The gift that wasn’t under my tree.

d32fbd83-acb9-409c-a710-97e171596563A lot can happen in 2 years, can’t it? I remember when I was younger, the advice that I heard repetitively when I complained about wanting to be older was “the older you get, the faster time goes. Enjoy this time now, because it will be gone before you know it.” Well, I have gotten older. And guess what? They were right.

These past two years of my life have been a whirlwind. I married the love of my life, moved away from home, then moved even farther away from home. We have shouted on the mountaintops and grieved in the valley over these past 2 years, and we have found ourselves continuing to hold firmly in our faith when we have gone through the storms that raged around us. Some have been rainy days.. others, a monsoon. About that monsoon… we are still in it. Trust me, I have prayed and prayed, cried, and prayed some more for Jesus to bring us out of it, but we are still here. I’ve heard that the Christmas season is a season of miracles, and I believe that it is. I think that’s why I held on so tightly to my prayer that this year, this Christmas, we would be delivered from our storm; that we would get to be the next couple to share a beautifully staged photograph of our Christmas decor showing that we had received our miracle. I had faithfully expected to be able to have a gift under my tree that my husband would open to tell him that he was going to be a daddy. I had been dreaming of what the videos would look like as we shared the news with our family.. the shouting, the crying, the excitement, the joy.  But this year, I am reminded of the ache of my empty womb. There will be no surprise baby arrival post, no gift for my husband to open telling him that his prayers have been answered, no excitement of me feeling the explainable joy of carrying a precious life. No gift of an announcement of my baby under my tree.

Friend, to be honest with you, I am crying as I type this. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I can’t. Infertility is a painful wound, and I feel it deeply every day. I have spent much time petitioning with God, asking Him to show us His glory in this situation. I have eagerly waited for Him to answer us. Just like His word says, His ways and thoughts are so much higher than anything that we could imagine, and I believe that with all of my heart. Even though He has not gifted us with a baby yet, He has gifted us with something even more precious.. Himself. Through this trial and testing of our faith, I have come to know Jesus in a way that I never thought was possible. Though this pain is not something I ever wanted to go through, I would do it all over again to be as close to my King as I am right now, in this season, in this moment. His grace has been sufficient for me in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) I have heard of testimonies of people who knew God was real because of the prayer that He answered, and He does reveal Himself in those ways often; but He also reveals Himself when our prayers aren’t answered like we thought they would be. There are countless stories in the Bible of God doing the impossible to bring glory to Himself. He shows time and time again that nothing is impossible for Him, and He also asks for us to completely trust Him and His ways. I want to give God glory in my struggle.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” After two years, I have finally been able to say the thing I never thought I could. I am thankful for my infertility. Thankful because I know that my infertility is a wound that is no match for the God that I serve. Because of this ache in my heart to be a mother, I have had no choice but to pray for my baby and seek the Lord harder than I have before. I have been able to see that God did not forget me, it’s not that he didn’t hear me. He has been molding, shaping, stretching, and preparing me to be the mother that He wants me to be for the baby that He will entrust to me. God has shown me that He is who He says He is. He makes beauty from ashes. (Isaiah 61:3) In my circumstance, I have hope because I know the God whom I love. I know that He has a perfect time for when our baby will come into this world, and I am hanging on to that with everything that I have.

Most importantly, I have learned more about the beauty of Christmas. I have learned more of how humble my God is, and how much He loves. I have cried for a Christmas miracle, and I have been reminded that it already happened, one night in a stable, in the little town of Bethlehem. That is where the greatest miracle of all took place… God giving Himself as a precious, perfect, innocent baby boy. My King came from His heavenly throne to be born in a stable because no one had a room for Him. He could have chosen to be brought up in a wealthy family, but He chose to be a servant. He could have been the most beautiful human being to ever walk this earth, but instead He made Himself to look like everyone else. He chose to be born into the world that He created, only to be grow up to give His life freely to trample our sin, the greatest gift of all. Jesus could have surpassed all of the pain that we feel, but He chose to feel it. He chose to be the spotless lamb that would be slaughtered so that we could be made righteous with God. (Isaiah 53:1) There is no God like Him.

Here is an amazing article related to what I am talking about here –>http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/come-thou-unexpected-jesus

In my time of weeping over my infertility, I know that Jesus has walked every single step with me. In fact, He has carried me through much of it. I can have hope and joy in my circumstance because I know where my help comes from. My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1) My dear friend, I do not know what struggles you are going through in this season of your life. It could be financial distress, anxiety, health complications, loss of a loved one, hopelessness… I am here to tell you that there is a God who loves you so much, that He gave all of Himself to have a relationship with you. Of all of the Christmas miracles, He is the most marvelous. He offers new life, and He longs to show Himself to you. Whether you are following Jesus now, or you are new to this journey but wish to give your life to Him, give Him glory this Christmas season. He deserves it all. His love is too big and too glorious to wrap up in a box to stick under a tree.. but it is the most amazing gift that you can ever receive.

8 thoughts on “The gift that wasn’t under my tree.

