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Chapters Six and Seven

November 17, 2010

It’s been a while since I posted any of Crazytown. It’s so strange now to look back on the desperation in these chapters, and yet the utter conviction that I would be blessed with a third child. Although only three months have passed, it feels like such a little eternity. It’s similar to taking a long car ride, where all you can think about is the next mile up the road, and when you can finally get out of that car and stretch. Your gaze is fixed on the horizon, but you’re ever in the present, strapped in with that seatbelt holding you firmly in place. You’re trying to enjoy the journey, but all you can really think about is getting there, finally.

Well, I’m there now, and just as with any journey, the difficulties and discomforts along the way seem so long ago and just a little trivial now.

Trivial or not, here are the next couple of chapters of my journey to conception.

Chapter Six: Sarai

You can’t have a story about waiting on a baby without mentioning faithful Sarai. I hold a Tuesday afternoon Bible study in my home for a group of close friends, and one day we were looking at something–some tangent that had caught and held our interest that actually had nothing to do with the topic at hand. I believe it had something to do with the angels entering Sodom to urge Lot to leave and escape destruction. There was a reference to another verse that I was flipping through to check–we were interested in discerning whether the angels referred to were one of the “nephilim” (they were not).

I turned to the appropriate page and, finding the correct reference, began to read aloud.

Genesis 18:13-14 “And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarai laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

I shook my head in confusion. “This must be the wrong verse.” I turned back, read the reference again. “No…it’s right…I just don’t see what it has to do with Lot or Sodom or the angels leaving…?”

They were silent. And then it started to sink in.

“Well,” I remember saying. “I guess God’s trying to tell me something?”

And then we all got teary and ate brownies, because chocolate is good for every situation.

 Chapter Seven: Where Believing=Crazytown

When do you stop believing? When do you give up, and make the choice to stop making yourself crazy, and to instead go on with the business of living?

Today was a day that reeled with pinball poignancy between moments: scary despair where I wanted a drug to make myself feel normal, manic spurts of activity to drown out my own mental noise, and finally…blubbery relief when I knew I was going to be okay. Tears accompanied all, turning my face into a splotchy red snotty mess. It wasn’t pretty.

It started with another negative test, which was dumb of me in the first place, because I’m six days out, and even though the box says “As Early as Six Days Before the Day of Your Missed Period,” you have to wonder how accurate that stuff is. Plus, wasn’t it just a month or so ago that I had relinquished my control issues to God? No more ovulation predictors. No more pregnancy tests until well after that friend fails to show up. And here I am—desperate for validation because I might be feeling just a little bit nauseous.

So much for that Grand Gesture.

I was on my knees beside the dryer, at the end of a rope I hadn’t realized I’d frayed with my own lack of faith and conviction. The laundry basket, half-full of clothes and towels warm from the dryer, was right before me. I sank my hands down into it up to the elbows and prayed aloud to an empty house.

“God, I need you to talk to me. I’m going to fold this laundry first because I really don’t want it to wrinkle and then I’m going to sit down with Priscilla and I really just need to understand what is going on here. I’m still taking my Topamax and I’m getting fat, Father! I feel sick to my stomach. I’m seeing all these signs all over the place, God, like that HVE F8H license plate and the parable and that totally random verse about Sarah and I just don’t understand how I’m not pregnant, Lord! I feel pregnant! And my face is covered in zits, God, and I just can’t take zits on top of everything else.

Father, you’ve made all of these amazing promises to me in Your Word. I know I’m being impatient…I’m sorry, Lord. I trust You. I just really need to hear Your voice, and know Your will. Please speak to me, God. That’s all.”

With an effort, I pulled myself as together as I was going to get, and finished folding the laundry. Then I made my way to my corner of the couch to begin my Bible study. It was a Priscilla Shirer study called, appropriately enough, He Speaks To Me.

I had already completed the first two days of the study, so I opened up to Day Three and set to work. It was a simple lesson, one I’ve studied in general terms before, no doubt, but never during so critical a context as my current situation. The lesson spoke of how it is impossible to please God without faith, and how He rewards those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). It was interesting, though, because Shirer led from this point to the story of Moses in Numbers 20: 8-12 to demonstrate what disobedience and a lack of faith can do to those rewards. In these verses, God gave Moses and Aaron specific instructions: to take up the rod, gather the congregation, and speak to the rock. He told Moses that the rock would then yield water. Moses followed his instructions but with one exception: he struck the rock with the rod. God allowed the rock to yield water, but because Moses did not obey the letter of the Lord’s directive, He refused to allow Moses to bring the people into the Promised Land at this time.

This was an eye-opening reminder for me. In my haste to take a test this morning, I forgot about my promise to God to relinquish control of things that were clearly out of my control. I remember confessing my need to let go. I released my control of the situation, promising no more ovulation predictor tests, and no more taking five pregnancy tests because I didn’t believe the first two. That was me, letting go. But still.

