Monday, November 1, 2010

At the crossroads...

Wow, the last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for me. I need prayers for guidance & wisdom right now... to know the Lord's will & more specifically for Mike to clearly hear God's will on this as well. So, what's going on, you may ask...

Last update, as you may remember, was that we were going to do a laparoscopic surgery then on to more, stronger medicine. Well, *that* night (Oct 7th) as I lay in bed praying, asking the Lord, "What do YOU want me to do?" I had the random thought pop into my head, "Embryo Adoption/Donation." I didn't think much of it at first, since IVF has always been out in my mind, but just a few days later (Oct 13th, okay about a week later ) Resolve started a video campaign on Facebook on Embryo Donation... Embryo Donation 101. That's when my eyes & ears perked up & I asked the Lord, "Are you trying to tell me something?" Since then a lot of things have been pointing in that direction... I found an amazing Embryo Adoption/Donation blog (A Greater Yes) with lots of valuable info (I found this blog without even really looking for it... I was blog surfing on other infertility blogs & this is the 1st time that I recall ever coming across an Embryo Adoption/Donation blog), another friend posted on her blog about being named the recipient of a friend's embryos should something happen to them, I am seeing a lot of info/programs on adoption related topics (on FaceBook from Focus on the Family & Family Talk with James Dobson & then when I do a google search on a phrase that really shouldn't necessarily be linked with adoption I find all kinds of adoption articles... adoption is ALL around me now).

So I fasted & prayed Saturday, the 23rd, for guidance & wisdom. I want ONLY His will for my life & this journey but I have been kinda confused lately. I do & have said many times, I do think we will have a baby & I do think I will even carry that baby but has He told me that it will def be a biological child... I'm just not sure (of course "biological" is what I assumed but re-examining it, I just can't say that He said it would be biological for a fact).

I 100% believe that I can get pregnant, if it were His will. 100 mg Clomid WORKED & then after the m/c we tried 100 mg again & it failed so we upped the Clomid to 150 mg & again it failed (my progesterone actually went down) & then the next cycle at my 1st RE appt, the RE took my progesterone to "just see" & I ovulated (no medication at all) according to him (Spontaneous Ovulation? What?!?)! So then we go on to Follistim (150 IUs) which is a stronger drug than Clomid with no success. We then even upped the Follistim dose (225 IUs) with no success. I KNOW it could/would have worked had the Lord's will been for it to work. So now I'm at a crossroads... 1) I can either continue down the road of medical assistance, possibly wasting more & more money; 2) I can stop & wait on Him to will my ovary to work & get pregnant somewhere down the road naturally (hopefully); or 3) I can go with embryo adoption/donation. Of course the last option is a little expensive (granted not nearly as expensive as regular IVF or adoption but still somewhat expensive nonetheless).

The good thing about embryo donation though is that it bypasses some of the problems that adoption would have entailed & why I thought we couldn't/wouldn't be able to adopt in the 1st place (2nd injectables cycle RE follow up appt). And a life that could have never had the chance to live will be given the chance at life. The down side is that donation (verses adoption) means the baby most likely will never know his/her biological parents since most donations are closed & not open (this really only concerns me b/c EVERYTHING I read says open is ALWAYS better for the child & that bothers me only b/c as every parent does... I want what's best for my child but at the same time I KNOW that if the Lord has called me to do donation then this IS what's best for my child). The other down side is money, of course (though, again, if this is the Lord's will, money won't be an issue AND I do think if I organize a yard sale or 2 I could raise 4-5 thousand (the Lord willing), which is approximately what it looks like it will cost).

Someone brought up the fact that Sarah (Abraham's wife) did something very similar when she got frustrated and tired of waiting for God and took the situation into her own hands by giving Abraham her maidservant so that she could *adopt,* which as you probably know, didn't turn out very well for anyone. I'm very glad that M brought this to my attention because I do NOT want to make the same mistake as Sarah & the fact that M brought it up shows how loving & caring she is... she doesn't want me to make the same mistake either. I only want God's will & M is 100% right about what Sarah did & how it turned out. I guess that is why I am taking this so seriously... WHICH WAY DO I GO???

I did find an AMAZING online Bible study on Sarah Saturday night as I was fasting & praying & then Sunday morning's (Oct 24th) sermon was on Abraham & Sarah (I have ALWAYS felt a connection to Sarah more so than any other barren female in the Bible) & one of my favorite stories (Abraham taking Isaac up the mountain to sacrifice him; where he learned that "The LORD Will Provide" (R&R at Fort Walton Beach))...

I'm going to list the Bible study toward the bottom since it's kinda long.

My notes from Sunday's sermon (Oct 24th)...

