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    Red is the First Color of the Rainbow

    image1I remember praying, “God, I don’t care about getting pregnant. I just want this rash (effects of low progesterone) would go away.” I had a dermatologist appointment scheduled and the first opening they had available was FOUR MONTHS away. 2 weeks before the appointment, I got an email from Bethel Music inviting me to meet the team in Little Rock, AR. In order to make it on time to meet the team, I would have to miss my appointment. I purchased my tickets without hesitation. I asked God to allow them to have an appointment before March. They said, “Mam, do you want it to be that late? We have a cancellation for tomorrow.” This was ONE WEEK before my actual scheduled appointment! God said to me, “Bethany, you cared more about your spiritual health than your physical health and I always reward those who put the best thing first.”

    I realized God thought it was important that I be at the Bethel concert. I wasn’t planning on going but He knew the way to get me there. There were many words spoken that night but the theme seemed to be DREAMS, HOPE, & God BIRTHING something in us.

    We began singing “Draw Near to Me” by Jeremy Riddle, which says, “I’ve made a place for you here, so c’mon, c’mon, All things are possible here so c’mon, c’mon.”

    I saw Jesus building my house in heaven and He led me upstairs and said, “C’mon, I want to show you something.” He opened the door to our 3rd bedroom and He had decorated it into a nursery. I heard Him sing to me, “I’m walking into your womb…I am forming a new room.”

    My stomach began to cramp and I heard Him say, “You won’t have to worry about that next month.” I immediately assumed He was telling me I would be pregnant next month. I shared with close friends in vulnerability, anticipation and fear but the next month I was certainly not “due.”

    “I guess I heard Him wrong,” I thought. From that point on something changed in my heart posture. Subconciously I was angry at God. My heart knew the sound of His voice. I knew He spoke those words but since they did not ring true, my depth (the unseen and unheard places) began to register God as a liar.

    So many things had happened…

    -One day I looked down at my ring and for the first time ever I saw 2 baby blue parallel lines reflecting from the sapphire in the middle, which is the sign of a positive pregnancy test.

    -A diaper showed up in my driveway

    -I had a dream and a man said, “There’s a baby in your belly.” I woke up as lightning flashed and lit up our whole room. To this day, I still believe it was an angelic visitation.

    -I officially knew something was wrong when three girls in one week told me they had dreams of me being pregnant. I heard Him start to encourage me and I looked up at Him and said,

    “God, stop! Don’t say what you don’t mean. I am tired of hearing these things. If You’re not going to do it, don’t say it!”

    A few months later, I let myself process that thought that I rarely let through…the thought of: “What if I never have kids of my own? What if I never see those baby blue eyes?” I began to cry. God said to me, “Bethany, remember when I spoke to you at the concert?…You heard me correctly, you just misinterpreted what I said.” I began to think on those words, “You won’t have to worry about that next month.” I realized that He was speaking against worry. He was taking away my fear that night.

    Comfort filled my heart and hope began to introduce herself again. The end of my 27th year was nearing and our last IUI was yet to be done. I decided to schedule my appointment right before we headed on our trip to Bethel. A few days after our IUI, I got out of my car and began to pray: “Jesus, I declare life over my womb. I will see those little baby blues!” Right when I finished that prayer, I saw a black lizard. I kept walking down the stairs and said, “Oh what? You’re not gonna run?” as it just stayed in the same position.

    I have never seen a lizard not run from my feet. I stomped towards it and there was not an inch of movement. I stepped one step down and looked at it. It took its eyes from the ground slowly up to mine and I saw its eyes were red. I immediately knew it was a demon. I said, “Go! In the name of Jesus!” It remained as still as a statue. “I said, in Jesus’ name, go!” Then it took off running the other direction. What you don’t know about this story, is that a while back, a black lizard showed up at my friend’s house and she miscarried that night. I didn’t declare death but I knew what had been done. The enemy came to steal.

