Depending on God’s power …

Hubs and I made the hardest decision we’ve ever made in the face of our infertility problem – that is to give up all forms of medication and treatment. It was hard because we have depended on human wisdom to help us all along and while it has been the most tangible source of help, it was never God’s plans for us.

My husband prayed the most meaningful prayer I’ve ever heard – “Lord, we have decided to depend fully on you for we have given up medication”. Full dependence on the Maker is something that a lot of us grapple with. It’s not an easy feat but God has made it very clear that so long as we depend on our own human wisdom and effort, it will be futile. He affirmed this statement through this Scripture which was brought forth to me in the past two days of my QT with him:

 1 Corinthians 2:5 – so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

Isaiah 29:14

Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work Among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden

Jeremiah 9:24 – But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me

1 Corinthians 2:7,9-10

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,

But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”[a]

10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

 

Proverbs 20:24 – A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How the can anyone understand their own way?

Though these are wondrous revelations that God has shown me, it still pains me to know that I am still childless till this day. Day after day I hear news of birth and pregnancy and they just kept my biological ticking even faster. Each tick sends waves of fear and anxiety through my tired and depressed soul. But at the end of the day, I can’t do much but just call on God day after day, hoping that I could come to terms with reality and to make peace with Him. My cries from the deepest sorrows of my heart were that of the Psalmist. But just like the Psalmist, I too, receive wondrous revelations from the Lord, affirming his love for me. I count myself blessed, truly blessed, in this sense and I could not ask for more.

Psalm 27:7-8,13-14

Hear, O Lordwhen I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Psalm 28:1-2,6-7

To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock:
Do not be silent to me,
Lest, if You are silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.
Hear the voice of my supplications
When I cry to You,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.

In my silent prayer, I prayed:

Dear heavenly Father,

You know me. You have made me and you have made me whole. I am perfect in your eyes. You know my every desires and thoughts and struggles. Though I am struggling with childlessness, but I believe you will bless me and hubby someday with a child to love and to bring up in accordance to your teaching, just like how you’ve blessed Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth and Rachel. I believe you Lord. I pray Lord, that you have not forgotten about us. We surrender fully to you Lord. Let your face shine on us and your glory be known to all the earth. Amen

I don’t know what to make of it …

It has been a harrowing experience for me and hubs as we kept trying to have a baby naturally without opting for IVF. I was told by a friend who is also a Christian sister that IVF was not for us and much to my disbelief, I obeyed. As tempted as I may be to opt for IVF treatment at times, I believe that God’s ultimate plan of procreation stands supreme. Our endeavor to have a child has taken a toll on my patience and faith that in countless times I have almost given up treatment … and hope. I never thought I would see the day where I would be carrying a bundle of joy in my arms and having a little one falling me “Mummy”. All these seem unimaginable and out of reach. I have prayed every day without fail and I often doubt if God ever heard any of them.

Apparently he has. Though the answers He gave were not the ones I expected, but they actually bring peace in my aching soul. Each time I made the decision to give up altogether, a scripture from the Bible would be prominently displayed before my very eyes telling me how Abraham – to whom God has credited as righteous – has endured the painstaking waiting period before God gave him Isaac. And there was one time, God showed me hope in the most divine moment which I would never forget. I was playing the song “Try Everything” by Shakira (a theme song from Zootopia) on Youtube on my way to the shopping mall when I turned to catch a beautiful glimpse of a patch of rainbow in the midst of the dark rain clouds. I could feel a sense of hope rejuvenating my soul almost instantly and a smile unexpectedly etched on my face. The feeling was blissful! Hope filled my soul once again and my decision to give up on it dissipated, completely out of trace.

Then came another month and I was nowhere near the “double lines”. Of course, the thought of giving up, filled my mind again. But I wasn’t as dejected as I was before and I don’t know what to make of this. Do I still have a tinge of hope left in me? Do I hold on to the promise God has given me? Or do I simply feel indifferent, completely numb to all these?

Then God intervened. When my jar of hope and faith was almost empty, he filled it up again with these verse from the Scripture:

Romans 4:18-22

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offsprings be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead – and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he 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 has the power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 

As I read this passage to me the second time today (when I copied it into my post), I came to realize so deeply that:

  1. God does not want a weakened faith. Abraham did not weaken his faith although he was facing the fact that both his and his wife’s Sarah’s body were as good as dead.
  2. God does not want a wavering belief or faith. Abraham did not waver in his belief that God can and will do anything that He had promised.
  3. God wants me to continue bearing hope and giving him all glory and honor and praise for only by having a heart of praise and thanksgiving, I could continue to stand tall in his righteousness and live a life of total dependence on his faith, trust and love.

