Category: Hope

Sometimes You Feel Empty in the Season of Infertility

Empty.

It’s hard to get through the day feeling empty. Especially when every day seems to be filled with emptiness.

Empty womb.

Empty arms.

Empty heart.

Feeling empty

Emptiness is HEAVY. But how can emptiness have weight–isn’t that an oxymoron? I’m not sure how it happens but I know the emotions of emptiness and hopelessness are so heavy and burdensome and yet we readily tote them around as if we have no alternative. What do you do when those feelings of emptiness tempt you to carry them with you throughout your day? What if there was someone who wanted to carry that weight for you? Would you give it to them?

Well, the someone who has made that very offer is Jesus. He wants you to see Him as your burden lifter and carrier; the One who stands at the ready to pick up and carry all the weight of barrenness so that you can be yoked with Him, filled with His Spirit, and experience the fullness of His rest, peace and joy.

Will you let Him?

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” ~Matthew 11:28

Bring Back Your Hope

If you’ve lost hope for something in your life, bring your hope back to life by finding a promise of God that relates to your situation. Believe that the promise is true for you. If you find it hard to believe, ask God to help you believe it (Mark 9:24).

empty - unbelief

Then speak that promise and expect it to manifest in your life. You’ll have to be persistent in speaking that promise…your enemy, the devil, will do all he can to distract you from believing and speaking it with confidence. Despite that, continue to thank God that His promise for you is sure and worthy of your trust. Rest assured, your hope will be renewed and your confidence increased as you fill the emptiness and renew your hope by taking a stand on the promises of God.

When emptiness, hopelessness, and other negative emotions overtake you and make you feel like something is missing from the very core of your being, Jesus’ love and grace are available everyday to comfort and guide you through the struggle.

Illustration Sources: https://www.betterhelp.com (empty) and http://www.joshuanhook.com (unbelief)

 

Elisha Kearns’ Thoughts About “A Seed of Hope” Fertility Devotional

A Seed of Hope - Elisha KearnsElisha Kearns has been a God-send to me. During her struggle with infertility, she has encouraged me many times about how my book, A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility, has helped her.  Elisha is a blogger and speaker who shares from her heart. It’s as if she were sitting right across from you, giving you loving encouragement in the midst of your struggle. You can find her at www.WaitingForBabyBird.com.

Earlier this year, I thought it was time to do a few updates to A Seed of Hope;it has recently been revised. Also, it now includes questions at the end of each of the 60 daily devotions. These questions are great for individual reflection or for fertility support groups to study. I’m pleased to let you know that Elisha graciously agreed to write the Foreword for the revised edition of A Seed of Hope.

A Seed of Hope Foreword

Here is what she shares in the book:

I am not sure if you are new to infertility or if you have been traveling this journey for months or even years, but I think we can all agree no matter the time spent on this unexpected path to parenthood that it is tough.  Really tough.  When I began walking this bumpy road filled with sharp turns and potholes, I wasn’t prepared. Were you?

I thought infertility was simply the inability to conceive after one year of actively trying. And rightfully so, because isn’t that the definition? But ask me now, nearly six years after leaving my doctor’s office numb and confused, then going through several failed treatment cycles and a miscarriage, and I will quickly tell you that the definition Google search gave me years ago is not even close to being accurate, and maybe you feel the same. Infertility, when you break it down, is somuch more than just the inability to conceive.

I have learned it is also a series of losses that you are forced to grieve month after month. It’s almost like a grave that keeps following you around as it grabs your hope and buries more and more of your dreams with each failed cycle. It’s a fierce battle between your faith and your circumstances. A battle you must fight to win every day. And a battle that is exhausting. But sweet friend, while I have learned so much about infertility through my experiences, I have also learned what it is not. And it is not going to win.

In 2012 after my last failed treatment cycle using In Vitro-Fertilization (IVF), I found myself falling further into a sea of despair thinking God had forgotten me. I couldn’t figure out what I had done to deserve this form of punishment and this type of shame. Every day, I felt as though I was trying to scoop the water out of my sinking ship with a small Dixie cup, only to keep watching the water come pouring back in.

My Search for Relief

It wasn’t until during one of my late night internet searches in which I was looking for something, anything that could give me relief from the intense pain my heart and soul was experiencing that I found her; I found Evangeline and her book, A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises for Fertility. And friend, once it was in my hands just a few short days later, I couldn’t put it down. Each entry was a breath of spiritual fresh air as her words brought life to the parts of me that were dry and wounded.

I found her personal struggle and unwavering faith in God to be the powerful inspiration I needed in my time of weakness. Her daily dose of encouragement helped me shake off the lies of the enemy so that I could stand firm and live my day faithfully with a hope-filled focus. A focus that has continued to enable me to believe in the Truth that victory over childlessness, no matter the diagnosis or cause, can be mine— and even yours.

