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Waiting

waiting

Waiting.  The calling card of infertility.  You always wait.  Wait for appointments.  Wait for results.  Wait for a positive report.  Wait for the paperwork to be completed. Wait.

When you’ve done all you can do and the promise still has not come.  When the silence of an unfulfilled dream, (regardless of what it is) mocks at you from the corners of your everyday responsibilities and you feel your heart is breaking at every passing day.  Questions surround you in the quiet moments of those 3:00 a.m. wide awake times.

How do you find the resolution in those times of extended hoping and waiting?  How do you find God’s peace and trust Him to find you when your way seems lost?

It took a long time of waiting for me to discover the fine art of not attempting to control God when your life feels out of control.  I have found that being able to journal my sometimes desperate prayers, God’s voice emerges through those pages of pain.

A scripture that has meant much to many reads:  “I waited patiently for the Lord.  He turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit.  he set my feet upon a rock.  He put a new song in my mouth.”  Psalm 40:1

I did not wait patiently.  Oh how I wish I had waited patiently, but I didn’t.  I came kicking and screaming in a process of change through complete surrender.  I finally could say “yes” to His way.  I’m so glad.  My story is not in the fact of what I did, but what He did.  I found my biggest hurdle in my faith was my unbelief.  I finally realized God wanted to remove that mountain.  To believe on Jesus and what He did and what God already provided for me.

The pressure I had, was to somehow find a way to conceive or receive a child.  The brought me such intense emotional pain I’d ever known.  I worked very hard, even when the medical system could do nothing for me.  I felt that if I convinced God to heal me…. I could finally qualify to be a mother.

God my Father gently wooed me to Himself, showing me how much love He has for me.  I entered in my journal:  God accepts me, just as I am “as is”  Once created new and shiny, I had felt that I was a cast off second-hand piece at a charity shop.  God in His delight purchased me at the original value price.  He purchased me through Jesus.  I don’t have to work so hard to be accepted or approved of.  No more condemnation or fear… filled only with warmth, love and peace.

What about you my friend?  God loves you and is not concerned so much about your progress as He is drawing you to Himself in the process of becoming like Jesus.  Love is such a powerful force.  The Bible illustrates how Love (who is God) turns the table on every negative in your life.  Love enters when the heart aches to be loved.

God is drawn and responds to the person who calls on His name.  Give your heart to Jesus.  Turn from the sin of not believing in Jesus.  Turn away from anything you are doing wrong by the standards of the Word of God, (the Bible).  Accept Jesus as your Lord, Savior and Director of your Life.  Be reinvented by God’s Spirit. He is waiting for you!

“And therefore the Lord (earnestly) waits (expecting, looking and longing) to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you.  For the Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who (earnestly) wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him (for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship).  Isaiah 30:18 Amplified

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empty hand to open arms ebook (1) for Facebook, etc

ISBN:  978-1-4866-1156-0

Hopelessness and loss are the common companions of infertility.  All infertile couples long for resolution, for one more glimpse of hope, but hope fades with each attempt to conceive a child.

Paula’s story offers hope where there seems to be only waiting, pain and frustration. This is a testimony of the relentless faithfulness of God to heal the broken-hearted in surrender to His ultimate plan.  Paula’s challenge was to learn that her resolution had been there all along.

http://www.emptyhandsopenarms.com

Paula’s Book   EMPTY HANDS TO OPEN ARMS:  From infertility to possibility  is available at all Christian bookstores, Christian book.com, Amazon.com, Chapters/Indigo and Kobo, Kindle and Apple E-readers.

 

Listen Live! CPKC Radio 1380 AM

Hi Friends!

Tonight is an exciting night for my husband and I.  We will be featured on a live call-in show :  Mini & Friends on CPKC Radio out of Brantford, Ontario 1380 AM on the dial.  It is in promotion of our story of coping with Infertility.  Our story was published in 2015, EMPTY HANDS TO OPEN ARMS:  From Infertility to Possibility.  Listen online at http://am1380.ca/  and click on Listen Live!  The Show is live tonight from 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. EST  Hope to hear you there!

