Faith over Fear. Patience over Frustration. Pain with a Purpose.
If you have been following my journey towards motherhood or have read my book, Miscarried Joy, then you know that my husband and I are standing in faith and believing God for children. Three of them to be exact. With three miscarriages you can probably imagine how easy it is to become discouraged. But we choose not to be, at least most of the time. After losing three babies, I am so anxious for another positive pregnancy test, yet a bit fearful that what has already happened could happen again.
Yes, I know, fear not, be anxious for nothing and have faith. But we are being honest here. There have been moments when it’s been downright difficult to walk in faith. Today is one of those days! Lord, why aren’t I getting pregnant? I have had my tubes unblocked, taken fertility medication, changed my diet among other things, and still…no positive pregnancy test in spite of having many of the symptoms. The doctors can’t explain it and I don’t hear God telling me why either!
Fourteen! This is the number of negative pregnancy tests we have held in our hands since we were giving clearance to start “trying” again in January of 2016. It is frustrating, discouraging and overwhelming all at the same time. I can’t express what I feel when I keep praying and declaring but still no manifestation. I know God’s timing supersedes mine but I don’t want to hear that played back to me either! So what happened today? Aunt Flo showed up in the midst of my hopes that this month was the one where that “Not Pregnant” wouldn’t be displayed on the digital screen. (Sorry if this is TMI for you!) This would be the month when I could give my husband the news that he would be holding his precious bundle(s) of joy. But it wasn’t. Instead, it is another month of calling the doctor to report another negative pregnancy report.
Our desire to have children is so strong that when we encounter challenges, we allow discouragement to settle in our minds and hearts. God didn’t bless Hannah with Samuel simply because He felt compassion for her discouragement. He blessed Hannah because she cried out of a place of extraordinary faith. Sarah was certainly discouraged along her LONG journey to motherhood.
Discouragement is often the emotional response to the sufferings we experience in our lives. It is normal but we must be careful to not allow this debilitating emotion to get the very best of us. You and I are not the only ones who have felt like giving up. Our family and friends may not know what to say to us, simply because they don’t understand the pain and disappointment we feel in this journey. Job felt discouraged by his family and friends for the same reason. They just didn’t get it! Our fervent prayers to God aren’t always answered in the way we desire.
Elijah knows that feeling well. He became discouraged when his ministry didn’t produce the results he had hoped for (1 Kings 19). Peter took his focus off God while walking on the water and began to sink (Matthew 14:22-31). That’s what really happens when we allow discouragement to settle into our hearts and minds – we take our focus off the power of God and begin to hone in on our circumstances. The danger of discouragement is allowing it to linger for too long; then we consider quitting on the dream or desires in our hearts. But if we give up where we are, we will never receive the manifestation of the promises from God.
So today, I had to make a choice. The same choice I have had to make for the past fourteen months – be discouraged or be determined.
Determined to keep moving forward in the face of obstacles.
Determined to keep praying and believing.
Determined to keep confessing what we believe.
Determined to keep expecting.
Determined to place my faith over my fears.
Determined to see the manifestation of God happen in our lives.
There are days when I don’t want to be the encourager because I need some encouragement. But there are never days when I want to give up because I choose to look at this situation through a spiritual lens. Do you know what I see? I see victory. I see positive pregnancy tests. I see us holding our children. I see God carrying me through this season.
He is carrying you too. So when you feel like giving up, DON’T! When you feel like wallowing in the sea of discouragement, get out! When you just don’t want to move forward, keep going! The Israelites would have never made it to the Promised Land if they had chosen to focus on their circumstances rather than their promise.
You may not be believing God for children. Maybe you are waiting on your husband, your healing, a new job or something else.
“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” (Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV)
So today, I chose determination over defeat! I pray that you will make that same choice through your discouraging moments. Remember this…
“Discouragement leads to doubt and unbelief, and temporarily blinds us to the truths and power that Christ possesses.” (~Tanika Fitzgerald)