Back in the saddle…er, stirrups…again.

Our path back to our 2nd transfer was a bit of a wild one. I can’t even begin to remember all of it, not with all of the life that’s happened between then and now, but I thought it would be worth a bit of time to write about how I ended up back in the stirrups again. 😉

Our first transfer was the end of February; received our negative beta in early March. We took a few weeks to grieve & process, then began seriously discussing going back for our other two little ones. Sure, we were nervous…a little gun-shy…but our general thought was that a) they were already ours, b) we were ready to meet them & hopefully get pregnant & c) it was better to get on with it so that we would know one way or the other and could have the summer to make the necessary plans one way or the other.

The two main issues were coming up with the money for the second transfer and Chris’ job. He had been looking for a job for right at a year, knowing that his government contract job would be going away at some point in the near future. It turned out to be much sooner than we had planned, and at one point we had about 10 days notice of his job ending. He had a few interviews right around this time, but it was stressful, to say the least. Of course, in typical awesome timing, we were waiting to hear if he would have an extension on his job literally right as we were reaching our point of no-return with moving forward with the transfer. There were a lot of feelings…a lot of confusion & wanting to do what was right…but God answered some very specific questions with some very clear answers, so we forged ahead. Within days we had begun the shots and Chris had accepted a great new job. Oh yes, and we found out that the transfer would cost less than half of what it had the first time. {Don’t even ask me how…my only answer is God!}

My medicine regimen was much simpler the second time around…no lupron {the little stomach shots}, straight to estrogen shots every 3rd day, then progesterone once my lining was up to where it should be. We didn’t have any delays like last time, although my lining was barely at the 7 we needed it to be. {The architecture, however, looked beautiful…or so they told me. Weird, I know.} The shots weren’t terrible, I didn’t get as many knots as last time around.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we weren’t as open with telling others about this transfer. We didn’t lie if people asked, but didn’t offer it up so freely either. I put in to take a couple of days off of work, and before we knew it the big day had arrived.

Since we knew what to expect, the transfer itself was a pretty calm event. I didn’t drink as much water as last time, so there was no need for a bedpan. 😉 We didn’t have to wait as long before the procedure; we knew the drill. We were relieved to learn that both little ones had survived the thaw, although they did caution us that one of them had gotten a bit frosty. At the time of transfer the doctor assured us that both had grown well in the short amount of time since they were thawed, so we left with hearts full of hope for both little ones.

We enjoyed a quiet evening at home, and I spent the next day laying around. I definitely struggled with feeling more anxious and emotional {there was an unexpected cry fest because I wanted to take Huxley for a ride in the car but couldn’t get him in myself…ridiculous, I know} and we both struggled with opening our hearts fully to the process. Chris started his new job, we began to consider the logistics of moving. Life stayed busy, as it usually is for us…with the little ones never far from our minds or prayers.

As for the rest…well I’ve written about that. Like the others, we lost them somewhere in those nine days of waiting. And then it was baby shower time and Mother’s day and time to take down my classroom & prepare for the end of school. Life goes on I guess.

That’s the saddest part I think. Just like that, our life goes on…but without them, and without a hope of holding them here. But for grace it would all seem quite hopeless.

But for grace. It can be found in the most unexpected of places. When your feet are awkwardly propped in those awful stirrups. When the pregnancy test only shows one line. When your heart is broken. Sweet, precious grace is there for me in all.

Blessed am I.

 

Advertisements

A Graceful Waiting – Harvest Home.

Part 3 of “A Graceful Waiting” by Jan Frank is here…this really was a challenging and wonderful read. I’m planning on passing it on to a friend tomorrow and pray that it blesses and encourages her as it did for me.

****************************************************************************************

When Waiting Becomes Wisdom

*David Schroeder said, “When I am not sure which way I am to go, I look for the promise of life and the promise of God. I look for whatever seems to be the direction which promises the most life for others around me. When I find that, I follow it with all my heart. If it truly is the direction of God, it will be accompanied by signs of fulfillment. There will be evidence of fruit. If there is not, then I know I have made a mistake.”

When Waiting Becomes Wellsprings

*In my waiting seasons, I have tended to lose my joy. Sometimes it was missing for quite some time before I noticed, I was so busy “doing.” … I have discovered that the greatest joy is to be found in his presence, not in the resolution to a problem, the answer to a long-awaited prayer, or the end of a waiting season.

