Losing something we never had …

The fear of losing (something or someone) cripples our rationale and throws us into heaps of destructive thoughts and actions. But have we ever pondered, what if we never had these people or things in the first place?

This world is a temporary place as Carrie Underwood had sung it. Everything on this earth, will never last. Soon it will disappear and all that we claim we own, will be lost. So, is losing such a big deal? Yes, indeed it is for all of us.

I’ve been reading news on how two women (one young and one old) have lost their entire family so tragically in a fire breakout and road accident respectively, that it sent the readers to their tears. If by-readers could feel this strong emotion in them after reading their news, what more these two women who have to go through such a traumatic experience? Everyone asked, what have they done wrong to deserve this? Truth is, only God knows.

Frankly, what really cripples is is not the fear of losing, but the fear of not knowing what to do when when we lost them. How are we going to live our lives without them? How are we going to move on? How are things going to work out now, that everything has changed?

When I lost my baby, I thought God was being really unfair to me. But the suffering that everyone else go through, is no less that what I had been through. In this event, I learned that God replaces what is lost for something greater. What I’ve lost, belongs to God. He has taken back what belongs to Him. If only we could learn to accept that all things belong to God and that He is in control of all things.

I learned that hope is not as burdensome as worry, because hope brings about God’s presence in my life. Worry does not. Worry separates me from God. I worry that as I advance in age, I would not be able to bear a healthy child with my ageing body. I worry that I would not have the opportunity to be a mother in this lifetime and feeling hurt as I watch friends after friends being given this opportunity. I worry that I will be left out. And then I learned, that although I may never have this opportunity, I have God.

Will I ever lose God? Not if He can help it.

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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 ….

Jar of Blessings ….

Another brand new year has started. I have been waiting for a year long to receive the bundle of joy from heaven above, but it seems like I still have to wait a little while longer. I don’t know how much longer do I have to wait, but each time I waited, I yearned for it even more.

Hubs and I are considering IVF this year. I am still very much hesitant to go through the strenuous process that entails in IVF. In fact, I get the jitters to the point of having nightmares about it each time I think of getting close to those needles. Honestly, I am extremely lost in what I should do next.

And there was nothing much I could do except to continue with the medication I am currently taking and …. praying. Not just praying, but praying with an unwavering faith and believing wholeheartedly that God will deliver his promise in His perfect timing. Though I had had disappointing moments last year, God has never left my side. I could feel his presence with me each time I pray and read his word telling me to just wait. He has not forgotten about my prayer request. And that itself is a blessing.

So this year, instead of harping on something that only God can control, I have decided to channel my attention to something else – counting His blessings! Every day, no matter how menial His blessings may be, it is still a blessing that I should be grateful for. I will write them down and put them in a jar.I believe God blesses us in many ways we many not understand or even see. And this is one way I could remember His love for me.

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.

My 31 days of prayer during infertility (Day 23)

DAY 23 – PRAY TO OBEY

Psalm 51:12Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

Obedience – is another tall calling for me. My stubbornness often kept me far from being the obedient child God desires of me. But obedience is the only way to life. The more I get frustrated and anxious in getting something that I want, the further I drift from His presence. I have to remember that everything on earth comes from Him, and He is the giver of life. No matter how anxious I am in having a child, the Lord determines my fate and therefore, takes hold of His plans for me.

Exodus 29:46

They will know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.

If I could bring my soul to His obedience, I would have been a very peaceful and joyful person. But sadly, I am totally the opposite of what it means to be walking with joy in His presence. My commotion is exactly the same as those Jesus felt when he was overwhelmed with the thought of his impending death. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death …My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:38-39). Whenever I pray for God’s will to be done for me, that is His fertility plans for me, my soul gives way and I feel a deep burden in me to obey. Truly it is that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. However, Jesus has also said so that the Spirit is often willing to obey, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). Oftentimes I fall into the trap of self-condemnation and it becomes worse during the time of the month. It brings me further down the pit of despair till there is no hope of living for me. And God’s love is the only thing that kept me alive till this day.

Hence, yielding to God’s word and truth, is the way of life. May we bear fruit as we obey God in this journey of infertility and be strong. Psalm 31:24Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

Proverbs 8:17-21

17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
    enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
    what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
    along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
    and making their treasuries full.