Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Which of the two orange circles is larger, right or left?

 photo illusion_zps4ebc0b35.png

Ready for the correct answer?

You guessed correctly!! Because they are the same size...

Don't believe me? Take out a ruler and measure them on the screen. (Yes, I actually did this!) This is called the Ebbinghaus illusion.

I thought this was a wonderful example of the common misconceptions associated with infertility. I want to focus on two perspectives: from the infertile's and the fertile's points of view.

I know you well. You often have thoughts like, "Why is it so much easier for [her] to conceive than me?"

My dear sister, it may feel like everyone else around you could get pregnant from drinking the water while you are carefully planning and timing and tracking and counting and peeing and...well...you get the idea.

But sometimes things are not as they seem. The circle on the right may look bigger, but it's really the same size as the one on the left. Translated for you: it may seem like [she] can conceive so much easier than you, but it's simply not true.

You have a misconception about this. You are allowing yourself to be fooled into believing the lie that Satan works very hard at getting you to believe.

Because the truth is, [she] has no higher odds of conceiving than you do. Yes, really. Why? Because God is the one and ONLY ONE who decides when a life will begin. No matter what [she] says, no matter who [she] gives the credit to, no matter how many kids [they] have already, no matter how little [they] were trying to conceive...the one and ONLY reason [she] conceived at all was purely because God said it was to be so.

On the flip side, the one and ONLY reason you have not yet conceived [or birthed a baby] is because God says it is not yet the time for it to be so. No matter what doctors have told you, no matter how messed up your cycles are, no matter how many years you've been trying...the only reason you are still waiting is because God's plan is still yet to unfold in your life.

That levels the playing field. You should no longer feel inferior to [her]. You should no longer compare yourself to [her]. Your journeys are obviously very different, but your odds are exactly the same: 100%. It is a guarantee, a certainty that God's plan will unfold in each of your lives. It will happen in different ways, at different times, and with different endings, but it WILL happen.

So go "all in". Bet big. Put all your cards on the table before God. Pray without ceasing. Keep asking Him for guidance. Keep crying out to Him for help and strength and comfort. Keep the proper perspective about your situation and remember that you are loved and not forgotten. You are NOT the smaller circle.

Please remember to give credit where it is due. Just as the infertile is fooled into believing they are inferior to you, you can easily be fooled into believing that you played a bigger role in the conception of your child than you really did.

So my plea with you is to use caution with how you speak about your fertility. Always try to choose humility over pride. It may not be so easy the next time you try to conceive. Secondary infertility is a real thing for many women. They often find themselves frustrated and confused, realizing that they took for granted their apparent fertility the first time around.

Just remember that it is God and God alone who gives children to parents. You have been blessed with a precious gift, and He calls you to honor Him with it and give Him the credit for it (Psalm 127:3).

If you already know the two circles are the same size, then I thank God for your awareness of this and for your sensitivity to the infertiles' hearts. Your understanding is invaluable to us.

In summary, we are all made in the image of God. We are all fallen creatures. We are all at the mercy of our Lord's plan for our lives. Our stories will be different, our prayers will be answered in different ways and at different times. We must not compare one journey to the next. We must not think of our journey as superior or inferior to another's. Those comparisons lead only to shame.

Philippians 2:1-11
1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Confessions of an Infertile

I'm a really bad waiter. I was also a really bad waitress.

I just want so desperately to know what God's plan is. I feel pretty confident that I can get on board with whatever His plan is...I just want to know what it is so all of this uncertainty can go away.

No matter what happens in my life; no matter what I'm doing; no matter how busy I am...nothing will make me feel whole. Only God can do that.

I feel like the most impatient person in the world. I do not like waiting. I get so anxious and antsy. Waiting at a red light or for a train. Waiting for a speech or lecture to end. Waiting for an airplane to get moving. Waiting to get off said airplane. Waiting in line at the store. Why do people move sooooo sloooooooow when I'm around?? Get a move on people!

That's honestly how I feel about God sometimes...get a move on God! Why are you taking so long to reveal your plan?!

Could there really be a reason for all this waiting? Is it really for some good? I mean, looking back, I definitely see all the good that has happened. So many lessons learned, relationships made, and opportunities realized. But in each moment, I feel like that must certainly be it. All the learning must surely be over. Right? RIGHT?!

Deep breath. And again.

And again.

Days like this make it really hard to trust that God knows what He's doing. But that's absurd. Because He's GOD! Of course He knows what He's doing. He made the world and everything in it. And the most crucial detail: He made time. Time belongs to Him. The stupid thing that I keep obsessing over is the very thing that He made and is in complete control of.

So the real question I find myself asking is: How to be patient? I clearly do not possess this skill when it comes to waiting for God's plan to be revealed, so how can I learn to be patient? Is there a class I can attend? A book I can read? A magical potion I can swallow?

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

It's a fruit of the Spirit. Great! And which store can I pick that up at? I'm a health nut...I love fruit!

But this fruit is not something that is so simple to find and possess. Or is it?

John 15:1-11
1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."

This is lengthy, but so very informative and valuable. In short, the only way to bear fruit (read "patience" for yours truly) is to abide in Christ. So patience is not something that I yield on my own. Just as a farmer is not the one to grow a crop, he is the one who puts in the time, labor, and care. God then causes the growth. So I will only gain patience by putting in the time, labor, and care (love) towards Christ.

And that's not all. In verse 5, He says that if you abide in Him, you will bear much fruit. You mean I might bear more things from that list than just patience?! Sounds unbelievable...I mean, have you met me before? Phew, God has His work cut out for Him growing so many different fruits from this sinful being.

But God is faithful. So I must be faithful. I want to abide in Him. And if I have any hope of keeping some semblance of my sanity, I need to abide in Him. I need to stop and smell the roses, not push passed all the slow pokes at the park. I need to bear fruit while I wait for the Lord.

God, please help me abide in You. I long to make you proud. I want to bring You glory. Please help your daughter out.