"...to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor."
Isaiah 61:2b-3

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Struggling today

I am really struggling today. I've had so many things happen to me in my life that have really tested me in learning who I'm here to please. I'm not here to please anyone on earth. Also, what I can or cannot do does not tell me how much worth I have. God tells me all of this and He loves me and thinks I'm worthy enough to send His son to save me. But on days like today I do not feel these truths in my heart. I "know" them, but it's hard to believe them. My life with my husband has not been what people consider "normal". I have a husband who has only one eye. When I say one eye...I don't just mean that his eyeball is missing. They took his eyelid and everything. He just has a large crater where his eye used to be. I don't love him any less, but it hurts when we are in a store and he gets looks of disgust. His eye did not define who he was, he's the same with or without it. Then take me, my body does not act like it should. I can do the normal stuff like walking, talking, that kind of thing (so some other people do have it worse than me), but it does not act like a woman's body should. I had trouble getting pregnant and when I would my body would not support a growing baby. My cycles never were normal and I was anemic most of the time. Now at the age of 31, never having my own baby, my "baby making parts" are all gone and have been gone for a year now. In my family, you are sort of judged by the kids you have and how you get those kids. My kids are all adopted and two of them we got as teenagers, so it's made a big difference how we and they are received. With our oldest, she has made some choices that have caused some hurt with our extended family. She hasn't always treated us and them with much respect. And now we are judged and because of that some of our family chooses not to visit us and isn't always happy when we visit them. It's very tough to be the one being punished for what my child has done. I don't think they always mean to do it, but we and my girls can feel how different they are welcomed into the family. My son, since we got him as a newborn, is welcomed more like the other grandkids. My girls notice that too. Quite a bit we've visited family at a holiday or a get-together and they rush over to our baby boy and ooh and aahh over him and my middle daughter (whose adoption was finalized only a month later than my sons) stands there feeling invisible. There are some who have never even yet, officially welcomed her into our family. I know they have had a different kind of life than the rest of them, but they deserve to feel like a real part of the family. It's so hard to watch that and feel like it's my fault that they feel this way. That they would be more welcome if I could have given birth to them, or at least adopted them as infants like our baby. Then there is the matter that we are not rich by any means. We get by, we don't have a lot of debt, we pay all our bills on time, but we don't have the money for all the latest gadgets. We don't have fancy smart phones, brand new laptops with all the best programs. I have a used mini laptop, the camera's I've owned have all been used. We are judged by the fact that we have older style cell phones, no ipads, we don't have cable or satellite, or a brand new fancy vehicle. I know that this stuff does no mean anything in the eyes of God. I know He does not judge me by the stuff I have, or even what I look like or how I succeeded in the worlds eyes. But it does not make it any easier. There's all these truths I know in my head, I know that it's the truth, but I can't make my heart understand all the time. I struggle with being accepted, I struggle with getting past the hurtful things said and done to me. I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way, and I'm not sure if it's the loss I've experienced or if "normal" people suffer too, but sometimes I just want to feel accepted. To do something that I feel people are proud of. Even though today I don't feel it, I will vent, get it out, and then try and remember the truth of God and His love for me. Maybe in reading the truth in His word and "hiding it in my heart" I will start to make my heart understand. Then I will be able to look these people in the eye and say to them, "It doesn't matter what you think, what you say, or how you act. I live for God and God only. He loves me and is proud of me even when you aren't." I love God with all my heart and I know in the end of this trial I will be stronger than I was before. But for now, please help me, my Lord, to put my faith in you and know that the rainbow is coming after the rain.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Where I've been

