The Race

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   –Jeremiah 29:11

Track_and_Field

I feel behind in this race.  I have always felt behind.  Rarely do I come in first place with that shiny blue ribbon in my grasp.  Maybe the few times that I did I was uncomfortable with the status and attention.  Wanting to come in first place puts a lot expectation out there.  Really second or third has been good enough for me but I have never wanted to be last.  As a woman desiring to get pregnant and have a family I often feel like I have come in dead last.

Are you feeling that everyone is pregnant but you?  Your best friend got pregnant on her honeymoon “as planned”, the young cashier at the grocer is excited about her unplanned pregnancy; you turn to walk down the women’s hygiene aisle and there she is again: another pregnant woman.  I have bolted out of Target plenty of times as I fought back tears because I wanted to be that pregnant woman.  Truthfully I didn’t know her story.  Maybe she had struggled as I was to get that swollen belly.  At the sight of her I couldn’t imagine anyone struggling anymore than I had but once I sat in my car engulfed in tears I had to imagine that I wasn’t the only one who fought for a child.  Regardless she was ahead of me in this race to have a baby & grow her family.  I felt constantly reminded that I was losing.

The Lord doesn’t see us as first, second or third.  He sees you through his grace, handing you mercy and loving you through it all.  Its not a race.  The Lord has a wonderfully made plan for you that is happening now.  He loves you like no one else can and will no matter where you land.  During this time of want, desire and uncertainty take a moment to breathe him in.  Listen to his message for you.  Do you need this time to grow closer to him?  In the business of your day are you setting time aside for him or is he coming in last in your daily activities?  I have learned through my journey of hills and valleys that if I put him first in my sharpest focus that my life will begin to refocus; he will easily carry me over each hurdle with little effort.  Share your burdens and desires with him each day so that he knows you and you get to know him.  When I put the Lord in last place, my entire life is left unfocused.  When he is in first place often the reason for my struggles are clear whether I need more time to digest my current situation or I am shown that my struggle really isn’t a struggle at all.  If I put him first he often open my eyes and doors and windows to a new approach.  If I had just always put him first…..

Wake up 10 minutes earlier to read one verse from his word.  Breathe it in and pray over each word allowing it to resonate through your mind, your body and your spirit.

Dear Lord, Please remind me in these times of desperation that it is not a competition; it is about you and me and my family. I know that I will be a parent soon whether  through a conventional situation or through other means that you have planned. I am waiting with an open and accepting heart. Amen.

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” –Jeremiah 29:12-13

Messy Masterpiece

Botticelli - The Birth of VenusFor we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. — Ephesians 2:10

I am a mess.  Are you?  In the depths of trying to conceive I was a complete mess, a raw, ugly mess.  I am so sorry that you are in this place of distress.  It stinks.  It really, really stinks. I know it does.  I recall the pain all too well; its still quite fresh which is why I am here writing.  I hope that each devotion and post slowly heals me but I know I will never be who I was before I was trying to get pregnant.  I have learned so much about myself, my husband, my marriage, my walk with the Lord and in dealing with daily life.  I still hold my breath when I drive past my fertility clinic. I usually say a prayer for those women and couples who are having to utilize its services. “Dear Lord please have mercy on those women who so desperately want a child. Comfort them through these days. Amen.” The words: : Life isn’t fair. doesn’t even begin to express the difficulties of conception.  I can apply those words so many other situations in my life but truly they sank into my inner most depths when I was trying to conceive.  I do not know why you are aren’t pregnant.  I am still an undiagnosed statistic, but I can tell you I couldn’t get pregnant naturally and I was an ugly mess.

When I read scripture I often like to make it more personal so that it resonates within me.  Reread today’s scripture in the first person: For [I] am God’s masterpiece!  He has created [me] anew in Christ Jesus, so [I] can do the good things he planned for [me] long ago.  WOW. Much more powerful.  I don’t skim over a single word when I read it like that.  Each syllable explodes inside me.  Reread it slowly, emphasizing on the personal pronouns of I and me.  Seriously, do you feel it?  Does it make you breathe deeper and inhale each word?  YOU are a masterpiece!  You ARE a masterpiece!  You are HIS masterpiece!  It doesn’t get any better than being God’s own masterpiece.  Even in your mess, your ugly, beautiful, crazy mess he is calling you his masterpiece.  Wallow in today, in this moment and allow yourself this time to be whatever you need to be: an unorganized, clutter filled person with baggage who cries when a leaf hits the ground or when a clown makes you laugh; its your life, your celebration, your mess but its all his masterpiece and all part of his plan.

Dear Lord, thank you for creating me as your masterpiece.  Although I may find days difficult to handle I trust that you are cradling me in your love and grace.  Please continue to guide me in my journey and peel back the layers as I learn to embrace the plan you have had for me so long ago.  Amen.