*Waiting, affliction, unanswered prayers, trials, and emotional shipwrecks are all the temporary storms that produce a deeper, more mature love for our Lord.

When Waiting Becomes Worship

*Waiting becomes worship when we are able by faith to grasp a small portion of God’s eternal plan. We “see” with faith eyes how his hand has worked in and through the circumstances of our lives, causing us to love him more.

*The word hope is often used interchangeably with wait in scripture. Dr. Ed Curtis says that “waiting in these scriptures implies an expectation of fulfillment – in other words, hope.”

****************************************************************************************

Gracefully waiting. Hopefully waiting.

Blessed am I.

A Graceful Waiting – God’s Winnowing Wind.

Part 2 from Jan Frank’s book “A Graceful Waiting” coming at ya!

****************************************************************************************************

When Waiting Brings Wrestling

*I was wrestling with emotions that were bigger than the circumstances warranted. I’ve discovered this is often the case. When our emotion are more intense then the situation demands, they are triggered by issues rooted in our past. God’s desire was that I not miss this deeper work of healing internal wounds because of my quick-fix mentality. I needed to be thrust into a time of wrestling with these issues; I needed to wrestle through a waiting season. … In doing this, we may find ourselves wrestling first with our circumstances and then with our emotions, wresting for comfort or control. Eventually we may realize we are wrestling to know God.

*How many times did Hannah pray over her condition? Was it the sixtieth or the six-hundredth prayer that God finally answered? Is there a formula for prayers that ensure God’s quick answer? We often ask ourselves such questions in an attempt to resolve what can only be trusted to God.

*Wrestling means we pour out our souls to the One who longs to be gracious and have compassion on us. It does not guarantee an immediate end to the waiting. It does promise to bring a deeper work inside us. {God} wants to teach you the peace your heart has longed for before the resolution comes.

*Giving up is often from exasperation and a sense of no hope. Surrender is a peaceful letting go that is surrounded by strength and confidence. … Wrestling is often the first stage of surrender. … Ask the Lord to lead you through your struggle to surrender, because, when you think about it, what you are really wrestling for is control.  … Why do we so persistently wrestle with God for control of the circumstances in our life? I don’ think most of us would really want control if he gave it to us. We do want to dictate outcomes and timetables, and prevent hardships – all without carrying the full weight of our decisions.

*It is God’s nearness and comfort in the midst of these hardships that brings peace, not the resolution of the situation.

*Eugene Patterson writes that we should not hesitate to put any Scripture passage under the searchlight of our disbelief. He contends that “the reasons many of us do not ardently believe in the gospel is that we have never given it a rigorous testing, thrown hard questions at it, faced it with our most prickly doubts.”

*Ben Patterson writes “To wait on God and to pray is to wrestle with bewilderment and perplexity. But it is God himself who brings on the bewilderment and perplexity. He does it that he might cause us to so encounter him and wrestle with him that we come to know him as we never have before. It is his way of making us come to know more deeply his goodness and mercy.”

*Wrestling brings us to a deepening of faith, a realization of our helplessness, and an awesome reverence for our God who knows our frailty and folly. Our capacity to love God and e loved by him is being expanded, deepened, and broadened. … As we wrestle in waiting we break away from complacency and enter into companionship. Grace-filled waiting is really not just waiting at all. It is about knowing God and becoming intimately acquainted with him as a Person and discovering the expansiveness of his redemption.

When Waiting Brings Weeping

*When we sow in tears, we are breaking up the hardened ground of our hearts and inviting God to sow seed which will reap eternal harvest. … “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:5

*Truly, Jesus was a God-man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Many of us pass through the place of mourning and weeping as we journey toward obedience to God. Jesus himself “learned obedience” {Hebrews 5:8} with anguish.

*Waiting and weeping go hand in hand. We might weep over our losses, our limitations, or our failings. We sometimes weep for joy even though our waiting time is not over.

*Waiting often forces us to face some of our own limitations. We can’t make things happen even when we try our hardest. The longer we wait, the more aware we become of our powerlessness. … I think God allows us to experience our own limitations so that we might turn to him and acknowledge his qualifications.

*We cannot truly weep for joy until we have wept for sorrow.

