perspective is everything. Perhaps it was because of the situation I was in or because the person that told me was someone I admired greatly. Either way I haven’t forgotten it. I am also pretty sure I didn’t appreciate the importance of that statement at the time but it is totally something I’ve always come back to. As I read my devo this morning I felt like God totally upgraded this statement and if you would indulge me, I’d like to share it with you.
Psalm3 ( NKJV )
Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me,
“There is no help for him in God.” Selah
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.
Arise, O Lord;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah
This particular Psalm was written by King David as he was fleeing from his son Absalom. King David was a man of war, it seems like he was always in some kind of battle, ALWAYS. As I read through his life and his songs I began to see it weaved into the way he lived and prayed and royally screwed things up. But the great thing about His life is we can all learn about how to navigate seasons of war because GOD IN HIS KINDNESS documented it through out the Bible. Thanks Jesus, I see whatcha did there!
Its okay to speak about the fact that you are in a battle but its not okay for you to allow the state of war to manifest FEAR within you.
I love the first 4 verses. Yea, this sucks, here we go again. But Lord YOU ARE MY SHIELD, and even if something happens and there is no help you are the lifter of my head! He knew his eyes needed to be focused up! He knew his perspective didn’t need to change just because a battle was upon him. If we only lived our lives with our eyes fixed on Jesus, it would be such a game-changer. It’s only then that you won’t lose perspective. Perspective is always lost when we allow fear to replace our hope. And if your heart and life is fixed on the greatest HOPE that ever lived then fear must stay at bay. #Selah
REST that you can feel and see in the physical is a by-product of REST that’s cultivated in your soul. #JesusInABoat
I love how David strengthens himself in the latter verses. He doesn’t allow the circumstance to steal his rest and peace. “God, you’ve struck down my enemies before and salvation is yours!” He even sees the blessing in it. I can’t even! As I read this I whispered, “I want that kind of perspective…fearless perceptive!” Our lives will always be in a state of war until eternity in one way or another. But we are meant to live with HOPE and FEARLESS perspective that changes the atmosphere of where we are and who we encounter.
If you find yourself feeling at war or with no rest for your soul, remind yourself that He has struck down your enemies before and HE will do it again. Victory isn’t something you have to fight for, it was already fought for and attained for us on calvary and you just have to remind yourself of that! He is your shield and you have nothing to fear!
FACT: Trouble will always be something we have to navigate in this life… ( Thanks Eve!!! )
TRUTH: …you get to choose whether it steals your hope, steals your rest, steals your joy. You get to choose what you fix your eyes on. Choose wisely — the joy is set before you!
Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him; and now He is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor. Heb 2:2 – the voice
Don’t get lost in the facts of your circumstance that you forget the truth of God. His Truth is the only thing that matters and HIS truth is we win in the end.
Since I started writing on this topic the weird comments and inquiring didn’t stop. I thought they would, but alas, people are still weird and just don’t know. So I reached out to the BIG GUNS, my friend Dusty , someone who I love and honor and who knows this subject from every angle. I asked her to write her take on INFERTILITY ETIQUETTE, and she of course wrote a beautiful breakdown!
Enjoy, Learn, and Pass on!
Unless you have experienced the heartbreaking, recurring grieving process of infertility, it can be really hard to know what to say to your loved one who is struggling to have a child. As someone who has dedicated her counseling practice to helping couples navigate fertility challenges, I’d love to share what I call Infertility Etiquette 101 to help us all grow in our ability to provide
Let’s start with understanding what hurting people need most from those around them…empathy. Most people do not truly understand what that word means in action. Brene Brown brought clarity during her viral TED talk when she explained empathy as “simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting and communicating that incredibility healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’” Google “Brene Brown empathy video.” It’s a 3 minute investment that has the power to change your relationships. So let’s take a look at some DO’s & DON’Ts of empathy when it comes to connecting with someone who is struggling with fertility.
-Don’t tell them to relax. The solution to infertility is so much more complex than simply relaxing or taking a vacation, and advice like this grossly minimizes the problem.
-Don’t say “At least…” or “Just enjoy being able to…” These statements offer zero comfort. Having the option of sleeping in late, spontaneous dates, more money, etc. do not even being to compensate for the incredible loss of not having the parenting experience.
-Don’t complain about your pregnancy or kids. I get it. Growing a child and parenting is not for the faint at heart! You need to have a space to vent. But doing this in front of someone struggling with fertility is insensitive. Let’s all focus on being grateful for what we have because there is a woman out there who would die for the chance to trade her sorrow for morning sickness and sleepless nights.