Dario's pics ending July 9th 387Dario's pics ending July 9th 385

Infertility’s Isolation

The drapes are drawn, the sun shines brightly, but for now it’s glow and warmth is held at bay.  The TV mumbles something in the background droning on in its purpose at the moment to drown out the thoughts of helplessness and sorrow.

The pregnancy test still sits in silence, abandoned with a negative result on the bathroom counter where she left it.  She was so sure this time.  All the cues were there and she’d hoped so strongly that this was the moment.  She hasn’t told him yet.  She thinks to herself that she couldn’t bear that look in her husband’s eyes and hear the words, “I’m sorry Honey” once again.

She’s often imagined the scene where she in her private glee, waits for her husband to awake from sleep.  She planned to have the tiny knitted baby nightie and hat lay calmly on the pillow where she usually slept.  Upon waking, he’d see and know immediately that their heart’s longing had been answered.  They’d be parents!  They would embrace until one of them could not hold the squeal of joy one moment more. She imagined the little girl’s sweet sleepy pout at the early morning feedings.  The prophetic pictures of her two-year old wading in the puddles after a winter melt. A funny five-year-old princess that parades and twirls with royal elegance.  Images that now squeeze with a painful ache.  She feels she’s failed again.

Hands cover her eyes as she lets the pain take her again and sobs give release to tears that liberate the pressure in her heart.  She feels so alone.

…..

Isolation and pain seem to go hand in hand at times.

Some individuals can find places in their time alone as an occasion to recharge and find new strength.  This is a healthy practice for the introverts among us.

What is it about the raw emotion and real situations that cause us to retreat and hide from the ones that care about us the most?  Are we still afraid of being that vulnerable?

Where do we find the courage to let others in?  It requires trust and a feeling of being safe in our vulnerability.

Many moments in my life I have found that place of feeling so very alone when facing the infertility diagnosis I was thrust into and I felt no one could understand. I had to come to that place where i could let it go and release that pressure though the scene repeated time and again.  My full story can be found here:  http://www.emptyhandsopenarms.com/  Believe me it was easier to write the book than to live it.

On the other side of my resolution where God intervened and picked me up in my surrender I did finally find the courage to share my struggles and I have found peace. Don’t face infertility in its darkness alone.  Firstly there is Jesus who understands and the Bible says, “feels” the feelings of our pain.  He is praying for you as you agonize in those moments of pain.  Secondly, God has placed many who care and who have a hug and a shoulder to weep with  you, pray with you and are not ashamed of your hurt… many who are not put off by your tears.

Who is she in my mini story above?  She is me.

Dear Card Company**

** Well known Card companies now carry real life need cards like cancer diagnosis, child-loss, infertility, and suicide:  When words are not enough…  Here is a letter i wished I could have written to express what distress Mother’s day advertising did to my heart.

cassia

Photo Courtesy of Bing Images

Dear Card Company,

Okay.  So yesterday was Mother’s Day!  I found that this was the year that I found such peace in celebrating the newly found Mother-hood I have as a Caregiver for the children in my work.  It has been a process and I wanted to let you know that although you were not completely responsible for my distress, your pretty cards, gifts and mementos on display at the shopping centre did make tiny incisions in my heart each time I walked past, during the years I experienced the most pain in my infertility journey.

I understand that you, the company began making Mother’s Day cards in the 1920’s. This is where the tradition  began in North America for the 2nd Sunday in May to celebrate the Mothers all around us.  I get it.  It’s good to say thank you Mom for all the things that she has done in raising all of us.  I bet you didn’t know though that that simple gesture of creating those cards would start a holiday that would have everyone celebrating with gifts, cards, dinners out, tributes, commercials on TV, special ads on the internet, inspire poetry, photos, blog posts, tweets on twitter and numerous reminders for those of us trying our hardest to conceive.

Since it would devastate sales at this time of year to ask you to remove said holiday cards, I believe we would could come up with a compromise.  Since in some ways infertility can cause individuals to suffer in silence, let’s give these men (on Father’s Day) and women a voice in creating cards that reflect the difficulty at this time of year.

For example:

I know Mother’s day can hurt.  Please know I care…

Wishing you all that you desire on Mother’s day…one day, your very own!  Take comfort from a caring friend.

