We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in South Africa, however this year our church took the opportunity to mark this event. We had a fabulous big, bare tree branch popped into the church and we were encouraged to spend some time in prayer and write our thanks onto leaf-shaped-cards and then to stick them onto the tree. It was a beautiful idea both spiritually and to look at.
Most wonderous though was what I experienced during that service. A GLORIOUS revelation. I was giving thanks, quietly, for a time of peace from all the heartache we’d experienced during this past year, 2012. We’ve been taking a break from actively pursuing any path towards parenthood and, although this initially it frustrated me, it has been wonderfully refreshing and given me a sense of restoration and normality. However, during my thanks, I asked God, again, if he couldn’t perhaps heal my body of its dysfunction. And then it hit me. The Lord told me to give thanks for my broken body! Whaaaat?! That’s what I said! He then opened my eyes to his view of it all and this is how he views it:
The Lord LOVES me exactly the way I am.
He MADE me just as I am.
I am the way I am because he has plans for me, this is for HIS glory.
I am PERFECT, just the way I am.
Immediately I recalled a saying I’ve heard my Dad preach – I am God’s and “he don’t make no junk!” I was shocked and released from pain all within an instance.
It has been quite a mind shift but it is now the ONLY way I can view my body. What did I write on my card in church? I wrote – “I give thanks for a broken body”. To be honest, I now don’t see my body as broken, I see it as beautifully different, moulded for His purposes. And I can’t WAIT to see what he has in store for us!
I’ve been standing outside my office, looking over the KZN Midlands’ green pastures and hills and marvelling, truly marvelling at the most spectacular electric, thunder storm. How amazing is God’s creation?! The thunder is so loud, and rumbles so long, it has a deep-throated sound to it. So much noise to come from a split second flash of lightning! It makes me think … who am I … really? God is so above us, so big, who am I to question the God of thunder and lightning, the Lord who commands the elements and made them, the King of kings! I am simply me, and grateful to be a part of his marvellous, wondrous creation.
My Dad sent this to us today, great timing as I am feeling really down today (more on that tomorrow).
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalm 139 minus verses 19 to 22)
After reading our recent post, Dad (who is a minister in the church) felt this was meant for us. We will be spending time absorbing this and praying on this for God’s revelation through it.
It was just 4 days ago that I flew out of the Docs rooms, adamantly saying NO WAYS to a laparoscopic operation. Now I am booked to go under the knife tomorrow morning.
What happened?! God happened.
Let me tell you firstly, that I have had NO / nada / zilch support from friends and family to my line of thinking of quitting. Just yesterday my boss gave me a stern talking about the importance of carrying-on, I hadn’t even got into my office when I broke down about the cysts and possibly needing the operation, she told me to just do it! Then my Mum gave me an earful (typical mums) in the afternoon insisting that I had to keep going, not just for myself but for Gary too (it’s MY body I wanted to selfishly point out). So I caved and hesitantly phoned the Doc’s rooms to enquire about the cost and possibility of doing it soon – it’s school holidays next week and as I work at a school the timing would be perfect. From October through to June next year things are way way way to frenetic at work to even consider going on sick leave for an op. They would get back to me on cost and dates. In the interim, this morning I woke up to a barrage of sms-es from family and friends who, unaware of my call to the Docs rooms, sms-ed me encouragement to go for it. Along with the encouragements were scripture verses (Job 23: 1-12 and Isaiah 40: 12-31) that spoke volumes to us. And then, to really seal the deal, I opened an email at work from a dear friend-in-infertility who, also unaware of our intent, encouraged me to keep going. All this gave me enough courage to call the Docs rooms to hurry their decision. Tomorrow it is!
Oh, and we had to pay upfront and it was not a pretty figure. I broke down, phoned my dear couple who offered to help pay and apologised profusely for having to call on them to help for this op. They were overjoyed to help and so the Doc is paid up and good for go. Gary sadly pointed out that by paying so much for this op, we will then REALLY not be able to afford any further IVF treatments, I bravely told him that we have to take one day at a time and if God wills it, he will provide. Even though I broke down, I prayed fervently for God’s guidance. Within minutes (literally no more than 10 minutes later) we had an email from our Church minister informing us that a couple at our church are sending some money our way for our treatments – AGAIN we had not told him or anyone about our intention to go for the surgery! The timing was God-incidence not coincidence.
For the first time in WEEKS we are hearing word from our Lord and it feels heavenly! To know that we are doing the Lord’s will…wow! It tears me up. Who would have thought. I really did not think that this surgery was the right move for me and was adamant that I would NOT do it. As I often say – “You wanna make God laugh? Tell him YOUR plans!” 🙂
Three posts in one day?! Okay, so by now you can probably tell that I am STILL playing catch-up from those 4 days off work when we had the harvesting and implanting done. Eek! It was a crazy, busy, blessed time with so much support and encouragement from family and friends. This is another piece of scripture we got JUST at the RIGHT time.
We came home from the implanting of 2 healthy blastocysts and in chatting, Gary mentioned that he (naturally) had some nerves about them not taking. I too had these nerves but was doing my utmost to not think on them (positive thinking = positive results etc). It was not even 5 minutes after we had shared these feelings with each other that God sent us word, again through Gary’s Aunt Rozie, as follows:
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 5: 36)
Hallelujah! A strong reminder to keep our eyes on the Lord, just as Peter was told to keep his eyes on the Lord when walking on water, ignore the storm of doubts around and keep walking towards Him.
As I recall, it was the day that my eggs were harvested that Gary’s Aunt Rozie sent us this word from our Lord:
7 My holy city is like a woman who suddenly gives birth to a child without ever going into labor.8 Has anyone ever seen or heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a day? Zion will not have to suffer long, before the nation is born.9 Do not think that I will bring my people to the point of birth and not let them be born.
The Lord has spoken.
10 Rejoice with Jerusalem; be glad for her,
all you that love this city!
Rejoice with her now,
all you that have mourned for her!
11 You will enjoy her prosperity,
like a child at its mother’s breast.
12 The Lord says,
I will bring you lasting prosperity; the wealth of the nations will flow to you like a river that never goes dry. You will be like a child that is nursed by its mother, carried in her arms, and treated with love.13 I will comfort you in Jerusalem, as a mother comforts her child.14 When you see this happen, you will be glad; it will make you strong and healthy. Then you will know that I, the Lord, help those who obey me, and I show my anger against my enemies. (Isaiah 66: 7-14)
It was such a blessing to us to read this that Friday evening and to still read it, regularly. In this sometimes anxious time of waiting (for the big pregnancy test date on Monday, 6 Aug 2012) we have the need to keep affirming His word to us. My favourite lines from this passage are: “Do not think that I will bring my people to the point of birth and not let them be born. The Lord has spoken.” Amen!
Gary’s Mum was given this scripture verse for us today by a lady in her Bible Study group who had twins through IVF.
5 Indeed, of Zion it will be said,
“This one and that one were born in her,
and the Most High himself will establish her.”
6 The Lord will write in the register of the peoples:
“This one was born in Zion.”
Psalm 87:5-6 (NIV)