… be strong & courageous

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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

As we grow in wisdom, we learn that being strong and courageous can sometimes mean sitting still….. Praying…. And, waiting. Being quiet. Trusting God while He works.

We recognize that being strong and courageous in Christ is completely different than being strong and courageous in the ways our culture defines strength and courage.

It’s counter-cultural. It’s not ego driven. It is not self satisfying.

Sometimes showing strength & courage means standing up and defending ourselves and others, but never at the cost of another.

Tearing someone down doesn’t make you strong.

Neither does holding your tongue “to keep peace” when someone or their cause needs defending against a larger entity or when it means going against what’s popular. There are times when it’s much wiser to remain quiet, which takes a strength all it’s own, but we can trust that wisdom will tell us what battles are worth fighting with who and when.

Getting our little one has been a fight from the very start, but I have learned that some battles are best fought on my knees. Praying and pleading.

For my baby. My family. Their family. And, for whatever circumstances wherever they may be experiencing.

One of my friends called her family her adopted child’s Plan B family. I never thought of it that way but how true it is.

It is so true that God doesn’t desire families to be broken and children to be removed from their homes.

It’s true that God doesn’t want His children living with life long soul aches because they can’t raise their children comfortably themselves.

But, redemption stories are also true. How God can mend all of our broken hearts. How He can comfort our sorrows and turn our pains into opportunities that birth our greatest joys, opportunities for us to testify to His goodness & glorify His name.

How these three or four separate entities can find peace and comfort in our Savior. The One, besides the baby, that unites us forever.

It’s absolute truth that our Plan B story written by God is better than any top tier, Plan A story that could ever be written by anyone or any cohesive group of people.

I think about how our Savior wasn’t God’s first, second, or even third choice when deciding how to bring His people back to Him…….. But, because of our sinful nature, His last option was the greatest option.

I have wanted to give up. To say “this just may not be for us…” but I know that it’s God’s desire for us to care for a baby who is either unwanted or just cannot remain with their birth family for whatever reason.

And, I can’t walk away from that.

I’d prefer to wait in the balance knowing I’m doing God’s will than to walk away and experience temporary “peace” that will never truly be satisfying because of how the Holy Spirit will nag me and forever tap on my shoulder reminding me of what could have been and pushing me to obey anyway.

I’m excited about the next steps in our process…….

This week, I’ll be working on gathering our pictures so they’ll be ready to go in the next few weeks!

I’m excited and literally sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation about what God is going to do over the next few months! I truly believe that He is going to do something amazing through our lives and I am so ready for it!!

He commands to not fear or be discouraged. No matter what the circumstances or what you face, The Lord YOUR God is with you wherever you may go.

His presence is more valuable than anything we could ever purchase to protect us. Or, whatever comforts we feel could make us feel better.

…. Here’s to a strength, peace, & courage that could only come from The Lord!

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… out of the darkness

One of the hardest yet most encouraging parts of this journey is watching so many others come into mother/parenthood. One of the toughest assumptions to battle that is connected with dealing with this is that we, infertiles, are angry at or jealous of the individual. Yes, I’m sure there are some women who can lash out but our issues, at their core, are not with you mamas…. but, rather with the battles that are (literally) within us – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
I am not one of those women and although this post is very candid, it is about my growth rather than another’s blessings.

I’ve said before that this is a tough life. Very hard. Very isolating. Very dark. At times, seemingly hopeless……. Especially during “baby season” and when it seems as if every time you log onto Facebook or run into friends, there is a plethora of  amazing news to share.

It’s during these times, we tend to go to “that place”. And, if you just so happen to be on your cycle during the time of announcements or during a “moment”, it’s a double whammy and the depth of that darkness is even deeper.

I went to that dark place last week. While watching the new Private Practice episode where Charlotte is angry and beside herself because she is pregnant with triplets…  after logging onto Facebook on one of “those” days where everyone has an annoucement. After coming down from a rough day.