    Fast forward to a flight to California, and there I was in the middle of the room, getting prayer for this struggle of infertility, without anyone in the room knowing why I was sitting there. I saw this picture of a hole being cut out of the roof and me being lowered in to Jesus’ presence. He said, “Bethany, you’re heart is so crippled, you couldn’t walk to Me for healing so your friends are lowering you down to be at My feet.” Tears fill my eyes even now as I write this. He was so right and I had never thought of myself as the crippled in that story. (Mark 2:4) I am usually the one cutting the hole, or already in the room on the front row! But that night, I was the paraplegic. I couldn’t move against gravity. My heart was experiencing paralysis…a loss of power of voluntary movement in a muscle through injury. That night so many words were spoken over me: “You will be a mother…to your own children.” “You think God has been teasing you, but He is not.” “I see a rainbow of promise over you.”–The second day of the year, I watched a storm and God called me to come outside. I looked up and saw the rainbow above. (the picture of this blog) 

    My stomach began cramping that night and I started the next morning. I could’ve gotten angry but instead I fell. I fell out of my head and into His heart. I felt it beating for me. I saw that He had to speak life right before death because it was the very thing that would sustain me from seeing empty to being filled. And I noticed that is a habit of His to do so. He always makes the fall gentle. So that I won’t fall in anger with satan but fall in love with Him.

    When I saw the trail of blood I couldn’t help seeing not failure but victory. I remembered the blood He smeared on the cross that brought NOT death to my womb but life to infertility, and infinite children into eternity. My period is not pain. My blood is a reminder of His.

    When I came home, I walked outside of Walmart and looked down to see a ‘dead’ black lizard. I looked closer and it was a fake rubber one so I walked away. God told me to turn around and go stomp on it…so I did. I wondered…is the enemy playing dead? Was God training me to stomp when the next alive one shows up? Or did God turn the black lizard I saw that day into a rubber toy after what he did to me? Maybe one day I’ll look down and my son will be playing with a black rubber lizard and I’ll remember the day that I prophesied victory.

    Later that day I felt Jesus say, “Come outside, I have something to show you.” I sat down and the wind chimes started playing a song. I said, “Lord, what is it?” He said, “Wait for it.” I waited and waited and then saw what He wanted me to wait for…it was a bright green lizard, symbolizing life. Oh, and isn’t that what He has given to me? Life and life abundantly.

    And every time I see red…I remember the promise because I know that red is the first color of the rainbow.

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    I’m a foal

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    I had asked God a few months ago, “Why did you choose a donkey to ride on? What was it’s significance?” And there I read:

    “Ride forth upon me as Thou didst ride into Jerusalem mounted upon the humble little beast, a colt, the foal of an ass, and let me hear the children cry to Thee, ‘Hosanna in the highest.’ -A W Tozer

    And I began praying to Jesus from the perspective of a donkey…

    It was the greatest day of my life when Your meekness met mine. See I had heard the stories past down through the generations of my Great/Great/….. Grandma who told us of a time where she was beaten from a man named Balaam who rode on her. (see Numbers 22) She saw the Angel of the Lord stand before them and resisted each time but was met with a strike and beating. She thrust herself back at the sight of the Angel and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again. After the third time, she laid down in submission to her true King but her owner was blind and struck her this time with his false pretentious staff. Then her response became loud enough for Balaam to hear as You opened her mouth to speak and his eyes were opened.

    She told every generation that continued to pass it down to look for the Angel of God and to not resist, and there You were. You could’ve chosen a stallion but You came for me. You didn’t lose an ounce of your dignity even as You sat on me. You weren’t afraid to take second place by riding on a donkey. You restored the stolen throne of my back. Nothing had ever felt as light as You. It was the first day that I didn’t have rocks between my hoofs. There were no whips in Your hands or bruises on my side. Instead You let my feet walk on clothes of carpet as my eyes caught a crowd that beheld heaven on earth. I teared up as I watched the greatest scene of my life of a people cheering Your name knowing that it wouldn’t last for long and aching for the time I would see that scene again in heaven. My heart broke as I returned to my stable but it was filled to never be the same again.

    My Grandmother had carried the weight of man upon her back and felt the sting of abuse upon her skin. It was the Law that held the heaviness of fear upon her shoulders. But I, thousands of generations later…I got to carry the weight of a King upon my back, feeling the touch of kindness upon my head. It was the day that Grace broke the heavy yoke upon my shoulders.

    Thank you for the best day of my life.

    “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'” -Matthew 21:5

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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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