Tag Archives: hearing God

Who Can You Trust?

A few days ago, I wrote about prayer journaling and neglected to mention that, if you try it, you are likely to hear a voice that can’t be trusted. Before you can hear the Lord speak to you, you must silence it:

“Remember that the evil one is the father of lies. Learn to recognize his deceptive intrusions into your thoughts. One of his favorite deceptions is to undermine your confidence in My unconditional love. Fight back against these lies! Do not let them go unchallenged. Resist the devil in My Name, and he will slink away from you. Draw near to Me, and My presence will envelop you in Love.”  – Jesus Calling

Don’t believe there’s a battle for your mind? Then whose voice is it that whispers, “You’re not meant to have a baby. You never will. This treatment isn’t going to work. Everyone else conceives, but not you. You are defective, flawed, irreparably damaged. No birth mother would choose you, and no baby would love you. It’s not meant to be — ever — so give up, and get on with your life.”

Have you ever heard those words whispered in your spirit? Even now, years after giving birth to two children, they still unsettle me — taking me back to a time when I felt hopeless and alone. Have you ever heard similar words  and thought, what if it’s true?

Those are not the words of the God who loves you, who knows your heart aches, and who answers every prayer with love and wisdom. Those are the words of the evil one, who wants very much for you to turn your back on God. He will speak to you any time you’re willing to listen — and make this journey much harder for you to bear. He may even be able to convince you that it’s hopeless.

Unless, you choose to trust God.

If you do, rather than limp through this marathon toting a growing burden of despair, you will find the hope you need to keep going — and the strength you need to reach the day God intends: the day when you become a parent to the child who’s coming.

“Draw near to Me, and My presence will envelop you in Love.”

Claim this promise! Let God the Father comfort you, his beloved child, and whisper words that will give you hope.

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Learn more about God’s promises and the battle for your mind in Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples

 

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Therefore, We Do Not Lose Hope

Several years ago, I suddenly stopped writing this blog. What I didn’t tell you was that life had taken an unexpected turn… as it often does… and everything I’d ever written was being put to the test.

It started when a doctor told my husband he had Stage 3 colon cancer and offered sobering odds of survival. Surgery was scheduled immediately, and chemo began soon afterward. My husband continued to see his patients while fighting for his life. His pallor and weight loss went unnoticed only because the patients were so consumed with their own struggles.

As he fought for the health of his body, I wrestled with God for his life.

I had released any claim to our children’s lives long before — when our daughter had had open heart surgery at 4 weeks old, and when I’d miscarried our son’s twin and spent 5 months on bedrest in the hope that he’d survive. Those challenges had seemed all-consuming at the time. I had found peace only by entrusting their lives to the God who’d first entrusted them to us.

But my husband had been my rock. Naive as it may sound, it had never occurred to me that his life could suddenly end. When that possibility became a very present reality, we got scared. And I got angry.

I fought with God around-the-clock. I railed at the injustice. I begged for mercy. I pleaded and negotiated and tried everything I could think of to sway the outcome.

And then finally, exhausted and powerless, I surrendered. I opened my hands and admitted that I could not control things; I could only trust the God who claims to love me.

Over many, many tears, I acknowledged the Lord’s right to take away what He had given and to test my willingness to live what I believe. Despite my fear and anticipatory grief, like Abraham, I put my beloved on the sacrificial altar and prepared to fulfill my promise to trust God even when His ways are not my ways.

And I was flooded with peace.

I knew in my spirit that He would care for me. He would be my beloved, my provider, my comforter, and my source of hope. He would never fail me. His promises would be fulfilled in every way I needed them to be.

Tears of grief gave way to tears of gratitude as I embraced the truth of His faithfulness and His promise, “I am with you always.”

Fast forward….

My husband survived. He’s now cancer-free — back to running, practicing medicine, and helping raise our children.

Why tell you this story? Because words of encouragement don’t matter if I’m not facing trials, too. And, because pollyanna posts can wear thin, but the Truth has a power of its own….

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid… for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  – Deuteronomy 31:6

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Want to hear more about the God who makes all things possible? Order your copy of Pregnant with Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples today.

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“What if They Never Conceive?”

Yesterday, an aspiring grandfather contacted me to ask about groups in Oregon.  He has already given a copy of Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples to his son and daughter-in-law, and also been reading the book himself.  What more can I do, he wanted to know, and… what if they never conceive?

That is every infertile couple’s deepest fear:  What if we never become parents?  What if this is ultimately a pointless quest – a wild goose chase that consumes time and money, and leaves us empty-handed?

I’ll tell you what I told him – and I urge you to consider it carefully.

The only couples I’ve ever seen wind up empty-handed are those who insist on dictating the terms by which they’ll become parents.  They say things like, “We’ll try IUI, but we’d never consider IVF.”  Or “We’ll do 10 cycles of IVF if we have to, but we’d never consider adoption.”

