life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


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God Blesses Our Obedience

I had a girls’ night in with a dear friend of mine this past Friday, and she told me all about the decision God was asking her to make in one of her most important relationships. Evidenced by the amount of tissues we went through, this was not an emotionally easy or pleasant decision. In fact, it was a pretty rough decision given that she was going to have to trust God – not to give her what she wanted, but to give her what He knows is best for her in the end. In fact, that is having to trust God’s character more than anything else – that He is good and that He has our best interests, and the world’s best interests for that matter, at heart.

It wasn’t easy to watch my friend go through all the hurt that goes along with obeying what God was calling her to do, and part of me wanted to “fix it” for her, which in my limited human view would have been NOT making the decision and keeping the potentially destructive yet quite comfortable patterns going.

However, both of us had full confidence when she left that night (despite strong, selfish emotions) that God is sovereign and that disobeying Him leads to deep heartache…

Saturday morning, my husband and I got up early to go to marriage counseling. (Yes, we go to marriage counseling. It is awesome. I fully recommend it.) Anyway, in retrospect of the last few weeks, I realized that I had obeyed the Lord and grown in faith. I know because I never would have done anything like this naturally. I took a difficult situation that I felt VERY strongly about, and I surrendered my feelings about it to God and to Dayne and waited. I gave Dayne weeks to ponder the decision we had to make together without inserting my two cents everyday. I prayed through it and prayed for Dayne’s wisdom in making the decision. I talked about the situation with others in an honest way without putting Dayne down for having a different viewpoint (showing respect for my husband). And when it came time to make the decision, I gave Dayne a few days’ notice that we were going to have to talk soon so he could wrap up his thoughts and bring it up when he felt comfortable. And it came out in marriage counseling that he really appreciated the way I handled the situation. We were able to make a decision together quickly after our counseling session and now we are on the same page as a team with a beautiful compromise that I couldn’t have envisioned for us…

Last night, I was feeling really discouraged and anxious around the time I was going to have to go to youth group (I’m volunteering as a leader with my church). I didn’t feel well yesterday, and a lot of thoughts were running through my head about my health situation, my job, my friends, etc. I talked with Dayne about how I was feeling and how I wasn’t sure if it was worth it for me to be at youth group anyway, since I haven’t gotten to know the girls very well yet and it didn’t feel like we were getting the chance to connect. Dayne reminded me that it’s only the third week (see how my emotions run away with me?) and that I have to keep trying. I almost turned around twice on my way there. In fact, I warned Dayne that I might be coming home. And I had to pull over at one point to gather my thoughts and calm down. BUT I felt an extra push to go the second time I tried to turn around, and I went. And wouldn’t you know – I got to have some good conversations for the first time with four girls last night, and I finally learned ALL of their names. I love ministry and encouraging younger girls in their lives and walks with Jesus, and I know God has gifted me for it. I just have to learn to step forward in faith (with a little push from my husband) when my selfish emotions tell me to walk away. I really felt like God clearly rewarded me for obeying Him last night…

I got to catch up with my good friend from Friday night on my drive home from youth group. She told me all about how well things went when she went forward with that difficult decision. Beyond her wildest expectations. And I can clearly see God working in her life and in that relationship, and it is thrilling…

Whatever God’s calling you to do in your life, keep walking with Him. He won’t leave you when things get tough.

I’ve almost finished the Old Testament in my Daily Walk Bible (I’m in the book of Zechariah). Even in some of the most trying of times for the Jewish people (God’s temple being destroyed and the exile in Babylon – the consequences for all of Israel’s idol worship and sins), God kept promising them that He would establish a remnant in Jerusalem, and He would be with them, and He was going to send the Messiah to take care of their sins once and for all. On the other side of Jesus’ sacrifice, I can see just how faithful God has always been to His people. All He desires is for us to fix our eyes on Him and to walk in obedience with Him.

“Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. … Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” – Deuteronomy 11:16, 18-19 (NIV)

“But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge…” – Psalm 141:8 (NIV)

“Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” – Isaiah 46:8-10 (NIV)

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)

“Becoming a Christian has been likened to taking a step into the unknown… and landing on a Rock.” – today’s Daily Walk Bible devotional

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Push Through

My Struggle with Possible Infertility

As I’ve thought about blogging while I’ve been home from work, it has been difficult for me to think about publishing an entry that I can’t put a positive spin on.  I’ve come to realize that I like to present everything to the world outside of me in a pretty little package so people will accept it and like me. I am a people puh-leaser and frightfully insecure at the root of it all.

I have realized that the only way I can authentically blog right now is to write for myself, not for an audience.

A few weeks ago, I went to a new gynecologist who diagnosed me with possible endometriosis and/or PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome. Neither of these are easy to conclusively diagnose, but my symptoms and medical history pointed to the possibility of both. Since coming off of birth control in April, I got a period at the beginning of May and nothing since. I’ve had daily (though not constant) pelvic pain, discomfort, and nausea that mimics morning sickness for over 3 months.

