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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


    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.


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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!!

    seeing the unseen: when a promise turns into a process


    I sat there in a cotton paper towel dress as she pulled out a wand that looked like the one I use to curl my hair with. I never imagined the moment of looking up at an ultrasound screen without my husband and with no baby in my stomach. A place where many go to discover a little life in black and white and I was finding nothing but barrenness. She said, “Listen you’re skinny, you’re young, you have no symptoms, I really think this will just be a check off of your list.”

    I headed back into the room and the doctor came back in. “I am so sorry to tell you this…I didn’t think you would have…Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. My heart dropped but my mouth just smiled back at her as she referred me to a Specialist in Jackson. “This Doctor WILL get you a baby! Everyone sends him their Christmas cards with them and their baby,” she said as she walked to open the door. I laughed to myself thinking, “I know a better doctor and He will give me a baby.”

    I walked outside and immediately an orange butterfly flew to me. “You’re with me God,” I whispered. “I never left” He whispered back. Tears began to stream my face with the joy of His comforting presence. I didn’t even have to call God’s name, He rushed to my side. Signs follow me. He speaks to me through them and this sign represented Caleb & I, because I wore butterflies in my hair as we got engaged and when we got married.

    2 years ago we decided that we were going on “Birth Surrender.” It is my own made up word and is the opposite of birth CONTROL. We weren’t “ready“-in our finances -in our marriage -and all of those other ridiculous excuses (like “you haven’t travelled the world yet) that the world tried to weigh us down with and we denied their offer. But we decided God was ready from the moment we said, “I do” so if we placed it in His hands, He would gift us when we were “ready.” To some we were considered unwise to others we were brave.  So, I thought for sure we would be announcing to our families that Christmas. Instead the family gathered at the table and my sister’nlove announced that they were expecting! They had always joked us that we would have kids first. I made eyes with Caleb with a small smirk with the anticipation that our time would come and I wasn’t discouraged that it wasn’t then.

    Unlike Caleb, I can honestly say, “baby fever” hasn’t frequented me often. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a mother as my full time job & the more I was married the more the desire for a baby kept being put on the backburner. So here I was on birth surrender not really sure if I had surrendered. I remember singing one Sunday, “I surrender my hands, my heart,” and the word ‘womb’ slipped off my tongue. I began weeping and the Lord said to me, “Bethany, you are apathetic. You don’t care if you do have a baby and you don’t care if you don’t. I want you to surrender your womb.

    So many asked in these last few years, “so are you guys trying?” I cringed at the word “trying” because I didn’t want our baby to come from striving. I wanted to rest in His timing and be surprised spontaneously. But that moment never came every time the red dot (.) did. But I refused to live in fear that I might not be able to have kids. I fully trusted that God would provide in His timing so I didn’t rush to the OBGYN.

    I finally made an appointment back in January and their first available appointment wasn’t until September!!! I knew God was even in that delay, so I waited with Him. So here I was, crying in Caleb’s arms facing the facts of what the doctor had said but knowing the truth.

    The fact is that: I can’t get pregnant.

    The truth is that: I can get pregnant.

    In the check out line I couldn’t stop saying, “Jesus, how can anyone blame You for this? All I feel in this moment is that You are doing everything possible to work this for my good. I know without a doubt You love me.” I went home and felt a peace wash over me. A gratefulness that of all people, He chose us to drink this cup of suffering. He entrusted us with trouble. He is letting us get a new glimpse of His face.

    As I called my closest family and friends, they reminded me of things Holy Spirit had told me years ago:

    In the first year of our marriage, a prophetess spoke over my womb and said “The Lord is healing your inner organs & He will give you a baby.” >>I had forgotten this and quite frankly dismissed it. But the Lord showed me

    He was speaking healing before I ever knew it was a problem.

    That night Caleb & I went camping with our double Eno hammock, a rain fly and a bug net. A storm decided to join us on our adventure. Like wedding day. Like camping trip. We cuddled up with thunder so loud it sounded like a shot gun and lightning so bright we saw each other’s faces in the velvet black night. And we laughed…we talked…we rested…with not a drop of rain touching us. God was giving us a prophetic picture of what this season will look like. The storm raged all around us but we never moved.

    At church, the message was on “Suffering” and he spoke from Romans 8:17-25 “These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting doesn’t diminish a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. The longer the wait the more joyful our expectancy.”

    Holy Spirit had told me:

    There are some things worth waiting for

    & there are some things worth fighting for.

    Hope is a promise I’m waiting on. A promise that has turned into a process. So we wait eagerly.

    As Caleb & stood at the front of the church ready to receive any who longed for prayer, a college girl came up. She said to us, the Lord gave me a vision of you holding a baby & Caleb you’re looking over her shoulder so proud. I don’t know if you guys have been trying? But God wants you to know He is going to come through.” Tears streamed down my face and once again He wanted me to expect a miracle.

    2 years ago the Lord had me write this down. My friends also reminded me that God told me that I would have complications getting pregnant. He’s been telling me all along. He’s been preparing me to sing my song:

    “Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery? says the Lord. Rejoice with Jerusalam, & be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy…Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river & the glory of nations like an overflowing stream.”-Isa. 66

    I like to look at it like this…

    I am a magnet for a miracle.

    The Lord spoke to me after reminding me of Paul singing in jail and said, “Bethany, there are women still locked in prison and they need to hear you sing.” This is why I am sharing my story…my anthem of God’s faithfulness because what He started He will finish. Everything gets done on His to do list so I dont have to worry. What He said He will do, He has promised to come through, so you don’t have to worry. All i’s dotted and one last t to cross, using His outstretched arms, He crossed it all off on the cross, so my whole life I’ll walk in what He’s done

    and I’ll begin where it was finished.


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    Expecting with you!


    This post is beautiful, inspiring, and hope-filled. Romans 4:17 has also been a very important scripture in my life given to me by our beloved elder brother, Glen Hickman, when I needed hope. It was the hope given to me in answer to prayer. It was the hope I would cling to when all hope seemed to be beyond my grasp. But, it was also the hope that did not disappoint. Praying for you dear one.

    Erin Rasch

    I’m right there with you in full surrender! I have a toddler now and one on the way, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have issues getting pregnant. I was diagnosed as “anovulatory” a few months after I got married and our hopes and dreams were shattered. But God has lead us twice to great fertility doctors and has provided finances when I didn’t think there was any way we would ever be able to pay that much!
    I know fertility isn’t for everyone, but have faith! God will lead you to the exact moment and place you need to be!