Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


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Still Home, Sweet Home–For Now

Do you know anyone in Katy looking for a really nice house?

You’d think I wouldn’t be surprised when God does the unexpected. But I always am.

So, we’re not moving. Not yet, anyway. The day after I wrote my last post, the buyers decided to back out of the contract. They didn’t give any concrete reasons, and they didn’t have to. I figure it’s because God knew that we wouldn’t be able to get it together to move by the end of the month, so he took that pressure away.

At first, it was quite a shock to us. And I was so worried DH would be mad at me! It’s his commute, after all, that won’t be getting cut by 2/3 at the end of September. He texted me Friday morning and said, “Well, your prayers were answered. The buyers backed out.”

I thought he was joking.

I didn’t technically pray that this would happen. But I guess I made it pretty clear to God that I was hoping it would; shoot, I made that clear to anyone who reads my little blog.

The sudden change in our circumstances was unexpected. And now our house is back on the market–which brings its own little set of joys to our daily routine (like hiding our toothbrushes every morning and constantly mopping after the dogs come in the house, and impromptu study sessions at Starbucks because I have to leave my house on short notice). But once the shock of their decision wore off, both DH and I were feeling really at peace about what had happened.

And he isn’t mad at me.

Current plan: The house will stay on the market through the end of September. At that point, we’ll pull it off for the rest of the year and try again early in the spring after the baby is born. I don’t want to move 7-plus months pregnant while also trying to prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas. That said, I don’t actually want to move with an infant either.

I know God’s timing is perfect and he’s got this. And I am praying that he will bring the right people to our neighborhood at the right time. I hope whoever he brings will love this house and our neighbors and be a positive influence in the community. And I hope that when he brings people, there will be a house for us in the right place, too. In the meantime, maybe we’ll be here when the pomegranites ripen and the limes are ready to be picked from our baby fruit garden. There’s something to look forward to!

Pomegranites, Limes, Blackberries and Blueberries . . . oh my

And I get another chance to trust him and wait on him, which is good, because I was clearly botching that last opportunity.

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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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Awkward Infertility Conversations

About a month ago we started attending Sunday school at a new church in an effort to build community here in Katy. So we’ve been doing double duty. Early church at our church home, Sunday school at a church down the road. I know this is weird. But it works for us.

The first class we visited turned out to be doing a parenting module (seriously?), but the second week we found a great fit. And now it’s been about a month and we’re already feeling more connected than we felt after a year without Sunday school. Crazy.

I’m really quite close-mouthed about infertility. I don’t know that I would be if it weren’t so important to DH that we don’t really tell people. Especially while so much is still up in the air. And I can’t blame him for wanting this to be private. It is a deeply private and personal struggle and it’s hard to open up to people who often don’t understand. 

The Sunday school does this thing called “dinners of six” every quarter. It’s an opportunity for three couples to share a meal together and fellowship. A way for people to get to know each other better in the event that they haven’t already developed friendships outside of class. So we signed up to go and enjoyed a great meal and, well, interesting fellowship Friday night.

The hosts are parents of a seven-month old. He’s adorable and about the same age as our godson. The other couple who came is expecting. And there we were. The longest married (we beat the hosts by two months) and the furthest from becoming parents.

This was not a problem until shortly after we sat down to dinner. The boys kind of talked together and so did the girls. The other couple who was there already knew our hosts pretty well, so DH and I were kind of in the spotlight. The hostess asked a bunch of questions. In her defense, she was trying to get to know us better. I don’t think she anticipated what was going to happen. And I did okay.

Hostess: Do you and [DH] want to have children?

Me: Yes.

Hostess: How many?

Me: I guess we’ll see.

Hostess: What’s your timeline?

[And here’s where I gave myself away]

Me: Sometimes things aren’t that straightforward.

[In my opinion, and I could be wrong, the appropriate response to this is “oh” and a polite change of subject.]

Hostess: Oh. Are you having trouble?

[Am I going to lie to my new Sunday school friends?]

Me: Yes.

Hostess: How bad?

Me: We’re seeing doctors.

Ultimately I shared that we’re expecting to undergo more invasive fertility treatments this winter.

She asked whether I’d had any hormone problems or weird periods or anything. I answered her questions as best I could while trying not to give everything away. [At one point she straight up said: “What’s your diagnosis?” I said, “I can’t tell you that.” She took it well and apologized for asking.] She said she had PCOS and endometriosis and was told she’d never have children before she became pregnant. That she understood. That her sister-in-law had undergone several cycles of IVF resulting in her two nieces, with two more eggs frozen for their next round. The other woman at the table spoke eloquently about the miscarriage she’d suffered prior to her current pregnancy and the continual nagging fear she has that something will happen to this baby, too (she’s 15 weeks). 

I have mixed feelings about this conversation. I would prefer to share about our infertility struggles on my terms and with the people I want to tell. I mean, most of the people in our small group (which has been meeting for about six months) don’t even know what we’re going through. But it was interesting to see that both of these women, who appear to be fertile without any question, have had their own infertility/miscarriage experiences, fears, and difficulties.

I know infertility is said to affect one in eight couples in the United States (or sometimes one in six, depending on what you read). But it usually doesn’t feel that common. Friday night’s conversation revealed that it is really more common than what we see. We hide it–most of us, anyway–for our own protection, out of self-preservation. Both of these women understood a part of what we’re going through. Neither had needed fertility treatments, but neither said those stupid things we all hate to hear: just believe, just adopt, God has a plan, and so forth.

Being open and talking about this–even though I wouldn’t have chosen to bring it up–did build intimacy with this woman quickly. She really is sweet and has a heart for people. She wants to be in fellowship in a deep way–even if that means taking conversations where social norms would dictate that they shouldn’t go.

Also, I like the idea that once I have a child, to the world I’ll be just your average fertile person. Some people will know what it took to get there, but most people won’t. I hope I can still comfort people then who are where I am now. But I also look forward to the normalcy that might come with being a parent. I look forward to being able to have mommy talks, to compare notes with the other parents, to learn from them and contribute to what they know. 

I like feeling like there’s a light at the end of this tunnel.


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God’s Timing

Our church offers a mentorship program for women. It’s a six-month deal. You fill out a little card and they pray over you and match you with someone for six months of weekly meetings.

My mentor is wonderful. She’s been through infertility–though her experience was different. And she tells me I’m supposed to talk and she will listen. And she gives me advice. Godly advice.

We meet on Tuesdays at Starbucks near my house. I get a green tea latte. She gets green tea.

Recently, she said something that has changed my perspective.

She said, “You know this already, but this story isn’t just about you and [DH]. It’s about your future children and their spouses. And their children, and the circumstances that need to fit together.”

I didn’t know that already. That thought hadn’t crossed my mind.

And I thought about Sarah and Abraham waiting decades for the fulfillment of a promise. And who knows if they weren’t waiting until Rebecca was about to be born?

She is so right. There are millions of different things that need to come together for our baby to meet up with the right people, to be in the right place, to do the right things.

And what feels like ages is really just the slow ticking by of months. Of weeks. But one week might be the difference between meeting the love of his life and not. One month might be the difference between graduating high school at the right time or not. Who can know but God?

So now we pray a little differently. We pray “in Your timing” and mean it. And we are praying for the circumstances to come together, too.

Such peace for us from one little thought.