Who Is like the LORD Our God?
1 Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD!
2 Blessed be the name of the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore!
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the LORD is to be praised!
4The LORD is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!
5 Who is like the LORD our God,
who is seated on high,
6who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
7He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.
9He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the LORD!
This passage of scripture has both intrigued and fascinated me lately. This is a call to worship the Lord our God. I have read many books that say in the depths of our pain and misery, we are still called to worship God, in fact we are commanded to no matter our circumstances. I have struggled with this idea, but lately I find myself praising. In the past, I thought I would never be able to again, but now I can. Have my circumstances changed? No, but my heart has. I long to be with my Lord now, to praise Him, and to hear His word. In Matthew Henry’s commentary of this passage, he talks about how God’s people are best able to praise God, because we know of His faithfulness and provision. Yes, I do know the faithfulness of God and His provision. God has sustained me during this trial in my life. He has helped me sing a new song of joy. He has provided medicine, doctors, and finances to help during this time. There are many different ways He has been faithful during this hardship. In fact, I no longer feel it is a great hardship, but then again my pain has been bearable these past two weeks. My thoughts my change when the time of pain comes again. God is to be praised by all the nations and He will be one day. Verse 5 and 6 talk about our incomparable God and how He in great love and mercy made Himself like man to be a sacrifice for our sins. Who else would have suffered mightily for all of man kind? No greater love is there than this. Verse 7 and 8 show how God uses the lowly in His great plan, and thus receives more glory for it. He numbers us with the princes of His chosen people, according to Matthew Henry’s commentary. Verse 9 is a balm for my soul. I know it is used in the figurative sense. Commentaries speak of it being a symbol of the people in captivity in Babylon, others speak of the lands and nations that are barren. I feel it is God saying that the barren, the unfruitful, those in captivity, those experiencing great emotional and spiritual anguish, will be fulfilled. Maybe not in the sense, we think. I believe, like others, that this last verse is talking about spiritual children, not actual biological children. God does not forsake the barren, He has a special place and plan for them.
In the Bible, everytime a person was healed the usual purpose was that the Glory of God be known. Signs and wonders were used because the people did not have a Bible to read to hear the story of the Gospel. All around the world, in countries where people do not have the word of God, people are being healed miraculously so that they might know the Savior. In America, what is the need for huge miraculous healings, when we have the Bible. It is not that I do not think God is capable, nor that he wants his people to suffer, I just think he uses other means unless it is necessary for His plan. I could be wrong. I have been receiving emails on the huge revival at Lakeland. I am just skeptical, but I am not a cessationalist. I would love to hear what others think.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New Living Translation)
Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
I have a new favorite book. I was trying to get settled in for the night, and wanted some light, but meaningful, reading. I have been reading some pretty heavy theological stuff lately. I started reading the book Holding On to Hope: A Pathway Through Suffering to the Heart of God. It is written by Nancy Guthrie who is in ministry with Ann Graham Lotz. The endorsements in the front were from people like Joni Eareckson Tada, so I had a feeling this would probably be pretty good. Guthrie has experienced the loss of a child, that has made her look deeper into the story of Job, and how he reacted to his suffering. Earlier in this evening, I had become extremely anxious. We are having some financial difficulties at the moment, and that just led me to think of everything I am afraid of. I kept thinking, “I can handle the infertility and the endometriosis, I am finally becoming okay with it, but I can not handle anything else. This is all the suffering I want or need.” Then I read page 21-22 in Guthrie’s book, and it is like she knew exactly what I was feeling. My Biggest Fear: That infertility and endometriosis will not be our only loss. I keep telling myself that I can get through this, just so long as: We do not lose our home, I do not lose Garon, I do not get cancer, or I do not conceive only to miscarry. When Job in the Bible, had just learned that he had lost everything, and all his children had died, he fell on his face and worshiped. He told the Lord that everything he had was his, and he thanked him for all he had. I have always heard the story of Job, and wondered if I could be so magnanimous. Now I know. I am not. I have to be willing to say, “God it is all yours, and I trust you, even unto death.” I want to believe that everything would be okay no matter what, because I have Christ, and that God wants to do things for my good. I want to believe He exists, beyond the shadow of a doubt, and that He is good! Guthrie says that gratitude is the answer as well. First we have to admit that it is all His, not ours, and then we have to thank Him for everything we have. I have bemoaned all my losses, my strength and my fertility, and not been thankful for what I do have. I hold on too tightly to comfort and push God away. I resolve to no longer do that. Here is a short list of the things I have to be thankful for, it is not exhaustive:
1. An inheritance and eternal life.
2. I am never alone, God is always with me, even unto the ends of the earth.
3. I have an awesome Godly husband, that I am madly in love with.
4. Wonderful family.
5. The best friends anyone could have ever asked for, especially my friends that came through my husband. (You are all special to me.)
