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Monday, May 19, 2008

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Wow -- really beautifully said. I think Paul would describe this as an experience of entire sanctification. Blessings on you, Arwen!! Getting through my own uphill climb to a baby (still climbing -- 12 weeks to go) has made me re-evaluate what it means to surrender to God's will too. The peace that comes as a result is awesome.

Oh, Arwen.

You brought me to tears, again.

I needed this reminder today that God may never choose to heal Lucy. And I need to be ok with that. And you're right - this is where true peace and joy lie.

So beautiful Arwen.

I look forward to reading about whatever adventures are in store for your family.

I know a family that waited eight years for their first child...then four more followed in quick succession. They didn't try to hurry God, but instead too the opportunity to draw closer to Him and learn what He would have them learn while they were waiting...and it was big, important stuff. Good thing they were listening!

I think one thing our culture is very, very slow to embrace is the fact that God's timing is perfect.

It's so hard to pray "Thy will be done!" I feel called to marriage but don't see any chances of getting married in the forseeable future. It's tough not to get discouraged and feel like it's never going to happen. But of course God has His own plan, and he's not going to give any of us anything except what's best for us.

You don't mention adoption or snowflake babies, though. Have you considered either of those options?

Arwen, so often you write more eloquently than I ever could exactly what I am feeling. Even though there is no miracle of a child yet in our lives, God has made it clear He is in control of everything and if/when we are to have a child it will be in his ever perfect timing.

So often you remind me how good God is and if we wait on him we will never be disappointed.

Amen! Still praying "Thy will be done" for BW#1 over here, but he is granting the same kind of peace you describe.

Arwen, you continue to amaze and inspire me. I am so blessed and grateful to have your example of grace and faith before me as D and I continue along our own journey.

God bless.

Arwen,

I've been reading your blog since you found yourself pregnant with Camilla; I was also trying to get pregnant at the time. I am a Christian (though not Catholic), and when I stumbled upon your blog, I found that reading through the archives was like reading my own life at times. As we tried and failed, had our hopes raised and dashed, and I came to realize that this idea of control we humans like to pretend we have over our lives is a complete fa├žade . . . and it was then that I found myself completely broken, and rather unwillingly I prayed, as you did and are now doing, for His will to be done, not mine. It was a forced, hesitant prayer, but through God's goodness and grace, I miraculously found myself at peace with His will, whatever it would turn out to be, having no guarantee of any children or any knowledge of what would come to be. And then, about 10 months later, God saw fit to work through our amazing doctor, and I found myself pregnant with my daughter.

I confess that I often compared myself to you, and wondered if I could be so faithful as to not seek medical intervention for infertility. We resorted to treatment because my and my husband's situation is quite unique (Klinefelter's syndrome). I wrestled with the decision, questioned our (mostly my) motives, and prayed incessantly. Finally, I realized (or rather remembered) that God is sovereign; nothing happens that is outside of His will. This is not to say that we have license to be irresponsible with technology and medical knowledge; rather, my fears were calmed as I realized no child born to us through alternative methods would be less in His eyes. No child would be born whose name was not already written in the Book of Life before the world began.

My sweet Corinne is nearly eight months old, and I sometimes find myself fearful that she, too, will be an only child. Whenever this fear comes to mind, I remember something you said in a previous post; perhaps it was the MfBW#2, but I'm not sure. I don't remember the exact words, but the gist of it was you hypothetically asked yourself if you would feel cheated by God if Camilla is your only child, and you answered yourself with "I think not."

That about sums it up for me, as well.

Thank you for blessing me with your thoughts, your words, your life.

Jennifer W.

I once had a plan. I even had a back up because we know plans don't always work out. I gave up planning after two surgeries in college and being told before I was twenty by specialists that it was not likely that I would ever get pregnant. I graduated from college, but my focus changed to my primary vocation. I stayed home after marriage to be ready for possible children. We decided to avoid fertility treatments. At 24, I had my first child. Two years ago, I had my fifth. Last week, I had surgery(It went well). The doctor found five different conditions affecting my ovaries and uterus with disease that looked like it had been present for quite a while. I don't know how I ever carried one child much less five. I been thinking about how this condition has directed my life and even with everything I know I still struggle with that "difficult prayer."

Anyway, I guess this is the long version of saying that you really touched me today. Thanks.

This is one those entries that's so complete unto itself that any comment from me feels superfluous, so I'll just say that I'm praying for you :).

Another beautiful post. Thanks for this.

Thank you for blessing us with your honesty and your example. It is so very hard to pray "Thy will be done," but I'm learning more and more the freedom that is to be found in surrendering myself to that prayer.

I love what you said about how a prayer for more grace is always answered. It's something I'll surely be meditating on in the days to come.

Grace and Peace,
Ellen

I too had to force myself to add "if it is Your will" to my daily prayers for a child. I remained childless for the first 9 years of my marriage...as 35 came and went. And then He led me on the path that would make me a mother. A path I never foresaw myself taking. But a path that led me to my three beautiful children. Thy will be done indeed!

The peace and humbleness in your heart always come through in posts like these. You're right--it's a struggle to restrain myself from telling God what to do for me, when I know in my heart He knows best and wants to give me only good things.

