Tag: Infertility

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)

 

The Power of Gratitude

Expressing gratitude is a powerful way to start your day every morning. Today I decided to share excerpts from posts as far back as 2012 that I hope will encourage you to always be on the lookout for something good and be thankful for it.

If you’re struggling with infertility, it’s so easy to get caught up in all that’s going wrong, the disappointment that comes month after month, the emotional drain of it all, the possible health scares, the financial toll, and the marital problems that tend to stealthily creep in. But today, make a DECISION to look for the things in life you’ll be thankful for.

Start by remembering that God is with you. If you’ve asked Jesus into your heart, He has promised to never leave you and to always bless you with his unfailing grace. Continue to rest in knowing that God is for you and not against you (Romans 8:31). Be thankful that He has given so many examples of women who overcame infertility along with promises in the Bible that relate to your fertility. Thank Him that you can count on Him to make good on those promises (Isaiah 55:11).  Even during the moments when you doubt His ability, willingness, and timing, stand firm in being thankful that He still loves you. Believe that He loves you no-matter-what, just as much as He loves Jesus (John 17:23).

Be thankful that there is nothing too hard for God, not even infertility (Genesis 18:14)!


WHY should I be grateful?

  • What I have, I don’t deserve because of my goodness, rather, it’s all because of Jesus’ goodness.
  • Gratitude and Peace are interconnected; the more gratitude I express to God, the more of His peace I experience.
  • It’s a way to express my indebtedness to others and to God, thereby helping me to become a better servant-leader.
  • Gratitude is a choice; I can just as easily choose to complain about life instead of being grateful.

I choose to celebrate that God loves me and blesses me, even when circumstances around me are teeming with reasons to not be grateful!


KEEP AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE!

Choose to be grateful. Expect an abundance of good things to come your way that will reinforce and grow this attitude so you can constantly be grateful, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

 

What thing(s) do you do to remind yourself that, in spite of your circumstances, you have much to be grateful for?

Gratitude by Ziglar

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!

Maintaining a Strong Marriage During Infertility

This blog post on maintaining a strong marriage first appeared here a couple of years ago. This past weekend a friend reminded me that the keys to a good marriage are good to keep top-of-mind during this season, so I thought I’d share this again.


A Strong Marriage Takes Work

Maintaining a successful marriage takes work under “normal” circumstances. It is especially important to work at maintaining a strong, hope-filled, and love-based marriage during the stressful circumstances added by a season of infertility.

Here are some important keys about love as God intended a husband and wife to experience it. Focus on how love REALLY is and not as it’s portrayed on television, in romance novels, and online. Focus on God’s love for you and how He wants you to love your spouse. Get more tips and encouragement in my e-book, Infertility Sucks! How to Maintain Hope in Your Marriage During Infertility.

I know the struggle is real. Which of these keys are you using “on purpose” in your marriage to keep it strong?

 

Strong Marriage

 

Infertility Sucks - Always Maintain Hope

Infertility Sucks! How Do You Maintain Hope for Becoming Pregnant?

Infertility sucks! No two ways about it, there is nothing good about the struggle itself, however, good things can come out it when we open ourselves to those possibilities.

Looking back on my experience with infertility, I remember it as a time of a lot of not-so-good-for-you emotions. Some that surfaced during that struggle were:

  • Shock
  • Devastation
  • Demoralization
  • Inadequacy
  • Loneliness
  • Jealousy
  • Confusion
  • Stress
  • Shame
  • FEAR
  • and more…

Those negative emotions each challenged me in maintaining hope for a pregnancy and a healthy baby. It boiled down to making a decision about whether I would give up on God’s love for me and His promises of fertility. I chose not to give up on Him but that was hard! When you’re staring at negative results every month, and listening to the enemy’s whispers about how God is silent and not moving on your behalf, it’s difficult to keep hope alive.

How I Overcame Infertility

Thankfully, I had understanding and wise friends who pointed me to the Word to find my solution. That was how I OVERCAME those negative feelings and infertility itself. A particular friend heard from the Lord in her prayer time and encouraged me to learn about the women in the Bible who experienced infertility and overcame it. That was a turning point for me!

