Thursday, February 13, 2014

Letting Go Is Not Giving Up

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a lady.  Well, it was like more like a heated conversation.  The lady felt like because someone fasts to get pregnant their prayer would be answered, and it would be answered in a timely fashion.

I chimed in having walked my own journey through infertility, and said, “God doesn’t always work that way.  Just because you fast doesn’t mean it’s going to happen the way you want it, or when you want it to.”  Let’s just say, the lady did not like what I had to say, and just about wouldn’t let me speak anymore.  I think the lady thought I was saying fasting doesn’t work.  Or, she thought I didn’t believe enough because I had been walking through infertility so long.

Having gone through almost 9 years of infertility.  I have battled A LOT of emotions, and handled them, A LOT of the time, very poorly.  I have been angry, bitter, devastated, depressed, felt isolated, and most of all felt very out of control.  I didn’t like not having a say-so over my own life, and my own wants.   I had plans, and God was getting in the way.

I have also felt very “in-control”, and all knowing when I’ve had a surge of self-strength run through me, and I think I’ve got it all figured out.  As I mentioned in my 1st blog, I can be a bit of a control freak.  I get an idea in my head, and I want it done yesterday. 

But, you see my friends infertility doesn’t work that way.  More importantly God doesn’t work that way.

God’s timing is perfect.  I know…that sounds like one of those generic answers Christians use when they don’t have an answer.   I believe without a shadow of a doubt that prayer and fasting really works.  I fasted, and the Lord brought my husband.  I did a fast for God’s favor with the adoption of our daughter, and He came through exceedingly and abundantly.  But, I have also fasted many times to become pregnant, and it hasn’t happened.  I fasted many times for my dad not to die of cancer, but he went home to be with the Lord 3 years ago. 

What I am trying to say is this, that even though ALL THINGS are possible with God, ALL THINGS don’t happen in our timing.  And, many times through a fast, I believe, that while we pray for His provision, and favor, the Lord is wanting inevitably for us to decrease while He increases.  And, that doesn’t always mean our plan works out when, or how we want it to.

In a book I’ve been ready about infertility.  The author describes infertile as being like fallow ground.  She goes on to say that, “fallow ground can be described as cultivated land allowed to lie idle during the growing season.  ‘Allowed to lie idle’ suggests that the One who cultivates this land has made an intentional choice, for a specific purpose.  ‘To lie idle’ implies a period of resting or temporarily waiting, but not death or permanent stillness.  ‘During growing season makes it clear that, although other fields may be producing, it is better for this particular field to rest and be renewed right now.”

I think this description goes far beyond infertility.  Most of us at one time, or another, have been in a season of rest and renewal.  And, when you describe waiting as “rest, and renewal” it doesn’t sound so bad does it?

I am friends with a couple that walked through many years of having a promise from God, but it didn’t happen exactly when they wanted it to.  My friends felt very called to be pastors.   They walked through many years of heartache and disappointment, and even a couple of years of getting ahead of God’s timing.  At one point during their journey, my friend decided he would do a 21 day fast.  I believe this is when God truly started moving because my friends began to decrease while God began to increase.  No, they did not become pastors when the fast ended.  They were however, lead to a different state, and that is where the husband began training under some pastors to be discipled, and where he and his wife got ordained.  Almost 3 years ago they started their church.  Even though God laid the promise of becoming Pastors on their hearts 11 years before they became Pastors, God knew they needed to go through a season of rest and renewal.  They also needed to go through a season of tilling, weeding, planting, watering and growing.  Because you see, once you have your promise you then have to take care it, and that is not for the faint at heart.

How does their story apply to infertility?  My friends had a promise from God, and had to go through a long season of trying, hoping, waiting, and surrender. 

Please hear my heart about anyone going through infertility, or anyone going through a waiting season in their life.  God does have a perfect plan, and His timing is perfect.  But, it is not always easy.  We are not at the end of our journey, but I can say, and hope we remember for another season, that if we stay focused on the fact that God is allowing us to rest and renew, so we are ready for what lies ahead, then I pray our waiting won’t be so hard.  I hope we view our waiting not as a curse, or as a punishment, but we view it as God has a wonderful plan for our family.  

I never knew when Anthony and I stopped trying to prevent pregnancy after only 4 months of being married, to put all our trust in the Lord, how much our trust would be tested. 

I believe that God hears our prayers, and sees when we fast.  I believe that some prayers are answered much faster than others.  I believe that in a world where it’s taught “your way right away”, God doesn’t work like that.  And, I believe that when God makes a promise He keeps it, it just may not happen when you want it to. 

“He may not come when you want Him but He’ll be there right on time.  He’s an on time God yes He is.”  It’s a great song, and a great reminder.

God doesn’t want you to give up on Him, or your promises.  We all go through storms at times.  After all, a tree grows most during a storm.  And, you can grow during your storm too by trusting in the Lord. 

Have you ever asked yourself whom your struggle is with?  Is it with God, or is it with your self?  God wants you to trust Him with all your hopes, and all your dreams.  God wants you to trust Him with the promise that He gave you.  God gave you a promise so He can complete it, not so you can take charge of it. 

In the early years of our infertility, when we had been trying to conceive for about a year or more, I was lying on our bed after starting my cycle, once again, very upset. I told the Lord, “If I don’t get pregnant I am just going to die.”  Well, here I am 8 years later…I’m not dead yet. ;)  What I realized, unfortunately many years later, is I had been trying to control God.  I was trying to manipulate the situation. 

God is so good that even when our faith is small, and our hope seems lost that He still has His arms open to us.  He wants to be our source of Strength.  He wants to be our Rock. 

Please hear my heart.  I believe in prayer, and I believe in fasting.  I believe that God can move any mountain.  And, I also believe, because I’ve seen it in my own life, that when we pray and fast, we need to be prepared for God to change us, and maybe not our situation…at least not at the vary moment we want Him to.

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.  Knowing the the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."  James 1: 2-4