Daily surrender

*2006 post*

My heart has been heavy for a season. I’ve considered sharing why that is so but then I wonder what the purpose would be. I’m still not sure, but I’ve decided to share a bit today.

My husband and I would love to have another child. And I have not been able to get pregnant. We’ve been trying (diligently) for nearly a year. (But who’s counting, right?) For anyone who has ever tried to get pregnant, you know that it is difficult not to. Count, that is. The days of your cycle. The months. The possible symptoms. And then there are those days of hope. Maybe this is the month. And then it becomes clear that it isn’t the month. And it is difficult.

We’ve been down this road before. It took us two and a half years- and many months with an infertility specialist- to get pregnant with our first child. Our second pregnancy was a complete surprise. We adopted our third. Each child a miracle. Gifts from God. And here we are- longing for more children, but… unable to get pregnant.

I find myself struggling with discontentment. Yet Philippians 4:11-13 says, I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances… I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

I have much to learn about contentment. I think the secret Paul learned is to continually draw from the Source of strength for his own strength. That I am learning. I think it is a daily drawing from His strength, and I think it’s a daily surrender.

Last week, in my journal, I wrote:

I surrender to Your will, to Your purposes, to Your plans for us. I surrender my own desires to have a positive pregnancy test, to feel a baby kick within me, to wonder at the sweet growth of that little baby inside of me, to choose a name, to deliver this miracle into the world, to carefully hold that tiny life, to breastfeed… I surrender it to you, my Father. I entrust it into Your hands. Give us strength for the journey. I desire nothing but Your will.

I do not know at what point this season will end. Or if it will. But I do know that I want to be faithful through it. I want to bring honor and glory to God through even this. I want my life to testify of His goodness and faithfulness in the midst of seasons of joy and seasons of difficulty. I do not want to be ungrateful or take for granted the gifts He has already lavished so generously upon us. I want to be thankful. And joyful. And content. I want to rest in His sovereignty.

After a difficult week, Mark and I spent some time last night talking, and crying… and once again entrusting this to our Father.

This morning I pulled out the Bible at breakfast with the kids to read our morning Psalm. The first verse I read was this:

We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near…

Yes. I am thankful.

And the second verse?

You say, “I choose the appointed time…”

Yes. He chooses. And I surrender to His choice, His sovereignty. Today. And tomorrow. And all the tomorrows after that. I trust Him.

1 comment:

  1. Aug. 27, 2006 - :)
    Posted by MicheleinNZ
    I couldn't let this go by without a comment. I wish I had some really comforting, wise thing to say but I don't. But thank you for sharing part of you.


    Aug. 27, 2006 - Sorry...
    Posted by AussieinAmerica
    I'm sorry you are going through this. It can be so hard when things don't go how we want them to. I'm glad you are seeking God and trusting in Him.
    What a wonderful example you are to me.


    Aug. 27, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by kevmem

    This is the first tiime that I've cried over something that I've read on the web......because I know you, not just over the internet, but in person. And because I've walked and am walking down the same road....wanting more children, but not being blessed with more. It is such a deeply personal thing that you have shared with us.....thank you for doing so. I thank the Lord there are moms like you and Amy who desire to raise up the next generation of godly men and women.


    Aug. 27, 2006 - A wise friend once shared with me....
    Posted by Michelle
    this scripture...during a season of testing beyond what I thought I could bear....1 Peter 1:7...."These (trials) have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

    I am tearful even now, as I remember how you shared this scripture with me when I was so "deep" I couldn't bear it!!...and how you encouraged me (not to mention cold sips of water during the long marathon)!!! Stacy, your faith and your desire to bring "praise, glory and honor to the Lord" are so obvious as you share your heart with us!

    You know that I am praying for you...


    Aug. 27, 2006 - For the thoughtful commenters...
    Posted by
    Thank you. For commenting. You are very sweet and the fact that you chose to say anything at all is a comfort.
    Blessings to you, sweet Michele.

    Thank you so much for your kind words.

    Thank you for your compassion. And for sharing a bit of your journey, too. :( I am thankful we serve a great big God who loves us and cares so deeply.

    Thank you. Yes. I remember well that verse. I thought about it, too, the other night. :) Thank you for your encouraging words. And for your prayers. I love you so much! Now, get on IM, would ya?... Your face is gray!

    Blessings, you four...


    Aug. 27, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Melkhi
    Thank you for sharing your sorrow and your faith and how God has spoken and speaks in His Word.