I went there. It’s a place that pulls you in no matter how hard to try. Broken hearts are virtually impossible to escape.

I cried. Thomas came home and had that look on his face when he saw the look I had on my face. Thankfully, he knows and just let me be. Which is what I needed. I cried myself to sleep and woke up with next day willing myself to move forward.

The funny/strange part is that I woke up repeating “.. out the of the darkness that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul..” from Invictus
and after I got that in/out of my system, I moved on to singing Isreal Houghton’s “Everywhere That I Go”, then remebered Genesis 16:13 and thanked God for being “.. the God who sees me…”.

In this life it is soooo easy to forget the truths of God, to get caught up in the now, and overwhelmed with the issues of life. We forget that we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for and that we have someone with us who has paved our way before the beginning of time, who is with us now, and who thinks more of us than we can imagine. He sees us, our every moment, and catches every tear. He knows our deepest desires and has felt every hurt. He is with us. And, thankfully, He allows us to abide in Him, as well.

He is the light shining through the darkness giving us hope, anchoring our souls, and giving us a peace and a comfort (in the midst of circumstance) that cannot be understood.

…. He sees me. And, that is enough.

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… the Christian’s attitude towards the enemy


…. calls for praying for your enemies.
… calls for doing good to those who hate you.
… calls for blessing those who curse you.
… calls for praying for those who mistreat you.
… still calls for seeing them as more important than yourself.
… still requires you to love them as Christ loves you.
… still requires you to give to and serve them.
… still requires you to treat them as you want to be treated.
… still requires you do good and love while expecting nothing in return.
… still requires you to be merciful towards them.
(Luke 6:23-36)

This sounds insane when someone is literally plotting and scheming against you…… It seems unfair. It seems pointless. It seems weak. It seems as if you’re leaving yourself open for that much more for mistreatment. And, you quite possibly are. But, that’s the world’s view.

The Biblical world view understands that you aren’t doing these things for nothing. All of this effort and self denial isn’t in vain. You’re sacrificing your ego and selfish desires for the glory of God. So that God can be seen through you and impact a nasty situation and turn it around for the better. It’s a matter of faith. Faith in action. Believing and trusting God for the outcome.

When you believe that you are a child of God and trust that you are in His care, that He will not allow any weapon formed against you to prosper, or for you to be defeated – it’s a lot easier to trust Him in the darkness. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Things keep getting worse….. But, God’s child is never defeated.

I’ve never really had an enemy before. Never had anyone to really plot and scheme against me. To try to ruin me and tear me down. BUT. There’s a first for everything and thank God for discernment and wisdom. He keeps opening my eyes to new ways to handle these situations. New ways to overcome. Continues bringing people/ lessons to me that only give me more wisdom in dealing with the situation. I haven’t been defeated yet even when the attacks continue to get bolder and bolder. I thank God for the opportunity to grow closer to Him and for Him to be seen through me. I pray that I continue to handle the situation in a way that pleases, honors, and glorifies Him.

… sometimes. The Christian is called to fight. IN JESUS’ NAME.

COME WITH IT AND SAY IT WIT YA CHEST.
I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. I’m standing firm on the promises of God and come what may, I’m WILL be okay.
While your issues/concerns may have some legitamacy to them…. However, the way you’re going about it is going to have you falling in the ditch you digging for me.  And, that’s not a threat…. it’s a promise. God’s promise. He says He will make my enemies my footstools.He says, “… thru Him I will ALWAYS be victorious”. For me to be victorious, the person on the other side must be on the losing end.

Trust me when I say, I’m praying for your growth and maturity. I’m praying for your life and your future. I want the best for you.  I don’t want to be your friend but I have nothing but God’s love for you. As you’ve seen, no matter what you do I’m always kind and loving towards you and at peace with you.

…… here’s to the lion who’s not backing down from a fight…… and to the lamb who comes in peace before the lion (and after) the lion praying for and loving our enemies.

 

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