Several have asked me how I keep a positive attitude. I owe all of you, my online IF sisters, a huge debt of gratitude for your encouragment, bravery, humor and occasional “suck-it-up’s,” just when I need them. A lot of credit also goes to my family and friends, who keep me laughing and help me keep everything in perspective. But please believe me, there are days I plumb the depths of despair. I realize how long the road could be for us; that there are much deeper depths we could be required to plumb; and that despite it all, there may be no baby for us at the end of this effort. So, to keep my eye on the IF forest and avoid getting lost in the trees, I like to spend time in His presence, although not anywhere near as much as I should. To remedy that, Troy and I are looking for a church family to join, so that we can not only worship alone but also with other believers.
My journey through IF with the Lord is evolving, and it changes every day. I find new things that inspire me, touch me and teach me a much needed lesson. Sometimes on the internet, in prayer, on the radio, through friends, at church. I’ve tried to put down the things that have meant the most to me and what I am attempting to do each day in a more organized way here, which has been a wonderful help to me in clarifying my thoughts. So here goes, my thoughts on what keeps me hopeful and positive.
My Faith and My Infertility
“He has brought me here
when I did not want to come
for His own purpose.
I, too, will look up into his face and say,
Behold me! I am thy little handmaiden,
~ Hannah Hurnard, Hind’s Feet on High Places
1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us….
Col. 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful
1. I want to approach the Lord with humility, acknowledging His glory and ownership of me, as it is only through the gift of His Son that I am allowed entry into the Throne room of Grace
Ps 24:3-5 and 51:17
1 Sam 2:2
2. I rejoice in Him and Thank Him; often songs and hymns come to mind during this part of the prayer.
Ps 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Ps 113:1-4 and Ps 103
3. I ask forgiveness from sin
Ps 38:18; 21-22 and 103:12
James 4:7-8; 10
4. I ask first that His will be done in my life and I acknowledge that He knows my heart better than even I do.
Jer 10:23 and 29:11-13
Ps 119:116 and 139:1-2; 13-17
Ps. 38:9 & 15
5. I make my requests known to Him
1 Thess. 5:17-18 Pray without ceasing; giving thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Sam 1:15-20 ‘Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer, I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. …I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.
Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and went home. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hqannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying “Because I asked the Lord for him. ”
1 Sam 1:27 “I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.”
Ps. 55:1-2; 16-17; 22
6. I claim His promises
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Ps. 113: 9 “He settles the barren woman in her home as the mother of happy children. Praise the Lord.”
Deut. 28:11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity – in the fruit of your womb …
Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Eph. 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, … to Him be the glory …
Lessons I Have Learned While Dealing with IF:
1. Treasure my husband and my marriage over my desire for a child.
1 Sam 1:18 Elkanah her husband would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”
2. Don’t let bitterness get a foothold. Count my blessings every day. If my heart is grateful, I find contentment and peace instead of confusion and anger.
1 Tim 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
3. Keep reminding myself of the power of prayer shown in the Bible, from Hannah to Rebekah and Sarah.
Gen. 25:21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.
Gen. 20:17 So Abraham prayed unto God; and God healed … and they bore children.
And from this website: http://www.jrtalks.com/One_offs/1sam1v1to20.html I learned more about Hannah’s prayer.
Hannah’s prayer had four characteristics:
(a) It was sharply focused.
Hannah’s prayer was direct. She prayed to God to give her a son. Her request was unconditional.
(b) It brought her misery to the LORD.
She said in all honesty: “if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me….” Hannah told God how she felt. It doesn’t hurt to tell God when we are upset, disappointed or sad. Hannah felt better after her prayer. We read that: She went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. v18.
(c) It appealed to God’s grace.
Hannah did not complain to God. She didn’t say to God, “It’s not fair! All Hannah did was ask – the grace of God did the rest. God does not owe us anything. He sent us his own son to be our Saviour and Redeemer and we shall ever be in his debt for this indescribable gift. Whenever we petition God we must throw ourselves upon his grace. We should depend upon God’s goodness alone for answers to our prayers.
(d) It addressed her master.
Hannah was aware of the privileges of her relationship with God. She prayed: “If you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me…..” A faithful servant puts her Lord’s interest first but a good master acknowledges an obligation of care to his handmaid. Christians are not only servants of God but also his children. Jesus says: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Mt7v11.
4. From the wonderful website Shanan Trail at http://acceptancewithjoy.wordpress.com/2006/06/06/what-does-the-bible-teach-us-about-infertility I learned so much. I have sent her a request to print this from her website, so I may have to remove it later.
First, human value is not bestowed by one’s ability to reproduce. Human beings get their worth from the fact that we are created in God’s image and loved enough that Jesus died for us on the cross.
Be committed to fervent prayer concerning issues with infertility. It is God, not human technology that opens the womb.
Infertility will cause your countenance to fall! Genesis 6:7 teaches us that we are at risk of sinning when we are angry and hurt by the circumstance in our life. God told Cain, “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” How can we make sure we don’t follow Cain? Stay closely connected to your power source! “Lord, open my womb,” takes less than 2 seconds. The rest of your prayer should be focused on asking God to adjust your heart so that you can choose well. While struggling with infertility, pride and jealousy are especially bothersome sins. I am not more worthy of conceiving than a teenager, welfare mom, or a mom that already has a lot of children. In God’s economy, our worth is identical.
Don’t complain to others (not even your husband) about your lost dreams and sorrows. I am not talking about being dishonest with others. But there is a huge difference between stating, “We are praying for a baby,” and complaining. Complaining is grumbling and insinuating that God has not been fair. It makes others uncomfortable and, more importantly, misrepresents God. God is sufficient to carry your burdens; leave them at the cross.
Finally, learn to be content with the blessings God has given you already. Focus on what God has given you and how you can be a good steward of your time, talents and treasures to be a blessing to others.