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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hawaii part one

I know you want to hear about Hawaii. Me too! I want to relive it! But before I can do that, I have to do this. Yes, it has SOMETHING to do with Hawaii...but not what you are looking for I'm sure.
It's no secret that I've got baby fever. It's been a hard last couple of months as friends come closer and closer to their due dates, others have the babies that they've prayed for for years. And here I sit. No baby in my tummy still.
I even went to Hawaii with the expectation that I would have one in me when I got home. We prayed and prayed for that. I even went to this fertility Rock to let the Hawaiian legend work it's magic on me. (Legend says if you sit on the rock and leave a gift, you will become pregnant. I sat. I left a gift. Joe and I even prayed up there, as I fought a severe crying attack.) But Monday morning when I awoke back to normal life and a day of work ahead, mother nature had shown up yet again. For the 25th month in a row to say HaHa! No baby for you!
This morning at church it kept coming up again! New little baby less than a month old, one seat in front of me. (Love this kid already, since her brothers are my favorite kids of all time!) After class a sweet woman who routinely gives me a hug and kiss pulled me over and said, "Is there a baby yet?" "no." "Awww....well you keep at it." We are. We will. SIGH. She told me someone she knew tried 13 years then had 2. I told her those are the stories I hate. I've only been waiting 2 years. I may have 11 ahead....not what I wanted to hear.
At the church luncheon later on, I was approached 2 more times. Once by the mother of a friend similarly afflicted. She wanted to meet me, since she'd heard about me, and tell me she was praying for us. And yet another older woman I don't know grabbed Joe and I to tell us she miscarried multiple times, was told she couldn't carry a child, adopted after 10 years of trying, the concieved in just over a year. She told us she loves her adopted kid as much as her "homegrown" one...there's no difference there. She said, " I know you want to carry your own child. It's not fun, but I know you want that. I did too. But I love my adopted daughter as much as I do my son. It's going to happen for you guys."
All 3 of these women had no idea the other had spoken to me. Nor did they know that this is something really weighing on me again. I get these glimmers of hope and feel like God is telling me something, but then I'm not pregnant. Again. It's hard to keep the glimmer alive. So what is God doing? How do I know? Our preacher told us today the scripture was about us. It speaks TO us. His final offering to the congregation was "Ask and you will recieve. Seek and it will be given to you. Knock and the door shall be opened to you." I've asked. I've seeked. I've knocked. Still no recieving.
SO...keep reading. Keep checking in. I promise the next one will be more upbeat. Hawaii part two: WHALE WATCHING

Thursday, March 19, 2009

a moment like this

There are few moments in life that are special and just yours. Of course there are the weddings, the baptisms, the day your child is born. But how many moments do you have that are just yours....just a "Wow...can this be real? and happening to me?" moment?

I can think of a couple that I've had in my life. One that was very memorable was a few years ago when I backpacked in Europe. I was in Paris and was strolling along the Seine, eating an apple, humming a tune. Then it hit me..."How did I get here?!? I am so lucky! Some people will never get to be in this amazing city and I've been here twice? And here I am 24, funded my own trip to Europe and strolling alone and content in the city of lights?!!?" It was a moment of true awe at this point of life I've arrived at.

Today I had another such moment. It was around 6pm here in Molokai, HI. Joe and I went down to the beach near the house. Joe took a book to read and I spent some time alone in the surf. I was sitting on a rock a couple of feet into the ocean, just taking in the endless water, the coconut grove behind me and the sparkles on the water. I was thinking about what an amazing God we have and how incredible his creations are...when it happened. A song came on my ipod. I little song called "A Moment Like This." Now, I love Kelly Clarkson, but this song is cheese. today it brought something new to me tho. Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this. Could this be the greatest love of all? I want to know that you will catch me when I fall.

God's love for me IS the greatest love of all. He WILL catch me when I fall. And some people wait a lifetime for moments like the one I was having with him. I thank God for those moments of pure contentment. Moments I'm lost in his love for me.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The flip side

Last weekend Joe and I attended the Zoe Conference. It was amazing. In all honesty, it was like stepping back into summer camp 10 years ago....okay, 15 years ago. :) The worship was inspiring. The classes were intense. And the speakers were captivating. Yes, I learned so much I didn't know or hadnt thought about. I spent Friday in a class on Teen sexuality. It was so eye opening and refreshing what was being said by this youth minister. I can't wait to share all he taught us with my youth minister and children's minister here in Arlington.
The title of the conference was FEARLESS. Awesome...let's be unafraid to share the good news! Unafraid to be Christians in this dark world! Bring it on! Oh, but wait. I'm afraid of something. REALLY afraid. Of something I thought I was beginning to be okay with. Something I have distanced myself from and allowed myself to creep back into normalcy from.
Friday night Jeff Walling was speaking about fear. He was telling the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abendego. The fiery furnace! And he talked specifically about how what they told Nebuchanezzar: About how they trust God to protect them, but even if he does not, we will still not bow down to you. "EVEN IF HE DOES NOT." That was the challenge. Not to just have faith and trust God in the struggle, but to still trust and be faithful EVEN IF HE DOES NOT do what you ask of him. Wow. What if he "DOES NOT?" We wrote our fears on a big poster that hung in the auditorium. Most people wrote things like "losing my job" or "outliving my family" or "having enough money for college," "my cancer returning," "something bad happening to my kids." Mine? "Not being able to have my own children." I admitted it. To 300+ people. I'm deathly afraid of it. I had to keep my mouth shut the rest of the evening for fear the tears would come. That night I had a dream that someone close to us (who shall remain nameless) announced her pregnancy. And I got really upset. Awoke upset too.
On Saturday there was a very VERY emotional 10 minutes. Emotional for everyone in attendance. One by one people came out with a peice of cardboard. On the front was their struggle. On the back, their triumph because of faith. For example:
Front:Diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago.
Back: Cancer free since 2005
Front: Smoked for 25 years
Back: Off nicotine for 4 years
Front: Thought drugs would claim my son
Back: Sober for 3 months+
You get the idea. But there were 2 that hurt. I mean physically hurt. Joe later said each flip was like getting punched in the chest. HARD.
One was a friend from my teen years. Her's said "Excited to see our first ultrasound. But 60% chance of downs syndrome." Back: "Baby Sophie born in December, healthy and normal."
and...Front: Baby Nathan died. Back: Now we are doubley blessed.
I started crying right away. After that session, I looked at Joe. Crying too. We had to leave the building. I couldn't contain it. I had no idea it was such a huge fear for me. I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in 12 years shortly after. We were talking and I told her what we've been thru this year. She told me she'd had 2 miscarriages also. And this dear, sweet girl hugged me and prayed with me, right in the middle of the bookstore. She even cried with me. It was amazingly comforting.
So, despite my smiley face and my apparent strength right now, there is still a very scared girl inside me. And while I'm very able to help others right now, in similar situations, I'm still in the middle of my struggle. And that's why it hurt so much to watch those cards flip. My flipside would be blank. Front: Slim to no chance of ever having kids, 2 miscarriages. Back: EMPTY
When will I have my flipside?
Dad bought me a CD and I listen to it constantly now. One song I love is "You Never Let Go." It's like I hear words for me everytime.
"Oh Lord you never let go. Thru every high and every low. Oh Lord you never let go, Lord you never let go of me. I can see a light in the darkness for the heart that holds on. And there will be end to these troubles, but until that day comes...still I will praise you. Still I will praise you. Lord you never let go of me!"