They acknowledge, “We would happily adopt a baby whose family history we know and approve of,” but they’re adamant that “We’d never consider a foreign adoption…, or an egg donor…, or a sperm donor…, or foster parenting…, or [insert line in the sand here].”  Some couples even insist, “Natural conception is the only godly way to become a parent.”

I’ve already written several posts about this mindset.  I believe it’s dangerous not because of the boundaries themselves, but because of the presumption to know the mind and will of God.  Intentionally or not, these couples are playing God, rather than inviting God to be God in the midst of their circumstances.

When couples insist on barring the door to possibilities God might lead them to, they risk closing the door on His best for them.

I realize it might sound as if I have an agenda – as if I’m trying to steer couples toward a particular path, or around the prohibitions of particular denominations or religions.  I’m not.  I have no agenda other than compassionate, attentive listening to the concerns of infertile couples, and obedient, attentive listening to the word of God.

My deep desire is to deliver hope to those who have begun to question God – both His plan and His purpose.  I would never presume to tell a couple what direction to take through the wilderness of infertility.  It is their responsibility to listen for the Lord’s voice, to discern His direction, and to follow it toward the future He has always had planned for them.

I am only here to encourage, to deliver hope, and to point toward Him as the source of all wisdom and truth.

So, what can this aspiring grandfather say to encourage his son and daughter-in-law as they struggle?

He can tell them that, in all my years of experience, I have yet to see the Lord abandon any couple that feels called to parent and remains open to the Lord’s leading on how that will happen.  If they trust and obey, sooner or later, it always happens.  Maybe not the way they imagined.  Maybe not when they expected.  Maybe not as they would have scripted at the beginning of this journey.

But always.

Every.  Single.  Time.

Scripture says that God honors those who honor Him, and He delights in blessing those whom He loves.  So, praise God from whom all blessings flow.

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Need more encouragement?  Click this link to purchase your copy of Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples.

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Infertility and Words of Hope

One of the great blessings hidden in moments of desperation is unusually intense focus, an almost superhuman concentration that enables us to see and hear things we would miss on a “normal,” sleepwalking-through-life kind of day.  Even though we would never wish for circumstances that force us into crisis mode, we are wide awake – and God uses these moments of hyper-clarity to speak to us, if we will listen.

My five-and-a-half months of bedrest ended suddenly when my water broke at 34 weeks.  We raced to the hospital.  “Don’t have the baby yet!” the nurse commanded, and she sent the NICU team into the hospital room to hurriedly explain everything that might go wrong, even if the baby survived.  A few hours later, I was in labor.  Partway through the delivery, I began to bleed out.  Suddenly, I couldn’t see; my brain was shutting down non-vital functions to protect my heart.   Over the sounds of doctors yelling and nurses scrambling, I heard the intercom calling for blood to transfuse:  stat.

There were so many people talking to me at once:  “Can you see anything?  Do you feel this?  What do you mean ‘it hurts’?  Where does it hurt?  Has this happened to you before?”  I kept asking, “Where’s my husband?  Where is he?”  They didn’t tell me they’d made him leave the OR.  Instead, they called to each other:  “Who’s got vital signs?  Where’s the blood?  We need a transfusion!  What’s happening with this heart rhythm?!  She can’t still be feeling pain!”

It was crazy.  Totally chaotic.  I was in complete darkness, at the center of a tornado of activity.  The last thing I remember is wondering if I would die without seeing the baby.

Thankfully, I survived – and our baby did, too.

The next morning, I woke up in a hospital room, with a nurse reading the newspaper at the foot of my bed.  On the front page, there was a photo of a McDonalds sign that said, “God can do anything.”  I remember thinking, “What a crazy thing to put on the front page.”  But somewhere much deeper, I affirmed, “Yes, God, I know it was you.”

It’s happened several times since then, God finding ways to speak to me in the midst of a crisis.  Most recently, yesterday.  My son fell and hit his head.  The doctor sent us straight to the hospital to determine whether the concussion included a skull fracture or internal bleeding.  As I began to fill out paperwork for xrays, I noticed a postcard tacked on a bulletin board:  “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind.  Is anything too hard for me?”  [Jeremiah 32:27].

I’m primarily a visual learner, which means I register things best by seeing them.  Do I think it’s a coincidence that God “speaks” to me with visual messages?  I don’t.  He knows how my mind is wired; He knows how I’ll “hear” Him best.  Do I think these stories are coincidental?  No.  There have been times in my life when I’ve desperately needed to know God was present and in control, and He’s found ways to reassure me, “I am with you always.”  He has heard my prayers for help before I’ve even prayed them, and He’s answered.

He will do that for you, too.  It’s likely that He already has.  Were you listening?  Or watching?  Did you grab onto His message, clinging to His words for dear life?  Or did you rationalize, “it’s just a coincidence.  That could’ve happened to anyone”?

God speaks to those who want to hear Him.  If you cry out, He will answer.  The Bible promises us, “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help” [Romans 10:12].  Are you listening?  Watching for Him?  Expecting Him to respond?  The God of the universe knows what you need.  Open your mind, heart and spirit to His words of hope.

He will speak.

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Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com

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