When I thought I do not know what to make of all these – the tiring process of trying, getting disappointed, trying again, feeling hopeless, then trying again. Needless to say, I am almost worn out. But God has not failed to strengthen me time after time and I could feel his presence surrounding me in my hopelessness and weariness. I am lost with words to describe my current disposition. Am I glad? Not sure. Blessed? Yes, definitely. Hopeful? Maybe not in a profound way right now. Prayers and prayers through and through.

God never fails to amaze me …

3 nights ago,  I suffered another meltdown. I woke up in the middle of my sleep and started crying. I wasn’t really sound asleep as my mind leaped back and forth, being active during that night. Because of that, I suddenly went into the thoughts of how “unblessed” I am compared to my friends. I kept thinking why is it that my friends, some enemies, tend to have better lives than mine. They have a career and kids and I am quite the opposite.

As I questioned God about my life, I broke down into tears. Hubs whom I thought was sound asleep, heard my cries and woke up to wipe away my tears. He did not ask any questions for he knew why I was crying. I was crying because I am still without a child since my miscarriage almost 2 years ago. I cried because I felt life’s really unfair for me. Why was it that I have to suffer so much watching others living a life that is so ideal I wish it was my life too. I sound like I am coveting my friends’ lives  … perhaps I am.

It has been a tough journey, juggling between wanting to follow God’s ways that is suffering, and wanting a life that ideally belongs to the world – kids, career, etc. I am tired, I really am. This journey has been exhausting my strength, energy and even faith. I feel guilty because I am tempted to give up on God. He’s been taking his time in blessing me. What does He mean by his perfect timing and plan? I really don’t know and I really wish I do. Have I done anything so sinful in His sight that he has to banish me to suffering just like how he banished Saul for not following His commands in 2 Samuel?

I am tempted to give up fighting for my faith.

But God never fails to amaze me. When I was losing hope and as my faith dwindles, God revealed himself to me through His word the next morning:

John 16:20,22-24,33

v.20: Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.

v.22-24:

22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.

23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

v.33: These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Proverbs 16:4

The Lord works out everything to its proper end—
    even the wicked for a day of disaster.

Then He taught me how to pray and this verses were exactly what I wanted to pray but I was lost at words. God helped me to put them into my heart as I was trying to reach out to Him:

Psalm 119:76-77

76 May your unfailing love be my comfort,
    according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
    for your law is my delight.

I very much want to shout ALL GLORY GOES TO HIM but my heart remains pretty hardened. I am still coming to terms with my present disposition. I am still trying to be at peace with the journey and plan that God has ordained for me. His word is truly a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I wish I could follow it wholeheartedly.

Proverbs 16:9 – In their hearts humans plan their course, bu the LORD establishes their steps.

Today, God revealed yet another revelation to me taken from 2 Samuel 14:14 that God does not intend to banish anyone for good for that is not what He desires. That in itself has given me hope that God still loves me. He reprimanded David for sinning by committing adultery with Bathsheba and killed their child. But in his grace, He has granted David another child with Bathsheba. He has punished the Israelites from straying off their paths, but time after time, He forgave them and provided for them. Truly, He is a loving God. His love gives us hope that there is no eternal darkness in this world, but eternal hope that He provides through His Son Jesus Christ for all who believe.

I thank God for his divine intervention that has saved me from stumbling. Truly all praises go to Him. Amen.

God never lies ….

Every day, every month as I continue to wait upon the Lord for His promise of a child, I have been reading His word and unknowingly, it has become a routine which I could never forgo. His word is like my heartbeat – something I can never live without!

Yesterday, again He sent me an assurance that He remembers me with a scripture taken from:

NUMBERS 23:19

God is not human, that he should lie, not human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Truly God never lies. Whatever he has said holds true and I will bask in the wondrous light of his love. As I wait, I learned to rely on Him for strength for I am weak and feeble. I do doubt occasionally but He never fails to uplift me with His word and presence of the Holy Spirit so I can stay afloat during this waiting period.

