Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


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It’s a Boy!

In my last post I promised a series on relationships, starting with how we can grow in our relationship with God.

That was one month ago. Yikes.

Now, in my defense, I was in fact working on the first post for the series one week later. I have a half-written draft sitting in my account. And I do intend to finish it and get the series going. But I got distracted and had to stop in the middle of writing because I went into labor.

And I can’t believe it’s taken me three weeks to get this up here, but:

Introducing Penn!

8 lbs., 2 oz, and 20.25″ long. Well, he’s bigger now, but that’s what he was at birth on Jan. 22 at 7:57 a.m.

Our little boy.

Our miracle gift from God.

05-andrew-5

I was extremely blessed to be able to have a natural delivery and a relatively short labor. We are absolutely over the moon in love with this little boy!

I hope to get my series going here soon, but find it’s difficult to get much done these days. I’ve been a bit preoccupied, I guess. I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually.

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Fear: An Enemy to Keep Fighting

**This post is very much pregnancy related.***

Fear.

Never a friend.

But always sneaking up on you, no matter how many times you say, no thanks. You’re not welcome here.

Recognizing and fighting fear became a big lesson for me as we were going through infertility treatments and prayers and whys and what-ifs. I learned a lot about this enemy and I wanted it out of my life for good. But it somehow keeps sneaking back in.

Yesterday, when the baby wasn’t moving like normal, I let it in a little. I knew it was better not to be afraid, but it was a fight to push fear back. Have you been there?

I know I still have a lot of growing to do in eliminating fear and its control in my life. But I’ve learned a little, and I tried to put what I have learned into practice. I prayed. I worried and feared that something may be terribly wrong with the baby, but I prayed.

“There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear.” (I John 4:18a)

That verse continues: “For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

God doesn’t punish us. Right?

But bad things happen. They do. I’ve seen plenty. I’m sure we all have. I’ve experienced more than enough, but I’m sure I will experience still more. So how do we go from there to trusting that the bad things that happen can be used for good? Or that the terrible things in our lives can be part of God’s perfect will for us?

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21: any wonder why we praise this man’s faith?)

And I thought about it. What if the Lord was taking away this prayed for baby? I know it sounds terrible and gruesome and now, in the light of day and on the other side of this, it’s harder to imagine than it was yesterday morning. But what if? What if the Lord wanted this child to bypass the evils of this world? What if the Lord wanted to postpone our meeting until we might be reunited in heaven? What if he did? Could I face it?

Could I trust that it was to be used for my good?

Could I trust God in the face of that kind of loss?

I prayed that I would be able to. I prayed for trust and faith in him. And I prayed that our baby was okay. And I prayed that if he did in fact call our baby to himself right then that I would keep praying.

I can’t imagine what that would have been like or what that would have looked like. And I thank God that this is not where things are right now. Our baby is fine. Hours at the hospital yesterday hooked up to fetal monitors have determined that the baby is fine. But there was that moment. And in that moment, I let fear sneak in a little more than I should have, but a little less than I would have in the past.

I am growing. But still not completely perfected in love. And still with much to learn.

And I am praising God for the miracle of life that is still alive in me. I am overwhelmed by his mercy toward us and thankful for his grace.

And praying that these next few weeks will go smoothly, that we’ll meet our child soon and on this side of heaven. And that God will continue to grow us in wisdom and to perfect us in love. Because if we let the fear in–it’s too much. There are too many ways this could all go wrong. Yesterday was such a poignant reminder. And a good reminder, also, that this baby is not mine, but the Lord’s. May the Lord use our child for his purposes and to do his perfect will.

I John 4:18


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Not Left Behind After All

One of the things about infertility that made me saddest was the feeling I was being left behind in some way. My friends were getting pregnant and having babies all around me, and I just knew that when it was finally my turn, they’d all be past that stage and doing other things.

My best friend growing up just had a baby a couple of weeks ago. When she told me she was pregnant, I was sad. Not because she was pregnant. I was honestly happy for her and her husband. I just never expected that she would be pregnant before me. I was sad that even she was leaving me behind. And when we found out she was expecting we hadn’t even started treatments.

