In His Time (Pt 2)

Well, this is awkward.  By that I mean it’s been almost exactly 2 months since my last post.  As those who have been following my previous posts may have guessed by now, the faith I expressed in March being the month we’d conceive proved true.  We’re going to be parents!!!  I wanted to wait until all the family who had been following phase 1 of this blog had been told the great news before I started posting again.  Well, the cat has been out of the bag for a while now and I just feel like now is the right time to go back to blogging.

So much has happened but I figure for those who care enough to read and for the little one growing inside me, I’ll start back to the beginning.  The day we found out!  It was March 31st (exactly 10 days after I believe little sprout was conceived) and when I woke up I knew I’d break open the first of my super expensive 3-pack of early pregnancy tests.  If my counting is correct, this was month 9 of this little ridiculous ritual.  Seriously, I kept First Response in business.  

Before I got out of bed, I remember saying something to God like, “I have peace.  It may not be our month but I do trust You, Lord.”  While Philip was still laying in bed, I got up as usual and shut the bathroom door and turned on the shower.  After all, I assumed I’d look at that one line and go on with business as usual.  The next part is actually slightly fuzzy.  Normally I’d squint trying to see faint second line.  But this time, as the dye began to run across the test, my heart started to pound.  Is that the the start of a line…oh my word…I don’t think I’m crazy this time.  The shaking commenced and next thing I remember was flinging the bathroom door open, test in one hand, other hand covering my mouth.  I couldn’t look at it develop further…so I came out and said something to the effect of, “Oh my gosh Philip! I think I’m pregnant!  Do you see a line!!?!??!!”  I handed it to him and he quickly grabbed his glasses and turned a light on.  He smiled and agreed that he saw it.  I quickly jumped onto the bed on top of him crying and holding him so tight.

 

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Yes, I took THAT many tests to confirm it to myself. Took one every day after the first light positive.

We were in total shock.  Tears turned into laughter until I became aware that I was REALLY late for work and the shower was STILL running.  Didn’t care whatsoever.  Even though we were wanting to keep it a secret…I just HAD to tell my mom right then and there.  I had so so many dreams of having a positive test and telling my mom soon after. So, after getting Philip’s permission, I called her.  Man, that was awesome.  She answered and asked if she could call me back because she was getting out of the shower and had to go to the DMV.  I replied, “NO I’M HAVING A BABY!”  She was so shocked and just cried.  She was clearly so very happy for us and to be “Gigi”.  

I’m getting tired now…typical first trimester.  I’ll post some more updates to catch up to where I am now…which is 10 weeks 4 days.  

I want to end on a note that ties this into my previous post.  I was pretty sure when I posted that that it just HAD to be it because the timing was SO amazing.  But, y’all, if we were still trying, and I had been wrong, my testimony would still be a story of HIS work in my life and He would still be worthy of my praise.  I deserve none of this.  We aren’t worthy.  Yet, somehow, it did happen this way.  He did choose to use this crazy timing to make it so clear that He’s been in control all along and He knew exactly what He was doing.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord.

In His Time

That is the phrase I have absolutely HATED the last 8 months of my life.  Yes, God.  I believe that it will happen in your timing.  But God, why am I waiting so long?!?

I have had multiple people praying for me including my Nana.  Those who have prayed have all given me the word that it will happen in His time.  Another friend prayed for me last week and came back to me saying that they KNOW it’s gonna happen.  I asked them when and they said they didn’t have the time frame but it was going to happen!  They were so sure of it.  

This month is my first round of Clomid.  And boy, have I been a….well you can fill that blank in with whatever word you’d like…and it will probably fit!  I’ve been ALL OVER THE PLACE with my mood.

In order to share something AMAZING that just came to my mind, I have to back up a little.  I’m a Christ-follower.  You can probably gleam that from all my other posts (I hope).  Because of that, I believe that God created my body and my soul to be intimate with one person on this earth: my husband.  That was the best case scenario for my life.  However, I messed it up a little.  On March 21, 2008 I decided I knew better and that I was in love with someone at 17 years old.  On that day, I gave that piece of myself to someone who was not at all the right person.  It certainly wasn’t the right time.  I was devastated and through a series of events I won’t get into, I broke up with him and went off to college.  

