Monthly Archives: March 2013

A “But Not” Moment

Last week at my ladies Bible study, we decided to have an Easter dinner celebration together and, prior to taking communion, we individually shared what we loved most about Easter. As my turn to share approached, I began to think of the past month and realized how much it reminded me of Easter, a universe-changing event that didn’t result in what first appearances initially concluded to.

Let me explain. The past month has been comprised of 2 parts: One really awful, discouraging week filled with despair and sorrow (you may have read my blog post during that time)– followed by three weeks of continual encouragement, delighting in the Lord, and in short: HOPE. I cannot emphasize enough how much the Lord has carried me though this time of trial and struggle. After my bad week, the Lord really convicted me that I was starting to sound like “Ye of little faith” and I had to repent of my shallow faith, my inability to even pray in faith during that time. Since that time, the Lord has given me tremendous hope and peace. It is a glorious place to be.

This brings me to Easter. How many times have we been trapped in a dark place, where the future looked bleak and all hope seemed to be lost? This was the day our Lord was crucified. Darkness covered the land. He had died and that was that. Hope was shattered. When our Savior said “It is finished” we didn’t understand what that meant. All we saw was the mangled body of our Lord being put into the grave. We didn’t understand that all we needed to do was trust, and wait. In three days our Savior would rise victoriously from the grave and defy death. He would reign and we would be be made righteous through the death that He suffered, hanging there on that rugged cross. We didn’t know there was such a spectacular display of Christ’s obedience to the Father and love for us.

Over a year ago, I was out walking and listening to a podcast. As I walked, I listened to a pastor teach about the “But Not” Moment. He’s referring to 2 Corinthians 4 when Paul writes “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” We may feel crushed, we may feel afflicted, persecuted, even struck down — but there’s always a “but not” moment coming! A moment when we see the Lord carrying us through these trials, when we see Him showering us with His love. We just have to wait for it.

Speaking of waiting and trusting through adoption and my health, we still haven’t heard anything from our adoption agency. However, in a huge answer to prayer, my surgery is going to be April 19th, not the end of May like we had previously been told! Additionally, I haven’t been in too much pain the past week, and that is also a big answer to prayer. The Lord has surrounded me with countless people these past few weeks who have encouraged me to keep looking to the Lord, to keep praying in faith. I am so thankful. And now it is my turn to encourage you, to be the one to help you keep pressing on. Because while today may seem hopeless, a but not moment’s coming. We just need to wait for it.

Happy Easter!

 

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Filed under Adoption, Endometriosis, Infertility

Worst Case Scenario?

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written last. When I wrote my last blog post I was in the midst of deep despair and confusion, and at the time I was seeing what I thought was the “worst case scenario” becoming reality. I try to prepare myself for these “worst case scenarios” that sometimes spring up in my life, but in the end I find I’m just as devastated as if it were a complete surprise. Does anybody else do this too?

I did go see my OB/GYN and she said “You probably have another endometrioma (ovarian cyst), let’s get an ultrasound.” I went in for an ultrasound a week later and looked up at the monitor to see the results — there it was, an endometrioma attached to my left ovary. When I got home from my appointment that day, I emailed my OB/GYN and told her that I had gotten the ultrasound done and that as far as I could tell, I had another cyst, about 4cm big this time (I’m getting pretty used to this, as you may be able to tell!). She responded immediately and said she had already received the radiology report, and sure enough I had an endometrioma, which was approximately 4cm x 6cm, and that she was referring me to the same specialty surgeon who did my last surgery to see if he recommended removal (surgery) or not.

Another week went by and I met with the surgeon. It turns out I do need to have surgery again (which makes sense– the endometrioma will either burst or get larger, as these types of cysts don’t go away on their own). Unfortunately, the wheels of Kaiser move fairly slowly, which goes to show why I still don’t have a surgery date. The surgery coordinator called and told me it will probably be at the end of May, which is why I’m praying for a miracle that I’ll get in sooner (because the cyst will grow over time, and the bigger it gets, the more likely it could burst).

I’ve had a few weeks to mull this all over, to give it to the Lord, and to eventually rest in Him. I’ve decided that after this surgery I will most likely be headed for a hysterectomy. I’m 31, so coming to this decision has been anything but easy.

At the end of the day, I have to remind myself of what is true before going to sleep. These past 3 1/2 years have been riddled with my quest for understanding in the area of long-term suffering. Here are some things I have leaned:

For one, suffering serves a purpose. We are encouraged to endure suffering (2 Tim. 4:5), to share in one’s sufferings (2 Tim. 1:8, 2 Tim. 2:3), and to know that suffering produces endurance (Rom. 5:3). When I think of having another surgery, the surgery itself doesn’t scare me a bit. Why? Because I’ve been through it before– three times, actually. When Paul got shipwrecked the third time, I have to wonder if he wasn’t too phased by it since he had already seen God pull him through not only the first time but the second time as well!

Suffering produces growth. “Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character” (Rom. 5:3-4). One pastor mentioned in a podcast I was listening to the other day that he has seen long seasons of suffering sometimes pull out a deeply rooted idol. Whether it’s rejecting sin or choosing to trust the Lord  in the midst of trials, either way we come through with a faith that’s more robust than when we started.

We are are called to pray when we suffer (James 5:13). Oftentimes there is little else that can be done. The prayer warriors in my life have been mobilized, and that gives me great comfort. God is all knowing, but our prayers make a difference. Just asking helps me to rest in knowing that He has heard my petition.

God is so much greater and life entails so much more than me and my infertility issues. Sometimes I lose sight of this when it seems like nothing is changing, or when things are only getting worse. Yes, it is a disappointment and often a heavy burden, but it is not everything!

Lastly, it is a season. If I live to be 70, I’m pretty sure I won’t be crying over the fact that I will need to have a hysterectomy. Hopefully that will be a very distant memory and I’ll be too busy playing with my grandchildren to even think of it.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts about suffering with you. In light of what I’ve written so far, I’ve come to realize that what I thought was my “Worst Case Scenario” may be something else entirely, like God working in an unexpected way. And until I learn to trust Him through thick and thin, through having children or not having children, I’m hoping this suffering will produce a faith that is precious in His eyes.

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Filed under Endometriosis, Infertility