Category: Purpose Driven Life


Let me be real for a few moments, after all that’s why I have this thing right? To bear all? To say what I need to say? To vent. To provide therapy to myself for the low, low price of some time and typing. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, well I’ve never stopped really since it happened and I’ve broken quite a few times this year…I’ll just get to the point and fill in the details as I go or later when I’m actually at my computer and not typing from my phone. Today is our holiday party at work. I woke this morning at 5am broken. I didn’t realize I would feel quite this way. This entire year has been a rough year. Changing me completely in a lot of ways. It’s been a year of misplaced hope, shattered dreams, and “what ifs”, “whys”, “should have beens”, etc. Not to discount the amazing things that have happened this year but this year has been a year of absolute survival. Living within a shell of myself, feeling more into the depths of my heart than I ever have before, which has required me to suck it up on the outside for the most part and force this body to get up out of bed everyday and put on a smile. Only one person has seen the majority of my desperation. And he hasn’t seen it all because I’ve tried to hide at times to protect him maybe, I guess that’s what I thought I was doing. Keeping him from knowing just how often my heart aches completely and sends me over the edge with tears.

Let me stop for a moment to say if you don’t understand the things I write here, if you think it’s “too much”, if you think I’m exaggerating, if you think “it isn’t a big deal, it’ll pass just keep being positive”, or anything that would diminish what I’m going through, keep your thoughts to yourself and literally praise God that you don’t have a clue. I’m not being mean, I’m being truthful. If you can’t relate, praise God, this isn’t being written for you. But there’s a whole lot of couples out there who sadly know every bit of this is real and extremely difficult to go through.

It’s the end of yet another failed medicated cycle. One that I had SUCH high hopes for. I used every method I could think of to be hopeful: prayer of course, visualization, meditation and yoga, positive affirmations, redirecting my thoughts, even a silly temporary tattoo from one of the companies I order supplies from, seriously I was THAT hopeful for this cycle; along with the practical things: 2 types of medicine along with the 4 other supplements I take, continued basal body temping, timing, diet and exercise, ultrasounds and blood work on specific cycle days. I know it seems like a LOT and it was…but I was hopeful for a happy Christmas present. I told myself all the craziness would be worth it this cycle. There was no way that this wasn’t our time.

It has now officially been a full year since we were pregnant. And we still aren’t pregnant again. And we don’t have the baby I was pregnant with last year. If you think any of the things I post are “too much” or we’re “trying too hard and need to relax”, good luck with that when you desperately want what your heart aches for. When you do everything possible to be healthy, positive, and accurate and end up with nothing. Again. When you can’t “just relax and take your mind off of it” because then it’s time for the next pill or meal or thermometer reading. When you’ve become acutely aware of the toxins in everything you’re using so you switch shampoos, soaps, moisturizers, food in hopes that something you do will be the magical thing that makes your body work properly. And your friends get pregnant without trying…again. (this does NOT mean I am unhappy, hateful, or ungrateful for them by the way, do NOT be mistaken on this one- I’ll do another whole blog on this alone.) When quite literally everyone has kids and they are moms and want to talk exclusively about their kids and “mom things” and just as they cannot relate to me, I desperately ache to relate to them but I can’t. I actually know as much, if not more than what they’re talking about because I dream about it and research all the time, but I can’t admit this because it’s too sad and sadly I wouldn’t be given the time of day about it because “I’m not really a mom so I couldn’t understand what it’s like” which just hurts too much because for all the theory I know, it’s the truth. I watch my husband with the neighborhood kids, or see our friends, dads, holding their babies and I desperately want to give that to him. And yet my body fails me month after month. I feel guilty because it is my body that isn’t working correctly despite all that we do. And my husband doesn’t blame me. He says it’s our battle. He holds me as I cry at any and all hours day or night. He leads me back to God’s faithful promises over and over again. He holds my hand. He is here for me. I couldn’t have asked God for a more amazing person to completely fill me up when I’m run dry and empty and am cracking underneath it all. I pray, I cry, I do everything I can think of to no avail. I would love to forget about it and move on to other things but that’s not going to happen…this isn’t like settling for a job that isn’t your dream job, or temporarily settling for an apartment rather than a house…it’s life and I know we are “early” in this infertility battle but I can’t imagine as the months and cycles and hopefully not years continue to pass that what I’m feeling will be anything different. At least I know and trust that God knows the desires of my heart. Even when it doesn’t make sense right now that I can’t have it.

