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God is Still Good

Romans 8:28-39 

You most likely didn't know that I was pregnant, and just found out today that we have had yet another miscarriage. This makes the third baby we have lost since November 2009 . I know it may seem odd that I would write a blog post on a day like today, but I wanted to share while my emotions are still fresh and God's grace so near and precious to me. 
If you have read my previous post, you will know that our parenthood journey hasn't been the easiest or a pleasant one at all times. We still desire a large family, but don't know what it will look like or when it will happen, and we are definitely open to adoption, just not financially able at present. 
I had been told last Friday that there was "reason for concern" with this pregnancy and not just my history, so I had went home and cried and prayed and asked everyone I could to pray for me, even if I didn't tell them why I wanted them to pray. I had been reading God's Word, and looking for any hope I could find there. And yet once again I was reminded that the only hope is in knowing who God is. I mean by that, knowing that God is good, perfect, and infinite in wisdom and power, love and mercy. This is what I have been holding on to in both our previous losses as well as today. 
There is no hope outside of Christ Jesus. 
My pride and arrogance tempts me and would lead me to believe that I deserve more children, because I see others have no problem having children and many of them being ungrateful for them and desiring to not have them as a burden. I see others that have never lost like this and am tempted to be bitter towards them when they offer any words meant for comfort. I am tempted to doubt God's very goodness, mercy, forgiveness, grace, and love that He has extended towards me in reconciling me to Him through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. I am tempted to believe that I have offended God in all my sinfulness, and this is some kind of punishment for being unfit. I am tempted to complain to others or about others as I see I am suffering and they seemingly are not. I am tempted to be bitter towards those who are very able to have a large family and proclaim it is a testimony to God's blessing and is a family's way of glorifying God. I am tempted to retreat into a corner and avoid all human contact even at the neglect of my family and myself. I am tempted to be angry with God at the seeming injustice of my children dying while other's live. I am tempted to be bitter and angry with my husband, and I'm really not sure why. I am tempted to never talk about this and pretend it never happened and this baby never really existed. I am tempted to give up on sex entirely, and say I must not be meant to have any more children. I am tempted to blame the doctor, that Mt. Dew I drank before I knew I was pregnant or the prenatal vitamin I forgot to take after I knew I was pregnant, lifting my daughter, doing housework, running, or any number of things that I normally would do, but now are suspect causes of pain. I am tempted to give up on prayer and crying out to God in my needs. I am tempted to eat my own body weight in chocolate. I am tempted to buy an i-phone on a credit card. I am tempted to ignore everyone and everything in an attempt to gain sympathy for myself. I am tempted to watch tv or clean to avoid thinking about it. I am tempted to erase this very blog right now. 
But God,....probably some of the most powerful and hope filled words that can ever be spoken. I know that I am evil (Psalms 14:3 ) and deserve nothing but God's eternal wrath, and yet Christ's sacrifice has atoned or paid for my sins, taking all my punishment and leaving me only with His righteousness in it's place (2 Corinthians 5:21 ). Because I know this, I know that anything good has by God's divine and sovereign grace been given to me (James 1:17 ), including the fact that He doesn't squash me out of existence right this instance for my insubordination. I don't deserve more children. I don't deserve the one I have, and neither does anyone else. God owes me nothing, but I owe Him everything including life itself. If God has given children, it is by His mercy and grace and they are a blessing to be thankful for.
