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    against the clock & compass: overcoming a barren mindset with an infertile womb

    The other day I plugged in a destination and 2 hours later, GPS said that I had arrived when I was on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. I was filled with fear in my unknown surroundings at the thought that I was totally lost yet hoping I mistyped the address. My heart fluttered because I timed my travel based on my time of arrival and now it was me against the clock and my compass. That’s what finding out the news of infertility feels like, where your inserted address does not bring you to your determined destination and time can feel as if it’s racing against you. I love the lyric in Katy Perry’s song called, “Rise”: “When the fire’s at my feet again, and the vultures all start circling, saying you’re out of time, but I will rise.”

    Romans 4:20-21 says, “Yet he [Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.”

    Other times we can feel a lot like the older brother (sister) in the Prodigal Son story. Why did she get a party? She’s been out partying and wasting your money… We refuse to go in to the party (or the baby shower). We decline to celebrate with others. We point out to God all the ways we deserve this blessing like, “God, how come this woman gets pregnant and she has the worst home life and us having stable jobs and a godly marriage struggle with infertility?”

    So why does God give drug addicts, rapists and the ill equipped babies and the Christian woman is barren? 

    Satan is the prince of the world (unless you choose Christ, you’re in his prison cell) and he wants to raise up more demonic children to become like their parents, hating life & hating God. Then he attacks the Christian by stealing from her womb hoping it will rob her love for God too. When you think its God’s fault, you’ve taken Him off of His throne and put the devil. Meanwhile the devil is laughing because he fooled you into thinking that it’s God’s fault rather than his. Now subconsciously satan has become your friend as you believe what he says about your situation and without saying it aloud or even realizing it, God has become your enemy. 

    God gives and satan steals. 

    So dry your tears, forgive God for your indirected bitterness & anger and then start telling satan what God is going to do for your barren situation because death has never stopped Him. 

    Or maybe some of you feel like the younger brother (sister) because you lost your virginity or had an abortion and feel that those are the reasons you are facing infertility. No, God the Father is waiting on the porch for His prized possession to come home. He’s ready to give back everything that was stolen or lost. Everything He has is ours.

    “We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love.” -Romans 5:3–5

    Celebrate in suffering? 

    How do you attend a party for yourself if you can’t even send the invitation? 

    Imagine hinting to your dad every time you’re out shopping that you want this one item all to wake up Christmas morning and see your sister opening the gift you wanted. Tears fill your eyes and jealousy whispers lies and your heart feels invisible. 

    But re-imagine that as your shopping you notice a glimmer in your sister’s eye and whisper to your dad that he should get it for her. He agrees and asks you to wrap her gift on Christmas Eve with him. Now tears fill your eyes as she opens the gift and your heart is warm. 

    As a co-laborer with Christ, I am not threatened when my sister sees breakthrough! I spent time with my Father praying to see it come to pass. 

    So when a friend of mine who had struggled with infertility & gone to the same specialist as us announced that she was pregnant, the response wasn’t, “Why not me? Where’s mine God?” It’s a genuine celebration! 

    I have learned that my boat doesn’t have to sink when others learn to swim. 

    But if disappointment fills your veins and heartbreak keeps you awake, the lie that He has forgotten has hummed way too loud over the truth that you have never left His mind. Lets also not forget that the woman who bore the nations at 90 years old was barren. YOU are God’s miracle child! 

    And because of the cross, He struck death with barrenness when He birthed you! 

    In Luke 8, Jairus comes up to Jesus asking if He could come and heal his 12 year old daughter who was dying. He goes to do so when a woman touches His robe and power is released from Him. He turns around to ask who touched Him and as He is trying to find the woman who was hiding, Jairus is still standing there probably thinking, “The girl is healed! Lets go, because my girl isn’t!” As Jesus is stopping for this one, Jairus’ friend comes to him and says, “Don’t bother asking Jesus to heal your daughter, she just died.”

    I am sure his heart sunk! Jesus was healing a woman who bled for 12 years but his 12 year old daughter just lost life because of it. Jesus looks at him and says, “Jairus, do not let fear enter; she is not dead, she is just sleeping.” They go to his house and all the people who were filled with grief were left out of the room. He only let those with hope see the miracle. 

    I know the enemy has comes just like Jairus’ friend and says, “Don’t even bother asking Jesus to heal your womb, it’s dead. Didn’t you hear what the doctor said? You’re infertile. The years prove it.” But Jesus turns and says, “Don’t you dare let fear enter. Your babies aren’t dead, they are just sleeping and when I come, I will tell them to quit sleeping and arise!”

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    Self Doubt Almost Swallowed Me


    I’ve always enjoyed sharing my recipes…the ingredients of how I made a relationship with Holy Spirit and how others can too. But the risk in sharing my cookbook is that the directions can be misread or misinterpreted like the time I accidentally scooped powdered sugar instead of flour.

    One missed step, one wrong brand, or one missing ingredient can ruin the whole process. All of a sudden a friend is claiming she’s “not a baker” all because of a failed recipe. The hearts who trusted God but doubt entered in and they renounced their conversion to faith. Fear of failure overtook the confidence they once carried.