If you’re struggling through the emotions of infertility (and I do mean through–don’t get stuck there), you know where I’m coming from–infertility sucks! Please know that you are not alone. Trust in the Word of God. Trust in His love for you. Believe that He always keeps His promises.

Have confidence that God’s promises of fertility are true for YOU. Find and anchor your hope in them.

Which one of His promises resonates with you and helps you maintain hope?

 

Battling Infertility? Here’s an Effective Scripture-Based Prayer

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have already been given the victory over everything the devil can throw at you… even if you’re battling infertility. In Him, you’ve been redeemed and made a partner to the biggest winner of all time! Prayer is a means of accessing the victory.

How do you pray? Have your prayers been filled with words of defeat, self-pity, and unbelief? Or do you pray with confidence that God’s promises of victory are for YOU?

Battling Infertility with Prayer

Here’s a prayer that can galvanize you in the belief that you are a victor and not a victim:

Prayer - Battling InfertilityFather, I’m Your child and I stand in the truth of your Word. I am in covenant with You and an heir to all your blessings. My spouse and I desire to have a baby. I stand on Your Word, with expectancy and thanksgiving, that  I receive that special gift from You. In the authority I have in Jesus, I speak to the “mountain” of infertility, “Be dried up at the root, never to affect our bodies again.”

We are redeemed from the curse. I believe that my womb is blessed and is a safe environment for our baby to grow. We look to experience a beautiful pregnancy, with no suffering during it.  Our expectation is a safe delivery that goes smoothly and quickly.

Thank You Father, for loving me.

Thanks for answering this prayer for the precious child you have created specifically for us.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

[Scripture references: Galatians 3:26, 29; Ephesians 2:4-6; Philippians 4:6; Mark 11:12-14, 20-24]

Coach’s Corner:

Here are a 3 questions to ponder. I encourage you to write the answers in your journal (or start one if you don’t have one!) .

  • How satisfied am I about my current level of expectancy and joy?
  • What does God’s Word say about expecting Him to come through on His promises?
  • How can I more effectively “speak to the mountain” of infertility using God’s Word?

If you’d like more encouragement and insight so that you more fully address the spiritual aspect of infertility, contact me to see if personal coaching might be of benefit to you. I’d love to talk with you about it!  🙂  #iHopeCoaching

 

 

Image courtesy of Nuchylee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Did You Know There’s a SPIRITUAL Aspect of Infertility? #NIAW

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week. Are you aware that there’s a spiritual experience associated with infertility?

Many people ignore the spiritual aspect of infertility.

It is so easy to lose focus on the spiritual nature of infertility when the physical aspect consumes your thought life and begins to overtake your daily life. You and your spouse can become so obsessed with finding the cause and the cure for your situation that it can rob you of your peace. When you’re not experiencing peace, you’re likely to ignore the one thing that can bring about the solution you’re looking for.

Spiritual Unrest

Some studies have shown that the degree of severity of a physical disease is often related to the degree of emotional and spiritual unrest being experienced by the patient. That unrest must be addressed. This is why it is important to strengthen yourself spiritually while dealing with infertility. Acknowledge the need to ask God for wisdom when faced with overcoming the enemy called “Infertility.” It may seem like a Goliath-sized enemy to you, but for God, “Infertility” is already a defeated foe because of what Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection.

Infertility is not too hard for God to break or destroy. God said so when he defeated infertility in Sarah’s life:

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” ~Genesis 18:14

The story of each woman in the Bible that struggled with infertility ended with her becoming an overcomer and giving birth, no matter her age, socio-economic status, or how long she had been infertile.

Stay WITH God

Luke 18:27 shows that Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible WITH God” (emphasis mine). That preposition, “with,” is an important word because it means “in close proximity to”.  You can come close and join yourself WITH Him by asking Him for help and for wisdom in the decisions you make, by reading His word, and by speaking and meditating His Word.