*As we set our hearts on God, our pain, suffering, and tears are transformed into refreshment and encouragement, not only for ourselves, but also for others.

When Waiting Brings Willingness

*David Runcorn {“A Center of Quiet”} writes “Having to wait involves submission.” … Waiting is an acknowledgement of our dependency. It exposes us to the illusion of our ‘control’ over our lives.

*Most of us struggle with waiting. If we have stepped out and done what we believe God has led us to do, we feel cheated or tricked when we don’t receive what we think will be secured by our obedience. Americans have been conditioned to expect immediate gratification. … We lack in our society, and even in the Christian community, what Eugene Patterson calls “a long obedience in the same direction.” He writes, “Perseverance does not mean ‘perfect.’ It means we keep going. We do not quit when we find that we are not yet mature and that there is a long journey still before us…Endurance is not a desperate hanging on, but a traveling from strength to strength.”

*The truth is, we can hear God, be obedient to his call, and still not see the fruit of our labor. That is where faith comes in. Waiting often brings us to peaceful acceptance, to willingness. Willingness is not a passive resignation, but active trust. We are willing not only to wait, but to examine our motives, to confess our sin, to step out in obedience, and to surrender our rights, in confidence.

*My inner apprehensions speak louder than words when it comes to trusting God with the unknown. … I’ve been unable to rest in God because I’ve not been sure I could trust him on my behalf. … My tendency was to run around frantically trying to resolve the dilemma myself, instead of trusting God’s goodness and his willingness to intervene. At the time, I thought God wasn’t willing to help fast enough, but now I understand that the issue was not about God’s willingness, but about my own.

*Oswald Chambers wrote, “Faith, by its very nature must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character has to be cleared in our own minds.” If we  have trouble trusting, obeying, surrendering, or waiting, it probably means we have not settled in our own hearts the truth about God’s true character and nature. I am convinced that those of us who desire to move on in God must face the discrepancy between our stated beliefs and the true state of our hearts.

*God loves us both by the things he gives and the things he withholds.

*David Runcorn writes, “Waiting sharpens desire. In fact it helps us to recognize where our real desires lie. It separates our passing enthusiasms from our true longings. It reveals to us both our shallowness and our depths. Waiting is a test of our love and longing.”

*Our obedience doesn’t always secure immediate resolution or guarantee a long-awaited answer to prayers. Our obedience evidences our love for the One whom we trust. In his book, “After the Spirit Comes”, Jack Taylor wrote, “We may not understand the proceedings, but then, we are not called to understand…only to obey…God will go to almost any extreme to get us in circumstances so as to discover that part of our ego yet uncrucified and expose it to the killing rays of Calvary…”

****************************************************************************************************

Blessed am I.

A Graceful Waiting – God’s Threshing Floor.

In the midst of all of this incessant writing about waiting, I’ve been reading a book about…wait for it…waiting! 😉

I saw a reference to this book last year on a blog somewhere, but it took me a while to track it down and to actually read it. Well, done and done.

Here are my notes from the first third of the book…

********************************************************************************************

“A Graceful Waiting” by Jan Frank

*As I read through familiar biblical accounts of waiting, I continually came to the conclusion that God calls us to wait for two primary reasons: for our good and his glory. {Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Ruth, Hannah, Lazarus} … Each person was called to a season of waiting. All were witnesses and beneficiaries of the grace and glory of God. If you are, right now, in a season of waiting and not sure how you got there, you can be sure that God has your good in mind. You can be sure because of the record of God’s dealings with his people in scripture.

When Waiting Brings Wondering

*When we question God, we are communicating with him, we are acknowledging our relationship with him and his control over our lives. Questioning demonstrates a pursuit of knowledge and understanding. When we take our questions to God we are asking to know him better. … When we ask questions in general, we are sometimes seeking to satisfy our need for logical answers for illogical events. By asking these questions, we are attempting to find a way to control our future. … Normal questions, when directed at God from a sincere heart, can actually stimulate our faith. We may, as a result of our questions, be prompted to seek God with a fervor that was previously absent. … We need to bring all of our questions before our Father. He longs to be the one to whom we run when life makes no sense. He may not always directly what we’re asking, but he does promise to provide himself as a refuge. “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” {Psalms 62:8}

