Saturday, June 1, 2013

Choosing Hope

Lately, there has been a battle raging... in my head. The closer the dates get to the beginning of our injections and subsequent retrieval and implantation... the worse the thoughts get... the "what ifs". You know what I mean, "what if this doesn't work?" "what if something goes wrong?" "what if the medicine doesn't work like it is supposed to?" "what if they can't get enough eggs?" "what if I get pregnant and miscarry again?" "what if What If WHAT IF?!" It's like an annoying alarm clock that you cannot turn off. The more I try not to focus on these things... the more they randomly pop into my head. My anxiety is growing. I was starting to panic a little. I was starting to get scared. I needed a sign... something to tell me this was right (even though I know in my heart that it is). I'm a big fan of signs. They're like little clues from God that tell us what we should do and when we are on the right paths. Now, I will admit that I have "made" things into signs that were NOT signs just to justify something that I wanted to be right. I like to think that I know better at this point in my life.

My quiet time with God is usually in my car on my way to and from work. I can think clearly when I'm driving, sometimes I even talk out loud to Him... I'm the only one in the car, I don't care if people see me and think I'm nuts. So Thursday morning, I poured my heart out. We had ordered the medicine, paid for it... and I was freaking out. I asked for a sign. It was a partially cloudy, not raining... and suddenly I looked up and saw the most beautiful rainbow. It was like God was saying "Hey! I'm right here with you! I've got this! It's going to be okay! Just trust me!" After that I felt better... at least for a few hours.  

My medicine came in the mail on Friday... lets just say that seeing the quantity of it in front of me was overwhelming.

The questions began again... I have a fear of needles. It is not the pain, it's the actual needle. Watching it go in the skin, actually just thinking about it going in the skin makes my stomach curl up into knots. I have until Tuesday to get over that fear. I'm just going to go on and assume that's not going to happen until I man up with the needle in my hand and stick that sucker in my belly. Ugh.

The thing I have been sorely lacking this last week or two with all of these questions is a lack of hope. I'm so terrified of an unhappy ending that I can't even begin to think about a happy one. This could work... this might work. I need to be thinking that this is going to work. When you automatically think the worst, that is a hard think to wrap your mind around. We have been fighting this for so long, can the end really be in sight? Maybe. Maybe not. I cannot control the outcome of this situation. That is only in God's hands. But hope? That is something I can control.

Hope doesn't just fall out of the sky like rain. Hope doesn't just miraculously appear out of nowhere. You can't buy it at the store or order it online. Hope is there for the taking. You just have to choose to hope. Hope is ours, given by God, to get us through this life. There are countless verses in the Bible to teach us about hope. Here are a few that I find particularly helpful:

Romans 5: 2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Hebrews 11:1 (paraphrased) Faith is being sure of what you hope for.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
In the book of Romans, He is even called the God of Hope. It is one of his many gifts to us. He wants hope for us... He wants us to have faith in Him... He wants to give us hope. The catch is, just like we must choose to follow Him... we must also choose other things in  our lives... hope, joy... faith. I chose to have faith in the journey and this is the path I have been lead down. Now, I choose to have hope. I have a friend with a blog called "choosing joy". I have always loved that... but now I get it. I choose to be hopeful. I choose hope over fear. I choose joy over despair. I choose faith over blame and guilt. I choose a life guided by my Lord.

Now, every time one of those thoughts pops into my head... I simply say... "My hope is in You Lord." Then, I feel better. I feel calmer. I know this is right.

Do not be afraid to ask for what you need. If you need a sign, say it. If you need hope, choose it. If you want to be happy, decide to be... and then things will fall into place (with God's help of course).

Matthew 7: 7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."

There will always be fear in the back of your mind. It is part of being flawed as a human, it is in our nature to fear the unknown, but we don't have to be afraid. We must remember who is in control... who has this all planned out and already knows the ending... it is already written out. I know we will be parents one day, hopefully sooner rather than later. Right now, I have to give it all over to God. I have to have hope. I have to keep the faith. I could go insane thinking about all the possibilities of bad outcomes... now, it is time to focus on the good.

Choose hope. Choose joy. Choose love. Choose faith! Rejoice! That's what God wants for all of us.

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