Stop Waiting To Be Happy

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When I was barren, I was constantly waiting to be pregnant. But I was also waiting to be happy. I thought that if God would give me what I desired (a baby!), I would be “complete.” And I would be the happiest girl in the world!

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant, and I was indeed: Happy! I cried and jumped up and down, and blew my nose on my husband’s shoulder. Life was at last good. God was at last good. And I was at last happy. You’d think after that I should have remained the most content person on the planet. But I did not.

I have this problem. It’s a deep problem. Not one that can be solved by a few Pinterest tips, or self-help reads, or swapping my table sugar for organic honey. It’s something dark inside me. Like hunger…but it doesn’t go away with food. Or vanity. Or accomplishment. Or relationships. Or exercise.

I call it want. It’s this thing that lives in me that is always desiring more. That always whispers there is not enough. And this is truly the heart of being barren: emptiness. For so long seeing only the empty in me. Seeing the flaws in others. And seeing God as a withholding God, and not an infinitely giving one. This feeling, this way of seeing your life as “not yet full” is not just for the unable to conceive woman though.

As people, we constantly fantasize about the next “phase” of life–as if it will trump all our prior experiences. I know this because I have done it my whole life so far. Kids can’t wait to be teens. Teens can’t wait till college. College students can’t wait to graduate. Graduates can’t wait to get a job. People with careers can’t wait to retire. (And old people just long to be young again.)  How far does it go? There is something tragic happening here!

No one is enjoying their current phase of life! Everyone wants to be somewhere else, not here. The want is taking over. We are a people who constantly look to the next thing. We want more. Better. Different. Have you ever considered that the phase you are in RIGHT NOW is the best phase simply because it is the phase God has ordained for you right now? If we constantly race ahead to the place we want to be, the goals we want to achieve, we will tragically miss the good going on right now. We will look back on this month, this year, and not remember anything. All we will see is a big blur–jumbled with frantic desires and disappointments.

So just stop. Stop. Right now, and look around you. (Be still, and know that He is God.) What has God already given you? With what responsibilities is He entrusting you right now? Who is in front of you today to love? And then thank Him. Thank Him for every single thing you can about right now. This place. 

I share this only because for way too long I have wanted the next thing. And dear brothers and sisters, I feel it working even now within me. The want. The thing that sucks the joy, and steals it from today.

But when I am thankful–the joy comes rushing back in, like noisy, laughing children stumbling in from outside bringing the smell of summer warmth all around. When I am thankful (even in spite of the mess, and the chaos, and the things I don’t have, or things I haven’t become, or achieved) I am declaring with my heart:

God is Good!

God is Wise!

God is In Control!

God satisfies!

Growing up I always heard church-people saying, “If you are faithful with the small things, God will entrust you with the big things!” So, I always thought this was some kind of transaction, or a stepping stone.”Be a good custodian, and someday you will own the company!” What those people were referring to was to a parable Jesus spoke of in Luke 16:10 and Matthew 25:21, and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” While I do believe this passage is about stewardship, I think there is something more going on here than a promotion at work. The very next line is, “Come share in your Master’s happiness!”  I think what He is saying is–whether you thought I entrusted you with a little or a lot, important, or unimportant–you embraced it with both arms. I am pleased with you because by welcoming what I have sovereignly arranged for you, you have declared me wise, and good, and giving! And indeed I AM! So come share in my happiness!

 

Dear Father,

I declare today that You are good. I rejoice in what You have entrusted to me right now (from the biggest to the smallest task). Before I get to the next “phase” of my life..or if I ever “get there,” I want to worship You. I was made for Your glory and to be happy in You. Open my eyes to Your glory all around me. I want to share in Your happiness. Take my heart full of “want”, and replace it with a heart of deep gratitude. You promise to satisfy the hungry with good things. And for that I praise You. Satisfy me now in all that You are, that my joy may be made full. 

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Why Barrenness Is So..(Lonely!)

Unless you are okay with your all your relatives picturing you naked, and in the bedroom, you are probably not going to “announce” to the gang at Thanksgiving dinner, “We’re trying to get pregnant!”

Therefore, aside from your husband and OBGYN…there’s a good chance your circle of trust is pretty small. Let’s face it, the inability to conceive is not something you bring up in the break room at work, or post on your Facebook.

Privacy Please!

In many regards, barrenness remains a personal matter because..it is. And there’s a good chance you feel like, and possibly even are, the only one in your circle of friends who can’t seem to get pregnant.

