This week I would love for all of you to be encouraged by my dear friend Kate. She has been through struggles I cannot even fathom and her faith in the midst of trials is astonishing. I love hearing the story of how God has transformed her heart and is continuing to work in her. Because we both stay so busy we don't hang out as much as I would like but she's the type of friend you always feel comfortable with and can always pick up exactly where you've left off. She is such an encourager and even on difficult days the joy of the Lord radiates from her. So, here are some words to think on from Kate.
As you can see Nathan is thrilled with the news:)
After an abortion at 19 and then (10 years later) three miscarriages, God blessed my husband and I with a healthy, sweet, funny little boy that we not only got to take home from the hospital but also get to raise and point toward Jesus every day. He brings such joy to our lives and I am so thankful to be his mommy.
Here we are, 2 years later, walking the same road of another high risk pregnancy. Things are going a bit differently this time around. I have some health complications (other than miscarriages) that make pregnancy challenging and that can cause health problems for the baby growing inside me. And although I am not doing things differently than I did with my first born things are just not going as I would like. My phenylalanine levels have been too high since week 8 of this pregnancy and I am now in week 16. Nothing seems to be bringing them down and whenever I think that they must be going in the right direction they go even higher than they were before. On top of health concerns for this baby we also have a few (minor) health concerns for our son, we are packing up and moving houses in the next month, and there are job transitions and changes that come with moving as well. This is a season of change, transition, and uncertainty. And God is teaching us through it all to trust Him more deeply.
In the midst of all the uncertainties and questions swirling around in my mind and heart I have to ask myself one thing day by day (and really moment by moment.) Am I trusting God in this? Am I resting in Him? Am I clinging to Him? (Ok, three things!) Honestly, in this season and in this pregnancy (much more than in the last one) the fight for faith is harder for me. I am so prone to worry and be fearful about all the unknowns. Taking every thought, every fear, and every worry captive is difficult and I am learning now more than ever that I must do battle and fight for faith.
So here is what fighting for faith looks like for me these days. I definitely do not have it all figured out (or even close to figured out!) and some days are better than others but here are some things that have been helping me to trust The Lord in everything that is going on. I have to stop and pray a lot throughout the day (and night) and with kids that means saying "ok, mommy needs to ask God for help now" and just praying right there as we are playing or eating or whatever we are doing. (I need to be doing this more with them anyway throughout our day, but thats another blog for another day!) There is a lot of confessing my need for Him, a lot of confessing my sinful, anxious heart when I am fearful, and a lot of seeking out, clinging to, meditating on, and praying specific promises in the bible and a lot of praying that The Lord would change my heart by His word.
My prayer is that this may be true of me, that I would find His words, be nourished by them, and that my heart would remain joyful in The Lord no matter what the circumstances are.
Here are a few verses that I have been fighting for faith with in this season:
Isaiah 41:10 - fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Psalm 121 - I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 139 - For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 27 - One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
There are many others, but I will just list these! I am thankful that every promise is yes and amen in Christ Jesus. I may not know how this pregnancy or any circumstance is going to turn out in my life but I do know that this is true.
He is giving me exactly what I need and what is best for me. He is showing me now more than ever my need for Him and I would not know Him or trust Him in the same way if it wasn't for each of the circumstances He has walked us through and is currently walking us through. It is a hard battle to fight for faith and at times I am weary, but it is worth it. I am not promised that I will meet this baby on this side of heaven but I am promised that Emmanual, God with us, is with me in this. He is not leaving me or forsaking me and in that I can rest.