A love so divine …

We have husband and wife for 8 years and today’s our wedding anniversary … we still remain husband and wife – no extension to the family … yet. There came a time where my hope dwindled, but the Holy Spirit somehow reminded me that God is in control and He hears our prayers.

Just want to share how God has been so real to me this month that has given me a peace that is unfathomable by human understanding.

I have been monitoring my BBT for the past few years that I have become so accustomed to the routine that I know the second we have another failed attempt at getting pregnant. And so it was this month too. But this time, I felt peaceful when I looked at the dropped temperature, which meant that I would be getting my period anytime soon. We have failed once again!

Before the feeling of disappointment could sink in, God has already reassured me beforehand about His promise. That’s how I got the peace to move on with my life and celebrated our wedding anniversary today – disappointment-free.

These were the readings I received days before I knew of our failed attempt:

MARK 11:22-25

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

PSALM 46:10

He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

PSALM 48:14

For this God is our God forever and ever, he will be our guide even to the end.

NUMBERS 6:24-26

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD makes his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turns his face toward you and give you peace.”

and finally ….

1 CORINTHIANS 13:7-8

[LOVE] bears all things, believes all things, endure all things. Love never fails …

Truly after I read these verses, I felt the peace to fully trust Him once again and the hope rekindled. I know that if I love God, I ought to love him with all my heart, soul and mind and believe that with His love for me, He will never fail me …

AMEN and HALLELUJAH to a great and awesome God ….

How marvelous, how wonderful!

As I sang Chris Tomlin’s song “How Marvelous, How Wonderful”, I could not help but think how marvelous and wonderful are the works of the Lord, is the grace He freely gives us and His love He proclaim to all His people.

I am going to put an intermission to my 31 days of prayer during infertility to reflect on the Lord’s goodness.

I did not have it good over CNY. PMS was raging inside me and I was “attacked” all over by the three forces that draw us away from following God – the devil, the world and the flesh. Giving out the ‘ang pows’ was a pain as I see others happily celebrating CNY with their children. Pain and guilt overwhelmed me so much so, that I wanted to just shut myself out from everyone. God granted me that wish. I had my solitude with Him alone.

During the times of attack, I was pulled from both ends – my heart (which was weak and hardened) and the Spirit (who is ever willing to follow the Lord’s ways). I would like to think that God meant all this (my infertility) for good and to trust in His perfect timing. But my heart had blocked out whatever I’ve read from His word and continued to remain hardened. It was a tiring process. I’ve lost faith in the midst of this struggle. Just when I thought I have lost faith in the Lord, God intervened. I was so overwhelmed with stress of worries, anxieties and concerns of not being able to get pregnant that I became bitter and sorrowful. I felt sorry for my husband who had to put up with all my commotion. Then God sent a loving sister in Christ to call and comfort me. After speaking to her over the phone, I could feel a bulk of burden instantly removed from me and I was able to walk freely with God once again. Everything I’ve read from the Bible has become clear and my heart is more accepting of the Word and of advice given by my sisters in Christ.

Following the breakthrough, God reassured me of His promise by showing me His greatest commandment:

Deuteronomy 6:1-12

“Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

10 “So it shall be, when the Lord your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, 11 houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full— 12 then beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

I’ve always pondered on this verse – “Love your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” and wondered deeply of its meaning in my life. I sought the Lord for His guidance and advice. The revelation came after I met up with another sister in Christ, but at the point it hadn’t hit me yet. I have been seeking traditional medication for a year to cure our infertility problems. It worked (for a while). But after some time, my heart felt no peace in going for all the consultations and taking the medication. It was time for me to reflect again on God’s plan for me.

Then, my sister in Christ brought up the matter of not following and trusting in God completely. If I am to believe that God will bless me with a child, I will have to believe it throughout. Only then, I realized that I had been having diverted attention. I found that I was trusting the doctor more than I was trusting God. And that was when, this verse became even more clear to me. It was like a bolt that got lighted up. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. I have decided to terminate the medication altogether and just trust the Lord in His perfect timing and healing.

When I made that decision, there was a deep fear in me. Fear that if I quit now, I will not be able to get pregnant. Then it struck me hard that I have become too dependent on the doctor and his medication that I remained in a “bondage”. When the Lord released me from that bondage, fear sipped in immediately.  Then I prayed for God to ease my heart with His peace to follow His ways and His ways only. Following this, I received His answers:

Mark 4:40 – “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?