Those seeking to comfort me truly desire to bring me good and not harm, and it is a sin for me to judge their words or intentions or to be ungrateful for them. I need only rejoice that God has seen fit to enable me to bear this burden and to give thanks for it(Acts 5:41 ), and to give me ones who care so much for me.
I don't have to understand why God does what He does in order to trust Him for who He is. God will still be good, whether I believe it or not, whether I am hurting, or whether I praise Him. God is, and what I do or don't do and what I believe or don't believe can't ever change that. (Lamentations 3:22-40 )
I have offended God, and sin always does separate us from Him leaving His wrath upon us (Romans 1:18 ). Yet, He punished Christ for my sake, and for all those who are the elect and predestined to be saved as the children of God(Romans 1:16-17 ). He cannot punish me for sins that Christ already died for, because as Jesus said, "It is finished."(John 19:30 ).
If we are Christ's we will suffer, just as He suffered(Romans 8:17) . My complaining is a sign of ingratitude for what God has so clearly done, and we are commanded to thank Him for everything(1 Thessalonians 5:18 ), not only the things we like. Because, again, since God is perfectly good and righteous, then so is all that He does. 
To those who have been blessed with many children, I thank God for you! And it is a testimony to God's blessing and glory(Psalm 127:3-5 ), but God doesn't favor some because they are any more deserving than anyone else. I, too, have a semi-large family. This was my fourth pregnancy, so I just have three babies in heaven(2 Samuel 12:23, Mark 10:14 ) and one here, but they are all my family, and I will be with those three throughout all eternity in the very presence of God Almighty!
Neglecting my family would be sinful and selfish(1 Timothy 5:8 ), and I can't justify that sin, just because I'm hurting or I didn't get what I wanted, when I wanted it. They have lost, too, and need me now probably more than ever. 
God is just. He cannot be otherwise, because being just is His very nature, that is who He is(Deuteronomy 32:4 ). Again, we none deserve our lives, let alone the lives of our children.
I think the reason I am feeling so tempted to be bitter towards my husband is because the enemy would prefer to divide us over our grief instead of us drawing closer to one another and to God(Ephesians 6:12). My husband has as little control over who dies and who lives as I do, and He lost a child, too.
My baby was alive and real as I or you, and that same baby was made lovingly by their Creator God(Jeremiah 1:5 ). I can't ignore their existence any more than I can ignore the existence of anyone else. And by sharing I hope to encourage others and glorify God through suffering for His sake(Phillipians 1:29 ).
Giving up on sex would only punish my husband and I and would be sinful(1 Corinthians 7:3-5 ), and whether or not we have more children biologically or our family is enlarged in another way is entirely up to God. I have to submit to His will, whatever it may be.
This cannot be blamed on anyone or anything but God. He alone has the power to give life and take it away. To blame anything or anyone else would be futile and would only make me crazy and bitter. God took my child, and I must submit to His authority and praise Him in spite of how I feel because He alone is worthy of praise.
Again, the enemy would have me give up on all the things that would draw me closer to God and comfort me. I will trust in the LORD.
Turning to food or frivolous shopping would make me feel better for a moment, but leave me emptier than before, and there would be no end to my seeking satisfaction where there is no possibility of being satisfied(Revelation 7:17 ). 
Your sympathy may come with the best of intentions, but it doesn't truly help. Only God can comfort us in a lasting and real way. My desire for comfort apart from God is seeking the impossible.
Trying to forget it by immersing myself in anything but God through prayer and reading His Word would be putting something else before God, and that is idolatry(Mark 12:30 ). 
Erasing this blog wouldn't help either, because we are to be lights to this world as Christ's followers. I only pray that through my transparency and attempt at complete honesty others will be comforted and God will be glorified. Love in truth. Psalm 136 .
Now, click here  to read the rest of the story :)