One thing has been a bit strange this week as we are on vacation and visiting my husbands brother and wife. We visit them having our 3 kids and it keeps hitting me that they wanted a child so bad and will probably not have children to call their own. There are many reasons for this and it includes them not being able to have biological or adopt children. I got to their house this week and we have our 2 teenage girls and our baby boy and I feel terrible sometimes that we have what they have wanted as much as we wanted it. I remember what it was like to be childless and long to be a mommy. Then to get pregnant multiple times and lose those babies before ever getting to hold them. I know that I was blessed to be able to adopt my children, but it doesn't stop the pain of seeing other women look at me with the looks I used to give women with children. I don't like to see women hurting because they want what I have. If I could I would find them a child to love and hold for their lifetime, but God has a plan for their lives and if it includes children, those children will come. If children are not in the picture, He has other plans for them and they are great plans. But in the midst of it, those words are not comforting...that I also remember. I absolutely don't want to be a woman who forgets where I came from and what it was like before we had children. When my arms and my heart ached so bad that it was sometimes a literal pain. I want to remember so that I can be sensitive to those around me and also to be able to read their reactions and emotions so I know what might be going on inside them. I just pray that God uses me in a powerful way to continue to minister to these women who are where I've been.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Use your bad for good

All around me I see so many that are going through the pain of losing a baby. This is so near and dear to my heart that I can only sit and cry for them as I pray that God touches them in a special way. It's crazy how intense I can feel something for someone else. Yesterday was also a reminder of the pain that can come from infertility or loss of a baby. I remember how it felt to go through mothers day after mothers day not being able to hold a baby in my arms or even have those around me acknowledge that I was a mommy, that my babies just didn't live with me. I have prayed through my journey of becoming a mother that God would never let me forget the pain that I endured. I am very blessed and full of joy in how God has blessed me, but I don't want to "leave behind" those who are still in the middle of the journey. I really can say that I am honestly thankful for my journey. For what I learned in the midst of the trials and what I continue to learn as I minister to women hurting. God can truly take the bad stuff in our life and use it for the good. So I can only end with this question for you: Will you let God use your bad times for good and let Him teach you some great lessons through it all?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Beauty from Pain

It's been a little tough here the past few weeks. I've had a situation in my family that brought out all my hurts of infertility and miscarriage. It's been hard, but yet it's been great to watch God work through me. I'll start at the beginning. My sister announced in April that she was pregnant. It was a bittersweet moment because she hadn't ever been able to get pregnant (she's 6 years older than me). It was great to hear that she was finally pregnant, but it was tough realizing at that moment that I was the only one not able to have a baby of my own. I was so excited for her, but it hurt my heart at the same time. I was strong for her on the phone and when we hung up I sat on my basement steps and had a good cry. I knew that I needed to quit being selfish and be excited for her, not crying over me. I also immediately started praying that God would not allow her to go through what I went through in my loss. No matter how sad I was, I would never wish that on anyone. 3 weeks ago my sister called me on the phone to tell me that I needed to pray for her. She had just been to the doctor and they couldn't find the heartbeat. They wanted to do more testing the next day, so they sent her home. She was terrified and was already extremely upset. I tried to keep her calm, sometimes these things just happen and a woman can go on to have a healthy baby. This was not the case with my sister. She called me later that night to tell me that the miscarriage had already started. She was in a lot of pain and the bleeding had started and was getting bad. I knew I needed to be strong for her, but at the moment she told me this I just broke. I started sobbing and all I could say to her was that I was so sorry this was happening. I guess this spoke to her that I had such strong emotion about it all, we've actually been closer because of this situation. She has had many questions, during and after the miscarriage, and I've tried to answer them the best I can. The toughest is knowing that I can't just take the pain away from her. But it also has brought my own personal pain closer to the surface. It made me question if I was ready to really minister to women hurting in this way. But then I went to my 3rd Women's Encounter and shared my testimony. God showed up in a huge way. I knew without a doubt I was supposed to be there. I was supposed to share the pain that I've been through in dealing with infertility and miscarriages. I was supposed to be feeling it as if it was a new pain, because I was able to fully be there for the women who needed to hear my story. I shared with them how much pain I felt, but also how much freedom I've had since fully giving it over to the Lord. I don't remember if I've shared this on here, but last summer I fully gave my dreams of having my own baby over to God. I had my hysterectomy in May of 2012. It was so hard to do, but in doing so, God has blessed me beyond what I could have ever imagined. I don't have the burdens that I did before. I might sometimes feel the pain and even grieve a bit, but the joy that I have stirring in my soul was well worth the sacrifice. For the first time ever I've been able to feel thankful that I went through what I did. I've loved being able to be there for other women struggling. I hate that they have to go through this pain, but I'm thankful that I can walk along beside them and show them that God still loves them and has a perfect plan for their lives. That they can be blessed beyond what they could imagine if they just fully trust in the Lord.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