There’s a song out right now by Josh Wilson called “Fall Apart” and it is my life right now. “I don’t know how long this will last, I’m praying for the pain to pass. But maybe this is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My whole world is caving in but I feel you now more than I did then. How can I come to the end of my but somehow still have all I need? God I want to know you more, maybe this is how it starts. I find you when I fall apart.”. The entire song is amazing.

So can desperation be worship? Pain, struggle, doubt, and fear? Yes. I think it can be. When it sincerely reminds you of how little and insignificant you are. And how big and great and sovereign is our God. When desperation leads us not to coping methods that would leave us in a worse situation than we started in. When desperation leads us to continually look to God for His guidance and wisdom. Because this certainly doesn’t make any sense to me. Proverbs 3:5-6 says we should “trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which paths to take.” this means even when you’re desperate. Even when it doesn’t make any sense at all. Even when you’ve done everything “right” that you can do. I know my God is faithful and true. Even when I cannot feel it or see it through to the end. It doesn’t necessarily make the day to day of this disease and battle ANY easier, sadly. But I guess somewhere in me I believe that this isn’t it for us. Even though I stare angrily at my stomach and truly wonder if I will ever experience what it is to bring our dream to life I praise God anyway. Not as a bargaining chip, but because I have to continue to faithfully follow Him wherever He leads me. I have to learn not to compare other’s paths to my own. I’m not on a blind quest for perfection believing only then will we achieve our desires. But I know God wouldn’t take us through this for nothing. His intent is always for good, it is always perfect and faithful and true. Even when we can’t see it or feel it. Even when we drop our hands and hang our heads in defeat. Even when we are truly, completely, absolutely desperate.

That’s all I am at the core of it. Incredibly flawed and imperfect, yet God’s greatest masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). We are as close to God as we choose to be. God desires us as friends and to surrender our lives to Him. There are many things I claim to surrender, yet I know that I have placed them on His altar, only to look back and decide maybe I still need to have my hand on that still…just for safe keeping of course. Maybe God isn’t ready to get around to it yet so I’m going to continue to pay it some attention and try to work it out. I’m really doing it as a favor to Him, I’m not being disobedient or unfaithful. Or I guess that’s what I’ve been telling myself. The lies I’ve been allowing myself to believe. When I do this don’t let me fool you, I really do know exactly what I’m doing and it’s my choice to do these things. And then my mind becomes consumed with this thing I KNOW would be in far better hands than mine but since I’ve chosen to keep this thing under my control I’ve chosen to distance myself from my best friend, God. I’ve chosen to say I don’t believe that He is all I know Him to be. I’ve chosen to put myself and my issue or circumstance in a higher order because “I’ve got this.”. What I’ve really got is authority issues and control issues. When my life would be much richer if I would just leave it alone and absolutely trust God with it. It goes back to day 1. It’s not about me. When I choose this plan of action, which occurs far more often than I’d like to admit, my mind spirals out of control, my focus is shifted and the choices I make from that point on are terribly skewed. And I’m not talking about “big” sins for lack of a better statement (all sins are rebellious against God, thus there are none bigger or smaller, less damaging than another)…I’m talking about choices I make and lies I tell myself everyday.

When my focus is on God and on the heart of God I am refreshed, at peace, and renewed. I have a renewed since of hope and direction that is not circumstantial, it is eternal which makes all the rest fade away. When I remember that every action I take can be used as an act of worship my day gets brighter, my interactions with people are easier, more significant. My thoughts are surrendered and held captive to my King and my insecurities are checked at the door (2 Corinthians 10:5). Even when things don’t make any sense to me. When it’s all about worshipping my Savior and I’m not shining the spotlight on myself I can truly see. When it’s all about me, I’m blinding myself with that spotlight and blurring my vision. I lose the ability to appropriately and accurately make good choices because now when I look out at my options even the bad ones don’t look so bad because of the haze that surrounds both the bad and good. When I direct my eyes and my focus on worship the truth has never been clearer. I don’t have a second thought about what God wants for my life and the desires of His heart. It all comes back to love. And when I can clearly see I can love not only others more clearly but I can love my gracious God in the way He truly deserves, even though all of my worship could never measure up to how awesome and Holy He is.