It is my prayer and strong belief that as you dedicate each day to reading this 60-day devotional, as well as put to practice the undeniable tool of speaking God’s word over your situation as Evangeline teaches you to do, that you will begin to feel your hope supernaturally rise to a new level. You will begin to see yourself with the victory, rather than without. I also believe that you will begin to feel stronger in your faith, as well as empowered to know that while infertility is what it is— heartbreaking…dream shattering…soul crushing and faith breaking…you will also begin to know deep down within your spirit what it is not. You will know that because of the power of Jesus, it is not going to win.

Use This Tool

So grab a pen, a cute journal and marinate yourself with the Spirit-filled words of this book. Let it be a tool that helps you no longer see your situation through your eyes, but rather through His. You are a victor through Him, and victory over sickness and disease can be yours.

Thank you, Evangeline, for pouring out your heart and spreading God’s Truth to a community of men and women struggling to conceive. Your dedication to the Lord years ago saved me from turning away from my faith. My hope and prayer today is that through your revised edition, it will continue to help save others who are like I once was— trying to scoop water out of their boat with a small Dixie cup.

May God bless each of you reading these words with the deepest desires of your heart.

Elisha Kearns

Author of the faith-based nationally known blog, Waiting for Baby Bird

You Are a Victor!

If you’re struggling with infertility and you desire Scripture-based encouragement, get your copy of the revised edition of A Seed of Hope at www.BooksByEvangeline.com. It will help you see more clearly that you are indeed already a victor in Christ– even over infertility!

Why Feeling Hopeless is NOT Where You Want to Stay – INFOGRAPHIC

Feeling hopeless

3 Powerful Actions if You’re Tempted to Abandon Hope

When life fails to be all that we had anticipated, we find it easier to abandon hope. Sometimes, we tend to think, “What’s the use? It hasn’t happened yet… and it probably never will.” If this is a description of your current life and mindset, I have 3 tips I’d like to share to help you strengthen and retain hope.

Tip 1

Make a Gratitude List. Pause to give thanks on a daily basis. When you focus more on what you’re thankful for, it begins to shift your attitude. Ultimately, you begin to move beyond discouragement. Acknowledging blessings that you’re currently experiencing will give you a better outlook about your circumstances.

Areas for counting your blessings don’t have to all be “big” or “important” in someone else’s eyes. Here are a few to consider:

  • Jesus’ finished work on the cross
  • The Father’s love
  • Good/improved health
  • Steady income
  • Fun relationships
  • Provision of a home
  • Clean running water
  • Transportation
  • Power over the enemy
  • Opportunities to serve others

What would you add to this list?

Tip 2

Ask for wisdom. God is always willing, even eager, to give you wisdom. What He gives, He does not take away. His wisdom about your circumstances will help you to not abandon hope.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
~ James 1:5 NLT

Wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good (Webster’s Dictionary). It points you in the right direction and helps you make good decisions. Wisdom also helps you to be content until circumstances change because you know that God’s hand of favor continually rests on you.

Tip 3

Do one thing. Choose to take one simple step that serves to increase your trust in God. Focus on a promise that He has made that relates to your situation and then take one easy action step based on that promise. You can rely on God keeping His promise.

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? ~ Numbers 23:19 NLT

Commit to doing that one thing by writing it down and placing it someplace where you’ll be reminded of it and then.. do it!


Hope is one of the three things that 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us will always remain as a resource that allows us to tap into God’s grace. We are to always have hope—the joyful and confident expectation of God coming through for us!

Please share… What you do to maintain/strengthen your hope in seasons of discouragement?

 

The Struggle of Infertility is REAL but So Is His Grace–Don’t Give Up!

The struggle of infertility may seem insurmountable but God’s grace is bigger AND more powerful. Here’s help so you don’t give up.

Many times during infertility, you feel like you’re about to fall apart (usually monthly). There is probably no one else in your life who truly understands what you’re going through, so talking to others about it can be difficult, unproductive, and very frustrating. That frustration can make you choose to just suffer silently. THAT is not a good choice! When you’re trying to hold all that emotion inside of you, it’s only a matter of time before you start to feel like you’ll explode. That explosion is sometimes expressed in anger, self-pity, sadness, bitterness, self-condemnation, depression, and many other destructive ways.

BUT, there is One who can help!

The struggle of infertility is NOT too big for Jesus.

In the midst of the all the pain and asking, “Why me?”, Jesus is the One who is capable of understanding this situation and helping you to get through it without falling apart. Colossians 1:17 [NIV] says, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. ” His love and grace are available everyday to comfort and guide you through the struggle so the negative emotions don’t overtake you and make you feel like everything is falling apart.

Look to Him today and on a daily basis. Trust His hands to hold you and to keep things in your life held together.

Let Him hold your whole world in His hands.

