This week a theme has made itself known in my life.
Last night was my first evening training for Mosaic Pregnancy Centers. Mosaic helps women who are experiencing an untimely pregnancy and encourages and aids in any way to help the mother choose life instead of abortion. The woman who started these centers has such an amazing testimony. As a college-aged woman she was not a Christian, and was in her second marriage. She and her husband had an infant girl, and she was working at what then called the "Hope Clinic" in Granite City where she aided in performing abortions. She says while working there, over 26 years ago, there were about 40 abortions being done on a weekday, 70 abortions on a Saturday. (I couldn't even type that without crying.) Long story short, her and her second husband were one day away from a divorce when she went and visited her mother-in-law and accepted Christ. Her husband, who was furious she no longer wanted a divorce, went to his mother and soon began reading the Bible. He accepted Christ three weeks later. The woman still worked at the abortion clinic for three months, until one day during a 26-week abortion she looked at the fully formed little boy who was now lifeless and immediately left the clinic. She never went back, and Mosaic was soon born.
This woman's daughter has came and spoke twice to our church. Both times I felt a pulling on my heart to reach out and learn more, but I was disobedient. It was always something on my list to "learn more about... later" or it was "something I could do when I'm less busy". However, when God has plans He won't let you say 'No' for long...
Soon, I saw on Facebook that my good friend Sarah had signed up for training. I talked with her during craft nights and felt that tugging again. I signed up as well and am thrilled to share this experience with her.
So anyways, last night... It was a emotional roller coaster. It reminded me a lot of our PRIDE training for foster care because of how I could almost literally feel God and Satan fighing it out in my heart.
"How DARE these women get pregnant, and I cannot. They don't even understand their gifts, yet God gives it to them!"
"He knows what He's doing."
"No, NO! What kind of God would IGNORE my prayers and IGNORE the prayers of these women and give them the EXACT OPPOSITE of their requests?!"
"He is bringing us all closer in His Own Way."
I wanted to cry, yet I wanted to cheer. Hearing stories of SO SO SO many women coming to Christ after first coming in for a meeting to talk about abortion stuns me. The woman kept saying each meeting is made my 'divine appointment' and I really liked that. Hearing of these women, who have made mistakes, deciding life for their babies and loving them makes me breathe a sigh of relief. Even when they carry to choose adoption, they are giving women like me hope.
It was semi-difficult to sit through the 3.5 hour meeting, but I'm looking forward to the second meeting tonight. I can feel my heart growing away from the selfishness that wants to say "poor me" to the heart that grows and understand these women so different than I. That's a God thing.
Also something I wanted to share from last night:
At introductions, we were supposed to share our names, the church we go to, and one prayer request so we can pray together during the two weeks we are all taking this class. Mine was, of course, my husband's and my infertility and our upcoming IVF. She prayed aloud for each and every one for us, and she prayed that God not be preparing us for 1, 2, or 3 children but for 5, 6, 7, or 8! She said, "Lord, let them have a quiver full of children...".
Sarah laughed, and later told me she was praying for the same thing. :)
If this doesn't sound amazing enough, I must share a story I've never shared on our blog. Before the days of this blog, when Walter and I had no idea the road we would travel on, Walter and I were newlyweds. I remember one day so very clearly, the we sat in our living room and prayed to be a 'quiverfull' family. Yes, I had been watching the Duggar's- but that's not the point! :) I remember sitting on the couch, trembling, because we were promising God to not use birth control and to have as many children as He wanted to give us. It was our first very hard decision we made as a married couple. Even though we were terrified, we smiled when we finished praying. We were going to be a quiver full family.
Little did we know our road. I still believe God took us down this road, and we have made each and every stop because it is in His plan. We promised Him to be quiver full because of He knew we would do IVF and He doesn't want any embryos left behind. We promised Him to be quiver full because He knew that no matter the outcome of our IVF journeys, we would have a heart for adoption. And foster care. It's not a surprise, but He knew what He was doing.
Quiver full. I love the sound of it. It may not be today, but someday our family will be quiver full just as He has planned.
But before that, I feel He has other things planned for our family...
This is very hard to admit, and I hope it lands on eyes who will not be judgmental or rude.
In high school I was a very different person. I didn't know a thing about salvation or that my life could be any better than the mess it was. I was rude and mean and manipulative to many degrees. I did whatever it took to get ahead in my own life. I was crazy. I was promiscuous. The only thing still consistent in high school was I had medical issues. Multiple times my OBGYN warned me about this and that... and I paid no attention. After a pap, my doctor called me during work at Pizza Hut (woot!) and told me there were abnormalities. I had the beginnings of cancer and I needed to have a procedure done that removed a few linings of my uterus using an electrically charged tool (LEEP). I had crazy heavy and painful periods and twice, in anger, told my boyfriends I was probably 'having a miscarriage' and 'damn [them]'! I never corrected them or lead them to believe different. I am embarrassed to say I never really knew if that was the case. Though it was quite possible, I never was honest with my parents about it, and will never know for sure.
However, the one thing I could fix was send a message to those two men I once screamed that to... Even though we've all moved on it our lives, and it was extremely hard to do, I believe God wanted it to be done. I apologized. I now know that it is something you do not just say flippantly. I now know I should have been up front and honest because I probably did need to see a doctor.
Many people have secrets hiding in the closet. Most of mine are in the past, and I hate when one of those 'who I was' moments sneak up to the 'who I am' present. However, I know that I am Christ's daughter and that is all He sees of me now. I just need to make things right. I have been very open and honest with all of you, my amazing blog readers, and I hope you do not look at me differently because I have done so.
I feel cruddy, but I feel good at the same time. I knew it wouldn't be easy writing those letters and confessing my sin in this blog, but I know it is a trial to sharpen my edges and make me stronger- maybe just like our road of infertility.
These verses has been on my heart today, Romans 5:1-8:
Therefore, since we are justified through faith, let us have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through Him also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.
Moreover let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
And endurance develops maturity of character of improved faith and tried integrity. And character produces joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
While we were yet in weakness, at the fitting time Christ died for the ungodly.
I am no 'better' than those woman coming in, looking for information on abortion. My heart is learning this. Instead, I am able to help them by sharing the gospel and praying for them so that they may one day be cleansed like I have.
If you are reading this and you have some regrets and mistakes in your past and you have not allowed God to wipe that slate clean, please know that He can if you accept Him into your life. He can give your strength when you have none, and give you forgiveness when it seems like no one else will. We are all sinners, and we all need His forgiveness. It is a gift, we just need to reach out and take it. Please do so today if you have not.
(I must also say while publishing this post and ERROR came across my screen and I had to backtrack a lot to even find what I wrote. Luckily, it was still there and I found it after 10 minutes... but Satan will do whatever it takes to shut you up with you have something Good to share.)