I’ve been through some pretty painful doctor’s visits and test check-ins where it was strongly suggested that I may be pregnant – and then getting those big fat negatives became a huge letdown.

I’ve never really wanted a period in and of itself, but I found myself jealous of women who have predictable cycles where their periods come every month like clockwork. My body couldn’t do that. Not even after 13 years of “training” on the Pill. I’m back to being 13/14 years old and wondering where my period is for months. But on top of that, now I have intermittent pain, discomfort, and nausea that prevent me from being a normal functioning adult.

Truth be told, the whole situation is making me frustrated and angry. So getting a diagnosis was a relief in the sense that I can name what I’m going through, but it led to even bigger questions and problems because neither one of those conditions has a clear diagnosis or a clear answer. My gynecologist literally told me to either get back on birth control pills or get pregnant. Kind of weird because birth control pills just mask some symptoms (although it positively prevents the growth of endometriosis if that’s what I have) and it will be pretty hard to get pregnant when I’m not ovulating. So I asked her about fertility and she told me not to worry about it because I’m “only 27”. Okay, I get it – logically I have at least 13 years left of “childbearing years” – but what about my life? What if raising children is what I wanted to be doing for the next 13+ years, not waiting to get started?

The day that Dayne and I went to see her, I was VERY resistant to going back on birth control pills because of my last experience with them, so I told her I didn’t want to go back on them and she told me to just monitor my (lack of a) cycle. We also discussed the Progesterone Challenge my previous gynecologist recommended, and she thought I should go through with it (with natural progesterone instead of the synthetic because it carries less risk of side effects) and then continue to do it every 3 months if I don’t get a period in between. That was that.

After we came home, that night was filled with arguing and LOTS of tears. One of the worst nights ever. Dayne called me out on being terrified that I might not be able to have children, and I am. It’s not that we wouldn’t try to adopt, but, from what I understand, that process can be excruciating (and incredibly expensive) and I know I’ll experience some emotional devastation if we’re not able to biologically have our own child(ren). Plus the fact that either route – trying to get pregnant naturally and then adding help, or adopting, could take years upon years. I thought we’d be happily off to starting our family within the next two.

I completed my Progesterone Challenge last week and I got a brief period a couple of days ago. The period was a relief but also a reminder – now we have to make some more difficult decisions based on a couple of inconclusive diagnoses. If I stay off of birth control, every month that I don’t get a period will be filled with anxiety and disappointment, let alone the pain and discomfort that I may inevitably continue to feel. If I go back on it, I will temporarily feel better but know that I am just “going through the motions” and waiting to go forward with another possibly very difficult 6 months (the GYN said I should be off of birth control for at least six months before trying to conceive, and I am currently in my 5th month) before I can truly move forward with what I want to be doing (trying to become a mother). And then there’s the possibility that we may start trying in the near future, and I could go see a reproductive endocrinologist/fertility doctor and feel like I’m moving on with my life.

The funny thing is that once you’re married, you have to make these decisions with somebody else who may disagree with you. I can’t just settle on what I think is best and run with it. We have to emotionally be in the same place to move forward. And that becomes a very difficult thing.


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A Tribute to 252

Yesterday, Dayne & I said goodbye to our apartment. Our itty-bitty, practically-on-top-of-the-Rt.-30-bypass, faces-the-garages-and-garbage-dump, beautiful, lovable, first-married apartment. The place I moved into mostly by myself (I dutifully carried my TV down the hill and up the stairs in the summer heat, wondering if I was going to make it). The place where I lived as a single gal for a month before we got married. The place where I had my bachelorette sleepover with some of my best girlfriends. The place Dayne tried to move his stuff into and it didn’t fit at all because I had already filled every nook & cranny with my stuff. The place where I got ready with my bridesmaids and out-of-town friends for my wedding. The place we came home to after our honeymoon. The place where we unwrapped all of our wedding gifts. The place where we fought, made up, loved each other, and lived life for the first nine & a half months of our marriage.

I took this from the car yesterday when we had finally loaded up the last of our stuff. Our apartment is the 2nd balcony up, to the left of the entrance. I came home to this, to my husband, everyday.

We both love our new house to pieces – we really do – but when we were locking up the apartment yesterday, we both got a little emotional (I, perhaps, got a lot emotional). It’s hard to leave memories behind, particularly if they are emotionally strong memories.

For me, it’s hard to think that someone else will be living there in that space, since it was the birthplace of the most amazing relationship I will ever have in my life. Dayne says we will make lots of memories in our new house, most likely more amazing memories than anything we’ve experienced thus far. He also says it’s our first real home. I agree with him. But I still think you will never get your first year of marriage back (although some people would argue that’s a good thing), and Apartment 252 held all the special memories of that time.

I’ll miss all the sunshine that streamed in, but I get to keep this guy 🙂