6. A home.
7. A future and a hope.
I love you Lord! I thank you and praise you for your mighty hand. You are so good!!!
We just returned from our third treatment in Cinci. On the way out, our doctor informed us that there is really no point continuing what we are doing. He said if this one does not work, he would be willing to do one more, but it would not be prudent. He recommended us doing injectibles, if there is a next time. You never know, because we were told we had a huge egg this time. Anyway, the injectibles are high powered meds that are injected for five days in a row. I hate shots! It is also extremely expensive, $800 alone, just for the meds, not counting insemination. We already spend approx. $500 a month, so it would be over a $1,000 for a month. Crazy huh? Well, Garon looked it up and he thinks our insurance covers it. Should we go out with a bang, and try one month of it? Give it one last big shot? Pun intended.
I am not quite sure if I have mentioned this before, or to what extent, but I am struggling with feeling anything now. Obviously, before I started this blog, and a few times afterward, I felt an almost desperation. I would see people in church and want to scream. I thought, “How can they pass by me smiling? When I am dying inside, don’t they know I’m falling apart at the seams?” I do not know if I am healed emotionally, and I am just accepting things more now, or if I am just in a numb state. When I came home from my divorce, no one could understand why I did not cry or act more upset. What people did not realize, is that I had been crying for months and months, until finally I had nothing left to cry out. I became numb, until I married Garon and finally worked through some of those feelings. The past few months, I have cried so much. Off and on for days, I was so down and depressed. I felt like everything was hopeless and I had no future. Now I feel I have a future. No matter what, whether I have a baby, a hysterectomy, or whatever, I know God will get me through it, and if he takes me home, he takes me home, at least I will be with him, with no more pain and sorrow ever again. I am not thrilled, I am a bit wary about the future, but I am no longer afraid and I am hopeful for something good to happen. However, I keep testing those thoughts I used to have, to see if those feelings come back, and they do not. Is it because I am healed or is it because I felt so much, I feel like I can not feel anymore? I ask this question, because I have felt this way before, and that time I really had not even touched the surface of my emotions, but I thought I was over my divorce, so I just ignored it, and it came back to bite me in the butt. Hmm….. I just do not have any answers right now.
I have a dear friend who goes to a Southern Baptist church, who greatly believes in faith healing. She invited us once to a Benny Hinn event. I love this friend, and she has helped me in so many ways. Before I met her, I was in great bondage to my past. When we became friends, we met a few times to pray through some of these issues. It was amazing. Nothing strange happened, but as we cried out to God together, and days went by, I quit having those issues. It was not an instantaneous thing, but a gradual thing. None the less, I believe that through our prayer sessions, God answered my prayers and I no longer have those problems. Before, it was like a sore tooth, when I would worry that subject (touch it, if it were a tooth), it would hurt and I would be full of anger. Now, I can think back on those thoughts and they no longer have the power to hurt me. During all this, I was an extreme skeptic, I thought she would help me more through our talks, but now I believe it was the prayer. I do not think it was anything my friend did, but what God did in my life. However, I tried to run kicking and screaming from her, I did not want to deal with these issues. My husband made me, and now looking back I see a great difference in my life. I do not believe though that God will heal me right now. It may just be me and my pessimism, but I feel God is not through working through these circumstances. He could prove me wrong at any moment, however, I still feel it is not time yet. I may be pregnant this month, and I do not doubt that God could cause that to happen. Up until now, I had hardened my heart to this possibility, because I did not think I could stand the disappointment. I’m not so sure now. I have come to the point, where I believe he will either heal me or sustain me in my hour of need. So it is not that I doubt God’s goodness anymore, or I doubt his capabilities, but I think he’s not quite through with me yet. A lot of people believe that if you just have faith enough then you will be healed. I think they think I lack faith, or I did something wrong to have all these problems. I do not find that to be the case at all, even though I do struggle with my faith. When I first started getting worse, I used to cry out to God at night to “help my unbelief”. Now I realize that he does not always heal based upon the strength of someone’s faith. He said as long as we had the faith of a mustard seed, and that is pretty tiny. Others may not agree with my stance on this, but I believe that I could have a ton of faith, and if it were not God’s plan for me, then I would not be healed. I also think God uses many methods to heal people, I tend to be skeptical of healings that occur in a huge arena with people convulsing on the floor. God can heal with no fan fare at all, and most of his healings in the Bible were done quietly, he also uses modern medicine. God cares for me, He does not want to see me suffer, but look at all I have learned through this. He is making me into the woman I am.
