Tuesday, December 9, 2008

As a Christian who is struggling with infertility, I sometimes feel lost/overwhelmed in my prayers and devotions with God (not saying the right things, being redundant, not reading the most relevant verses, etc.).

For both sides, are there specific prayers you said (or still say), devotions and/or bible verses/passages that you read to help each of you through your journey? I'm eager to hear Rachel's answer as it relates the most to our situation; however I also know that Melissa's responses will be helpful as well.

Rachels Answer:

I can totally understand how you feel. There were times I was so miserably upset ALL I COULD DO was wail out to God and beg for my pain to be done.

I know it sounds silly and a bit mellow dramatic, but it’s true. Through my sobs of tears I would just beg God to make it better, in someway, shape or form. Sometimes that’s ALL I could get out. Just a few measly words. But short or long in prayer, he HEARS us.

Other times I would find songs that I could really relate to. Songs that seems to help me stand stronger. For instance “Stand in the rain” by Superchick was a HUGE one for me. You should hear it if you haven’t. I felt like it was written for me. It seemed to give me strength through the pain.

“Blessed be your name” by Matt Redman was one that every time we sang it in church I would just break down and praise God. It just spoke to me.

Another was “praise you in this storm” by Casting Crowns.

For me I feel that God speaks to me through music. I often feel a connection to God when listening to music. Sometimes the quietness of life distracts me, my mind tends to wander, so sometimes having songs in the background would help me focus. I’m not really sure why.

Often times when I would blog, I would listen to a song that would seem to give me strength, well not the song, but God using the song.

As for verses I have TONS that I have pulled out for you. But one of the main ones that helped me was this one:

“Be Strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” Psalm 27.14. I have it on a plaque on my desk where I could see it every day. It was a constant reminder that this wasn’t a “fair/unfair” game. It wasn’t a game at all, I was simply waiting for God’s good and perfect timing.

And you know what? Now that my baby is here, I can see so many reasons why THIS is the perfect timing. I know that doesn’t make your current pain more bearable, but I truly believe you’ll look back one day and be able to say the same thing.

Ironically I never really paid attention to the first half of that verse which is NOW a great verse for this season in my life “I would have despaired had I not believed in the goodness of the LORD”.

It’s so true. If I hadn’t had God, what would I have had? Just bitterness and misery. With my faith, at least I had hope and a promise that I could be secure in. EVEN though I still had pain.

Another quote that I often came back to was by C.S. Lewis:

“We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

In life there is pain. But that does NOT MEAN God isn’t here. Sometimes I needed to separate out in my mind the difference between pain and doubting God’s plan for me.

Here are the verses I pulled out for you. Some maybe not seem relevant to you, but they all had some significance for me. And some I just needed to remind me that there was MORE TO LIFE than going through infertility.

Philippians 4:6 (New International Version)
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:13 (New International Version)
13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

1 Timothy 1:15 (New International Version)
15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

Psalm 62
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
1 My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Psalm 61
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. Of David.
1 Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
4 I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

Psalm 119:36 (New International Version)
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.

Psalm 119:50 (New International Version)
50 My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

1 Peter 2:24 (New International Version)
24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

1 Peter 4:12-13 (New International Version)
12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

1 Peter 5:5b (New International Version)
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
"God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble."

Romans 2:1 (New International Version)

God's Righteous Judgment
1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

Romans 4:20-21 (New International Version)
20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Romans 5:1-5 (New International Version)
Peace and Joy
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 8:18 (New International Version)
18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Romans 14:8 (New International Version)
8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 15:13 (New International Version)
13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 2:20-21 (New International Version)
20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

Ephesians 4
1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (New International Version)
22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Philippians 1:27 (New International Version)
27Whatever happens; conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel

Melissa's Answer:

Although I have not dealt with infertility, I have had my situations that have brought me to my knees. In tears, in anguish, in confusion and frustration, in fear and denial, in jealousy and bitterness. Through these times, when my mouth could not utter another single word in prayer, the thing God showed me was to sit.
In his presence

I can not even begin to express the healing power of silently sitting at his feet. Ready and willing to take whatever he will offer me b.c I know that what I have, what I am in living in at the moment will not do.

So, as you fight your way through this battle, please remember that even when you have nothing to give or anything to say…HE DOES.

Most of the verses I was going to share Rachel already has listed, but I have a few more:

James 1:2 Consider it PURE JOY, my brothers, whenever you face trails of any kind b.c you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance

Philippians 3:8 In consider EVERYTHING a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, again I say…REJOICE!!

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, WITH THANKSGIVING, present your request to God. And the PEACE of God that TRANSCENDS ALL UNDERSTANDING will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus

(all emphasis is mine)

I have begun to know that peace of God…the one that makes NO SENSE what so ever to the human mind….and it started at sitting still in his presence.


Kristin said...

You guys are both amazing - thank you for cotinuing to share your faith with others! I am so blessed by you both!

Rebekah said...

Thank you or all the verses. It is such a great reminder that HE is in control!

Paige said...

Here are some other bits that i've held on to. We are reading "so you want to be like Christ" by Chuck Swindoll very good read. "The next time you're feeling sorry for yourself, pause long enough to compare your situation to His"

One part talks about surrenduring things like our plans and releasing our grip on things we own or want. He says that we have become so accustomed to carrying a great weight that releasign it will naturally upset our balance but when we release it we are sharing in His experience because he right there with us WITHIN us urging us to trust Him, to believe in Him that He is both able and willing to care for us. One statement he makes is this: "Surrender results in surprises we would never otherwise experience and the greater the struggle to surrender, the greater the surprise."

Oh to be wrapped up in His love.

Barbara said...

I have never heard the quote by C.S. Lewis it is so true and powerful to think about.

And I think sitting silently and waiting for God to speak is the most important thing we can do in any circumstance.

kim_brough said...

"Be Strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” Psalm 27.14. I have it on a plaque on my desk where I could see it every day. It was a constant reminder that this wasn’t a “fair/unfair” game. It wasn’t a game at all, I was simply waiting for God’s good and perfect timing."

I am going to use this verse for my situation in waiting on a husband. Sometimes I get discouraged b/c I hear about all the medical interventions people can use to get pg. There isn't anything one can do to find a husband but prepare yourself to be a wife and wait. Ugh.

Like the fertiles vs. the infertiles, it is easy to play to married vs. single game. Why does she get to get married when she x, y, and z's. It is a comforting thought to know that it is NOT a game, but I am waiting on the perfect timing in our Soverign Lord.