Sunday, August 31, 2008

My teenager in Heaven, Noel Alexis

No, time doesn't heal all heartache. But the pain does ease, soften, change, grow with you, become a part of who you are over time. A Mommy's heart never forgets. I'm not in the staggering pain of the early years nor even the meloncoly "could-a-would-a-should-a" been grief of a handfull of years ago.

With happy-sorrow (happy that she is part of my life, sorrow that we have been apart so many years and I must continue waiting for Heaven to meet her) I am quietly remembering my beautiful first baby girl who was due this weekend, 13 years ago. Hard to believe I'm the Mommy of a teenager in Heaven now.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Noel! You are forever loved and really being missed today.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hannah's Hope, Kindle Edition

For any fans of Amazon's Kindle system, just wanted to let you know that Hannah's Hope is now available as a Kindle book! :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Anything for a Child?

On the Hannah's Prayer Community Forums I started posting monthly devotionals based on various chapters of Hannah's Hope last year. After several months of not consistently posting, I am picking up with “part one” on thoughts from chapter ten, focusing on grace in supporting one another as God uniquely leads each of us through the plans He has for our lives. I will continue with “part two” from chapter 10 next month, tackling the specific question of manipulating God.

Of all the chapters I have adapted for devotionals, this one has been the hardest to change into this format because I wrote this chapter differently from the others, with the bulk of the chapter addressing 10 “filter questions” and their accompanying scriptural support to help you in making decisions concerning treatment options, adoption plans or other choices related to the infertility journey. The following is copyrighted material and has been adapted from "Anything for a Child?" chapter ten of Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, & Adoption Loss by Jennifer Saake, NavPress, 2005. Please do not duplicate without permission. You may read a portion of this book here.

And she made a vow saying, “Oh LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, the I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
- 1 Samuel 1:11 (NIV)

For some, the inability to conceive is simply a closed door, and they have peace to move on to other life goals. For the rest of us, when children don’t come along as planned, we face emotionally taxing, financially draining, and ethically complex choices. “Lord, I’ll do anything for a baby!” can be the soul’s gripping cry.

Hannah too, felt this anguish. In desperation, she called out to the Lord, committing her yet-to-be conceived son to the life of a Nazirite (Numbers 6), a vow to hold him to a highly restrictive lifestyle that was normally entered into only for a short season, yet she was making this promise on his behalf, for life!

Is “anything” for a baby really okay? As Rick and I prayerfully considered what we could or should attempt in efforts to add children to our family we faced questions such as these: Is medical aid acceptable? If so, how far is too far? What longing would (and would not) adoption resolve for us? Can I bargain with God or manipulate my way to motherhood? If my friends or family are pushing me toward treatment or adoption and we don’t feel God leading us there, is there anything wrong with not taking these paths?

The authoritative source to answer all these questions is the Word of God. But even though we’re all reading the same Bible, Christians often reach significantly differing opinions about acceptable options. I believe this can be attributed, at least in part, to the Holy Spirit’s unique leading in each family. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

While there are some “black-and-white” scriptural constants, I must remember that the convictions God lays on my heart in “gray” areas, may or may not be applicable to others. Just as I don’t want you to judge the choices I make with a clear conscience before the Lord, I cannot fault you for the paths He chooses for you, even when I would not personally have peace in the same decisions.

It all goes back to each person’s need to listen for that still, small voice whispering to our hearts, “This is the way, walk in it.” Then we must WALK where He directs, as He prompts. Not RUN in our own directions ahead of His will or stubbornly dig in our heels, refusing to move forward…

If any of your lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
- James 1:5 (NIV)

Dear Lord,
Thank You that You do have a special plan for my life. I may not like where You have me right now, but I thank You that I don’t have to walk this path alone, without Your guidance for each decision and step. And I thank You for friends who have walked/are walking this journey to support and cheer me along the way. We may not always see eye to eye nor come to the same conclusions about Your directions for our lives, but we can still lean on and learn from one another as we each follow the paths You have laid for our individual journeys. I thank You that You are the final authority my husband and I answer to in the moral and ethical decisions this journey can bring. And I thank You for the guidance of Your written Word and of Your Spirit to give us the wisdom we so desperately need.