Since the medicine does not always offer complete pain relief, and because I am limited in how much I can take, I have learned how to be creative. Here are a few physical ways I help myself cope with the pain:
1. Heating pads are the bomb. I use an electric one at night on my lower back or abdomen, whichever hurts worse. I use the air activated ones in ace bandages when I have to go places, but am too miserable to sit still.
2. I do not eat bread, because this can lead to inflammation and exacerbate the problem.
3. I will read a funny book or watch TV, just getting my mind off of it works wonders. It is a wonderful escape mechanism. (It is not good to always escape, but it is nice when the pain is unbearable.)
4. Hot baths do the same thing that the heating pads do. On days that it is really bad, I can take a couple of baths, or three just to make the pain bearable.
5. Resting and lying down help a lot, sleep is a natural way to cope and helps you feel more equipped to handle the pain.
6. Friends are a big help. I can be in lots of pain, but Garon will force me out of the house, and I will completely forget about my pain. Laughter is the best thing for it.
7. I do not drink acidic drinks, such as coffee, tea, fruit juice, or soda. It makes my back and lower abdomen pain worse, it messes with the inflammation around my bladder, which makes me more miserable. I try to drink lots of water and it seems to help.
8. Massage is a tremendous help. I get Garon to rub my lower back until I can relax enough, because the more I tighten and contract my muscles the worse the pain is.
9. This may sound gross, but I try to eat lots of fiber. My medicines cause constipation, and that makes the pressure in my lower abdomen ten times worse.
10. Last but not least, I cry out to the Lord to calm my mind and heart, and I read scripture. (If the pain is really bad, or too far gone, I have a hard time with this one.)
When a woman is faced with infertility and chronic pain, after denial usually comes anger, bitterness, and resentment. In 1 Samuel 1:10, Hannah is crying out to the Lord in prayer, because she is barren.
1 Samuel 1:10 (New International Version)
In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD.
What is bitterness? At Dictionary.com, this is the definition:
1. having a harsh, disagreeably acrid taste
2. hard to bear; grievous; distressful: a bitter sorrow.
3. causing pain; piercing; stinging: a bitter chill.
4. characterized by intense antagonism or hostility: bitter hatred.
5. hard to admit or accept: a bitter lesson.
6. resentful or cynical: bitter words
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary states: distasteful or distressing to the mind, marked by cynicism and rancor, along with the other definitions above. All these definitions were so good, I could not pick just one. Infertility does leave a harsh taste in the mouth of the one living it, it does feel hard to bear and can be piercing, one can begin to feel antagonism toward other’s good fortunes, it can be extremely hard to accept (I have heard of women trying for more than ten years, actively pursuing pregnancy), it can also make one cynical (I am extremely so), and I find it very distressing. Not all women feel this way, but it is a distinct temptation to look at infertility in this manner. Now what does the Bible say?
Hebrews 12:15 (New International Version)
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
So is this to say, that if one is bitter you will miss the grace of God, and that trouble will come up and defile many? Obviously, it is not a good thing. Can one be bitter without sinning? In the Bible, it says that one can be angry without sinning. Christ himself was angry, and did not sin.