-Don’t give unsolicited advice (or start praying over someone) unless INVITED. If you have a word or prophesy from God or have REAL fertility knowledge (not just a story about your cousin’s friend,) please ask that person if they would like to hear it before you shoot off a text or corner them at church. You are trying to help, but please respect boundaries.
-Don’t say, “Why don’t you just adopt?” As someone who gets asked this all the time (because only being able to have one child is apparently a fate worse than death,) I can answer this question for you. Maybe God hasn’t called them to, just like God didn’t call you to adopt your 1st, 2nd or 3rd child. Adoption is insanely expensive and requires treacherous emotional vulnerability. Grieving the loss of having your own child takes a LONG time and it is not easy to “just adopt” and accept a stranger’s child as your own. Adoption is a beautiful, wonderful thing, but flippantly suggesting or pushing it on someone who is not ready or called is not a loving action.
-Don’t tell them God has a reason. Yes, God is in control, but this statement can be incredibly insensitive when applied at most seasons of a person’s grieving process and only the Holy Spirit knows when that person is ripe to receive that message.
So now you know what not to say, here are some good examples of what real empathy sounds like:
“I don’t even know what to say, other than I’m here.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“I know you might need space from all the baby triggers right now. Take all the time you
need. We’ll be here for you when you’re ready.”
“You’re probably sick of explaining this stuff to people. What is a good resource I can
“This really sucks. How can I help?
“Even though I can’t fully understand how you feel, what’s the best way to support you?”
It’s also super supportive to remember them on Mother and Father’s Day. A short note letting
them know you haven’t forgotten them can really help on what is usually the most painful day(s)
of the year.
You got this! Now let’s all go love on someone who needs it.
Exile; the state of being barred from one’s native country, typically for political or punitive reasons.
My Grandmother lived most of her adult life in exile, she escaped from Cuba when she was 33. She lived most her life outside of the boundaries that orginally defined her. Even though something was literally stripped from her ( Her country, Her identity, all that she had known to be true and right and just ) she did not let that define the rest of her life. If anything she allowed Jesus to be the true definition of who she was and how she was going to live. As her life came to an end MANY came to celebrate her. Her service was packed with people! Packed! She had been a mother to many and her life story was a catalyst of change to those that allowed her story to become part of theirs. And as I spoke about her amazing legacy, the legacy that was cultivated entirely in exile I realized and began to internalize the lessons you’ve read in my the last three posts on Motherhood. ( If you have not read my last three posts I encourage you to do so )
Now as we near the year anniversary of the last time I held her in my arms I am finding myself in a state of peace and strength that I never thought I’d ever experience. See, the week that followed her passing I read a quote that has carried me through by Bill Johnson, “Peace that surpasses all understanding is only given to those who give up their right to understand.” And so that is exactly how I’ve chosen to live my life, in a constant state of surrendering my desire to understand the things I have had to walk through, the things I will never be able to comprehend on this side of heaven and the situations I am currently tackling.
If you are walking through loss of any kind whether its infertility or something else I encourage you to let go of what you feel and embrace the peace that is already inside you. I remember asking a friend to pray that God would give me peace to walk through this road and as quickly as I asked for that, the Holy Spirit whispered, ” you already have peace. I am the Prince of Peace and I am with you.” I am not saying that being okay and at peace with infertility is the goal, I am saying being at peace and truly understanding that Jesus is in control and STILL LORD of your life REGARDLESS of your current circumstance is the goal. The joy is set before you, look up! Don’t focus on the new land you have been forced to live in instead focus on the freedom that He has given you in the land. There is a new found Freedom HERE to focus on who HE is and all that HE is asking of you. Freedom to serve Him in a way others cannot. Exile is not a bad thing, its an everybody thing, and its where you are. WE ARE ALL IN EXILE, because ETERNITY is are end game. We were never meant to live in this brokenness. Eternity is where we are all meant to be. Your exile just looks like infertility on this side of eternity. Don’t let it define you, have peace, have joy, embrace your refugee status. Yes, I just said that! Embracing your season and status doesn’t mean you’ve lost hope, it just means that your hope is in Jesus and whatever you get to be or see or hold on this side of heaven is in His hands, and in His hands is where you want to be.
But blessed is the one who trusts in Me alone; the Eternal will be his confidence. He is like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots beside the stream. It does not fear the heat or even drought. Its leaves stay green and its fruit is dependable, no matter what it faces. – Jer. 17:7-8 ( the voice )
C’mon Jesus. That’s a good word, and that word is for someone! ( Cue the Bethel Dance and Streamers!! )