The Rest of the Story

For those of you who don't know me, I felt the need to tell you at least a little bit about me, and especially my mommy road. My husband and I have been married for seven years. We always wanted kids, but always someday far away in the future. I thought that I had to get ahead in my career first. God started pulling at our hearts to have kids, and it didn't help that both of my sisters-in-law had two super cute kids each. After hearing our Sunday school teacher make the statement that we shouldn't treat having kids as a disease to be prevented, I realized that was exactly what I was doing. Children are a blessing and a gift from God, and I had been trying to avoid it like the plague.
So, we started "trying", but after a year without anything happening, I mentioned it to my general practitioner. Because we were both in our twenties he suggested that we see a fertility specialist. They did tons of tests, and determined that I had P.C.O.S. (polycystic ovarian syndrome). So, I started taking metformin/glucophage and almost immediately got pregnant with our daughter.
After I had stopped breastfeeding Shelby (when she turned one), we decided to try again, but without going to the fertility doctor. That was November 2008 and by June 2009 we decided to go back to the doctor and try taking the metformin again.
In the fall 2009 I found out I was pregnant. We were ecstatic, and I felt like maybe I would finally be able to have the large family I had always dreamed of, but it wasn't meant to be that way. When I was about 9 weeks, I started bleeding pretty heavily, and we immediately went to an ER on that Saturday night where the bleeding stopped after an hour and half. They did all kinds of bloodwork, checked the cervix and the mucous plug, gave me a shot of rhogam (I'm rh negative), and did an ultrasound where they picked up a good fetal heartbeat. They even took the only picture we would ever have of our baby(above). We went home and were told to be on bedrest until we saw my doctor on the following Monday.
That Monday morning, we were in the ultrasound room, when the doctor couldn't find a heartbeat, and we were devastated.
After losing our baby, I didn't eat for almost a week. I became very depressed and honestly, wanted to die so I could be with my baby. I know that sounds weird and morbid, but I had been so excited about having another child, and I thought that when the bleeding stopped in the ER and there was a heartbeat that God was doing a miracle. I learned to trust in God's goodness and character even though I didn't understand or like what had happened. I knew God had taken my baby and that He was in control and He is perfect in His wisdom, power, and love.
In early February 2010, I had the starts of a urinary tract infection, and so I went to my general practitioner. They did a urine test to make sure that I wasn't pregnant before they would prescribe any antibiotics, and it came back positive. I was glad, sort of, but very confused. We hadn't tried very hard to get pregnant, and I thought I had had my period about a week before. I later found out that was implantation bleeding.
Once again, we were in that same ultrasound room, when the doctor said there was no baby in my uterus. At first they checked to see if it was a chemical pregnancy, but it ended up being an ectopic pregnancy instead. That meant that the baby had implanted in one of my fallopian tubes and if it continued to grow it couldn't survive, but would make the tube burst and cause severe internal bleeding and possibly my own death if I didn't get into surgery in time. The hardest decision of our lives was to allow the doctor to give me an injection of methyltrexalate to "dissolve the tissue" as my doctor described it.
So, here I am, terrified of being pregnant again, and yet wanting more children so badly.
And yet I know God is behind all of this, and He has a purpose in it that will glorify Him. That is where my joy comes from, in knowing that He is in control and that He will be glorified in it, and that He has given me two babies in heaven to look forward to. God is good, and so is all that He allows and wills to happen. I don't have to understand it, I just have to believe what is true.
We are still hoping that God in His mercy will expand our family, but in the meantime all we can do is to trust and rest in His will and know that it will be done. I invite you to pray with us that God would continue to give us the grace to go through whatever He has in store for us, and that He might find it in His will and great mercy to bless us with more babies.


Am I a Gossip Girl?