Mark 5:36 – “Don’t be afraid; just believe

Jeremiah 17:7Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.

Psalms 38:9-10;14-15;21-22

Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.
10 My heart pants, my strength fails me;
As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.

14 Thus I am like a man who does not hear,
And in whose mouth is no response.

15 For in You, O Lord, I hope;
You will hear, O Lord my God.

21 Do not forsake me, O Lord;
O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!

Truly I was overwhelmed to the point that I could not pray to God. My prayers were all meaningless and I felt like a hypocrite uttering nonsense to the Lord. But God did not leave me nor did He forsake me. This verse became clearer to me than ever:

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

He shall direct my paths, of what to do and which way to go during this time of infertility. I cannot have a divided heart and a diverted attention when it comes to following Him.

At church today, the Lord’s message to me became prominent. There was a short children’s devotion before pastor’s sermon and it was about following God wholeheartedly. Then in the pastor’s sermon, He highlighted that there are only two categories of people whom God describes – the righteous and the wicked. We choose either to be righteous and have our names recorded in the Book of Life, or stray to the wicked ways of the world by indulging in idolatry. When we choose life, we can see how God works wonders in us. He reminded us of the three forces that strive to pull us away from God everyday of our lives, and emphasized that in the midst of it all, the Lord triumphs over all the earth. He is in control! A Christian’s life is full of struggles and there is no running away, but God uses our struggle for a good cause, for a good purpose (Romans 8:28).

Psalms 77:11-15

11 I will remember the works of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?
14 You are the God who does wonders;
You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
15 You have with Your arm redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

Just as the church service was about to end, I pulled out a piece of paper from my Bible to jot down notes from the sermon. I opened the paper up which was folded and neatly tugged in between the pages of my Bible and it was an article dated back in 2009. The title “Patiently Trust His Timing” boldly flashed before my eyes. The contents of the article read:

God’s direction and timing is always perfect and always with a purpose – but it’s often with a purpose we may not initially see or understand. Even when we earnestly ask for direction through prayer and the study of His Word, God’s answers are usually not what we expect and are often perceived as slow in arriving. However, His direction and timing still remains, always perfect and always with a purpose.

God called Abraham to follow Him when Abraham was already seventy-five years old. But God blessed Abraham with great abundance and soon promised he would have many descendants; “I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted” (Genesis 13:16).

Although this was a wonderful promise from God, it certainly did not seem possible. Not only was Abraham an old man, but his wife, Sarah, had never been able to have children and now was long past the normal child bearing years. Therefore, when Sarah failed to become pregnant – when God’s promise was apparently going to be unfulfilled – she formulated a plan to “help” God.

Genesis 16:12 – “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Since this was an accepted practice and seemed like a reasonable way to fulfill God’s promise, Abraham agreed. Not surprisingly, great tension soon developed between Sarah and her maidservant. This tension increased when Ishmael was born and even continues today with the unfortunate hostilities we see in the region of the Middle East. Abraham clearly heard the call and promise of God, but he became impatient with God’s timing and resorted to worldly solution.

It was another thirteen years before God fulfilled His promise through the birth of Isaac. These were thirteen long years of waiting and wondering if God had forgotten … but God’s direction and timing is always perfect and always with a purpose. With Abraham one hundred years old and Sarah ninety, the birth of Isaac left no doubt that God was in complete control and guiding the events in Abraham’s life.

In a very real sense, we are foreigners in this place and time; “Aliens and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13). We will never understand how all the pieces fit together until we stand before the Creator of the universe. Until then, we must continue to love and worship Him with all our heart. We must continue to seek His face and ask His guidance for every step. We must continue to follow His direction and patiently trust His timing.

I must have received this article in 2009 when I started trying to have a baby. The story of Abraham and Sarah reappeared to me the day I miscarried. And today as I struggle with the thought of infertility, God reaffirmed this story and reassured His promise that I will have children.

I have considered adoption previously, but the thought of adoption did not give me peace. In fact, if I had adopted, I would be interfering in God’s plans. Therefore, I vow to love Him, trust Him, and believe Him with all my heart, soul and mind. Pray with me as I made this vow to the Lord. May  I seek Him in the midst of troubles and not grow weary. And may I pay undivided attention to His plans for me in my journey of trying to conceive.