You can find more encouragement, comfort, and peace in my book, A Seed of Hope: God’s Promise of Fertility.

In the struggle of infertility He holds your world in His hands
Photo courtesy of Microsoft / Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
borrowed hope

She Got Through It By Living On Borrowed Hope — You Can Too

Have you ever borrowed anything from a friend because you had completely run out of that item? It’s nice to know that when you’re in a pinch, someone is kind enough to share what they have to make up for what you don’t.

Amazingly, if you feel like you have completely run out of hope, you can borrow some of it too! That’s what a friend did as she struggled with infertility. You can read a portion of her story of victory here.

What I’d like to share about her story that you won’t read in her blog is something she recently said to me while we attended an event. She told me that before she met me, she had been reading my Bible reading plan about fertility on YouVersion. It had been a source of hope for her during a dark time in her life. She considered it a source of “borrowed hope” because she had simply run out it. She didn’t want desperation and bitterness to overtake her. As a believer in Christ, she knew she had to keep hope alive within her… somehow. Borrowing hope from the Biblical accounts of those 8 women in my reading plan helped her maintain hope until she eventually experienced victory and gave birth to a son.

Seeing how others experience victory should prompt us to feel hopeful, not envious or pitiful. When we make a decision to celebrate the victory of others…when we remain determined to have a positive mindset…when we choose to believe that what God has done for others He will do for us… we can live life hope-filled.

Borrowed hope from the victorious experiences of others may be what you need in order to get through the struggle. Or maybe their experiences can serve to boost the hope you’ve forced yourself to maintain.

Either way, today, make the choice to rest in knowing that God loves you and ALWAYS keep His promises.

It’ll make the struggle easier.

waiting

I Don’t Like Waiting–I Want it NOW!

Waiting…

It’s not fun.

In our  American “get it NOW” microwave mentality, we tend to want what we want when we want it– immediately. We don’t like waiting!

But the old saying, “good things come to those who wait,” still rings true. Sometimes an incubation period is needed in order for us to see the desired end result.

For instance, farmers and gardeners have to wait before they get to see the fruit of their labor. The seeds they sow don’t produce immediately after they are planted.  It takes time before the seed produces roots to establish an unseen system of drawing nutrients from the soil. The roots also provide stability for the plant as the first sprout forces its way through the soil to bask in the sunlight and continue to grow. Eventually, the sprout will become a seedling and grow into a mature plant ready for harvest.

Our desires can sometimes overwhelm us and even depress us in the season of waiting. Most times it’s because we’ve taken our eyes off the One with the solution and made our desire an idol–the think we think about most.

But here’s the thing…even God waits. He waits for His desires to manifest.How long did He have to wait on you to decide to see Him as your Father and to ask Him to save you through His Son? 🙂 He planted many “Word seeds” in the Earth through His prophets who predicted a Savior/Messiah would come. But He waited through many generations. He desired for Jesus to come to the earth and save mankind but it took thousands of years before Jesus was born. Sending Jesus was indeed the BEST thing that God has done for mankind but God patiently waited for the right time!

Patience in the Waiting

Like the farmer, you too must plant seed–the Word of God (see Luke 8:11). You may be waiting on a desired result that seems impossible to come through, only because it’s taking so long to manifest. But hang in there! The seed–God’s promise–is working in the unseen realm. It’s doing its thing underground and is about to sprout. There is HOPE! You’ll find it in Hebrews 10:35, 36:

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”

I pray that you’ll choose to endure this season of waiting with hope, peace, and joy!

Get more encouragement in the waiting from my devotional,

A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility.

Infertility Devotional for waiting

Feeling Like You’re Stuck Between A Rock and A Hard Place

Stuck between a rock and a hard place

The pressures of infertility can make you feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s as if it completely surrounds you, pressuring you to give up, to not see any advantage in continuing to hope. In the midst of infertility, life can feel like you’re always stuck between a rock and a hard place. It seems like not much of anything is working out in your favor. Every day seems as if infertility colors how you view life. It looms over every aspect of your life, clouding your vision so it’s hard to see anything good that’s on the horizon.

But I’m glad to share with you that in that place of feeling stuck, hope can shake things up, freeing you to enjoy life!

5 Secrets

Here are 5 secrets that I’ve found are powerful in nurturing and maintaining hope as you look to come out of this struggle with infertility.

  1. Believe God loves you. His love is a “no matter what” kind of love. No matter what you’ve done/thought/said, He loves you with an unfailing and unending love.
  2. Decide to not give up. Don’t underestimate the power of a decision!
  3. Remember the previous times, big or small, when God has come through for you. Encourage yourself. Think about those successes and the joy you experienced.
  4. On a daily basis, affirm the promises of God that relate to your situation by speaking them out loud. Instead of focusing on medical facts, allow God’s healing Word to be your point of focus and become your truth.
  5. Greet each morning with gratitude for the gift of a new day. This helps set a positive tone for the day ahead of you. Thankfulness has a way of shifting our attitude, choices, and behavior.