"'Soul'ed Out Kids"
Genesis 22 & Deuteronomy 32 (concentrating on verses 44-47, 1-4, & 28-29)

Raising "Soul"ed Out Kids:
  1. Be willing to take the right journey. Genesis 22:3
  2. Worship the giver not the gift. Genesis 22:5
    If we worship the gift it becomes an idol.
  3. Trust God will provide. Genesis 22:5
  4. Remember our child's purpose is to be a blessing to God. Genesis 22:18
  5. Teach them to truly live. 1 Peter 1:18-20
Tough Questions for Parents:
  1. What would your kids say is most important to you?
  2. What am I teaching my kids?
  3. Do I truly understand that my kids are to be a blessing to God?
And it doesn't end there. Yesterday's service (Oct 31st) REALLY spoke to me as well.


The "wilderness" is a place of growth, a place of testing & stretching by God. Something BIG is about to happen & He's preparing you for it.

The Greek or Hebrew word (can't remember which) for "wilderness" is "milbar" which means a desert & literally means "driving you." It is a place of solitude; it is uncultivated & deprived of help of others.

We need to learn to run to God & rely on Him, not on our friends.

Worship is not about us.

3 Keys:
  1. Celebrate God in the wilderness. Exodus 5:1
  2. Serve God. Exodus 7:16
  3. Sacrifice to God. Exodus 8:27
They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. ~ Exodus 14:11-14 (emphasis on what spoke to me most is mine )

Which if you've read my blog for long, you know that I firmly believe this time in my life is MY wilderness (CD 12 Update) & actually I've heard a great song about "the wilderness" lately...

And now, the Bible study I promised...

Bible Study Guide: Sarah and Grace, Called and Chosen

Part I Sarah's Example (completed on October 23, 2010)

1. Genesis 11:27-32;20:12 Describe Sarai's family situation. Married to her half brother. Was barren (childless).

2. Genesis 12:4 How old is Abram when he leaves Haran for Canaan? Compare Genesis 17:1 to 17:17 How old is Sarai compared to Abram? Abram is 75 when he leaves Haran. Sarai is 10 years younger than Abram. I'm 10 years younger than Mike.

3. Genesis 12:10-20 Do you think Abram could have handled this situation in a different way? Why did God protect and rescue Sarai? I def think Abram could have handled it differently. God protected & rescues Sarai b/c He had made a covenant with Abram to bless (& protect) Abram.

4. Genesis 15:1-6; Galatians 3:6 What was the foundation of Abraham's relationship with God? Faith!!!

5. Genesis 16:1-16 What is Sarai's solution to their inability to conceive a child? What were the results? Sarai gave Abram her maidservant, Hagar, so she could "adopt." The results were disastrous - Sarai & Hagar were miserable.

6. Genesis 17:1-27 List God's covenant promises to Abram (Abraham). What was Abram's part of the bargain? List God's covenant promises to Sarai (Sarah). Compare the two lists. Name the similarities. What came first - the covenant or the sign of the covenant? (See Genesis 15:18)
Covenent promises to Abraham:

  • * He would be the father of many nations *
  • * He will be fruitful *
  • * He will make many nations & many kings *
  • Canaan would be an everlasting possession
  • The covenant would be everlasting
  • God would be Abraham's descendants' everlasting God

Abraham's part of the bargain:

  • Him & every male of his household much undergo circumcision
  • All his male descendants must be circumcised

Covenent promises to Sarah:

  • * She will be blessed *
  • * She will have a son *
  • * She will be the mother of nations & of kings *

Similarities are marked with an astrick (*).

The covenant comes first (before the sign of circumcision) but why is this important? What does it mean? What significance is there?

7. Genesis 18:1-15; 19:1 Who were the visitors? What was Sarah promised? The visitors were angels. Sarah was promised that she WOULD have a child. I have to add something about this particular scripture:

Then the LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son."
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?" ~ Genesis 18:10-12
Right now, I think I can kinda understand Sarah's laughing. I mean she has gone years & years & years & has even moved on with her life & NOW she's going to get pregnant.

8. Genesis 20:1-17 Why would Abraham once again put Sarah at risk? Do you think Abraham and Sarah more than anyone else deserved to be blessed of God? Why would God once again rescue Sarah from the consequences of their foolish actions? And why would he prosper them as well? I do think they should be GREATLY blessed & maybe even a *little* more than others but I'm not sure really. I do trust God to bless them as much as they deserve & me (& others) as much as we should be. He prospers them b/c of the covenant he made with Abraham.

9. Genesis 21:1-7; Galatians 4:22-23 How old were Abraham and Sarah when Isaac was born? Why would God wait so long to keep his promise? Abraham was 100 & Sarah was 90 when Isaac was born. He waited because He was preparing Abraham & Sarah for the assignment (being the father & mother of many nations).

