Saturday, May 7, 2011

GOD IS FAITHFUL

I figure what better a time to talk to you about God's faithfulness and how He made me a mom than Mother's Day. I gave my testify not too long ago at Women's Retreat and I thought that you three readers who weren't there might want to read it too. I know it's a might lengthy; you might want to take it in chunks.

I am glad to talk to you today about God’s faithfulness and being fertally challenged. Maybe you haven’t struggled with infertility in particular but, of course, God’s faithfulness spans all difficulties so this can be applicable to all. Let’s travel back in time and see how it all began. You know how we all make plans? Well, we sure did! Picture Rob and me at our favorite chinese restaurant (which strangely, had only gotten a B, but that didn’t stop us from going once a week), having our beef and broccoli (it was delicious), talking about how many kids we would have (2.5), what they would hopefully look like (Rob’s eyes, my arms(I don‘t know)), and where we would live (on a large lot with a custom home sitting in the middle of it). Fast forward about a year. We had decided that it would be fine with us if we got pregnant, so we buckled up and braced ourselves (in a good way). No hurry, just whenever it happened. A year went by with nothing to show for it except a whole lot of used pregnancy tests and less money (those things are expensive). I had heard that it could take up to a year, so I hadn’t boarded the bitterness bus yet.
After that year we thought, we’ll just go to the Dr and see if things are okay. No big deal, just checking things out. After some not so fun and not so glamorous testing the doctors came to the conclusion that there was nothing wrong with us. Here is where I start to go down that very dark road. How was it that there was nothing wrong but still I was not able to get pregnant? Everyone else in the world had no problem with it. Over the next five years or so I was completely enveloped in fertility treatments, all to no avail. Meanwhile everyone I knew and even some I didn’t know were having their babies with what seemed like perfect ease (I understand that labor is not such a party, but you see what I’m saying). Are you ready to board the bitterness bus with me? Brace yourselves, it’s not pretty. During this time I remember that I had actually made a list of every pregnant person I knew and some random people I didn’t know too, just to make sure I had ample reason to feel sorry for myself. Going to the mall was like poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick (or something less violent), and baby showers were the thorn in my flesh. Every time the phone rang I got nervous that someone else was calling with their happy news. I was so far gone, it’s a wonder I even got out of bed every morning. I cried buckets of tears. I could not understand why God had abandoned me, or so it seemed. Were there some sort of spiritual requirements I needed to fulfill before I became a mother? Was I far too sinful to be a mother? No line of reasoning was giving me any answers. Needless to say, I was not dwelling on what was true about our God.
We eventually came to a fork in the road. We either try ivf ( a very pricey, not guaranteed procedure), or take the adoption route (a not as pricey, guaranteed method of building your family). To Rob, the answer was clear. Adoption made the most sense to him, but I was still clinging to genetics. So, after mourning the loss of a biological child (harder than it sounds), we started our adoption journey. We were approved in early Sept. 2001, and I’ll tell you what, that two month wait seemed like my whole life. I actually called the agency after a couple weeks and she said “oh honey, you’re gonna need to give it some time.” I may have been a little anxious. Then, after a very short 3 month wait, I got the call; we had been chosen! I had to sit down, I could not believe it was happening. Five days after getting the call we brought our 2 month old, 15 lb bundle of love home. It’s hard to explain to you the joy I felt. It was like all those years of bitterness magically melted away. I instantly loved this child so much, I was completely attached to him; he was mine!! And I thought, there’s no way I could love him more if he was genetically related to me. Two years later we wanted to add to our family so we got approved in Jan 2004. The wait this time was a little longer (still not incredibly long as far as adoptions go), but I was slipping back into my old familiar thought patterns. You know, the “poor me” patterns. I remember saying over and over Phil. 4:6 “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” I must have said it at least a hundred times; no exaggeration. And you know, it turns out God’s Word affects your thoughts. It honestly helped me to dwell on what was true instead of how I wasn’t getting my way yet again...go figure. Lo and behold in Nov. we got the call of a lifetime....it was TWINS!! Are you serious, twins?? Who adopts twins? The little dudes came in Jan 2005 and totally rocked our world. There was God, completely faithful again. He had changed all my plans for the best. And now here I am with three adopted kids, who don’t have Rob’s eyes or my arms, living in a tract home and it’s amazing!!
I had a theme verse throughout those years, although I failed to apply it most times, but it was 1 Cor. 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man, AND GOD IS FAITHFUL, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide a way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” God WAS faithful. Even in the middle of the dark ages. Now that I look back I can see so many instances of God’s grace and now I’m actually thankful for infertility. I got these three beautiful babies that the Lord handpicked for me, and now I feel like I have this clear picture of what God does with us as his children. Because, if I love these boys as much as I do, how much more so does God love us as he adopts us as His own? It’s hard to fathom right? Also, I learned (albeit the hard way) that I need to make plans with flexibility. Like it says in James “instead you ought to say, if it is the Lord’s will we will live and do this or that.” I expected to get pregnant. We all expect things whether we realize it or not. Well, what happens when we don’t get what we expect? I already told you how I reacted, but you should try and do it differently. With any tough circumstance it would be fabulous if we could say, “God, what are you teaching me in this? How can I grow closer to you in this?” How much more God could have taught me had I learned this flexibility early on. I’m not gonna lie to you and say that the infertility monster never rears its ugly head now that I‘m a mom. I still, from time to time have twinges of it, but God is quick to bring me back around to dwelling on what is true. The Lord filled my house to overflowing and blessed us “beyond all we could have asked or imagined.” Of course He did!! In conclusion, make plans with flexibility knowing that God‘s plans are WAY better than ours, get some Bible verses in your head, and know that He is super faithful in any and every circumstance. Thank you

