunes. It's called { sow } . And check back in a few days for Post 9: The Promises and the Ask!