First of all, I have to thank my friend Michelle  for inspiring me to start my own blog and for loaning me a book that has really made me think. feel convicted about some things. The book is entitled "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God: Fresh Vision for the Hopeful Homemaker" by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald. I know, it has a really catchy title, but so far it has been like a breath of fresh air. Finally a book written by women who have a great desire to follow Proverbs 31, Titus 2, and 1 Peter 3! And are practical in its application, while teaching with all meekness and love.
Well, this evening I was reading from it, only to realize that not only do I sometimes many times speak badly of my husband, both directly and indirectly, but that I do so in front of our daughter at times. I am so ashamed of myself, and am standing in need of God's forgiveness as well as my husband and daughter's. 
I know that sometimes I only say things in kind of a sarcastic way and it may seem as though I am only trying to be funny, but I'm afraid my intentions may flow from some kind of bitterness towards my husband. O God, where is this coming from? 
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."-Proverbs 31:10-12
"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."-Proverbs 31:26
I am afraid that the only I often open my mouth with is my foot. It is amazing and even depressing at times how God sanctifies us and conforms us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). When God first regenerated me from death to new life in Him, I thought that meant that everything would change in an instant, in other words, I thought that meant that I would stop doing all the sinful things I couldn't stop doing before and my life would only be peace and joy and living without sin. Yes, I was extremely naive and without much discernment, but God has since grown me in His wisdom a little, and I can daily see sanctification going on. Which means that daily God is showing me more sinfulness and corruption in my flesh. But, praise God "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."(1John 1:9)!
This is why "The just shall live by faith" (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17)! I can do nothing but sin on my own. Everything in me wants to satisfy only myself, and wants no one to tell me what to do, including God. And yet, God in His infinite mercy, love, and grace, kept me from myself and has reconciled me to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ's penal substitutionary atonement on the cross!!!
"Therefore, we must have this blessedness not just once but must hold to it throughout life. Finally, he testifies that the embassy of free reconciliation with God is published not for one day or another but is attested as perpetual in the church [cf. II Cor. 5:18-19]. Accordingly, to the very end of life, believers have no other righteousness than that which is there described. For Christ ever remains the Mediator to reconcile the Father to us; and his death has everlasting efficacy: namely, cleansing, satisfaction, atonement, and finally perfect obedience, with which all our iniquities are covered. And Paul does not say to the Ephesians that we have the beginning of salvation from grace but that we have been saved through grace, "not by works, lest any man should boast" [Eph. 2:8-9]."-The Institutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin, book III, chapter xiv
I am a gossip girl. I talk about others, even with the appearance of only having Christians concern for them, but it's deeper than that and becomes gossip, as I tell it not with the intention of them being prayed for or the edifying of them, but to make conversation or because I am arrogant and prideful. God, please take this evil from me! Purge me of this sin!

Love in truth.
Sarah :)


A Whole New World or My Macbook: Gateway to Civilization

Wow! That's all I can say about my husband's decision to finally get internet access for our home. I have been staying at home with our daughter since she was born in November of 2007, and shortly thereafter we cancelled our cable. We don't get a paper and we live in rural Tennessee, so...needless to say mommy was craving some interaction with others and a forum from which I could at least know what the weather forecast was. (Yes, I even missed the weather reports.) *sigh*
But, I didn't realize how much had changed and yet hadn't changed since I last cared about things like fashion, celebrity news (*gag*), and the latest whatever. Turns out I wasn't as interested in the news as I thought I would be, but what I was truly craving was fellowship with other Christians, especially women and moms in general. (Thank God for facebook friends!)
So, I thought I would start a blog to see if I could meet more people and further my expedition into the cyberworld. Yeah, I'm nerdy, but old school nerdy, much preferring a book to a computer. However, I am now hopefully not too addicted to this technology, but appreciating it's being a blessing to me.

So, here's 10 things I've learned so far:
1. Facebook can be a tool for evangelism, and a husband babysitter :D
2. Youtube can be a great tool for entertaining toddlers with clips from the "real" Sesame Street , pre Elmo's horrible voice and baby talk *sigh*
3. If your legs are cold or sore a laptop can be an alternative to the old heating pad, just be sure to wear long pants.
4. Blogs, blogs, and more blogs....How can I keep up, and yet I can't stop reading them!
5. I've already met new friends, and oddly enough neighbors *woot! woot!*
6. Never take your laptop to bed. It's not good for you, your spouse, or your laptop : (
7. I love Phil Johnson and all the Pyromaniacs !
8. Email is obsolete. (Thanks fb and texting.)
9. Yogurt is hard to get off a computer screen, but a drop or two of coffee won't hurt your keyboard (emphasis on a drop or two).
10. Celebrities and movies stars have less control over our minds online!!! (Thank God that we don't have to see their pictures or hear their advice on anything unless we want to!)

So, there you have it a few things I'm learning. Until tomorrow or the laundry gets done, whichever comes first. Sarah : )