I have enjoyed reading your blog for quite some time and I was a reader in the days you were pleading for your first child. It is your relationship with God that drew me to you in the first place. Your writing moved me tonight. I want to share this because I sincerely need prayer support. I know you can relate to my plea.

My husband and I have been married for 13 years. We've been living with infertility since 1996, which was the year we began trying to have a baby. Lately, we are both having a rough time with our childlessness. We are the only childless couple in both our families. Three people in our lives are celebrating baby showers this coming month. We are both opposed to invasive fertility treatments and we have not yet felt released to seek adoption. I have a consultation coming up with the OB/GYN to bring all of my tests up to date and find out what choices we will have to make. We are warming up to adoption, but we are still not ready to let go of the possibility of having our own. We got married young, so we still have a few years before time turns completely against us.

I am ashamed to admit that my faith has been shaken and I'm finding it difficult to trust God with this. I know God is exactly the One I need to put my trust and faith into, but I find prayer becoming more difficult. I'm hurting for my family and I long for closeness with God.

Your faith and trust have inspired me, yet it also made me realize how I am lacking trust. When you pray and wait for more than a decade, it gets difficult to keep holding on and to keep begging. I have begged, I have cried, I have pleaded, I have grieved, I have mourned, and I have prayed all that I can on my own. I can't bear this burden alone, because I am afraid I will collapse from the weight of it.

I just want peace with whatever is going to happen and I want to have more trust and faith in God with this part of my life. It is not about what I want, but it is about my ability to surrender my will to God's. I want to be in that place and I want to be able to say, "Lord, thy will be done." I'm not there right now. There was a time when I was in that place and I felt so much trust in God, but as the years keep passing I find myself in a different place entirely. While I grieve over my infertility, I grieve even more over the state my faith is in. I never thought I would be standing here, in such doubt and having lost so much hope.

Thank you for sharing your blog and reaching out to others via the world wide web.

Your faith is a beautiful thing - in fact, in makes reading your writing very cleansing to me, as we are still trying to find a church that is right for us, my husband being a devout Catholic. Wonderful post. . .

Arwen,

Delurking... I know this can be touchy subject so I apologize if this offends but have you considered other ways to expand your family?

We're not religious (nominally Jewish) and have one child, a daughter. It was something of a struggle to conceive her. Not wanting to repeat the struggle, most especially because of the emotional toll, we decided that any additions to our family will be via adoption.

You and Bryan read as such wonderful, caring parents and I imagine that any child would be fortunate to find themselves in your care.

Arwen,

Delurking... I know this can be touchy subject so I apologize if this offends but have you considered other ways to expand your family?

We're not religious (nominally Jewish) and have one child, a daughter. It was something of a struggle to conceive her. Not wanting to repeat the struggle, most especially because of the emotional toll, we decided that any additions to our family will be via adoption.

You and Bryan read as such wonderful, caring parents and I imagine that any child would be fortunate to find themselves in your care.

Arwen,

Delurking... I know this can be touchy subject so I apologize if this offends but have you considered other ways to expand your family?

We're not religious (nominally Jewish) and have one child, a daughter. It was something of a struggle to conceive her. Not wanting to repeat the struggle, most especially because of the emotional toll, we decided that any additions to our family will be via adoption.

You and Bryan read as such wonderful, caring parents and I imagine that any child would be fortunate to find themselves in your care.

Melissa, it's not offensive at all! It's fine to ask questions like that, especially gently and considerately as you have.

A few years ago I would have said yes, absolutely if we can't get pregnant again we will definitely adopt. But as we've continued along this road my point of view on adoption has changed. First of all, reading blogs (of adoptive parents, first parents, and adopted children) has made me realize the myriad ethical and emotional issues involved with adoption, and I no longer see it as an easy solution. There are certainly many, many children who need parents to adopt them, and doing that can help assuage the grief of being unable to have biological children, but I think that adoption needs first and foremost be seen as a way to make a child's life better, not as a way to make adoptive parents' lives better. That being said, I still think adoption is a beautiful thing and I am definitely open to it myself.

That brings me to the second way my point of view has changed. When Bryan and I had been trying to conceive for almost two years with no results, we decided that we'd go ahead with adoption. We even told our parents we planned on it, and we started saving money for it. But it wasn't long before both of us got the sense that we'd been premature, and that whether or not to have an adoptive child was not our decision any more than whether or not to have a biological child was our decision. Since that time I've come to see adoption as a vocation, something to which God may or may not ordain us. At this time Bryan and I are both pretty sure that He's not, but that could absolutely change in the future. So yes, we're open to adoption, but no, we won't be moving forward with it unless we discern that we're being called in that direction.

Blessings to you. It is a beautiful thing to watch another follow Christ.

I am visiting from the Friday Roundup:

Thank you for sharing. That is a beautiful post!

Sometimes I envy people who have the kind of faith you do -- it's something I don't understand at all (not in a negative way, just as though I am on the other side of the glass in a sense), but absolutely respect. From a more secular perspective, I have very similar feelings about my BW#2 and am also letting go of my dreams of having a large family (my goal was 4, and I am 32). The way you talk about what parenting means to you really resonates with me. You have a really unique, beautiful voice.

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