I never was a particularly emotional person. I don’t often cry. Well, I cried a lot at the beginning of this whole infertility journey, but then it kind of tapered off and I got back to being the fairly stoic version of me that I am most accustomed to being–albeit a little more aware, a little more open to other’s needs. But I remember when I went in to the doctor’s office that month. I was feeling like, this just has to work. Because I so wanted my child to be close enough in age with hers that they would be friends. I cried. It was so embarrassing.

And we didn’t get pregnant that month.

Oh! I just remember feeling so much pressure to get pregnant a.s.a.p. I had watched so many of my other friends have first children. And then second children. Even third children. But, while I felt I was falling further and further behind, it wasn’t until this particular friend was expecting that I felt this sense of urgency. Like I just couldn’t take it if our child was too far behind hers.

And she was so great. She kept telling me that little kids don’t necessarily care how close in  age they are. She reminded me that she would play with my little brothers on occasion if I wasn’t available–and the closest one to me was three years younger than us. She assured me that our children would be like family and so they would have to get along and play together. They just would. It would be fine.

And I knew she was right. And I knew God’s timing is perfect. And I knew I shouldn’t worry. But it was still tough.

And our child will be about six months younger than hers. That’s all. Just six months! Not such a big difference in age at all. I didn’t deserve that blessing. But I am so grateful for it.

God has really provided for me. I thought I’d be pregnant alone by the time it came to me, but instead, he has placed so many friends around me who are expecting their first–a few of whom are expecting children within a month or two of ours. A dear friend in our small group is due eight days after me! Eight days! Talk about going through pregnancy with someone.

Incidentally, back in December, this friend had said to me, “I really feel like God has been telling me that we will have children together.”

I laughed and said something like, “Well get going already then!”

And sure enough–we are.

Pregnant Together

I’m so grateful. In the middle of infertility, when everything seems hopeless, I feared being left behind. But God’s timing is perfect. And he knows why we need to wait and how long. And even though I don’t think I really resolved this fear of being pregnant alone and too late to have community or support, God addressed it by blessing me abundantly. He made sure I wouldn’t be in this alone. He put other women in my life to go through this with me. I wasn’t left behind after all.

What a good God we serve! That he would reward us when we deserve no reward. That he would bless us with things we didn’t even articulate. That he would restore and redeem us in the ways that are best for us. I am so grateful.

And I hope that those of you waiting will be encouraged to know that God will take care of your needs in ways you may not have anticipated. I believe that. That may look different for everyone, but he will surely bless you through your trials in the best way for you. How he loves us!


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Finding Words

I’ve been trying to find the perfect words for this post, but I give up. The fact is, I’m pregnant. And, I’m over-the-moon excited that we’re going to have a little one in our home sometime in January.

But that’s not the full story. The full story includes that I’m still heartbroken for those of you dear ones still waiting. I’m praying for you. I’m waiting with you. I’m eager for you to experience your little miracles and your daily joys and your resolution in this trial.

The full story includes that it’s weird being infertile and pregnant. Like I don’t have any more street cred. Like the journey’s over (for now). Like I can’t know anymore what it’s like to be in the waiting room or going through treatments. And some of that is true. I know–barring a miracle–we’ll be going through treatments again someday, but that isn’t going to keep me from enjoying this pregnancy, this baby, this miracle growing inside me. I know what we’ve been through thus far was anything but trivial, and that the experiences we’ve had are not going to leave me. I know what it’s like to spend month after month hoping and finding those hopes dashed–but I also know that it’s worth it. That we’ve gotten there. That we’re making it through.

And I know what it feels like to be waiting. And waiting. I pray you’ll be on the other end of that soon.

As slow as all the waiting drags by, I thought I’d have time to enjoy pregnancy. To be happy and gloriously pregnant. But time switched to fast forward. And the first trimester is over before you’ve had a chance to fully realize that it’s started. And as you stare at 14 weeks–wasn’t it just 13 weeks yesterday?– you realize, you’re never going to get everything done. And a human being is coming. And that human will need things and time and love and–wow. I thought I had learned a lot in the waiting. Yet I find myself feeling completely unprepared. Inadequate. Unready as this miracle I want nothing more than to relish keeps speeding by.

Wishing a little fast-forwarding to all of you waiting. And that you’ll be here with me, soon, holding our babies and praising God for yet another everyday–or extraordinary–miracle.