Sunday, April 12, 2009

You can't do it alone

I want to talk about transgressions tonight. I know it seems unrelated to my infertility journey, but bear with me. Today is Easter - the single most important day in the Christian faith. The belief in the fact that Jesus went to the cross and made the ultimate sacrifice to save us from our sins is the cornerstone of Christianity. Because God loved us so much that he sent his only son to die for us so that someday we could live in Heaven with Him is the ultimate showing of grace and mercy. We are saved through grace and mercy alone. Because we could never be good enough on our own. No human could ever be perfect enough to earn a spot in Heaven with Jesus based on our actions on earth - we all fall short of the standard He set for us. We all have transgressions.

It is on this day each year that I think most about my transgressions. I think this is even more true this Easter than any other before. I've mentioned several times how dealing with infertility has brought me back to my faith. I've always considered myself a Christian, but I think for a long time (okay, most of my life) I was a Christian in name only - not in action. I think most Christians are aware of their sins on the surface. This has always been true for me. But at some point, just in the last few months, I have really recognized the depth of my sin. I see how it has been pervasive in my life and the number of excuses I have made for myself.

"Lord, I know I shouldn't speak unkindly about so-and-so, but they have spoken unkindly of me."

"Lord, I know I shouldn't gossip, but everyone gossips."

"Lord, I know I should honor my parents, but sometimes they are unfair."

"Lord, I know I shouldn't use your name in vein, but it just slipped out that once."

"Lord, I know the glory for every single blessing in my life belongs to you, but I really like to take some of the credit myself."

"Lord, I know I should not be greedy, but I really want xyz."

"Lord, I know everything I own truly belongs to You, but I just want to keep this one thing for myself."

"Lord, I know you taught us the Golden Rule, but it's just too hard to live by."

"Lord, I know you have a perfect plan for my life, but what about MY plans?"

If I take a long, hard look at myself, it is hard to find an area in my life where I have truly made a sustained effort to live as a Christian. I've always believed in God & I accepted Jesus into my life many years ago, but I've never truly submitted to Him - until now.

I'm having an epiphany of sorts over this realization. A really common question for people enduring infertility is "Why me?" I think I may finally understand the answer to that question in my case. Because if it were not for this struggle, I don't think I would have taken this long, hard look at myself. I've been a very fortunate person in life. Success has come easily to me in nearly everything I've attempted. I was a wonderful student, an all-state athlete, went to college on scholarship, built a successful career. I have a gorgeous little girl who is bright & loving. Jamie and I have built a strong, loving marriage.

I spent the better part of the first year of this battle trying to handle it myself, feeling that I had it all under control. I did all the research. I put my trust in doctors, confident they could fix the problem. I felt certain we could overcome this hurdle on our own.

The truth is, we can't do this alone. We can't fix this ourselves. Doctors can't fix this. If I am ever to become pregnant, it will be through the work of God alone. He has brought me to Him in pain, on my knees, and begging for help. I am ashamed to say that I don't think I would have come to Him any other way. And He knows this about me. And because I matter to Him, He's worked in my life to get my attention. I finally hear him today, and I know I need to change my life. For the first time, I can be truly thankful for all Jamie and I have endured, because I understand that it is not without purpose. I have been slowly coming to this point for a while now, and today I am finally there.

We are sure to experience more disappointed feelings (He never promised it would be easy), but something good has come of this. In a lot of ways, it is probably the best thing that could have happened to us. Jamie and I are a stubborn pair, and He's put us together to go through this. I'm so glad that Jamie is with me in this journey, and I am thankful to God for giving me a Godly husband who wants to grow in his faith with me. We finally hear Him, and we know we can't do it alone. We will never be perfect, but we can do a better job in our daily lives. We can start truly living for Him today.


An excerpt from a song that Jamie and I are enjoying lately...

I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

~Casting Crowns, Praise You In This Storm


Heidi said...

What a powerful post. I echo every word, even the song. It is one of my favorites, too. I am finally turning the point on the issue where I can start to accept by faith the unseen plans God has. We may still walk a road of grief, but I believe it will be worth it. Here's to hoping AND trusting!

Tracy said...

I agree with Heidi, a very powerful post.

It makes me think of something my dad said to me once, after one of my m/cs. I asked him why this kept happening to me and he said "I don't know why. But, I do know that some day you are going to have a powerful testimony to share with others".

How powerful. Your journey is not with out purpose!