Father you are my redeemer. You are my strength, hope, and peace in my restless soul. In all my imperfection I need you and I love you. Please forgive me for making it about me, when clearly it is always about You. Help me Father to surrender myself to You and Your will in my every breath. I know I am weak and will fail but I know You are perfect and love me in ways I could never understand. Thank you for it all God. For revealing to me Your desires and plans for my life, I trust that You are revealing them and working it all together for my good and Your glory in Your sovereign timing. Thank you Father for loving me, a sinner first, and meeting me where I am and walking with me and desiring friendship and fellowship with someone like me. I love You and desire that my live for You grow and grow each day.

There are a lot of times, every day really, when we are faced with awkward situations.  Situations that maybe touch too close to home, that are too deep for us to handle at the moment, or that we just don’t care to get into with a certain person.  It can be running into an old flame whom you haven’t seen in years.  Making eye contact with an acquaintance as you’re both rushing toward the same door, asking how someone is doing when you’re not really available to hear what they have to say, and they say “fine, you?” and you respond with “good, thanks” and go about your day when you’ve really just been delivered devastating news, when they are in the middle of a family crisis, job loss, financial struggles, or any number of things.  It would do them good and yourself too, to open up to someone, to share joy, trials, pain, and it is in and through the awkwardness that the times of great joy and success can be shared and are that much sweeter with someone who knows where you’ve been and how far you’ve come.  It is being real and acknowledging someone’s hurt or pain, even when it is awkward and uncomfortable.  It is picking up the phone and calling back the person you just hung up with, because you feel a tugging on your heart that you know you didn’t say what you wanted to say and what they needed to hear.  And it’s calling them back, saying what you need to say, and hearing the sorrow in their voice, but you also hear relief…relief that they feel they aren’t alone; they aren’t carrying the burden all alone, even if you’ve never been in that situation and all you can say is that you are sorry and you are praying for them and thinking of them through it…it means the world to them.  I know this very well because I’ve been on both ends of this in the past few months.  I’ve been the one thinking “it’s too difficult to bring it up, I don’t want them to hurt even more by my bringing it up”…but really, I realized that the other person is already there…they are already in that place, it won’t hurt more by bringing it up, somehow, it hurts less.  I’ve also been the one to whom a friend has said, “hey, how are you doing?  And don’t say ‘fine’ because I know you’re not.”  The truth and reality are difficult things.  They are also real things.  Things we all struggle with.  And God wants us to have a band of brothers and a band of sisters to encourage us and love us and lift us up when we need it most, and again, the sweetest part of that is when the good times and the joy comes…people can’t really celebrate and experience all that God has blessed us with until we let them know where and what He has brought us through.  (1 Thessalonians 5 comes to mind, along with Hebrews 10:25 and Galatians 6:2)

I write this post because people are going through stuff, the real stuff, all around us in our every day life and within our families and amongst our friends.  And how can we be there for them?  How can we be open and real enough with ourselves that we say the tough things that need to be acknowledged in awkward situations?  For me, I have to focus on something else, something bigger in order to realize (what I mentioned in my last post) that it’s not all about me, and that there’s a bigger purpose out there and then everything gets put into perspective for me.  That our life is “but a small parenthesis in eternity” (Sir Thomas Browne).  We were meant for more than just scratching the surface.  In The Purpose Driven Life, Day 4 discusses how we are made to last forever and “when you fully comprehend that there is more to life than just here and now, and you realize that life is just preparation for eternity, you will begin to live differently.  You will start living the the light of eternity, and that will color how you handle every relationship, task, and circumstance.  Suddenly many activities, goals, and even problems that seemed important will appear trivial, petty, and unworthy of your attention.  The closer you live to God, the smaller everything else appears.”  It’s so true, isn’t it?  That our God is so awesome and His love for us so overwhelming; the mere thought of an everlasting eternity experiencing fellowship with Him and praising Him makes everything else pale in comparison.  You do start to see things a little differently.  Probably a LOT differently.  During the times you are closest to God, again at least in my case, the awkward times become easier, you can see them for what they are, not allowing them to overwhelm you or your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Praying through them in different ways and allowing your faith to be refined and amazingly the growing pains are a little more dull, not so sharp and piercing.