Proverbs 29:11 (New International Version)
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
It is easy when life is filled with disappointments and pain to shake one’s fist at God, and to be angry with Him. Is it wise to do thus? Proverbs tells us only a fool gives full vent to his anger. Was David angry with God in Psalms or just angry in general? I do know that after he was angry, he always praised God and trusted in God’s plan. In the past, I have struggled with the fairness of it all. I want justice and for everything to be fair. I thought it very unfair that everyone around me was having babies, and I could not. I was very angry. Was I angry with God? I think I was, but I was more angry about my circumstances. I sinned in my anger and struggled with these feelings. Those feelings of anger then led to bitterness and resentment toward those who had what I did not. Is it fair that some are blessed with things, when others are not? The Bible says God is good all the time. So obviously it is. In other posts I have talked about what we really deserve, and I now realize it is not about my rights. I have no rights. I hope to no longer be angry about my circumstances, or at God. I long to eradicate all the bitterness from my heart. In time, I hope God will heal my wounded heart.
Now, I may be taking this scripture out of context, but I love what these verses have to say. I feel called to help others, and to bring them hope. One day the captives WILL be released, and the blind WILL see. When it mentions the blind seeing, I like to think that not only will the physically blind see, but that we will see and know why God did certain things in our lives.
Luke 4:18 (NLT)
The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free
Even if this scripture is only talking about the future, the fact that the oppressed WILL be set free gives me great hope. We all are in bondage to something, whether it is sin or circumstances. I need to look up more commentary on this, I did not understand the one commentary I read, but it was also written in the 1800’s. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 is a marvelous scripture that makes me feel like Rocky Balboa.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (ESV)
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
Can’t you just hear the Eye of the Tiger playing in the background? We are afflicted in many ways, and yet we are still standing and some are thriving. We all will be persecuted in this life, the Bible says we will, but the Bible also says that God will never forsake His children. What can man do to us? They can strike us, and hurt our physical body, but no one can destroy the spirit or soul (correct terminology?). It also reminds me there is a purpose in my suffering. The life of Jesus is being manifested in my body. Others will see Christ because of this. In the Bible there is a story about a blind young man, and the Pharisees are asking Jesus who sinned to make him this way. Jesus says no one, it was done so that the glory of God would be made known. Another great passage is 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, about perseverance of the Saints.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NASB)
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
I have lost heart many times in my journey of chronic pain and infertility, but the Bible says that should not happen. My physical body may not be functioning correctly, and our physical bodies are always decaying because eventually we all will die. However, our spirit is renewed day by day if we stay in the word, and trust in the Lord. These afflictions are momentary, and the rewards are far greater than the pain. As the medical field would say, the cost/benefit ratio is worth it. In order to not lose heart, we are to look and think on the things not seen, the eternal things that we cannot comprehend the beauty and glory of. Everything we go through here, will fade away one day, and we will have said, it was so worth it.
My next option to put endometriosis into remission, other than pregnancy or hysterectomy, is the Lupron shot. This is not a fun option. I received this shot once after my first laparoscopy. It works for three months, and prevents you from having your menses. It shuts down the ovaries, and sends you into menopause. The FDA only approves it for use, for six months, which means two injections. All of my doctors think it is a wonderful drug. The last time I took it, I just had hot flashes and mood swings. The mood swings were not that bad. Probably, because I was ultra aware of it, and had just started dating my husband. Used for an extended period of time, add back therapy is required. This is where they give you hormones (HRT), to prevent osteoperosis, and to help the heart. The reason I say it is Big Bad and Scary, is because all the testimonies I have read, have sincerely regretted using it. I found this information at reliable sites online. Also, after I used the Lupron I was unable to get pregnant, and my endometriosis came back worse than before. It did nothing for me before, and I was not even in pain back then. Here are a few of the lovely side effects: hot flashes, mood swings, bone and joint pain, migraines, night sweats, memory loss, rashes, itchy skin, dizziness, depression, nausea, pain in back, hips, and legs, severe constipation, insomnia, hair loss, cysts, weight gain, and blurred/double vision. Not all women, have all of the side effects, but the ones that do have the pain and migraines, say it is worse than when they had endo pain. Is the Cost/Benefit ratio worth it? If I do this, it is only recommended for six months, then what? Go through fertility treatments again? By that time, my endo may be on my other organs, and I may have to have that hysterectomy. I will have to have a hysterectomy eventually anyway. Not only that, I will have less dense bones and a weaker heart, so the side effects are just like a hysterectomy, what is the difference?keep looking »