Overcome Infertility

As I was driving to Modesto on Sunday evening for a week of training for real estate, I saw a giant bill board that said “Overcome Infertility” with a picture of a beautiful baby on it. Right away I was struck by their definition of overcoming infertility. The fertility specialist was obviously advertising that you overcome infertility by giving birth to a child.

I have to respectfully disagree. The billboard made me sad for the thousands of drivers that pass by with the infertility diagnosis. As though, the only way to overcome it is to give birth to a baby.

Webster defines “overcome” as “to get the better of”.

After 11 years, I still have the diagnosis of “infertile”,  and yet, I am here to tell you that I have overcome infertility. My diagnosis has not gotten the better of me. It has not defeated me. I overcame infertility without ever giving birth to a baby.

That billboard made me so mad because it can make women feel defeated if they are infertile and give get message that once they have a baby, they are overcomers. Stupid!

NEVER let your diagnosis define you. NEVER let your hard circumstance define you. Never let your trial rob you of your joy. We are more than conquerers and victorious no matter what we are walking through.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

Jesus has called us. He has saved us. He has healed us. He has comforted us. He sees the big picture and He can be trusted. Even if you are in the midst of something horrible, He is at work. He sees you, He weeps with you, He comforts you, and He strengthens you. Your current situation does not define you. Don’t wait for it to turn around to be who God has created you to be, an overcomer!

 

 

The Process of Farming

I am not a farmer. I have never planted a single thing in my life. The closest that I have gotten to the dirt is when my dad would make me pull weeds in the front yard. I HATED it. My back would hurt, it was boring, dirt would get in my fingernails, and it was so boring. So, I think because of that portion of my upbringing, I have never had any kind of desire to work with dirt or land. Well, and I am pretty darn impatient so I am probably not wired like I would need to be to be a successful farmer 🙂

I say all of this as evidence that what I am about to share with you today, had to have been Jesus graciously enlightening me in a season of throwing my hands up in the air. For about 6 weeks it has just felt like I was a hamster in a hamster wheel. Running hard and fast, but not getting anywhere.

I was talking about my hamster ways with a friend a couple weeks ago, and so gently I sensed Jesus say, “you are farmer”.  I started thinking about the process of farming. But, because I don’t know much about it, I needed to talk to friends and google about it. From research, I discovered that I am in the beginning  stages of the farming. As in, getting the ground ready. As in, the ground is not even ready for seeds. As in, the harvest is far from happening. As in, hamster in the wheel feeling.

Honestly, instead of feeling discouraged, I was so encouraged and full of hope. Purpose and meaning surfaced. Without healthy ground, a healthy harvest won’t grow. EVERY step of the process is so necessary in farming. Skipping steps or rushing steps will only, “keep the produce from growing to their potential or depending on the soil, they may not grow at all or have a weak root system and die” – Mark Casler – Local Farmer 

As you can see, the entire process is so important. The un glorified, back breaking, and dirty process is absolutely necessary for a thriving produce. So, as I look at re-building a real estate business in a new town, navigating the waters of a son with new evolving special needs, comforting hurting loved ones that I can’t take away their pain, building new habits as I continue my health journey, and building a new community within a new church family, I am just getting the soil ready for a crazy amazing harvest! The harvest can’t come without the intentional and often times discouraging work and investment.

I am not sure where you are in this season. Maybe you’re in the harvest season, and you have run out of baskets to hold all your produce, praise Jesus! That is amazing and evidence of your faithfulness in the un glorified and back breaking groundwork. Or, maybe you are in a season like me, where you are surrounded by dirt and dung and trying to make sense of it all. Let me encourage you, it takes the dung in the dirt to produce crops. Life can only come after we embrace and mix in our trials and hardships. There is life at the other end, I promise!

My fellow farmer, no matter where you are in your season, let us link arms and tend to our farms with purpose and patience, while being kind and gentle to ourselves.

You are not alone.

Happy Farming!!

My Dashboard was Blinding Me

This last 4 days have been some of the emotionally hardest days that I have had in a very long time. There are so many things out of my control that are happening around me that I cannot fix. So many people that I love that are hurting and I can’t take way their pain.

You don’t have to know me very long to know that I am a feeler. I am basically a walking heart. I feel big and I feel deep. So, when people around me are hurting, I hurt at such a paralyzing and deep level.

After talking with my older sister yesterday morning, I realized that I am in over my head in so many areas of my life. I am praying non stop, I am worshiping, I am in the word, but what I have learned is that you can be doing all those great things and still attempting to carry the pain and attempt to save and fix those around you.

I was driving to drop Marty off at school this morning and I glanced down to see like 5 of our dashboard warning lights were on. Right away, I got an image of my own personal “dash board” and I was blinded. I realized that I have a lot of warning lights on and if I don’t tend to them and take them to the “mechanic” serious damage to the truck is not far behind.

I knew right away I needed some solitude. I needed soul care. So, I left work early to visit with the ultimate “mechanic”. I listed out my “warning lights” and then put my pen down to hear what He had to say. So thankful that I have a good, gracious, loving, and interactive God. He isn’t here to shame or condemn us. He is here to respond with love and gentle guidance. He is our ultimate hope, strength, peace, and healer.

It is baffling to me that the creator of the universe is here with little me in my little room, in my little town, and at the same time in hospital rooms with the sick, in homes comforting those in grief, in classrooms offering patience and guidance to the teachers, in cars drying tears of those who don’t know how they are going to pay this month’s house payment, and then, in the center of giant rooms full of thousands of people attending conferences in pursuit of Him all over the world. He knows no bounds. He knows no limits. His capacity to carry us and our needs is limitless no matter how many warning lights we have on in our lives.

I don’t know how lit up your dashboard is today as you read this. Maybe you have no lights on and you’re running smoothly, maybe one light, or maybe 10. No matter how many lights you have or don’t have, all of our needs are the same. We are all desperate for Jesus. Desperate for His breath to fill our lungs. Desperate for His perspective when things don’t make sense. Desperate for for His hope when we turn on the news for 5 seconds. Desperate for His daily forgiveness when we operate less than we know He’s called us to. Desperate for His presence when we feel lonely, isolated, or misunderstood.

There is desperation in all of us from the minute we were born. We were created to be desperate for our creator.

This is what I learned today, God wired us all uniquely. He has wired me to feel empathetically. It is a gift. But I have to know how to operate in my empathy and at the same time, release the pain around me to the ultimate “mechanic”. The God who is the best possible savior, healer, and comforter. He never asked me to step in that role. All He asks of me is to love, support, show grace, and comfort as an extension as Him. I can’t control the outcome, but I can control how I respond to the needs around me.

As I surrender and let go, one by one my warning lights will disappear.