For a long time I was anxious about ever finding someone who shared my faith that wouldn’t care about that part of my past.  I met someone who shared her story with me and allowed me to release that baggage by explaining how God had redeemed her and made her new.  Thankfully, I wholeheartedly believed her and told God to help me find that person and never waste my heart with anyone else until then.  In December of 2009 I met P and we instantly knew we’d never date anyone else again.  Oh, and he didn’t care about anything I had ever been.  He just wanted to love me like Jesus. 

Fast forward to March 21, 2011.  On that day, three years after the day I had always hated and regretted, P proposed to me on a beautiful beach with no one else around.  It was PERFECT.  And, as you can imagine, I became completely overwhelmed by how God had so strategically put us in that place on that very day.  I knew His redemption was perfect and that he was certainly using my future husband to show it to me so clearly.  I can’t count how many times I’ve been able to share that with friends and complete strangers the past few years.  God has asked me to use my story to bring Him glory….and I’m doing my best to follow through with that as many times as he’ll give me the opportunity.

Now I can get back to Clomid and this month.  I’ve been waiting all week to get a positive ovulation strip (it predicts you’ll ovulate in about 24 hours on average).  I was starting to worry that the month I should have the best ovulation because of this medicine, I wasn’t even going to ovulate at all!  But, lo and behold, today I got a very clear positive.  Phew!  That was a good lunch break surprise!  

I got back to work and when I sat down at my desk it dawned on me.  Tomorrow is when I’ll likely ovulate.  Tomorrow is March 21st and is exactly 3 years since Philip proposed.  WHAT!!!!!  I just know that this is going to be another chapter in my testimony.  We have been praying and praying and praying.  “God, when is it going to be your timing?”  Well, call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure this is it.  You see, God wants to move in our lives so we can share our testimony with others.  The day our child is conceived could very well be 3 (powerful number in the Bible, by the way) years since He first showed me so clearly how He was healing and redeeming me.  

I’m sure some would tell me not to get my hopes up.  Honestly, my hopes are up every single month and I’m making it just fine.  So, here I am standing with complete faith that God is going to yet again use my life for His purpose and glory.  

Let it be, Lord.  I just want to be someone you can use.  I want to shout from the rooftops the undeniably ways you’ve been faithful.  Let this be Your timing because I can’t wait to talk about this miracle.  AMEN!

If you feel led, will you join with me in prayer?  Thanks a million.

Be still

Wow, it’s been another long break from posting.  Things have been so busy with work and releasing our album.  But, I’m nearing the time to take a pregnancy test.  I find myself so hopeful that I’ve been fearing disappointment.  My brain is always analyzing my body.  Some things have been hard to ignore.  My face has been broken out like a teenager for most of my cycle and I’ve had mild cramps on and off for days.  Last night I couldn’t even sleep on my stomach because I was so tender.  Hopefully this is because a little bean is nestling into my uterus and not something else like a cyst.

I was praying and feeling like my focus on thinking through every symptom was distancing me from God.  I’ve felt like I’m miles away from him the past few days.  As I turned on my car the song “Be Still” from the new Bethel Tides Live album was on and it started right on the line “Stop thinking so much and just let go.”  WHAT?!?!?! GOD THANK YOU!!! I can’t believe how clear that was.  So, here I am….doing what seems impossible…letting go.   The full verse is below.

Be still my heart and know, You are God alone
Stop thinking so much, And just let go
Be still my soul and rest, Humbly I confess
In my weakness, Your strength is perfect

Not my favorite day

So, I was very excited for my first doctor’s appointment since September when I had my initial blood panel done.  I was told that I would get Clomid today.  So, P and I both went together.  We sat in the waiting room with two beautiful pregnant women and their husbands.  Wondered if they knew how blessed they are.  Then I went back with the nurse.  Even though I’m definitely on my period she did a urine sample.  Dumb.  I got to the exam room and 35 minutes later, the doctor finally came in.  She was very nice but not a whole lot of personality.   We went over my cycle lengths and the fact that I’m getting positive ovulation tests every cycle.  At this point I felt like things weren’t going in the direction I expected.  She explained that even though my cycles have ranged each month from 32-42 days, that wasn’t irregular enough.  She also explained that since I was ovulating and we haven’t been trying a full year, she would not prescribe me any medications.  Ugh.  Great.  However, she did look at my first blood panel and noticed a couple things that were a little off.  So, I’ll be going in for another blood test 7 days after ovulation this month to see if my progesterone is low and my prolactin is high.  It’s likely that my prolactin is totally fine but my progesterone very well could be too low to sustain an early pregnancy.  So, maybe there will be an answer there.