    I could hold onto my recipes and deem them as “secret” or “for family only” forcing the hungry to come eat at my table…coddling my control and delighting in my hidden knowledge, convincing others that I was born to bake and sorrowful that God had not gifted them with the same. 

    Or I could take a risk and expose the tools that I was taught to keep a heart and belly full. I could give away what has delighted my hands to prepare and what has sweetened my lips.

    Because I was made to share, not to hoard… To teach, not just feed… To tell, not keep quiet… To expose, not keep secrets. Because others deserve the gift to not just taste or come with forks ready but to grasp for themselves the privilege of hosting their own meal. They should find the worth in messing up, starting over, consistency, full attention, complete effort, stocking the cupboards, buying the ingredients, for the reward of knowing, feeding and giving so that one day, they can share their own recipe of how they formed deep friendship with God.

    Everyone cooks differently but our desire is all the same…to cook something so delicious that it calls people to the table to eat and enjoy. 

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    an invitation to celebration

    stork

    It’s a whole lot easier to stay silent when the tempest rages but our marriage was birthed in a storm. The cloudburst led us to dance in the rain, sing through the storm, and stay when it downpours.

    One week after finding out the news that I have PCOS, I received an invitation. It was a birth announcement from my sister that she was due with a baby boy! They had waited to find out the gender before sharing. She decided not to send the written card in the mail and when she received my call, she knew why: it would’ve been delivered on the day I found out that I was certainly not “due.”

    In my heart, this RSVP had options:

    • will celebrate in person!

    • or will become bitter in spirit…

    • accept with pleasure!

    • or decline with misery…

    • can’t wait!

    • or sorry, wish it could be me instead…

    • let the good times roll!

    • or you’ll have to carry on without me…

    The snake came slithering and quickly dug his fangs in deep. He pulled me into his coils and said, “Look, both your sister and sistern’law are pregnant with their 3rd child and you haven’t even had your first.” I acknowledged that the bite hurt. Then I saw the sheddings of a viper…bitterness, jealously, and discontentment. The injection had been declined. The poison was overpowered by the blood of the Lamb. The venom had been clinched before it had a chance to flow through my veins.

    Things change when we’ve encountered disappointment. It’s not that our vision gets blurry, it just hyper focuses on what it has not yet been appointed.

    The desire grows in getting what we want, not becoming who He is.

    Well Bethany, it’s only natural to be jealous when you find out that kind of news.” Well, God made me supernatural so what used to be normal is now abnormal! It shouldn’t be normal to respond in jealousy! It shouldn’t be normal to react with coveting! An apple doesn’t leak orange juice when squeezed, so sin shouldn’t seep out when the enemy’s grip constricts us. The fruit of God’s Spirit in us should overflow.

    God isn’t taking away our permission to hurt. He gives us the power we need to heal.

    Do we realize the enemy’s goal is to get us utterly offended, so jealous, completely depressed, full of bitterness, all to convince us that we don’t have life to the fullest? This blog isn’t to teach you how you can step over my toes. It’s to invite you to step on His feet like a little girl again and allow our Father to lead this dance. Jesus can bend back the hands of time. He is willing to change the plan at the persistence of our voice. He empowers us to speak to creation and see it respond.

    I’m not interested in putting on the mask of “being positive.” I think that can actually be negative. I’m possessed by hope. This is not wishful thinking.

    Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5

    “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Hebrews 11:3

    I pray for a generation to rise up against infertility in a new way…to live a life unoffended by God and man. I pray against the spirit of disbelief at hearing the words “you’re kids are going to be beautiful.” I pray against the spirit of despair at the sight of another mother. I pray against the spirit of jealousy from the news of a little life that isn’t yours. Perhaps believing the lie that “maybe God loves His other children more because they got a gift we didn’t.” Maybe we’ve forgotten that He knows us and He has done enough. So I ask the tough question that it all boils down to…Is He enough?

    Has our eye for children gotten bigger than our focus on Him? Matthew 5:29 says, “If your right eye causes you to lust, gouge it out!” Kill the eye that only sees what it can’t have. Has our whole world been wrapped up in this one thing? I do not want to gain the whole world and lose my soul. A child will not fulfill me. He is my promise. I am in heaven when He’s holding my hand. Dare I question my Maker. Delayed gratification strengthens my soul. With each step I will see His deliverance. God is healer. God is my solution. Not a specialist. Not medicine. Not diets. Not dreams. Are you brave enough to believe with me? “the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.” Romans 4:17

    So I accept the invitation and respond with celebration. I am taking it one step at a time and assuming the best. I trust Him. I really do.

    That is not to say the temptation to step into a victim mentality doesn’t come knocking. I just answer and say, you have the wrong heart!

    And this same month that I have been told the news of my barrenness, I held two little lives (twins) from the womb of my sistern’love and I held them close and gave them a kiss knowing that where they came from, they have met the One who holds all things, for He is the One who released them to come at such a time as this. A gift from Him to me, to remember that He exhales life. So satan, what you meant for evil, I know that my God meant it for good…and so, it is good.

    LoveB

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    So well written! Thank you for sharing!

    Tammy Boone

    Beautifully written and heartfelt. Will stir a lot of hearts today.

    Stephanie Arnett

    Your words of wisdom will ring true with so many. Thank you for your openness and honesty!!