Even if you feel as if God has turned his back on you and no longer hears your prayers, look to Him. When is seems like God is ignoring you (He’s not), look to Him. Even though things haven’t changed after you’ve begged, cried, and pleaded in your prayers, look to Him. And yes, when you find yourself thinking, “I’ve had enough of this. Let’s just throw in the towel and give up,” look to Him. Why? Because the bottom line is, He has never left your side. He loves you immensely and wants His best to be demonstrated in your life. You have an enemy but it is not God, it’s Satan. Jesus is the One who has the power to eradicate this issue and He desires to do so. He needs you to know that He is there with you, standing with you in the face of this enemy. Then you can have faith that He always keeps His promises.

Make a Decision

Make a decision to consistently address the spiritual aspect of infertility.  It will make a positive difference! Trust that God’s Word is true for you. Keep your focus on His promises of fertility. Ask for a fresh revelation of His love for you. It will bring you guidance, comfort, and ultimately, greater peace.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You.”
~ Isaiah 26:3

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: but not as the world gives… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” ~ John 14:27


Find more direction about how to spiritually address infertility… check out my fertility devotional, A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility.

spiritual aspect of infertility-A Seed of Hope

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.

The Ways God’s Love Works in Your Life

What do you do to tap into God’s love for you in the midst of seemingly hopeless circumstances? Find encouragement in my free handout, “Hope in Hard Places.” Request it today, using the blue arrow form to the right of this post.

God’s Love

Scripture assures us that God loves us in so many different ways. Here are a few of them to remind you that the Father loves you the same way He loves Jesus (John 17:23).

Scripture assures us that God loves us the same way He loves Jesus. (John 17:23) Click To Tweet


God’s love is strong and He gladly protects us!

LOVE Psalm 5-12


God’s love brings joyful satisfaction! 

Background image by Vectorgirl |Fotolia

Background image by Vectorgirl |Fotolia


God IS love. Allow His love to be an ever-flowing river, with cascades of the highest level to bring joy in your life.

Background image by photointopainting
Background image by photointopainting

Nothing– no problem, no trouble, no struggle in your life — is too hard for God’s powerful love to solve or change.
Not even INFERTILITY!

This is a video of Israel Houghton singing about taking the limits off of God.
Advance this video to the 8:30 frame to see the encouraging exhortation from Bishop Tudor Bismarck about nothing being too hard for God.

Here’s What REAL LOVE Looks Like

real love

Sometimes we need a reminder of what REAL love is.

How can you know what real love is? If you listen to popular music, no matter if it’s R&B, country, hip-hop, rock, or pop, you’re likely to hear lyrics about how love let someone down:

  • “thank you for the love, thank you for the heartaches, thank you for the tears I’ve cried, thank you for all those lies”
  • “can’t believe that love would hurt again”
  • “she’s my love gone wrong”
  • “love done gone”
  • “good lovin’ gone bad”

A lot of times, people will label something as being “love” when it’s really not. As we celebrate Valentine’s Day today, I want to give you a different perspective about love (this will be the theme of my posts over the next few days). Knowing what God’s love is really like is important in being able to see Him as willing to provide the healing, material supply, relationships, etc. that you may need. Make a decision today to gain a fresh revelation of His love for you.

“The Lord your God is with you. He is a hero, the Mighty Warrior who saves you. In his love, He will no longer punish you.He will take great delight in you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with his love, and celebrates over you with shouts of joy.”
 ~Zephaniah 3:17 (NIRV and GW)

After all, if God is love (1 John 4:16), how can there be anything bad or hurtful about REAL love? 

Please spread the love! Share these images with others via social media.

Sometimes we need a reminder of what REAL love is. Click To Tweet


Love is demonstrative and takes action on behalf of others.

Background by Stuart Miles| FreeDigitalPhotos


Love seeks to refresh and restore.

LOVE -PS 23


Love gives…always.

LOVE John 3-16


 

Certain images courtesy of David Castillo Dominici and Stuart Miles| FreeDigitalPhotos.net