Regardless, God’s got this.  I’m so grateful for my big sister H and her encouragement today.  She’s so good at reminding me of my own words.  We’re just going to keep walking by faith and praying for a healthy pregnancy.  Thank you Lord in advance for your blessings.  We TRUST YOUR TIMING.  Amen.

Digging Ditches

It’s the title of a sermon from Steven Furtick. It was all about Elisha praying for rain and when people came to him about needing a miracle he gave them instructions about holes to dig. They were to physically prepare and make room for the rain that wasn’t looking like it would ever come. Furtick said, “He’s not waiting for you to be able. He’s waiting for you to have faith to get started.”

I didn’t get a positive pregnancy test yesterday. This sermon came back to P when I shared with him that I wanted to empty all the boxes and junk out of our “red room”. The red room is one of two guest rooms and 2 of the walls are painted red. We didn’t paint it that way and as soon as we know what color to paint it, we’ll make it our baby’s nursery. When I told him I felt that we needed to clean out the room, he first was confused because when we are actually pregnant we’d have plenty of time to clean it out. But when I explained that I felt we needed to make an act of faith, he immediately understood and reminded me of the digging ditches sermon.

So, yesterday we first cleaned out our massive extra closet behind our master closet. (It’s a long story but the previous owners built an addition on our closet and it’s massive). This was to make room for the boxes we are keeping. Today, we made a big trash pile and a keep pile and moved all the keeps into the closet addition.

It felt amazing. I put two very special items in the nursery closet: a book and a blanket. My mom and mother-in-love gave us those sentimental gifts in the last few years and I know they will mean so much to our child.

There’s room for a baby now. We made the space. I’m trusting God to fill it. Tuesday is our first appointment with my doctor to start clomid. If you’re reading this, say a prayer for us and the doctor. May this journey be covered in hope and peace.

The trash is still in the photo but I wish I had a before picture to show how empty it is now! Below are the items from our mothers.

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It’s about that time…

…where I start taking expensive pregnancy tests.  Don’t judge me.  I buy a 3 pack.  It’s with my HSA pre-tax $$, though!  I bought them last night and have already taken two.  Oops.  The first one was stupid because my pee was practically water by 4:30pm.  I should’ve waited until morning like a smart person.  Then, I woke up at 3am to pee and figured that was technically my “first morning urine”.  I thought surely this one would be positive.  That was some very concentrated pee!  (TMI, sorry)

I don’t really “feel pregnant” other than having heartburn the past couple days.  I never get heartburn.  But, alas, it was negative.  Nothing to bring you down at 3am like a negative $4 pee stick.  You should see me stare at it for 5 minutes as if  my staring will result in a line appearing.  I’m glad Philip was asleep for this, even though he HATES it when I take a test without him.  I just much prefer him to be gone when I take them because then I don’t feel quite as much pressure.

I  suppose it’s still early.  I’m about 10-11 days past ovulation.  You can get a positive as early as 9 days past ovulation (9dpo) but some people get them as late as 14dpo.  So, technically I’m not out yet.  It’s cycle day 29.  I would just wait to see if my period is late but my cycle length varies by up to 10 days each month so I have no idea when “late” is.  I’m going to try holding out a couple more days before testing again.  And I refuse to buy more than 3 since First Response is pretty much the most sensitive test anyway.  Normally I buy the $$ store tests but they are SO small that it makes my squinting game far more difficult.  Think I’m a crazy person yet?  If so, you’re probably right.  I’m crazy about wanting a baby.  And God is crazy about me.  So, I know He’ll bless us one way or another with a family.

Here’s my plan.  After my next test in a couple days, if it’s negative, I’ll be calling my OB/GYN office.  The PA, who I just love, told me if we didn’t conceive before the end of 2013 we could call and get a prescription for Clomid.  It’s a medicine that makes you ovulate just in case you’re not.  You have to start it on day 3 of your cycle so I want to be sure to get in before that happens.  Thankfully it’s not an expensive drug from what I’ve read since I have a new high-deductible insurance plan and have to pay out of pocket until I meet it.  I haven’t talked to P (hubby) but I’m pretty sure he’ll be on board.  He’s been very “go with the flow” about this whole thing.  I love him for that.

For now, I still have hope, but am prepared for trying a new route and continuing to trust God’s plan is perfect.  Thanks for reading.

Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

Prayer for our future children

In my being sick with the flu and kept awake by my medicine, I just began to start praying over our future children. Wow. Had to get some of it down so I won’t forget it.