It’s hard not to get offended when people (like your dentist) ask that awful reoccurring question, “So…when are YOU TWO going to have some kids?” I always responded with a forced smile and mumbled, “I dunno!” (Cue: fake laugh). It was my attempt to suppress my anger from flaring up through my throat and choking that person and screaming, “I’m working on it!! Okay?!” Maybe I was slightly hostile. But I always felt as if some stranger just started rummaging through my underwear drawer and I couldn’t shoo them out fast enough! (Meanwhile, in their minds, they’re just talking about the weather. Eventually, I had to come to grips with the fact that these people (for the most part) mean well, and are just slightly out of touch with your daily/monthly/yearly reality. And that’s okay. People say stuff. Most are innocent.)

Boundaries

There are times when someone (often a family member) will press too far, because they feel like they are entitled to information. Know what you are comfortable with and make boundaries. You don’t have to share more than you want to. It’s okay just to say, “I’d rather not talk about it.” Or, “I’m not really comfortable talking about it.” (Maybe that sounds formal..but it’s better than spilling more than you want. You can say it in a way that is gentle and kind. True friends won’t make you feel guilty about not sharing more.)

On the Flip Side…Some women may feel extremely comfortable telling the clerk at Target or the barista at Starbucks all about her baby-making escapades. If this is you, be sure your spouse feels the same way. (And please reconsider, for their sakes!)

Getting Help and Healing 

In my own experience, the longer barrenness went on, the more people knew about it. The “outsiders” just eventually figured it out after constantly asking us if we wanted kids..and then never seeing that belly pop. And the”insiders”..because we actually started telling them. As the journey waned on, it began to wear on us. And as we were worn down, we became desperate for a few close friends we trusted to water our dry, dying ground of hope. And those were the who people prayed for us, revived us, kept us alive.

Friends

Be sure you and your spouse both feel comfortable about who knows what you’re going through, and how much detail you will share. This is out of basic respect to your husband. (He has feelings too, even if he doesn’t express them the way you do.) Search out friends who will pray with you and for you, and point you to the Lord; opposed to those who are likely to gossip.

My own advice (and this goes for any personal issue) is to share only with people who are a part of your healing process. Ask the Lord to guide you to people who will point you to Him. You may not have anyone like this in your life. Going to counseling is okay too (especially if the issues are “just too personal” to be helped by a friend or relative.) I highly recommend a biblical counselor who actually opens up the Word of God with you, and prays with you.

This Blog

This blog is a great place you are invited to for comfort and support on your journey. I am sharing things with you that no one shared with me–because I simply didn’t have anyone in my life that had ever gone through this! Know you are not alone.

God 

As always, the most important. He is the foundation upon which the rest of your house stands. Go to Him. Let me leave you with a few Scriptures to remind you that He is with you..even when it doesn’t feel like it:

“…He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18

“For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10

Dear God,

Help this precious daughter to pour out her heart before You. And come swiftly to her. Surround her today with Your presence. Fill her heart with hope. Thank you that if she has been walking alone, she does not have to walk alone anymore. Remove all loneliness and despair and surround her with the sweet fellowship of your Holy Spirit! Reveal to her how intimately involved you are in her life, desiring her deepest good, even through this difficult time. Strengthen her heart now Lord, for You have promised, “I will never leave you, I will never forsake you.” 

In Jesus Name, Amen.

5 Important Questions The Barren Woman Should Ask

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Using Conception “Helping” Methods:

1. Could this hurt my body? This may seem obvious, but when you are desperate to “have a baby” you often forget to consider harm to your own body. Be sure to do your research and look into any not-so-nice side effects. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

2. How does my spouse feel about it? Considering your spouse’s feelings and convictions about fertility treatments is a big part of honoring (obeying, and submitting) to your husband. Not only that, but your husband is your protector, and it may be God who is warning him against something that could potentially hurt you..even if you don’t understand his logic.

3. What does my doctor think? Obviously, you want to consult with your doctor or OBYGN about your body and any medical /chemical treatments that could affect you. (Chances are, you need their approval, script, or referral anyway.) Consider any warnings, or concerns they may have.

4. Is there a more natural way? If the first or second month you don’t conceive, you rush out and beg your practitioner for fertility treatments, you may be jumping the gun. Aside from some good old patience and relaxation, there may be some better, more natural ways to try to conceive. In my own experience, my OBGYN actually knew very little about some of the more natural fertility methods I came in to ask about. This was discouraging a first, but in the long run, I did my homework and learned a lot through my own research.

5. What Does God say? Praying about what God wants you to do is the most important thing you can do. God is your maker, and He’s certainly the maker of that child you long for as well. Ask Him. He may not write it out for you on the wall, but He will give you the peace that surpasses understanding, and lead you in His way. He cares for you. And even more than giving you a child, He longs to give you Himself. Start right now by giving him your self, your whole self. And let Him fulfill your deepest desire. “In all your ways, submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6