Monday, September 26, 2016

HOPE Part VI: Putting my agenda on the shelf

It's funny how God weaves this masterpiece we call life.  This blog series has chronicled a part of my spiritual journey.  It all started with me saying yes to God; yes to a whisper in the quiet. Yes to the voice that now speaks so clearly I don't know how I went so long without listening.  Please read on for the final installment of this series.

HOPE Part VI: Putting my agenda on the shelf

Through all the heartache I have been through, the miscarriages, tears, anger, fear and frustration, it was all for this desire to be a mother; a desire God planted in my heart. Romans 40:3 NIV says, "He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him."

God made me a mother.  I have felt lost, alone and aimless on this journey.  God knew I needed someone to clarify his path for me; to explain the new "song" and desire of my heart. He sent me a friend. Her name is Brittany.

I decided once again to start tracking my menstrual cycles, thinking maybe now that I had lost all this weight and had my blood sugar under control that a baby was possible.  I downloaded an app to keep track of all the pertinent information.  Brittany and I met through an online message board attached to the app for women trying to conceive.  I was looking for a "cycle buddy" who was health-conscious and fit. We matched up and instantly became friends.  We rode the "trying to conceive" rollercoaster.  She was a newlywed.  I had just celebrated my 7th wedding anniversary.  We bonded over daily discussions about nutrition, exercise and husbands.  We texted every day.  We consoled one another monthly as the pregnancy tests came back negative. She was a light in the dark; a confidant other than God who understood my plight.  I was a safe place for her and continually had hope that she would conceive.

After nearly a year, Brittany was losing hope.  I continued to encourage her, pray for her and speak life over her.  And then it happened.  She got the good news!  I was so happy for her. She couldn't believe it. And then once again, I was alone.  The relationship changed.  It was bound to happen. We tried to carry on as normal.  The texts became a little less frequent.  I asked questions about her life and days. She did the same.

Then one day I heard God's voice very clear.  He told me to go to the baby shower. "What? Are you serious?" I literally asked that aloud to God during prayer and devotion one morning.  But the voice was clear.  So, I asked Brittany if I could be included on the guest list, and of course she said yes.  I had never met this person or her husband, but they invited me to come stay in their home.  I was not scared at all. I knew God had ordained this relationship, and I was excited to meet my friend for the first time and support her through this amazing life moment.  But, to say that my heart was not scared would be a lie.

I was still struggling with my lack of pregnancy and motherhood.  I prayed to God to help me put on a brave face and be genuinely happy for my friend. This was all about her. But God had my heart wrapped in his loving embrace.  Below is my journal entry after my first night in their home before the baby shower that afternoon. I have never shared this with anyone.
April 23, 2016 - I woke up this morning to the sun shining through my window.  The birds are chirping. What a glorious alarm clock. Thank you, God! Genesis 1:20 - And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky." Such a heavenly reminder of God's love for me. I am where I'm supposed to be. I feel the embrace of my heavenly father.   
Brittany and I at her baby shower.
Lord, I pray for Shawn and Brittany as they prepare to become parents.  I pray for their marriage. Hebrews 13:21 [may God] equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
God gave me the perfect scripture today.  He is so good. Thank you.  I could not have imagined that trying desperately to have a baby would lead me here. 
That morning I worshipped in the privacy of my guest bedroom.  I cried, I prayed, I praised.  God brought me so much peace.  The trip was amazing. It solidified a lifelong friendship. It brought me closure. That weekend, I put my agenda on the shelf, and I stepped into God's plan for motherhood.

One month after returning from that visit, my husband and I enrolled in a class to prepare us to adopt a child from the foster care system.  God had been speaking to us about this decision for months.  We now walk boldly into the future.  As of right now, we are waiting for certification from the state.  We pray, in God's perfect timing, that our child will be in our home, and our family, soon.  

Thank you for following my series and allowing me to share God's awesomeness with you. I pray you are encouraged. Please stay in touch! I hope you'll return for more posts about Freedom, Faith and Fitness!

I also want to speak personally to you, the reader; the one who this resonates with.  The one whose story is similar.  The one who's lost babies.  The one who's never been able to conceive.  The one who wants more children.  The one who's your sister, daughter, wife, mother or friend. If this spoke to you in any way, I want to say something very specific: God sees you. He hears you.  He knows you're struggling, hurting, frustrated, angry, bewildered and sad. I'm here to tell you that God cares for you, he loves you, and he is for you. Whatever road you've walked that led you here to read this blog, there is a God big enough to handle all your burdens.  I'm praying for you tonight.

Coach Steph

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