Happy Mother's Day to YOU!! You're the bomb, and you know it.

13 comments:

Bonnie said...

wow... thanks for sharing. God is faithful! I'm so glad He has blessed you with beautiful children. :)

Little codster and Miss Ashley said...

You are truly blessed! Thanks for sharing such a hard struggle and such an awesome outcome! Happy Mothers day cari!

The Heflebower's said...

Thanks for sharing your wisdom..it's good to be reminded of what we should be dwelling on. Happy Mother's Day to you :)

Joy said...

Uh...you were talking to me weren't you??? I needed to hear this MORE than ever tonight, sweet sister of mine. That part about grieving an unborn child...I totally get... and then that last part...wow. God used YOU to smack me upset the head and kick my off the bitter bus!!! Thank you for sharing this, Care. You are an incredible mommy and an inspiration to me. You TRULY are MY HERO!!! <3

Joy said...

*that was supposed to say kick ME off the bitter bus*
hahahaha

Thank you for your encouragement!! I want to copy and paste that last paragraph to my head, to my hands, to my heart!!! :)

Joy said...

okay...wow...I should really proofread my comments before I post...*Upside...not upset! :) hahahah

Tired...oh so tired...going to bed now...but not before I go read some Bible verses and ask God for forgiveness for riding that bus waaay too long. :( I love you friend. Grateful that we are travelin this road together. Even though it STINKS...I'm grateful I have YOU to walk this painful road with. Love love love YOU!

Grammie said...

Oh Care...So glad God had you share you're testimony!! He has blessed you both with a wonderful family. So thankful for each and everyone of you. Love you, Momma

Denise said...

Thanks for sharing your journey. I like who God made you through it all. You're a pretty great mom!

Jamie n' Tommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jamie n' Tommy said...

Hi Cari! I was talking to Tiffany Lee today and she recommended I read this post.. I am SO thankful she did! It was just what I needed to hear. The "Bitter Bus" and I are all too familiar lately lol Thank you for sharing! You have given me new hope and reminded me that whatever God has in store for me.. It's gonna' be great! Lots of love, Jamie Roland

rjjsgdc said...

Cari,
I have my own version of the bitter bus, although it doesn't look the same as yours. It's painted pink and has my initials engraved in it, I have been on it so long now. Thanks for reminding me that our plans are not our own. I appreciate you sharing your journey.

Lindy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have no idea how this will touch so many. God is faithful and yes if we just wait on Him, He will bless us more than we could imagine. What a blessing those three boys have in you and Rob. Please pray for Tom and Marina. They lost their precious baby boy Chase and I know their hearts are still wounded. Love, Lindy

kirsten said...

Great testimony! Thanks for making an impact on so many lives, Cari :)