Only One Could Have Ever Predicted This

I am still in grateful disbelief. No one could have ever predicted this.

No one.

Except of course the author of my life Himself. The Creator of the Heavens and Earth (we can agree to disagree on this point if needed) ;). The One who chose me to be their mother...

God Himself!

I am excited to share with you all that I now have a reading plan published on the YouVersion Bible app!

I searched, emailed and hustled for months trying to figure out how to submit a reading plan, as they have not been accepting submissions for a while now. I was unwilling to accept that there were only 3 infertility reading plans and I finally received an email back. Within a couple of weeks I got the email saying they accepted my plan and would be launching today, perfect timing for National Infertility Awareness Week!

I did not fight my way into my faith until after our infertility journey.  I know faith is hard for a lot of us, especially as we are trying to survive and thrive through and after infertility. But, as I have written before, I think it is important for us to have faith in something.

For me, this is faith in Jesus Christ as my savior. Trusting the plan God has written for me, even in those times I don't really like it, and doing the work to find my place in it. I can't wait to share my full faith testimony in the next book.

For now, I hope you find this reading plan helpful. And, as I already had a client say to me, "Infertility or not, it kind of applies to any struggle."

Yep, hard is just hard.

 
Screenshot (238)
Screenshot (238)
 

Download the YouVersion Bible app and search infertility or my name to find my plan or click here.

Penned Musing: Joy

I pause before I answer the questions. A pause both because I am annoyed by my own answer, but also because I need the words I am about to say to not only be heard but felt.

I'm finding it in Him.

She looks back at me with the expected annoyance that is also dusted with a bit of I want that too.

It's hard to explain. I fought religion and therefore my faith for so long. There is not much like being the unlucky girl who spends a year of her life in a body cast who grows up to be a mental health therapist who hears terrible and sick things in her office every day who can't have babies to make you pretty pissed off at God.

She nods her head back with the knowing of someone who has also survived great struggle and loss.

But we've all had struggle and loss haven't we?

She quickly replies from the familiar place of uncertain, desperate impatience,

But how? What do I do?

Treading with the caution of walking on thin ice I reply,

Maybe it isn't about doing at all? For me, it has been just the opposite, which is even more annoying since I am a major doer. But, I've had to surrender.

She now replies with an even greater annoyance that I have come to expect,

But how do I surrender?

And again, with authentic love in my voice I shine His light down the dark scary path,

I know right? I had to come to the end of myself. Realizing I can't do any of it all alone, and that I don't have to. I gave myself permission to be completely undone by His grace, by what He has done for me. Allowing myself to fall into His grace and trust He has the end of my story.

 
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*Penned Musings are posts based off of my daily writing prompts. You can read more here.

Shining My Faith Through Doubt and Wonder

My dad asked to borrow my bible, (The Voice version) to see if he likes it. I, of course, said yes when he noticed I had a bunch of papers stuck in it. I mindlessly took them from him and placed them on my meditation/prayer altar and did not think of them again until this morning during my prayer and meditation time. One was a letter I wrote to God at the end of our church's Explorations class. Honestly, the class that changed it all for me. This is what I wrote one year ago to God and probably to myself all at the same time,

This has been some of the most challenging years of my life, which I feel like is saying a lot considering what I've already been through. And yet, I finally feel, not only more me, but I am finally feeling at peace with me, with You, with it all. I think I need permission to doubt and question, and then I really needed to admit that I was, and maybe still am, so angry at You for what I've deemed as unfair. And yet, I also know at the same time that I don't get that power of what is fair or unfair in this life, in Your kingdom or what You have planned for me. And more than ever before, with this knowledge, with this peace, with Your grace, I am finally trusting You. I feel this sense, Your spirit, inside of me; almost always. I'm still definitely learning and questioning and figuring out how to do this all, but it is with this sense of faith that I'm both proud and a little scared. But I also am going to give myself permission for that fear because I don't ever want to lose my wonder about this all or about You.

A year has passed since I wrote these words and my sense of trust in them has only grown. This sense that I can stop treading water so hard all the time and know that His hands are underneath me to help me float. This sense that everything will be okay, even if I am not loving it all right now.

A year ago this week was when I walked into the waters of baptism and every day since has been full of growth and wonder. This coming weekend I will take part in my church's baptism services. I will walk on stage and share my faith testimony with our congregation of thousands. And, in front of those thousands of people my "cardboard testimony" will have the word infertility on it.

What I hope is that I give someone else permission to seek themselves through this journey of infertility.

To know that everything will eventually be okay as we define our own happy ending.

To know that this journey has nothing to do with punishment or what is fair or unfair.

To know that through embracing the complicated gray, they will actually find their truth.

My prayer is that in that dreaded, and yet now completing word to me, infertility, the hope of being okay can shine. And, most of all, that we all can trust that we can rewrite parts of our story, trusting in how He has it all in His hands, and that the end of our story is nothing short of a grace filled miracle.