  1. This is a wonderful post! My daughter and her husband’s life so mirrors your own. You were married at the same time. You moved and then God moved you, again. My daughter originally returned from the mission field in Asia. Her husband, a missions pastor, thought he had a position at my our church, but when he got here, it didn’t materialize and he is now waiting on the Lord for direction. He is such a gentle man and he loves my daughter very much. They found they were expecting a little over a year ago. They were ectastic! But, then my daughter found out at the first ultrasound, that she had what they thought were 8 tumors all over her abdomen. The next week, they did another ultrasound and found out the largest tumor had squished the baby and it died. After she passed the baby, they did surgery, unfortunately they found even more, a total of 17. They were able to remove 14 but, had to leave 3 because they were on her uterus and would require a hysterectomy. She had always been a strong Christian but this devestated her and she is still depressed. She is 36 and her chances of conceiving again were slim, even with the help of a fertility doctor. They had tried for so long, that we were all thinking it wouldn’t happen. She had blamed herself for the babies death and each month that passed seemed to make her more depressed. We even got her counseling at our church. They even talked about adoption. Then, 2 or 3 weeks ago, God has given them another baby. We are praying fervently, that she will be able to carry this one to term. At her age, we just don’t know. But, God does! What a wonderful Christmas gift to them. I tell you their story in hopes that you, too, will be encouraged by it. One day, one day God may give you a little one. Never stop praying until He gives you an answer one way or the other. And, from your blog, I know your faith is strong. You have given such hope in your bloggs for this old lady to hold on. You may not realize how far your story has gone in blessing people but, one day, when you go to paradise, He will show you. Today, this is your wonderful ministry but, not your only one, He will bless you with a little one, or many little ones. It may not be the way you planned but, it will be His way. Continue to be the light you are, reaching far beyond what you can fathom. Thank you so much for this blog, this blessing you have written. Your words are God’s to so many and are such a comfort and encouragement. Pray for us and this baby. You will be in my prayers, too. God bless you. I have sent her a copy of your blog. Maybe, she will see how far they have come in 2 years, too.

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    1. Jo…. you literally left me speechless when I read this. I was in the car with my husband, and I couldn’t stop the tears that were streaming down my face. You spoke straight to my heart with so many different things that you said, and you were used to confirm other areas of my life and things that have been spoken to me these past few weeks. I am still amazed. He is so good!!! You gave me so much encouragement and hope!! And the testimony that your daughter has broke my heart.. I can’t even imagine the pain and the fear that she was experiencing. Her faith had to have been shaken to the core, from her husband not having the position he thought he had, to the death of their baby.. my heart hurts for her. But when I read that just 3 weeks ago she was pregnant, I was rejoicing!! I still am!!! I have the faith that the Lord is going to have His hand over her, her husband, and this baby. He is going to get the glory for this miracle!!! I am praying for her!! Psalm 139:13-14 ❤ I love you!!

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  2. This is such a beautiful reminder of our Lord and how He takes care of us! Jo Brandon is my mother, yes, I am the one she wrote of, and just reading your blog has lifted some of the dark clouds that hang over me about losing our baby, Taylor, last year and the fear I have of losing this new little life, too. Thank you both for sharing. I will say this, while I was in Asia the Lord gave me literally hundreds of children and I loved each of them dearly. No, I did not give birth to them, but they were my students – my kids – and trusted me with their lives in many cases (suicide rates are extremely high where we lived). They loved me just as much as I loved them. So perhaps you should look at things this way – you are reaching so many people through sharing your story, love them as if they were your own and you may discover (as I have) that the Lord really has blessed you with caring for another life! I will pray for you and that you find your future ministry (but I think you already have). Please pray for us as we trust in Jesus to preserve this baby and bring this pregnancy to term. May God richly bless you for sharing your struggle and your faith with us!

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    1. Rebecca, I wish I could give you a hug right now. Your story, as painful as it is, is going to be used to bring God glory. I can’t even imagine going through your loss of Taylor.. like I told your mom, I was heartbroken for you. I still am. But I am hanging on to His promise that He will make beauty from ashes. I want you to be reminded that you are not alone in this battle. We are fighting with you.. and most importantly, the Lord is fighting for all of us. I love love love what you said about the children in Asia.. that is so heartwarming!
      I’m feeling so lead to share this with you. I really hope that this helps to encourage your faith, because it has mine. Last week, a sweet friend of mine messaged me and told me that she had a dream about me. She said she was 110% sure that it was me because she saw me very clearly. She said that there were people all around me and I was feeding them. She also told me that after I fed them, they were not only full, but they were glowing. Later that day, I was talking to a pastor of a local church here, and we were talking about salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit. He said, “You can tell when someone has the Holy Spirit. They glow. You are glowing.” IN THE SAME DAY!!! Then, your mom made mention of me continuing to be a light. And following that, you had commented about this possibly being my ministry… and again, God blew me away with His amazing grace and wonder.
      Our stories are so very similar, but also so very different. I’ve never met you, but I love you as my sister. I am standing firmly on faith with you that this baby will be healthy, will be born at full term, and will be a powerful warrior for the kingdom of God.
      Lord, I lift up Rebecca and her husband to you right now. I want to thank you for who you are God, and that your ways are much higher than anything that we can fathom. I thank you for the forgiveness and new life that you offer to us, and I thank you for choosing us to work as your servants in your kingdom. I pray that you envelope Rebecca and her husband with your love and your peace. I pray that you have your hand of protection over them and over this sweet miracle that you have entrusted to them. I thank you for weaving this baby together in your perfect image. We trust you, Jesus. It’s hard to surrender, and it’s hard to have faith, but we know that what you have in store for this family will bring you all the glory. I pray against any attacks or schemes that satan will use to try to dishearten them, and I pray that they run to your tower of refuge when they are in the midst of struggle and doubt. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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