God,
Thank you in advance for blessing our family with as many children as you see fit. I promise we will teach them all we can about who You are and your goodness and grace and perfect love. May they walk in your favor and provision and not know a moment that isn’t covered in Your presence and anointing. May you teach us and speak through us as we raise them. Use our mistakes to teach them lessons and protect them from all that so easily could entangle and pull them away from You. May they be encouragers and bring hope to the nations far beyond our biggest dreams. May they use their gifts to bring You glory. May we always show them a real marriage that is centered and grounded in You. I pray that they would have godly spouses and that there would be no divorce in the generations to come. I speak LIFE into their marriages and their children’s marriages. Oh that the curse of divorce in my family be broken with us.
I pray that they would see in the supernatural and that they would worship you and act in their spiritual giftings. That they would always know you as their spiritual Father who will never fail them even when we do. May we never be impatient with them so that they can enjoy the world with child-like faith. More so than anything, may they win countless souls for the Kingdom.

Amen

Where is your faith?

ImageThis past weekend was exhausting and yet completely energizing all in one.  On Friday night I felt like I needed to take an ovulation test–even though it was a few days before I normally get a positive.  For those who don’t know, these tests tell you if you’re having a surge in a hormone known as LH.  If you have a surge, your body is gearing up to ovulate in the next 36 hours.  I have a love-hate relationship with these tests.  I love them because I want to feel like we are doing everything exactly how we should so that I know for certain that “timing isn’t an issue.”  I know, that’s awkward for those in my family who read this.  Get over it.  That’s how you get pregnant. But, I hate these tests because it adds pressure to the next 36 hours and things can seem more forced and stressful.  Who wants their baby to be conceived that way?  Anyway, that was a side story to the more important event of the weekend.

So, my husband (P) and I were supposed to be at an event where we were leading worship at 9pm that night.  If you know us, you realize that we usually go to bed not that long after 9pm.  Yep, we’re pretty much old people.  We like to sleep, okay?  So, in order to stay up late enough to do this event, P suggested that he pull out his guitar and we work on writing some new material.  I immediately said, “No.  I don’t want to.”  He proceeded to turn netflix on and I retreated to reading blogs on fertility and pregnancy.  This turned into reading home birth stories.  (Side note: I’m totally doing a  home birth.  Heads up to our families.  Sorry not sorry.)  I got to this birth story written from the perspective of a husband (who happened to be a pastor).  He recounted them having friends and family in their home worshiping and praying out loud while his wife was laboring and delivering their child.  As I read about this incredibly powerful and spirit-filled birth I was overtaken by something that I hadn’t allowed to happen this whole process–tears.  Yep, I started to cry.  

In that moment, I knew one thing for sure.  P had to pray. We needed to pray.  I shut the TV off and scooted over to his side of the couch, put my face on his shirt (sorry for the mascara stain, baby) and told him to pray.  He started to ask why and then immediately switched his question to, “About a baby?”  I nodded my head yes and he began the most honest and vulnerable prayer.  He prayed over our future child and asked God to bless us so that we might in turn raise them to give Him all the glory.  Cue more tears.  Feeling more full of the Holy Spirit, I asked if we could sing the new song he had been working on.  He knew I wouldn’t know the words very well and pulled the chord chart up on his laptop.  Crazy story.  I didn’t really look at the words at all and yet I knew almost every single one.  We sang our hearts out.  My favorite part was the bridge of the song which is with me to this very moment:

With everything I give you praise, With all I am I honor you

As we were praising God a new song began to pour out of P.  It was a moment in our marriage that I will treasure forever.  It was a moment in God’s presence.  You know something about God’s presence is that you NEVER experience it without something in you being changed.  What changed for me in that sweet time?  Hope. And faith.  For the first time in the last 6 months, I actually BELIEVED I could get pregnant.  I believed that I would get a positive pregnancy test and that we’d become parents.  You might wonder how it’s possible that I didn’t at least believe that the first month or two of trying.  Well, I’ve had this negative nagging thought that it just wouldn’t be possible.  I wanted to believe it, but nothing was silencing that thought.  So, here I am.  It’s a day or so now since I ovulated.  I’m in what’s known as the “two week wait”.  It’s the time between ovulation and when you can know if you’re pregnant or not.  These days always go by so slow.  Even though I have complete faith that we’ll get pregnant, I’m also totally fine with it not being this month.  I know for SURE that God’s timing is far superior to mine.  So, whether we’re going to have an October baby or a 2015 baby or a 2020 baby, it WILL happen.  I know it will.