*To wait with Grace requires two cardinal virtues: humility and hope… Only the humble can wait with grace, for only the humble know they have no demands they can lay on God and his world. {Ben Patterson, “Waiting: Finding Hope When God Seems Silent”}

When Waiting Brings Wandering

*Waiting does not come naturally to me. I’d much rather “do” than “wait.” … {Like the Israelites…} I become impatient when God does not answer according to my timetable. I wonder where he’s gone. I find myself beginning to stray; I plan ways to replace him. I want a god I can see, one who is manageable and predictable, one who can be counted on to meet my expectations. If God can’t be that, I’ll make one myself. Instead of making a golden calf, I have molded my attitudes to try to circumvent the waiting season. … Four idols I had run to: the “waiting-is-not-an-option” god, the “do-something” god, the “if-I-do-it-right-you-will-bless-me” god, the “I-shouldn’t-have-to-suffer” god.

*How many times have I delayed God’s plan for my life because of my refusal to wait?

*Helping God out and performing for God are evil stepsisters. Both are shortcuts to the resolution. … Performing for God comes from our distorted beliefs: we are convinced that if we perform in a prescribed manner or figure out the “right” response, God will be pleased, and will give us what we want. Those right things often include spiritual activity.

*Most of us try to avoid, if not escape from, situations that cause us pain. … The “I-shouldn’t-have-to-suffer” god convinces us that we have already had our quota of hardships, or tells us we should certainly be immune since we have served God so faithfully. … Forget about endurance – I want escape! … I realized that {this} god could not coexist with the Father’s will for me, which is to conform me to the image of his dear Son.

*I now see more clearly how God has used waiting to thresh out a mindset of idolatry, which has kept me from walking more intimately with him. The threshing is sometimes painful, but it’s purpose is clear. God wants us to know him and to bear fruit. … God causes us to wait for our good, to manifest his glory in and through us.

*We all face these times when our vision is limited and we lack clarity with regard to God’s intended direction. … What do we need when we have a bent towards wandering? We need to be anchored, held to something sold or Someone who is immovable.

*Second only to suffering, waiting may be the greatest teacher and trainer in godliness, maturity, and genuine spirituality most of us ever encounter. {Richard Hendrix}

When Waiting Brings Whining

*When circumstances are difficult or uncomfortable for me, I am often tempted to gripe and complain. I am so uncomfortable when I have to wait…even when God is the one who has kept me waiting. I forget so quickly that he knows what he’s doing – in fact, I feel most frustrated when I have to wait God. I react the most strongly to this God who is so uncontrollable and unpredictable. …. I have thrown tantrums when God didn’t change a circumstance or explain it to my satisfaction. The Israelites did the same when God did not do what they wanted him to. … God was extremely patient with their griping and complaining when they first came out of Egypt. It’s as if God were dealing with them as young children, in the early stages of learning to walk with him. But later, as recorded in Numbers 11, he dealt with them more severely, because it was time for them to grow up.

When Waiting Brings Wallowing

*Waiting seems to bring wallowing, especially when we feel out of control. Most of us have several favorite wallowing places: self-pity, complacency, anger and bitterness, doubt and unbelief, just to name a few. … Sly Rogers says, “Whatever we feed grows stronger, but whatever we starve, grows weaker and eventually dies.” … Wallowers have no intention of working through their issues to bring resolution…they only want a new audience. … When we wallow in complacency, we’re satisfied to stay put and feel offended if anyone challenges us. … People who wallow in self-pity believe their plight is worse than anybody else’s, and they usually reject any proposed remedies. … My wallowing has a lot to do with my belief system. I “roll around” in many distortions which lead to doubt about God’s goodness and his promises.

*Depending on God’s promises almost always means we must take our eyes off the externals and exercise faith. It means we rely on, trust in, and adhere to his promise in the absence of what we can see, touch, or feel.

*Forgive me for not living in the now – trusting your provision NOW – experiencing your love NOW – living in contentment NOW – abiding in your peace NOW. I confess to you that this is one of the most uncomfortable places for me. I want to move on into the promises without living in the faith and assurance of the promises today… {from Jan’s journal}

*God wants to make you holy. Take heart. It is essential that the grain of your life and mine be threshed of all the stalk and chaff. Remember his Word promises not to keep you there a moment longer than necessary. He is faithful to complete the work he has begun.

********************************************************************************************

Blessed am I.