Father You are faithful. You are great and all-knowing.  You are peace and strength.  You are true love and protection.  Lord, I can be so self-centered.  So selfish.  So focused on today, tomorrow, next week, rather than eternity.  I get so comfortable that I don’t want to share what I’m going through and I’m not open to hearing from others and helping them struggle because I know there’s nothing good to say or I can’t relate.  But I know you can.  For nothing in this life is an accident, just as “You are our Creator.  We were in Your care even before we were born” (Isaiah 44:2a).  You’ve got this thing all under control and I easily forget that all the time.  Thank You for Your faithfulness.  For Your sovereignty and provisions in my life and in the lives of my precious family and friends.  Father, help me to remember your faithful promises and to seek after you in every moment of every day.  Help me to live with an eternal focus rather than a comfort focus so that I may be effective for Your Kingdom and Your purpose and plan, rather than my own.

Warren, Rick.  The Purpose Driven Life.  Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2002.

And by saying that, I mean it’s not about me.  Or you, for that matter.  It isn’t about us, it’s about Him.  I am starting an amazing study and it’s absolutely no accident that I have just started it now and it’s date of completion is December 31, 2011 just in time for the new year.  I am completing “The Purpose Driven Life” with two other couples.  And it isn’t any accident that we three couples are together and have chosen outside of any church guidance to continue our studies together and to lift one another up.  I want to do some posts on this study, and I cannot promise to be super diligent about them but the desire is there.  I am wanting to do these in hopes of flushing out some of my thoughts and later being able to remember my own insights from this study.  Section 1 is entitled “What on Earth am I Here For?” and Day 1 “All Starts With God”…and isn’t that the truth.  One of the biggest and probably simplest and silliest (to me) insights I received from this day is SO fundamental yet when put this way, really struck me in the head, duh!  First of all Colassians 1:16 “For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him” what an incredible verse.  If you’re anything like me, and I sure hope you’re not because I’m a M-E-S-S, you forget on a moment to moment basis just how little we are…just how finite and delicate we are.  We “only exist because God wills that [we] exist!”  Holy cow!  Really?  I’m being serious here…when I read it said in that way my mind was blown…I only exist on this Earth in the job that I’m in, with the friends and family that I have, with the triumphs and troubles I have because HE WILLS that I exist.  I often forget whose playing field I’m on and that I don’t have a teeny tiny bit of the control that I allow myself to think I have.  Okay, so like I said, simple concept huh?  You’re probably shaking your head right now because it’s so simple.  It honestly blows my mind.  I guess because it reminds me of how absolute, infinite, strong, powerful, and downright BIG He is!  And I guess I haven’t really thought of it in terms of Him having a will like I do…in the sense that He gets what He wants every time because every time He has the absolute best interest for glorifying Himself and yet still causing things in this fallen world to work for our good.  It’s overwhelming and already a testament to His great and amazing love.  How can it be?  I just shake my head and wonder.

Anyway, I’m on to day 2 and I will try to post about that as well.  I could go on and on just about day 1 but I won’t, because I think you should go get this book for youself…study with me!  I’m already hooked and it’s only day 1…it tells you not to read ahead so you can soak up the day you’re on and really let it sink in…I could probably spend a week on day 1, yet I want to read the entire book all at once.  I’m exhibiting great patience because I have not yet turned that page, but I’m about to!  I want to become more Biblically literate in an age and a society where the resources are there at our fingertips at a moment’s notice, yet I always find ways to distract myself.  If the devil can’t make you a bad person, he will try to make you a busy one…I believe that, and I know that I often fall into that trap…please, Father, help me to seek after you with reckless abandon.  Help me and my husband to have hearts that reflect Yours alone.  To be selfless and forgiving; willing and loving.  Father we fall so short of Your greater purpose and plan, please begin to reveal it to us amidst the things that distract us.  I believe You, Father, and I believe in You.  Thank you so much for Your perfect timing.

“Without God, life makes no sense.”