Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


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God Decided How Hard the Winds Should Blow

Ick. I hate infertility. I’m over it.

Yesterday, as my period came (figures it would come the day before my scheduled annual “women’s visit,” but whatever) I just felt done. I’m tired of this. Tired of the monthly reminder that we’re still not pregnant. Tired of still not being pregnant.

I’d been doing so well. And I can’t really put my finger on what’s changed. Maybe it’s been a slow descent into that nagging unsettledness, that feeling of discontent.

The peace I’ve talked about isn’t gone. But maybe it’s on vacation. Or getting ready to head out if I don’t stop it.

And it’s probably hormones talking. But the last few months I’d really been okay. My period came and went and I was largely unfazed. Yesterday was ennui. Today it’s cramps and no real respite from the general blues I’m feeling.

So that’s where I am everybody. Trying to remember that God is good. That he loves me. That he does have a plan and that he gave me the desire for children for a reason.

In the Old Testament part of my Bible reading today I’m in Job. Maybe it’s Job’s fault. It probably doesn’t help that my mornings have started out with a depressing story for the last several days. But I digress…

This verse stood out to me this morning (Job is speaking):

“[God] decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall.” (Job 28:25)

I’ve been feeling like I’m done with infertility. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown a lot. Aren’t I finished learning and growing through this trial yet?

But that’s for God. God decides how hard the winds should blow.

View from Maya Beach, Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand

View from Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Boat anchored in Maya Bay, Thailand

Entering Maya Bay, Thailand

And he will decide when the winds will cease.

“Then [Jesus] got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’

He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?‘ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and waves obey him!'” (Matthew 8:23-27)

Surely the boat would have survived the storm if Jesus had done nothing. He had nothing to fear and was happy to sleep through the turmoil. But in his mercy, he calmed the storm so the disciples would be at peace.

God will not harm me. I can weather the storm because he won’t let the waves and the winds overpower me. But I can turn to him and lean on him and trust in him. And soon the storm of discontent will pass. And maybe one day, the storm of infertility will also be behind me.

One day. But maybe not today. Maybe today is a day for moping, a day for ibuprofen, a day for heating pads. Sigh.

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And There Was Light: Choosing God

Sometimes God prevents things in our lives that he knows would pull our hearts away from him. I heard this and thought: Lord, would a baby do that? Would I put my baby over you?

The sad truth is, I don’t know. I’d like to think I wouldn’t. I think dealing with infertility makes it more likely that I will put any future children on a pedestal, though. But maybe being infertile also gives perspective. And I know I have some time to think about this and make sure that I won’t have a child I value more than God.

This realization led to a difficult prayer. Perhaps the most difficult prayer I’ve prayed. I meant it, though. Every word. And I still do:

Lord, if having a child would draw my heart away from you or cause me to delight in the baby or pregnancy or any aspect of it more than I delight in you–let me continue to be infertile. Let me know that my relationship with you really is enough. I don’t need anything else. And if you will for me to be childless or to not have biological children with my husband, or anything along those lines, let me trust that your will is good and perfect. Help me believe and know in my innermost being that you are all-sufficient for me. That I need nothing but you in my life.

I want to delight in the Lord. Oh how I want him to be my delight. I want to seek his face. I want to be a woman after God’s heart!

I think about Paul and his conversion experience. This man was a Pharisee. Legalistic as they come. He knew the law forward and backward, but when the Messiah came he missed it. His response to what he heard about Jesus? Kill the believers. Stop the heresy.

And then, one day, on his way to Damascus, Paul was struck by a blinding light, and Jesus spoke.

There had to be something so beautiful, so compelling about Jesus. Paul saw it that day–though in seeing he became physically blind for a time. He saw something that was glorious and wonderful and amazing enough that he turned completely from what he had been, from what he was doing, from what he wanted to do with his life. He turned his life completely to serving God and Christ. He turned his life completely to having a relationship with Jesus and to helping others know his savior.

I submit that you don’t do a 180 like that in life without good reason.

What a reminder that knowing Jesus is worth everything. Choosing anything over that relationship with my heavenly Father, with my Savior–that’s utter foolishness. I repent, Lord, for I have done that in the past. And I pray that I will live with God supreme in my life. My God. My Great God.

The God who gave us light.

Sunrise over the Mekong

Sunrise over the Mekong, Chiang Khong, Thailand

As an aside: this is not to say that I think our infertility is necessarily God’s will for my life–or for anyone’s. Some will disagree with me on this, but I just don’t believe that God’s will is always done. I believe a lot of the pain and suffering that we experience in this world is a consequence of the fall. I believe the sins of man generally have a negative effect on us personally. (I’ve written about this before.)

But I also believe that God will make even infertility something for our good. I’m starting to see the ways he is working it for our good even now.


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Thoughts of Adopting

I’m back. We did our two weeks in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. We did some really fun things and saw some beautiful things. And I’m so glad to be back and able to sleep in my own bed.

For some reason the trip brought up thoughts of adoption. I don’t know if it’s because Angelina Jolie’s first child, Maddox, was adopted from Cambodia (I didn’t know that until we were there), or because the children we saw were so adorable, or something else. DH and I had always talked about adoption, you know, before we found out we couldn’t procreate naturally, in the naive, after we’re done having pregnancies, maybe we’ll adopt some more kids kind of way. And I looked into it briefly when we first found out we were dealing with infertility. But when I really think about adopting, I find it frightens me. What if our kids never feel like they’re ours? Does adoption mean I’ll always¬†feel¬†infertile?

We had the opportunity a while ago to see Mark Schultz in concert in our neighborhood. I enjoy his music and we stood in the rain to watch him play. It was great, until he started talking about his life. He was adopted. And he clearly loves his adoptive parents. But he was talking about how he had always wanted to meet a blood relative. He always wanted to meet someone who was physically related to him. And then he and his wife had their first child. And when that child smiled for the first time, it was his smile. And he was so excited because he had finally met a blood relative.

It’s supposed to be a happy story. And I think I may have been able to share his joy a little better if I heard it today, or last week. But I was very weak then. We were in so much pain and it was all right there on the surface. Just the mention of a baby would make me feel sad and small and not whole. That feeling isn’t totally gone, of course. It still resurfaces from time to time. But I’m a little less sensitive to it today than I was a few months ago.

All I could think of when he was telling this story was that if we adopted we would always be infertile. And that our children would always feel like they missed out on something.

Of course, the case for adopting isn’t helped when you look at the uncertainty and the expense compared with doing IVF. And I still don’t really feel like adoption is a way to replace having children naturally or even through ART. I think some people are called to adopt. And some people have a heart for orphans and will adopt and thereby add to their families. And I think it’s wonderful to adopt a child. A truly wonderful calling. But I wouldn’t want that to be a second-choice plan–I wouldn’t want my children to feel like they were a second-choice plan.

Our hearts could change tomorrow; we could find one day that adopting is the right step for us, the first choice. And maybe a seed has been planted for adoption in our hearts, though it has not yet matured. Right now, choosing adoption would be some kind of compromise. It wouldn’t be right for the child or for us. And I know that.

But I looked at the children around us on our trip and started to wonder . . .