Aunt KK & Rick.
Dave hanging with the boys.

God knows when we need a break because after finding out this last round of IUI did not work for us, Dave and I were headed to Disney.  Literally the day before we left my period started.   For me, a getaway vacation was more than welcomed to take my mind off of our bad news but also to enjoy all the many blessings in my life.   My sisters and I surprised my parents for their 40th wedding anniversary as we all ended up in Florida to celebrate and go to Disney together as a family.  It was such a great time.  My favorite part was watching my nephews faces light up over a ride they just rode, watching them give Mickey Mouse a hug, and listening to them talk about all their experiences of the day.  It was so good.  My 4 yr old nephew probably enjoyed it the most as he was old enough to ride some of the big rides but still enjoy the smaller rides and he loved the characters.  He wanted to hug them all.    

There were a few times I caught myself on vacation tearing up- no reason in particular but just finding this sadness come over me out of nowhere.  Usually something triggers it- like seeing a baby, or hearing a child tell their mommy they love her.  But the few times on vacation it was really unexpected.  I would try to stop the tears but that just seemed to make it worse.    Many memories were made at Disney with my family.  It's so nice to have everyone together.   Looking back on last week when we were there I smile at the memories we made.  I also frown that it passed so quickly.  It's almost like in hindsight I wish I could go back and enjoy it even more- capture every moment, every memory, look around me and thank God for all that I have.  I don't think I do that enough.   Too many times a memory passes and all that's left is the picture I took to remember just how wonderful the moment really was. 

So before we left I gave NFC a call to let them know my period had started.  I guess our original plan was to try 3 rounds of IUI before giving up.  Due to our vacation putting us out of town the week  I would need to go in for frequent monitoring, we postponed the next IUI for the month of November.  Honestly I think we needed to take a month off.  All the monitoring, appts, meds, etc. take a toll on us and for me I felt slightly relieved that we wouldn’t be able to do it this month.   So, we’re taking the month off and we’re trying to enjoy life without constant thoughts of making a baby.   It’s really nice! 

Upon returning home, I have gotten 2 baby shower invites in the mail, an email to sign up to take a friend dinner because she just had her baby, a co-worker is pregnant,  and found a couple more friends on facebook are pregnant.  It doesn’t get any easier.   Friends of mine that have been married for less time are getting pregnant and somehow that doesn’t seem right.   The way my brain reasons is we should get pregnant before them because we’ve been married longer.  Obviously that doesn’t make sense but that’s the way I’m reasoning it.   For all my friends reading this, I have always said to you please allow me to share in the joy of your pregnancy.  Do not hide your happiness around me or exclude me from a baby shower.  Of course, it’s not always easy for me, but I’m still happy for you.  I really am.    Noticing answered prayers of others can be the best cure for overcoming the forlorn assumption that my own prayers are going unanswered.

A dear friend of mine who has walked with me on this journey since early on shared an article with me that helped encourage me to continue to pray for a baby.  The article was actually addressing single woman who had been praying for a husband but were still single.  I could totally relate to the points made in the article even though I’m relating it to praying for a baby.  It was very applicable. For some of us the article fits- we’re praying for a husband, for others like me we’re praying for a baby, and for others it may be something else.  But each of us has gone through a desert with God where we feel like he’s not answering our prayers.  Below are some of the article highlights that stood out to me.   

Inevitably, though, when I talk about praying for husbands, someone comes in a theological tangle, wondering if God is good to me and to anyone else who is still praying and still single. Should we even pray for husbands? Is that acceptable? What if we pray and we remain single—what then??

My first answer is that of course God is still good if we pray and remain single. Marriage is a gift for this life alone. If we have received forgiveness for our sins and life eternal, we have already received the biggest and best gift and one that is for all eternity. We didn’t miss out on God’s very best.

Secondly, if we are still alive, the story of God’s grace in our lives is still being written. We don’t know the future. Only He knows the beginning from the end (Is. 46:10 and Rev. 21:6) and so it is arrogant to assume we can survey our circumstances and conclude we know what God is doing. (See: Naomi. A woman who was so very sure God’s hand was against her that she wanted to be called “Bitter.” But as she stood complaining, she had no idea that God was already at work to provide food, a kinsman-redeemer, an heir, and even far more unexpectedly, a place in the lineage of her Savior!)

Thirdly, we have no other option, according to Scripture. Philippians 4:4-7 makes this very clear: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This passage makes it very easy for us to understand that all we can do is pray, be thankful, and avoid anxiousness, which leads to bitterness. We’re not in charge of the answers. We’re in charge of the petitions. So, petition away!

But be thankful in those petitions. Since we’re not the omniscient, omnipotent, perfect, holy, just, and merciful Being in these transactions, we get to be the grateful recipients.  All the time.  Without ceasing. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thes. 5:16-18).

What circumstances do you find yourself in today? Give thanks and pray without ceasing. For as we keep our eyes on Him and praise Him in all circumstances (the good, the happy, the hard, the confusing, the horrifying), we silence the Accuser, the one who exists to blame God for not being good and blame us for not being good enough.

Of this I am supremely confident:  When we see our Savior and Redeemer face to face, we will not regret being thankful for trusting Him, even in circumstances we could not control and would not have chosen. We will see then by the light of His glory all that He was doing in and through those very moments. What seemed like unanswered prayer will be set against the grand tapestry of His grace coursing through history. We will see what He was doing . . . and we will eternally praise Him for it.

So pray without ceasing and eagerly await what God does in and through these prayers.

Article by Carolyn McCulley

Aloha. Polynesian Luau.