There was something I was supposed to write about yesterday and didn't. So what did God do? He put it in my devotion for this morning. Ok, God, I'll do it. I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel like there are certain things I've had to sacrifice in life. Things that I've given up for the cause of Christ, and some things that I feel like I have sacrificed because I have no choice. I'm thinking that this is pretty normal, and I bet I'm not the only one feeling this way. I'm gonna get a bit personal here. My husband and I spent 8 years trying (and failing) to have a baby of our own. God sent us 2 girls to adopt and even when we did this, we still craved a child of our own. I wanted a baby with all my being. My arms ached, my heart ached, and every part of me wanted to die because my body would not do what it was created to do. I've known since high school that a baby of my own would probably not be a part of my life, but I was selfish and wanted it my way. God kept telling me no, and I wouldn't take no for an answer. But then I realized that part of what was making me miserable and angry in life was that I wouldn't give that part of me up to God. I wanted to be in charge. But what I needed to do was offer it to God as a "sacrifice". I think there are times that God calls us all to offer something in our lives as a "sacrifice". In Genesis we get to meet a man named Abraham (changed from Abram...but that's another story). He and his wife, Sarah, tried for many, many years to have a baby with no luck. They even went outside God's will and Abraham had a baby with his wife's servant. (I can relate to their frustrations). God finally told them that they would have a baby in their old age, which they did. This baby was named Isaac, and many years after he was born, God told Abraham to take his son up on a mountain and sacrifice him...as in kill his only son. After waiting many years for this child, God now wants Abraham to kill his only child. But Abraham takes his son anyway and goes up to the mountain. To make a long story short, in the end Abraham showed his obedience to God and God provided another sacrifice to take the place of Isaac. (read this all in Genesis 22) I made a tough choice early this past spring to have a hysterectomy. This was the hardest sacrifice of my life (lots of tears). But God asked me to do it, so I did. The weekend after I set my surgery date, I got a phone call. It was a phone call that has changed our lives. It was about adopting a baby...a baby due any day now and will be ours. I still ended up making my sacrifice, but God rewarded my obedience to Him. Even if it has nothing to do with a baby, I know that others have felt like they have sacrificed in their lives. Next time God asks you for a part of your life, give it to him and watch what He does!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

God Still Workin' On Me

I had a bad day today. I don't say this because I want this post to be a "oh, woe is me.....pity me" kind of post. I want to share my day because even though it was a bad "earthly" day, I saw God work a small miracle in my life. I've been sharing the past couple days about some lessons God has shared after my "encounter" weekend. I'll admit that since my weekend with God, there's been a big change in me. My husband and girls have noticed such a big difference in me that they make comments to me how different I am. But do not be deceived. This doesn't mean my life has suddenly become perfect. I still falter, I still make mistakes. My change is the biggest in my attitude and my anger. I used to blow up at every little thing (and cussing was a part of it too) and then I would let my attitude be stinky for extended periods of time. I still have bouts of anger (for good reason sometimes), but not once have I cussed since my weekend. And like today, I may have rough days (and believe me I've had a few doozies since then) but they don't seem to last. Ok, back to my day. I had some hurtful words spoken to me. They were not spoken on purpose and the person didn't even realize that they were going to hurt me. In fact, they spoke out of some physical pain and in some weird way I think they were trying to pay me a compliment. A few other things happened after that. Normally these other things would not bother me, but when you've had a hurt, there's already a wound and it's very easy for someone to pour salt on a wound without meaning it. Normally, I would have blown up at these people. I would have cussed, yelled, thrown a pity party, and then put a post on facebook about how "insensitive some people are". But I didn't. I had an hour drive home after these hurts (and grocery shopping) and I spent the time just crying out to God. I literally was crying(sobbing) and praying. Telling God how alone I felt and that I just needed Him. That I didn't like feeling like this and I don't want it to control my life and to please take it away. Can you imagine how this looked to the people passing me...cause I was only going 62 on the highway? By the time I got to Scott City (1/2 an hour into my trip home) I was already feeling better. In fact, I was feeling better enough to share with one of those that had said words at the wrong time to me. I was able to explain my feelings and why I was hurt and that it was not them, it was just the timing of it all. Lesson for today: It's ok if you feel hurt when things are said or done. God never told us we had to be doormats. We are even allowed to be angry about things. It's when we take it too far and let it control us that it gets out of hand. If you can cry out to God and let Him truly have it, He WILL take it away.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Moving On

