After my last post, I got a message from one of my cousins. She shared with me how my transparency is able to help encourage her. She said that knowing about my struggles it is encouraging to know that while I don't understand God's plan... I am still a believer.
She is having some struggles herself of a different kind, but I am grateful to know that in some small way - my story and my life can be an encouragement to others and a blessing to the kingdom of God.
I personally, just spend the better part of the last hour or so doing my reading for the New Testament Challenge... and while you might not think that is very involved... for me it is a process of reading the scripture, journaling things learned from the study notes in my Bible, answering the daily question my church gives us for the week, and then journaling my prayer. I was actually amazed to see that as I did two days worth of study... the first day's prayer was all about other people... my cousin, my friend Summer, my friend Renee, and my friend Natalie were the main recipients in my prayer.
I found it interesting that even in the light of a very dark day in my own life - when I went to pray... I prayed for everyone else before myself. Is that Jesus working in me? Surely. Because I can't imagine that I would think of others first in the midst of such a struggle.
Which then took me back to a couple of ideas that I'd journaled from the notes in that very reading in Matthew 25:
* What we do for others demonstrates what we really think about Jesus' words to us.
* Love for others glorifies God by reflecting our love for him.
Interesting. It is funny, because over the last 24 hours - quite a few people have reached out to me to offer encouragement, love and prayers... one in particular who is at this very moment awaiting the transfer of her newly fertilized embryos into her body... and her greatest concern is to not be hurting me further by sharing her good news and excitement.
I care about her so much though, that I want to know - no matter where I am in my life - I want to know that my friends are being lifted up, happy, healthy, and getting all of their hearts desires... I want that for them almost more than I want it for myself. How can you explain that away without realizing that the only answer as to why I feel that way... is Jesus.
I've often thought about the people closest to me that are awaiting the miracle of parenthood... and more than I can count - I've wished that they all achieve that glorious miracle ahead of me... because I want them to have it so badly - that I can't imagine getting it before them. In reality there will be people still waiting when the time comes for John and I to be parents in whatever form that takes... but even still... I hope that all of those close to me have their hearts desires before I have mine.
I only really came back to post to share with you the prayer that I said about my situation today - because it might better shape your prayers specifically to align them with what I am asking for in this journey.... but then when I sat down to write and realized how much more I got out of the last hour spent reading from the gospel... I had to share it all with you.
Alas... here is the prayer that I intended to share with you:
Dear Heavenly Father, I come before you today on my knees in despair over the cancellation of another fertility cycle. God, I don't know of the plans you have for us, but I know that they are greater than I can imagine. Please show John and I clarity on what path to take, what our next step is, and how we can use the expansion of our family to glorify you for all to see. Our greatest desire is to have a child that we can raise together in a godly home, and we need your grace to do that. Please give us peace in this struggle and clarity on how to move forward: whether that is to wait for you, to try new treatment, to adopt, or to do something else - show us clearly and directly. In your name, I pray. Amen.
I used the word grace in my prayer because last week in church we learned that the very definition of grace is to receive something without deserving it... I felt that in this moment that is a very appropriate word to use.