10. Genesis 21:10-12; Galatians 4:30; 5:4-6 What do Sarah's prophetic words mean? What makes a person a child of promise - child of the free woman Sarah? Sarah's words mean that you can't live by the law & faith both. Is is one or the other. Faith (expressing itself through love) makes a person a child of promise.

Part II Called to be Saints (completed on October 24, 2010)

(The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible gives these definitions of 2821 klesis (calling) klesis: an invitation, vocation, or calling; and 40 hagios (saints) hagios: sacred, consecrated, separated from sin, devoted to God, saints)

1. Romans 1:1-5 What was the Apostle Paul invited to become and what was he invited to do? He was invited to become an apostle & to call people from the Gentiles to obedience by faith (i.e. obedience to the Lord for the Gentiles or saving their souls).

2. Romans 1:5-7 What four facets of God's invitation (calling) are revealed in this passage?
  1. We've received grace & apostleship to call Gentiles (unbelievers) to the obedience that comes from faith (preach the good news of Jesus).
  2. We/you are ALSO among those called to belong to Jesus.
  3. Grace & peace is ours from God our Father.
  4. Grace & peace is ours from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Romans 8:28-30; I Corinthians 1:2 What is God's purpose in extending his invitation or calling? To sanctify us, to make us holy, to justify & glorify us. Most importantly, I think, to conform us into the likeness of Jesus (so that He (Jesus) will be the firstborn among many brothers (& sisters)).

4. I Corinthians 1:26-31; Matthew 9:12-13 Who is God inviting? And why? God is inviting the foolish, the average, the lowly, the weak, sinners. Why? Because sinners need to be redeemed not righteous & because He uses the foolish/average/lowly/weak things to shame & nullify the wise/above-average/high/strong of this world so that no one can boast unless they "boast in the Lord."

5. Ephesians 4:1-3; II Thessalonians 1:11-12 What are the responsibilities that a person accepts along with God's invitation? Live a life worthy of Him & His calling by being humble, gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the peace with other believers, glorify Him, FAITH!!!

This particular scripture really spoke to me in this verse:
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that by his power he may fulfill every act prompted by your faith. ~ 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (somewhat adapted by me)
6. Ephesians 1:18-21; 2:4-10 What are the benefits of accepting God's invitation? HOPE!!! Riches (in heaven), His great power & mighty strength in our lives. We have a calling (a purpose in life). His GREAT love, His mercy. We are alive in Christ now even though we were once dead in sin. His grace. Eternal life in heaven with Jesus. His kindness, His gifts.

7. II Peter 1:3-11; Hebrews 3:1 How can you “make your calling and election sure?” (II Peter 1:10) Keeping your thoughts on Jesus & always seeking to increase your faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness & love.

Part III God's Chosen

1. Acts 13:16-41 Why did God choose (v.17) the fathers of the people of Israel? (v.23) Why should this be important to you? (v.38-41) Why did He chose the fathers? (???) to bring forth Jesus. This should be important because through Jesus, everyone who believes in Him is forgiven of sin.

2. Matthew 22:1-14 Why, since many are invited, would few be chosen? (???) Some are not worthy of the calling (not worthy to be chosen). Of course none of us are "worthy" so I don't know.

3. I Thessalonians 1:4-6 How does God invite and choose his people? He invites us through His Word (the Gospel) & chooses us through the Holy Spirit (by giving us the Holy Spirit).

4. Colossians 3:1-4:1; I Thessalonians 1:7-10; John 15:16-17; I Peter 2:9-12 What is expected from God's chosen people? Set your hearts & minds on things above rather than on earthly things, be a model to all believers, speak the Lord's message, show your faith in God everywhere you go, turn from idols & serve the one TRUE God, go & bear fruit, love each other, praise Him, abstain from sinful desires, & live good lives.

5. John 17:24-26; Revelation 17:14; 21:1-7; 22:12 Do you want to be one of the “called, chosen and faithful followers” who receive a reward from God and Jesus, the Lord of lords and King of kings? Yes!!! Revelations 21:1-7 spoke most to me, especially, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son" (4a, 6b-7).

6. Acts 2:37-41; John 3:3-21; John 4:10, 13-14; James 2:21-24 What steps must a person take to accept God's invitation and then be chosen by him to become one of his faithful followers? Repent & be baptized. Ask for forgiveness of your sins. Believe & trust Jesus for eternal life. Faith & ACTION. If we do these things, He sill place His seal (Holy Spirit) on us. Obedience.

7. Isaiah 55:6-7 What advice does God give the procrastinator? Seek the Lord while He is near & may be found (i.e. don't wait until it's too late).

All I can say is, "Your will be done, Lord... not mine, but yours!"

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