There’s Always Hope

Hope is one of the three things that 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us will always remain as a resource that allows us to tap into God’s grace. We are to always have hope—the joyful and confident expectation of God coming through for us!

Hope established upon Jesus’ love never disappoints.

When you’re feeling like you stuck between a rock and a hard place, hope is there to bring freedom! Hope is what provides an inner image of good things to come. Hope removes the shackles of despair, no matter what situation you’re facing. Allow hope to shake things up in your life so that you experience the freedom to confidently expect good things from a very good Father.

 

hope in depression

Hope Begins in the Midst of Darkness and Depression

 

Sometimes, we are overwhelmed by the darkness and depression that consistently and continually seep into our lives. It is a downright insidious attack. But God said that hope never fails (1 Corinthians 13:13).  His Word and His love give us reason to never give up until the radiant light of His Word has broken through the darkness!

Hope begins in the midst of darkness and depression… 

Hope is defined as a joyful and confident expectation of good. [Source: Thayer’s Lexicon]

I like to think of hope as H.O.P.E.:

Having

Only

Positive

Expectations

In this acrostic, “positive” not only means the opposite of negative, it also means confident, fully assured. Therefore, each day you can choose to have a confident expectation of something good coming your way to bring you out of this season of infertility.

The prophet Jeremiah is a case study for how to maintain hope. Consistently recalling what his enemy had done to him caused Jeremiah to get deeply depressed. His mind and emotions were not at peace and he even became oblivious to anything good (Lamentations 3). But, when he chose to recall the good things God had done, he was filled with hope, confidence, and expectancy.

Practice H.O.P.E. daily!

Make the choice to recall the good that God has already done in your life. Remember that He loves you, is always with you, and enjoys making Himself available to do you good.

The account of Abraham & Sarah overcoming infertility is referenced in Romans 4 and tells of how he had a steadfast, firm hope in God’s promises. Verse 18 says that he “hoped against hope.” The phrase “hope against hope” means to continue to have hope even though the present circumstances and future outlook don’t warrant it. Abraham kept looking for the manifestation of God’s promise of a child. That’s how you have only positive expectations!

Remember, hope begins in the midst of darkness and never gives up until the light has broken through!

Give yourself permission to be like Abraham– keep your hope alive. Even though depression may be looming large, even though your natural circumstances may not warrant having hope, keep the light of hope burning bright in the midst of the darkness. When you get tired of waiting, God is still right there to help you continue on. Let Him know you’d like His help in maintaining your H.O.P.E.. As you trust in Him and His goodness, it becomes easier to maintain and overflow in hope.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
~ Romans 15:13 (NLT)

Will you choose to refuse despair and move toward victory each day?

[This post includes an excerpt from my book, Infertility Sucks!]

Real Love

5 Secrets to Help You Shake Things Up and Enjoy Life

I know what the pressure of infertility feels like. It’s as if it completely surrounds you, pressuring you to give up, to not enjoy life or to see any advantage in continuing to hope. In the midst of infertility, life can feel like you’re always stuck between a rock and a hard place. It seems like not much is working out in your favor. Every day seems as if infertility colors how you view life in general. It looms over every aspect of your life, clouding your vision so it’s hard to see anything good that’s on the horizon.

But I’m glad to share with you that in that place of feeling stuck, HOPE can shake things up, freeing you to enjoy life!

Here are 5 secrets that I’ve found that are powerful in helping you enjoy life as you maintain hope for victory in this struggle with infertility:

  1. Believe God loves you. His love is a “no matter what” kind of love. No matter what you’ve done/thought/said, He loves you with an unfailing and unending love.
  2. Decide to not give up. Don’t underestimate the power of a decision!
  3. Remember the previous times, big or small, when God has come through for you. Encourage yourself. Think about those successes and the joy you experienced.
  4. On a daily basis, affirm the promise of God that relates to your situation by speaking the Word out loud. Instead of focusing on medical facts, let God’s Word be your point of focus and become your truth.
  5. Greet each morning with gratitude for the gift of a new day. This helps set a positive tone for the day ahead of you. Thankfulness has a way of shifting our attitude, choices, and behavior.

Hope is one of the three things that 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us will always remain as a resource that allows us to tap into God’s grace. We are to always have hope—the joyful and confident expectation of God coming through for us!

Hope established upon Jesus’ love never disappoints.

Allow hope to shake things up in your life so that you experience the freedom to confidently expect good things from your very good Heavenly Father.


An Affirmation for You:

God loves me and desires for me to experience only His goodness so that I enjoy life. I rest in His love for me. I choose to allow His desires for my life to shape my desires. I maintain my hope in God.


What things are you currently doing to help you enjoy life during the struggle? Please share below.