Seasons Change

When I think of life, I think of seasons. Spring is the beginning of life when you’re just trying to figure out who are you. Who you are as a follower Christ, a spouse, an employee, whatever it maybe you’re new at. You’re learning as you go.

Summer is in the middle. You’ve been a Christian for awhile, married for a few years, possibly have children. The business of life is frantic than it was before. You feel like you may have finally gotten it all figured out.

Then fall comes, you’ve hit some hard times and had some heart breaks but you’ve managed. You’ve maybe started to become too comfortable in your walk with God. Burned out at your job. Burned out in your ministry. Not on fire like you once were for God. Stagnant. Complacent. On auto pilot on your life. Or you are still grieving from a hardship that this season may have brought to you, but you’re standing strong in your faith.

Then comes Winter. The hard season. When life throws you curve balls. Maybe you’ve had a health scare. Your heart has been ripped from your chest. You don’t understand why the things have happened. Why does it seem like a blizzard has come and wiped everything away? How can I survive this season? You question everything you’ve ever thought you knew.

Which season are you in today? No matter what season you might find yourself in, remember one thing, it is well! Sometimes we have to face harsh winters so we will be prepared for what lies ahead in the spring. It’s to cultivate us. To nurture us. To help us grow and shape us into His perfect will for our lives. I can tell you from experience that my winter has been ongoing. I’ve faced many hardships these past few years. But, I can see spring on the horizon. There’s a renewing of my heart filled with joy and hope. The plan that God has had for me is starting to intertwine and connect together. It’s all making sense. It is well in my soul. Friend, embrace the season you are in. The good. The bad and even the ugly. It has a purpose. Seasons change and they come and go. Your winter won’t last forever. Stand strong. Keep the faith. I promise you one day it will all make sense! Xoxo

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV

Rest

This small four letter word has such a powerful meaning; it means to relax, refresh one self or restore strength. In my own life these past few months I have done the opposite of rest. I have feared, worried, stressed, been anxious, have panicked and have done everything but rest! In 8 days my life could possibly become more chaotic, my fears and worries increase with each passing day, but I keep hearing a still small voice saying “rest”. I question it..How God? How can I rest when I am afraid? How can I rest when my whole life rests in a decision on one day? How can I rest when there is so much going on? HOW? All the while He answers back and says “Rest in ME. Rest in my Word. Rest in my Peace. Rest in my strength. Rest in my Hope. Have I not given you rest before? Have I not brought you out of despair before?” To which my reply is “Yes but, this time its different, this time its more important. This time I am more afraid. This time I dont know if I can survive my heart breaking again. This time I am more weary and unsettled.” What do you think Gods response is again?? REST IN ME!

Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me all who are WEARY (tired) and HEAVY burdned and I will give you rest.”

We cannot find rest until we allow God to help us rest. The fears. The weariness. The anxiety. They will all continue to reappear over and over again until we rest in Gods plans for our lives. Trust meI know more than anyone that this can be easier said than done. Im walking in weariness as I am writing this..(which is why I feel God told me to write this) No matter what happens in 8 days whether good or bad I must find rest in Jesus. He is and always will be more important than anything in my Earthly life. I am laying my burdens at His feet and asking Him to give me rest. I am being obedient as He is telling me to give it all to Him. I know He will always take care of me.

Rest.

This small four letter word has such a powerful meaning; it means to relax, refresh one self or restore strength. In my own life these past few months I have done the opposite of rest. I have feared, worried, stressed, been anxious, have panicked and have done everything but rest!

In 8 days my life could possibly become more chaotic, my fears and worries increase with each passing day, but I keep hearing a still small voice saying “rest”. I question it..How God? How can I rest when I am afraid? How can I rest when my whole life rests in a decision on one day? How can I rest when there is so much going on? HOW? All the while He answers back and says “Rest in ME. Rest in my Word. Rest in my Peace. Rest in my strength. Rest in my Hope. Have I not given you rest before? Have I not brought you out of despair before?” To which my reply is “Yes but, this time its different, this time its more important. This time I am more afraid. This time I dont know if I can survive my heart breaking again. This time I am more weary and unsettled.” What do you think Gods response is again?? REST IN ME!

Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me all who are WEARY (tired) and HEAVY burdned and I will give you rest.”

We cannot find rest until we allow God to help us rest. The fears. The weariness. The anxiety. They will all continue to reappear over and over again until we rest in Gods plans for our lives. Trust me I know more than anyone that this can be easier said than done. Im walking in weariness as I am writing this..(which is why I feel God told me to write this) No matter what happens in 8 days whether good or bad I must find rest in Jesus. He is and always will be more important than anything in my Earthly life. I am laying my burdens at His feet and asking Him to give me rest. I am being obedient as He is telling me to give it all to Him. I know He will always take care of me.

Friend, whatever is stealing your rest, I encourage you today to give it all to Him. Lay it all down at His feet and allow Him to take care of it all. Rest in His peace. Rest in His Word. Rest in Him. Im rooting for you. I am fighting with you. I am praying with you. I am finding rest with you. I promise you that we will get through this. Our strength cannot be restored until we allow ourselves to Rest in Him. Relax, refresh yourself, restore and REST! xoxo 

Me: “God, I feel so overwhelmed. I don’t know what to do. My world seems so unsteady and I am afraid of what will happen.”

God: “Do you trust me? Have I not carried you through the valley this far? Have I not shown you my faithfulness?”

Me: “Yes God you have, but fear is crippling me. I don’t know if I can do it anymore. I am not strong enough.”

God: “My child, does my word not tell you that I do not give you fear. No, I give you peace, joy, strength, hope. Think on these things. You cannot do this alone, but I will carry you through it. I will give you the strength you need. Trust in me.”

Friend, how many of us have this conversation with our Heavenly Father? I know life is so overwhelming and so hard. Sometimes, we can’t see the light shining through the darkness. But, we must remember that in ALL things we must always trust God to carry us through it! Xoxo

I Still Believe.

I may have accepted the fact that I’ll never experience pregnancy or giving birth or breast feeding or all that comes along with conceiving a child; however, it doesn’t mean that the pain this disease causes has left. I may not be trying to conceive…but I still desire to be a mom. I still desire to be a “permanent” mommy without fear of having to say goodbye.

Friends, I still understand your pain. I still get emotional when my body reminds me that there is no life in my womb. I still get emotional when I go down the baby aisle and see all the things I’ll never buy. I still feel an “ache” when I see a pregnant belly or hold an infant in my arms. I still am in that boat rolling in the storm with you, wondering if the storm will ever end. Hoping that my happily after is soon. Praying that my prayer will be answered soon!

Even though I still long for all the things above, I still believe God is with me. I still believe God has a plan for my life. I still trust in Him to take care of me no matter what. I still believe in the promise that He spoke to me many years ago. I still believe I will be a “permanent Mom”. I still believe my time is coming sooner rather than later. I still believe that even if I remained childless that my Heavenly Father loves me and wants eternal life for me. I. Still. Believe. He. Is. Good. All. The. Time. Do you still believe? Hold on friend. Don’t give up yet. I still believe your time is up ahead too! Xoxo

Delay Is Not Defeat.

I have been taking some time to wallow in my emotions and try and learn something through it all. I would like to share with you what I feel I have learned.

When God speaks a promise to you in your life, it will happen. However, that doesn’t mean that it will happen on our timeline. So many times in our life we try to put Gods timeline on our timeline. That never works, then we find ourselves throwing a temper tantrum when they don’t align right with each other.

God does not lie. He is not capable of it. We must learn that Gods time is different than ours. Waiting is one of the hardest things we will ever do in this life. However, there is growth in waiting. Take this time to wait in prayer. To grow in the Word in your wait. The Bible gives us plenty of examples where children of God had to wait. Does that make you feel better about waiting? Absolutely not. Should this encourage us during our wait? Yes definitely. The Bible says in Isaiah 40:31 “but they who wait(trust) for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” This verse right here is a perfect example of how there is strength in waiting.