    Praying for you...


    Aug. 28, 2006 - Thank you for sharing....
    Posted by GenesisFamily
    I know this is a hard time for you, but I think your post will impact those who read it and can apply it to many different areas of our lives.
    I will be praying for you.



    Aug. 28, 2006 - Be encouraged
    Posted by Dana
    by all that are praying for you. Understanding in our way, the emptiness of an unfulfilled desire. No your hands aren't empty and praise God for that, you have direction so your not lost. Nothing worse than not knowing what to do or where to go. We have Jesus' feet to sit at and his hands to serve with.
    I am praying for you too. I am so honored that you shared your heart.


    Aug. 28, 2006 - Melkhi, Toni and Dana-
    Posted by reformingmama
    Thank you for your words of encouragement and your prayers. Really. I am so thankful for my sweet blogging friends. :)


    Aug. 28, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Rebeca
    Thanks for sharing your struggles with us. I, like others, wish I had some wise words or some way to "make it all better", but of course I can only pray to our Father on your behalf. (Which, of course, is the best thing to do, anyway!) May His Sweet Spirit be your strenth and peace and comfort to you, now and always.


    Aug. 28, 2006 - my dearest friend,
    Posted by
    I am praying daily for you and your family!


    Aug. 28, 2006 - Oh Stacy
    Posted by homekeeper4him
    I wish I had words of wisdom for you, but I don't. I walk that same road road year after year, so you would think I would have something for you........As I was walking last night having my nightly conversation with God, I yet again was questioning why I only have 2 children and if He didn't want to open my womb why couldn't He bless us with the funds to adopt more children? It is hard to not question why. I'm praying for you and my heart goes out to you.



    Aug. 28, 2006 - Thank you for sharing
    Posted by Sarah

    I too wanted to add my voice and say that your post ministered to my heart in two ways. First as you know, I too am struggling with the same area of contentment. And second the verse you shared, You say, “I choose the appointed time…” really touched my heart in regard to my dad and his sickness. It is a comfort to me to know that God knows the time, whether it’s having a baby and giving life, or having Leukemia and being ushered into the presence of God in death. Thank you friend!


    Aug. 28, 2006 - Thanks for sharing.
    Posted by Sandi
    Your post really touched my heart. I am so sorry things are hard right now. Though I don't understand your individual situation completely I have some similarities in my own life. Something I have held onto is "That my greatest need has already been met on the cross" I have to daily preach the gospel to myself and remind myself that I deserve nothing I have or will receive. And that my greatest need to be saved has already happened.
    I have two living children. A 6 yr old and 3 yr old. They have a brother in heaven who would be 4 1/2 right now but he died at birth. I also lost a little girl to miscarraige at 11 weeks in March 2005. After having 4 pregnancies in a little over 5 years ...then nothing for well over a year, I was just recently diagnosed with a fertility problem that makes it very difficult to get pregnant. I have had some hard times through all of this from loosing my son to feeling like I shouldn't have problems getting pregnant because I don't deserve that. The one thing that has never changed through it all is that God is Sovereign, Jesus died for my sins for no good reason but his love for me. And though hard to swallow I must believe it is for my good. There is not punishment in God's not allowing something.
    I think I wrote this more for myself then you. I am learning to find great comfort in knowing the death of my son, the loss of my daughter and no conception thus far is for His glory and for my good. There are days I need help preaching the gospel to myself and that is what good friends are for. It sounds like you have a few of those!

    Again I am so sorry and will be praying for you.


    Aug. 28, 2006 - Rebeca, Amy, Tracy, Sarah and Sandi-
    Posted by reformingmama
    Rebeca- Thank you for your prayers. Yes! The best thing to do! :)

    Amy- Thank you for your prayers on our behalf.

    Tracy- It is hard, isn't it? (Not to question why). It's something I struggle with often. I too, will remember you in my prayers. Thanks for your comments.

    Sarah- Thank you, Sarah... for your sweet comment. Oh, sweet friend... I am praying you- in regards to this- and I am praying for your dad. :( Love you!