Sorry it's been awhile. I've had quite a summer. My long journey of trying for a baby of my own (and not succeeding) is somewhat over. After almost 9 years of infertility/losing babies, my issues got so bad that I ended up having a hysterectomy at the end of May. While this has ultimately given me more peace than I thought it would, I have my moments of feeling the loss so severe that I just want to sit down and cry. The idea that I will never carry my own child within my belly sometimes overwhelms me. I still question "why me?" at times. But then I look around me at the blessings God has laid before me and I know that this was His plan all along. I was not created to carry a child, I was created to love the children that are unwanted. I was chosen to be an adoptive mom. When I was little, my dream in life was to grow up and be a mommy. In my struggles in the past year, I have often thought that I did something to anger God and cause Him to "punish" me. This is so not true. The truth is that He loves me so much that He chose the best path for me. He knew that I longed for a child so much that I would accept a child not wanted by his/her parents. I would have the unconditional love for this child that was not created in my womb. Not everyone is chosen for this purpose. When I made the decision to end the chapter in my life of trying for my own baby, I cannot even describe the peace that washed over me. I was worried about my grief after it was over, but I knew that the peace of God would get me through. When I got out of my surgery, and was still somewhat out of it, I was crying...sobbing actually. I remember small bits of a nurse asking me why I was crying. I told her I didn't know why I was crying. I then asked for my "mommy". I remember my mom coming in and asking me the same question "why are you crying?" I still couldn't answer...or maybe wasn't coherent enough to know what to answer. In the days following my surgery (my mom stayed with me for almost a week), we discussed the fact that I had woke up from my surgery crying. I had been put under for other surgeries and had never cried. We both agree to this day that it was my body and soul grieving this devastating loss. Because I woke up with such grief in those first few moments, I have expected to have such grief that I couldn't face life. Look at the situation...this was my first and greatest dream...and it was now shattered. But God is a God of miracles and He has taken my grief and replaced it with a joy and a peace that passes all understanding. In earthly eyes I should be miserable, but I'm not. This is what our God can do for devastating grief. He can replace it with His joy and a peace that passes all earthly understanding. It doesn't matter what you feel you have had to "give up" in your life. I know that the loss of a uterus isn't quite like the loss of my babies, but it's kind of similar. It is the loss of dreams. I have looked at my choosing the hysterectomy like the story of Abraham and Isaac. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, a son he waited years and years for. But Abraham had faith enough to know that God would ultimately take care of the whole situation. He may not have understood, but he knew God was faithful and loving. In the end, God said "no, don't sacrifice your son" and sent a ram to sacrifice instead. I may question what God is doing when He asks me to give up my dreams, but I know that my God has bigger dreams for me than I even imagined and He IS faithful. Within a week or so of me picking my surgery date, God actually placed an infant adoption in our laps. We had adopted two teen girls, but I still desperately wanted a baby. I now wait on a baby boy to be born (any day now). I get to bring home him from the hospital and raise him as my own. God is faithful!