Friend, I don’t know what you are waiting on from the Lord. But, I do know how hard waiting can be. I am rowing in the same boat of waiting and delays with you. I know that having faith is hard sometimes, especially in the moments when it seems like everything is falling apart. I know first hand that the enemy constantly tries to steal your trust for God in the hard moments. I know it seems like every time there is the smallest shred of hope that it is squandered and disappears over and over like it is playing on repeat. But, I also know that a delay or wait is not defeat. I know that God is doing something behind the scenes. I know that even when we cannot see it, there is a victory coming. Strength comes in the delay. Hope comes in the delay. God isn’t punishing you with this delay, on the contrary, He is molding and shaping you for greatness to come. Someday, when the delay is finished and you are done with the waiting, I promise you it will all make sense. Just hold on a little longer. Keep hoping. Keep fighting. Keep believing. This delay is not your defeat, it is only your beginning to an amazing testimony of Gods miraculous power! Xoxo

Your Story Isn’t Over.

There is a lot of misconception in the infertility world. This is something I’ve struggled with writing for awhile, but I feel like it needs to be said. As many of you know that have followed me on this journey, I am a huge advocate for those who have faced this disease. Yes, I said disease because that’s what it is. That being said, many think that once you either cope with the disease and/or or “heal” from it that it goes away. Oh how I wish it was that easy. Just because a couple adopted, or got pregnant with or without medical intervention doesn’t mean the “disease” is gone. The pain is still there. The pieces of the broken heart over and over again have left scars. The pain never goes away, however, you can heal from it. You can learn from it. You can grow from it.

So friends, I’ve said all this to let you know that it’s ok to still feel the pain from infertility, even after the fact. It doesn’t make you a bad person or parent. Allow yourself to feel all the feelings. I want those that have been affected and haven’t been affected to know that healing takes time. It is what you do while you’re trying to heal that is the most important. Take all the pain. All the feelings. All the mess and turn into a beautiful story of Gods faithfulness. God uses our messes to make us stronger. He uses our pain for us to help others who maybe in the thick of it. It doesn’t matter if you have just found out your diagnosis or if it’s been years ago…your story matters. Share your light that came from a dark time. God wants this to be your testimony. Share it with your children sometime, so that it can be apart of their beautiful story too. You can never be too broken for God to use you. On the flip side, just because you have gotten your happy story doesn’t mean you don’t have times where the pain will creep in. Infertility never goes away, but the story will keep growing and changing. Allow your story to be used for Gods glory! Share your pain, your mess, your joy, share all the pieces to your beautiful puzzle that is being crafted. God loves you. God is always with you. He wants to take your ashes and make something beautiful from it. Be blessed today! Xoxo

Bitterness Creeps In.

I don’t like bitter tasting things. They are not enjoyable to me at all, Like coffee for instance, It took me a long time to like it. I have to add sugar to it for me to enjoy it. Usually, bitterness doesn’t just happen. It’s a bit of a process. It’s slow, sneaky, and it can be vicious if not checked. It often stems from some form of hurt, offense, injustice, or disagreement or disappointment. If not checked in the beginning, it will consume your heart. It will become overwhelming, it will make you miserable. It will continue to diminish the light and joy of God in your heart.

Sweet friend, I know every time you see a child that bitterness creeps back up. Every time there’s a pregnancy announcement it creeps in. Every time you fight with your spouse it creeps in. When finances are tight it creeps in. It creeps in when you say goodbye to a child that you thought would be yours forever. It creeps in unexpectedly during our hardest moments. The enemy will whisper those bitter words to your soul. He wants to take away all the “sweetness” of God in your heart. Don’t allow that hurt of childlessness, that friend that hurt you, that spouse that betrayed you, or whatever hurt happened to destroy you. Keep adding the sugar back. Start praying again, start fasting again, ask for the Lord to help you defeat the bitterness. When the bitterness is gone, your heart will be open to all the things the Lord has in store for you. Let the healing begin. Live life without bitterness, the way God intended. Be blessed not bitter. Xoxo

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

Psalms 51:10 ESV

Cast Out Fear.

Fear has a way of creeping in all at once when you least expect it. We are fearful of a deadly virus. We are fearful of how we will pay our bills. We are fearful of the unknowns that are happening in the world today. The enemy tries to keep reminding us of our fear over and over again. He knows that if he keeps reminding us that fear will continue to grip our thoughts and minds. Fear is the biggest tool the enemy has to use against us.