Yeah. I messed up. Moses-style.

The wonderful thing about this lesson, though, was that Shirer reiterated how much God wanted to reward those who were faithful. My lack of faith wasn’t the end of the world, just as Moses’s disobedience wasn’t the end of his story. Despite the fact that we have been messing up since the days of Adam, Matthew 21:22 tells us how richly God is prepared to reward us for our faith in Him. Whatever we ask for in earnest prayer, believing, he shall provide. In other words, HVE F8H.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2010 5:50 pm

    we are sisters. i know it.

    and thank you.

  2. Anaise permalink
    November 19, 2010 8:05 am

    Have I told you how much I’m enjoying this story? I have? Well, here I am again to say that this story is like reading my very own heart and soul. It touches me more than I can say.

  3. November 19, 2010 8:04 pm

    In chapter six, I love how the Lord will send us to Biblical addresses that, when read, don’t have anything to do with the context of our situation at hand, yet it’s an answer our big questions to Him! (when you read Genesis 18:13-14 “And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarai laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord?”)

    In chapter seven, Oh, girlfriend, I’m with you when you wrote: “I forgot about my promise to God to relinquish control of things that were clearly out of my control.” I do that quite often. Am learning to pry my hands off of a situation I’m in at the moment, in fact.

    This is an amazing story, Lori! I’m loving every bit of it!

  4. November 22, 2010 10:49 pm

    Oh my heaven’s Lori! I feel like everyday I go about it tripping along Moses style. You’re a great example of faith. You truly are.

    I just had the most truly exciting/neat experience happen to me/our family/my sister’s family.

    Long story short. My sister and her husband are in dire circumstances right now financially. Some people you can point a finger at where they made lousy choices. Not my sister and her husband. They have lived frugally all their married lives. 12 years of school and my bro. in law just graduated from Pharmacy school. Walgreen’s hired him and gave him a 30,000 dollar signing on bonus if he would come to Washington. They felt good about it so went. They found a home. Their first home. A home that is humble but their first home none the less. They qualified for more but didn’t want to extend themselves beyond those rainy day emergencies. They have five children. Before this home they were living in apartments or a trailer. We’ve been so excited for them, that school is finally done and they’ve a home. My sister’s husband has to take a test kind of like the bar. Right now, he’s an intern until he passes the test. The first test came. My bro in law studied for it and was shocked when he didn’t pass. Three months he has to wait until he takes the next. The time came. He took it again, again, he didn’t pass. One point from passing. He now has to wait three more months. All this time he is not allowed to work full time. Well, corporate just called him in and said that Walgreen’s policy is if he fails the test twice, his pay is docked from $49.00 per hour to $19.00. If he fails the third time, they’ll fire him.

    As you can imagine, my sister called in tears. How are they supposed to make it on that pay and only part time. He can only work a few hours a week! The fear of losing their long awaited home hangs over their head, Christmas next month and nothing to give their children, and their two cars both breaking down in the same week as the lovely corporate mtg. Talk about a blow. Feeling like they are being pummeled left and right.

    My bro in law after getting home from work, told my sister. “Let’s play a game. Let’s count our blessings”. So they each took turns. The kids started to get involved and their eleven year old daughter said, “We’re like Job…..only we’re not all dead….. we have each other.”

    Yesterday our family decided to fast and pray for them. Today, out of the blue, I decided to check on an old binder I used to use years ago for budgeting my money. I was going to use it for something else. I opened the binder and was shocked! There was money in it. A lot of money!!! $426.00 I swear I had cleaned it out years ago when I stopped using it!!

    Coincidence? I think not. My sister and her family are getting a check in the mail for $400 dollars from the Lord. I was so excited when I saw that money. I knew who it was for.

    When I shared what I’d found with the kids and Brian, we knelt in prayer thanking the Lord for letting us be a part in comforting my sister and her family and letting them know that He knows and is aware of them.

    You bet I believe in miracles!! The Lord can do amazing things. All things are possible through Him.

  5. November 24, 2010 7:33 am

    Misty–it is a Sisterhood, I’m convinced of it.

    Anaise–what a lovely comment. Thank you.

    Cee–thank you…I love the lessons in faith this whole experience taught me, the greater resiliency that I am left with.

    Rachel–what an amazing story! I love how when you discovered that money, there was simply no question what would be done with it. How sweet and thoughtful you are. I will be praying for your sister’s family. And possibly boycotting Walgreens. 🙂

  6. January 3, 2011 11:53 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog, I just saw your blog address, I know mths and mths later, maybe even almost a year! I just choose a part of your blog to read about crazytown and the laundry and ovulation and control, I really enjoy your writing, I’ll come back and visit!

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