I’m sure 90% of those who started reading this post have either skipped to the end or not even made it here to this sentence. Sorry it was a long post.  But, if you made it here, know that even though there may be moments of disappointment, I’m going to remember this weekend as the moment everything changed in our journey to being parents.  Here’s my mustard seed of faith, God.  Take it and release the miracle in Your time.

P.S. We were supposed to be at that event at 8pm, not 9pm.  Didn’t realize it until 7:50, after our worship session in our living room.  Glad we misread the time. God is so good.

Seeking HIM

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Last night I was getting ready for bed and went to my bible app for the scripture of the day.  This was the verse.  It kind of convicted me but in a way that I didn’t quite understand yet.  So, I made it my quest to delve into this further.  I found some commentary on this section of Jeremiah 29. (found here:http://www.studylight.org/com/mhm/view.cgi?book=jer&chapter=029) I’ve pulled out some nuggets below that I think will encourage anyone in a tough season to keep seeking the LORD first.  Psalm 37:4 says Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

 (1.) He will give them to see the end (the comfortable termination) of their trouble though it last long, it shall not last always. The time to favour Zion, yea, the set time, will come. When things are at the worst they will begin to mend and he will give them to see the glorious perfection of their deliverance for, as for God, his work is perfect. He that in the beginning finished the heavens and the earth, and all the hosts of both, will finish all the blessings of both to his people. When he begins in ways of mercy he will make an end. God does nothing by halves. (2.) He will give them to see the expectation,that end which they desire and hope for, and have been long waiting for. He will give them, not the expectations of their fears, nor the expectations of their fancies, but the expectations of their faith, the end which he has promised and which will turn for the best to them. 3. This shall be in answer to their prayers and supplications to God, Jeremiah 29:12-15. (1.) God will stir them up to pray: Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go, and pray unto me. Note, When God is about to give his people the expected good he pours out a spirit of prayer, and it is a good sign that he is coming towards them in mercy. Then, when you see the expected end approaching, then you shall call upon me. Note, Promises are given, not to supersede, but to quicken and encourage prayer: and when deliverance is coming we must by prayer go forth to meet it. When Daniel understood that the 70 years were near expiring, then he set his face with more fervency than ever to seek the Lord, Daniel 9:2,3. (2.) He will then stir up himself to come and save them. God has said it, and we may depend upon it, Seek and you shall find. We have a general rule laid down (Jeremiah 29:13): You shall find me when you shall search for me with all your heart. We must continue seeking, and take pains in seeking, as those that search and this we must do with our heart (that is, in sincerity and uprightness), and with our whole heart (that is, with vigour and fervency, putting forth all that is within us in prayer), and those who thus seek God shall find him, and shall find him their bountiful rewarder, Hebrews 11:6. He never said to such, Seek you me in vain.

WOW!  I took a couple things specifically away from this.  My focus can’t be ALL about praying for my circumstances to change.  I think the conviction was coming from where my motives have been in all of this.  I can’t fast and spend more time in the Word for the sole purpose of manipulating God to give me what I want.  It has to be about genuinely seeking him in prayer.  On top of that, I feel that God is giving me a fervency to pray for the end of this struggle.  I love what the commentary says about promises are not given to supersede prayer.  I can’t just say, “Oh, God has promised me that I’ll have children.”  The promise doesn’t supersede my need to go to Him in prayer.  Phew.  That’s good stuff.

I realize I’ve been slacking on the blogging the past few days.  I’ve actually spent quite a bit of time reading other blogs on similar topics as mine.  What’s interesting is that so many of them are so negative.  Maybe some women just need a place to release their sadness.  However, some have gotten to the point where they can’t go anywhere that a pregnant person is.  I guess I can’t judge someone else’s struggles.  But, it just makes me thank the Lord with all my heart that he has been protecting me from any bitterness or jealousy.  Sure, there’s always a sting there when I see someone else I know that is pregnant.  But my joy for them far exceeds any of my own sadness.  

Thank you, Lord.  You have given me a hope that outweighs any serious negativity or jealousy.  You have been teaching me and cleaning me so much this past week.  I’ve experienced more of the Holy Spirit guiding me and giving me needed correction.  I’ve missed that.  Thank you for the prophetic word spoken over Philip and I on Saturday night.  Teach me to seek after YOU first as I also fervently pray for the blessing of a child. Amen.