These words are part of a collection of writings from the final months of our ten-year-long journey of delayed fertility. In them, I’m pulling back the privacy-curtain and taking you inside the pages of my prayer journals to give insight to those who have not experienced infertility, and hope to those neck-deep in the lonely-midst of it.
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(8:20am) Tuesday, 5/5/15
I feel it coming. The heaviness. The slipping inside of myself. The self-protection mechanisms of preparing for another period (#111 if we’re counting) that will, incidentally, come on Mother’s Day weekend.
LORD … sustain me this morning.
Thank You that You are the glory of my strength (Psalm 89:17).
You are the proud adornment of my strength (Amplified Version).
And then I glance down at a verse underlined in red and circled in green on another page: “Give Your strength to Your servant (Psalm 86:16).” And the rabbit trail of Truth starts:
“Your God has commanded your strength” (Psalm 68:28).
“The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime and in the night, His song shall be with me” (Psalm 42:8).
He commands strength.
He commands lovingkindness.
His mercy and lovingkindness are given in proportion to my waiting.
As I wait, He commands strength over me in an ongoing dance: Waiting. And strengthening. Waiting. Strengthening. TO the end that my glory may sing. In the night, when His song is with me.
And then, a voice inside me whispers: “What if I don’t want to be strong? What if I’m tired of being strong? I’ve been strong in the wait now for over nine years.” The conversation with myself begins – what a friend of mine calls “self-discipleship” when you circle around the truth, talking yourself off the teetering, giving-up ledge. What woman would work her tail off in the gym, working out and building strength and muscle definition and then decide one day, “eh, I’m tired of this. I liked my body the way it was.” If my body is the temple … what is the state of God’s sanctuary? How strong is my structure?
LORD, may I never tire entirely of being strong. When I do, meet me with Truth. This Truth, right here. Just like You did this morning. Command Your strength over me when I do not want to dig for it.
God, make me strong enough for the story You want me to tell.
When I cast what You’ve given me back onto You, God, I pray that You would toss Your strength back in return. Command Your strength over me today. And this weekend.
I’m just about to wrap up my morning when I notice one more thing in this string of promise-commands that God speaks over His people. The other thing You command? Blessings on obedience.
“The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which He is giving you” (Deuteronomy 28:8).
My soul silently waits.
My soul waits silently.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
the rock of my strength and my refuge is in You.
(Psalm 62:1, 5, 7)
“Submit yourself completely,” Spurgeon said. “Trust immovably. Wait patiently … You can only achieve this if you are inwardly persuaded of God’s presence as you wait solely and alone on Him. Unmingled faith is undismayed. … We expect from God because we believe in Him! Expectation is the child of prayer and faith … Our expectations are on the way, and in due season will arrive to satisfy our hopes. Happy is the man who feels that all he has, all he wants, and all he expects are to be found in His God.”
And then I wrote three words. Boxed them out. Without any reference for where they came from, or why I felt the need to write them. They sit there, on two lines, with a simple rectangle drawn around them.
I wouldn’t know for almost a year what they meant, what God was doing behind the scenes. But I think, on some level, it gave me another hand-hold on the waiting-wall I was climbing. Because I wouldn’t have to wait for forever, just for another six months (and I didn’t know it then, but only another four months after that).
God, in His commanded-over-me-lovingkindness, was giving a hint that I wasn’t even aware of. All I knew? That morning? He commanded His strength. And I wore it like a boss.
* The photo above was taken that night on our lanai. Because what else do you do while you’re waiting? “Celebrating Cinco de Mayo with tacos, margaritas, and a fierce game of cards. Loser does the dishes.”