Friends, I have good news for you today. Fear cannot beat God. His love conquers all. If we put our trust and hearts in His hands, we will survive. His love protects us. His love gives us peace. His love gives us eternal life. Our Heavenly Father does not want us crippled in fear. He wants life and life abundantly for us! Let go of your fears and anxieties and capture His love. No matter what life or the enemy throws our way, His love will make us victorious.

So, tonight pray for that love to grab a hold of you. Cast out the fear. Rebuke the enemy. Saturate yourself in His love and all your fears will be gone. Xoxo

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

1 John 4:18 ESV

Twenty-two.

As I reflect on my wedding anniversary that’s just around the corner, I have thought about how my life has unfolded. I was 22 years old when I walked down the aisle to my perfect man. As I was walking towards my future, my mind was filled with so many dreams. Dreams of becoming a mom. Dreams of what my marriage would be. Dreams of my ministry to come. Dreams of my children. The funny thing about dreams is…..they’re just dreams.

When I was 22 I had my life planned out (silly I know). Little did I know what was going to happen. I never thought we would hear the words “infertile”. I never thought that I would never feel life grow inside my womb. I never thought of the impact it would have on my marriage. I never thought my husband would get his diagnosis “sterile”. I never thought two attempts of artificial insemination with a donor would fail. I never imagined I would never experience those two blue lines on a test. My 22 year old self never dreamt that I would watch my husband as he tried to hide the guilt, shame and sense of failure and blame himself for it all. I never dreamt how hard it would be to have to “put on a smile” at all the baby showers I would attend. I never imagined that I would receive an unexpected call for a newborn baby and thank God for answering my prayers, only to without warning have to say goodbye to him unexpectedly. I couldn’t have ever imagined that we would be chosen to be interviewed for a private adoption only to find out later she chose the other couple. I couldn’t have planned for all the times there seemed to be hope for it to be lost. I couldn’t have planned to have to grieve never being able to be pregnant. I never could’ve have planned to have to love so many children temporarily and say goodbye forever never knowing where they would end up. I couldn’t have planned to be so close to forever with a little one, only to have that become delayed repeatedly. I couldn’t have imagined dealing with anxiety and panic attacks because the fear has crippled you. I couldn’t have planned for my dreams to just stay dreams. I never thought my faith and trust in God would be tested over and over.

Through all that pain, heart break and lost hope; one thing has remained constant…God. He has never left me side. He remains to pick the pieces up continually as my heart breaks over and over. He has helped me to imagine new dreams to replace the ones that will never be. He has been the shoulders to cry on in the middle of the night when no one else is watching. He remains with me as I’m so fearful and anxious at court that I want to throw up. He remains with me with each goodbye. He remains with me when the sting arises at every pregnancy announcement. He remains with me when I feel like I cannot go on. He shows me my strength every time I feel weak. He remains time and time again. He remains with me in my most darkest moments. He always remains.

Why am I telling you all this you ask? I am telling you this for you to be encouraged today. For you to see that even though some of your dreams have been crushed, there are new ones arising. To show you that God is shaping you through all this pain, That one day you will finally be able to share your story and it be just a testimony. To help you see how many lives you will be able to reach because you went threw all that pain. I want you to see that you will overcome. All you have to do is trust and remain in God. I promise you, one day this will all make sense. God will always remain with you. Xoxo

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding;”

Proverbs 3:5 CSB

Be A Conqueror.

Throughout the Bible we see God’s children over coming trials they face. They made it through obstacle after obstacle that stood in their way. It wasn’t because they were stronger or better than us. It was because God was with them every step of the journey with them. God loves us so very much that He sent His only Son to be a sacrifice for our salvation, so that we could have His spirit living inside of us to make us be able to conquer our enemies. That is the true testament of unconditional love…..sacrifice!

Don’t ever think you are chosen for the trials you face because He doesn’t love you. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. He chose you for this very journey because He loves you. He knows you will become a conqueror. He has already seen you win! It is His love that gives you strength. Don’t allow the enemy, peers, or society to make you believe you are weak or unworthy. Your trial isn’t a punishment. Nothing can defeat you if you fight with God’s love. So, keep fighting. You will conquer the battle you’re in. Keep drawing closer to Him. Keep the faith. His love gives you strength. You are a conqueror!! Xoxo

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Romans 8:37 CSB