    Sandi- Your comment really touched my heart. One of the reasons I hesitated to share was the very fact that I know there are those of you who have lost children or have miscarried or have never ever had the joy of having their own child.
    My eyes are filled with tears at the thought of you losing your son at birth. And miscarrying your daughter. And now this recent diagnosis. Oh, Sandi... I cannot imagine the heartache of any of these things. It makes my own stuff seem very small in comparison.
    Thank you for your compassion, and your words of encouragement. Reminds me of that verse in 2 Corinthians about comforting those with the comfort you yourself have received from God. Thank you for extending words of comfort and for sharing what you've held onto. Yes- our greatest need has already been met. I have to tell myself that, too. I am not owed nor do I deserve anything (but death!), and YET God has- in his infinite grace- saved me.
    Thank you for sharing your story for the benefit of all who will read this...
    And I will pray for you, Sandi.

    Thank you all... your words have been so encouraging and helpful. Thanks.


    Aug. 29, 2006 - Thank you...
    Posted by homeschoolblog
    Thank you for sharing your struggle and your surrender, and thank you, too, for your comment on my blog. God bless you and your family.


    Aug. 29, 2006 - Praying for you
    Posted by Anonymous
    Hi Stacy! Thank you for your vulnerability, candor and honesty...and thank you for showing us a piece of your heart. I can relate to your pain, frustration and daily desire to hand this all over to God, and that His Will be done. I will be praying for you. Love, Amy Crawford


    Aug. 31, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Cutzi
    Well, I too have to comment on this (as many women before me). I share this as someone who also walks the same path and yet my experience has been very different. I don't know why God has been as gracious as He has been to let me have such an understanding of His sovreignty. I only know that He showed me very clearly, very early on. I will try to be brief.

    There was a very short time when I counted the days, charted everything, timed everything etc. etc. in hopes of having a child. If I'm honest I will say that the thought passes through my head monthly wondering if this will be the month that God performs His miraculous, merciful work of giving us another child - but it is very short. For some reason, in the four years that we have been trying to have a birth child, God has given me contentment, thankfulness and understanding. I can remember driving one sunny afternoon in Sammamish about three years ago and very concretely deciding in my heart that I was not going to dwell on this desire to have children. Now, don't get me wrong, Justin and I desire children - a lot of them. We would be happy with 6,7, 8.... What I thought to myself that day, what God showed me - was a few things.

    1. That it was only my prideful, selfish desire to want to have a child that came from me. One that looked like me. Parenting is only about me in so much that it makes me more like Jesus and allows me to bring glory to God. Otherwise, as we mothers know, it is hardly ever about me. God would bring me children in His way - and as we have seen God's faithfulness throughout generations, His way is always best.

    2. It is not my right to have children. Just because I am a human (or a Christian) does not give me the right to have children. Or a husband, or a house, or food or anything for that matter. It is only ever a blessing from God - one that He chooses.

    3. God's timing is always perfect. Just as He had things for me to do for the five years before Justin and I had children, He has things for me to do now while we only have one. Waiting for the next thing would be to miss out (if not completely, then a little) on what He has for us now.

    4. To be discontent or joyless would be to sin. This was the big one for me. I saw so many women who dwelled on the fact that they did not have children and it stole their joy. They were not going to be happy "until"... and I didn't want to be like that. What a sad way to live. And I surely didn't think that was how God wanted me to live! It was not ok for me to have pity for myself or be miserable because I did not have a child. I looked at all the blessings in my life - my husband, my home, jobs, food, friends, my church body and thought, "there are some who do not have even this, how could I have it all and want more?"

    As I write this, I think about what we teach our children. Is it ok for our children to look at their slice of birthday cake and say, "This is great but I wish I had just one more inch and that it had just a little more chocolate"? Absolutely not! We'd take it away from them in a heartbeat and say they should be thankful for what they have. Fortunately for us, our God is way more patient, merciful and gracious than that.

    Yes, there are times when I see my friends having their 2nd, 3rd, 4th... child and I wonder for a moment why it is so easy for them. I have long reconciled the thoughts that maybe it's because of my sin or something I did wrong. Then, I remind myself that God chooses each of our paths and each of our blessings. He is the only one that forms and gives children. I take joy in the fact that He is very carefully choosing mine according to what He sees fit for me specifically and in His timing. I remind myself of the things He taught me that I have written above and I go on to love and serve Him. I don't allow myself to dwell on it very long but rather, confess that God is sovreign and agree in my heart with Him that His way is best. Some might call it denial, I like to call it obedience.

    I hope this is an encouragement to you - it is what God has very graciously and personally shown me.


    Aug. 31, 2006 - Wow!
    Posted by Cutzi
    I didn't realize that was so long! I should have posted it on my own blog and left a link. Sorry!


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