Hoping and praying with you for all the dreams you long for.  Let your broken heart heal with the love that surrounds you today.

This would acknowledge and give hope to many individuals suffering from infertility and assist with breaking the silence.

Thank you!

Your Friend

 

 

Infertility: Coping and Support

coping and support

Originally published in the Word Alive Press Blog post for March, 2016. 

I read your book today and loved going with you on your journey from determination to surrender.  Thank you for writing with such vulnerability, opening the deepest places of your pain, making of them a gift that can minister healing to others.  That is such an example of God’s goodness and grace.  May all of your tears be a fragrance that blesses many and your wisdom be a guiding light for others on this journey.”  Belinda Burston, Writer’s Nest

With these words, my friend Belinda penned the expressions that motivated me to write EMPTY HANDS TO OPEN ARMS:  From Infertility to Possibility. The decision to open once again the deep place of pain, lies in the compassion for those who shed the tears in the loss of a child they may never get to meet.  This turmoil requires a resolution of rest.

Agony of Infertility

The heart of the infertile individual is craving rest.  From those first thoughts that something is not quite right through inquiries and testing, to the soul-wrenching diagnosis, the heart takes in many blows and bruises.  In a moment, this one thing hoped for – a child, so easy for many to conceive, now becomes an impossibility.  The results of trying-to-conceive month after month with only a negative pregnancy tester to show for it is exhausting.

According to Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC), one in six couples will be struggling with infertility issues.  Although my story may be quite different from others who have gone through so many medical procedures, I understand the hopeless and helpless feelings of an infertility diagnosis.  I know the craving to have little arms around your neck.  I fathom the drive to want to do something, anything to make the agony and pain of that empty place go away.

My Story

Diagnosed at the age of nineteen and a single girl, I dreamed of being a mother since I was a little child.  I discovered my infertility and processed this news with a sadness that I didn’t know how to express.  For many years I was unable to fully prepare to resolve infertility in my life, as I was not married.  Waiting is the characteristic of infertility and for twenty years I desired a husband with whom I could begin to work on my infertility.  When my husband and I finally did marry, we realized the impossibility of our situation.  I looked to God to meet our need.  We exhausted ourselves in trying so hard and the painful decision to not proceed with any medical intervention was made for us.  Turning our attention to the adoption process and all the requirements, I burst with hope.  Finally we would have our hearts’ desire.  After many years, and much paper work and hoops to jump through and waiting, we were still childless.

Faced with our continual empty nest, the strain became too much for me.  At the peak of our patience and in total frustration of the unfairness of what life had dealt us, I learned that we would have to face more delays and paperwork.  I explode into tears and released years of pent-up distress and panic of a dream unmet.  This was the catalyst for full surrender to God and my relinquishment of control I thought I had over my situation.  In just a few days, I discovered that God had already provided a perfect-fit resolution for me.

Coping and Support

Recently I had the privilege of presenting EMPTY HANDS TO OPEN ARMS to a group of women at a ladies’ conference.  I enjoyed the 3-minute speaking opportunity and throughout the day I met with many precious women who shared their personal story or with whom had a relative or a friend struggling with infertility.   A few shared the tragedy of spontaneous abortions and how their dream was torn from their hearts and their wombs.  I wept with them.  Others spoke of their feelings of helplessness in wanting so much to ease the hurt and pain of a loved one, or friend.  I prayed for them.  EMPTY HANDS TO OPEN ARMS is the type of book I needed in the years I faced my greatest distress.  This is the reason I wrote my story.

Finding a place to share your story is such an important step.  Many couples choose to suffer alone and support one another.  While this is helpful for the moment, at times seeing your husband or wife hurting with the burden of barrenness is too much to bear alone.

Once couples decide to invest in medical intervention, the first task is to choose the right Doctor.  It is important to investigate the physician who has had experiential skill in treating infertility.  Many in the medical field have only had introduction to infertility treatment as part of their medical training.  A referral from your family Doctor to a reproductive endocrinologist can benefit immensely.  He or she could be your greatest supporter in suggesting ways to cope.

While reading materials can be a source of great support, a supportive heart-to-heart conversation with a trusted friend can bring warm comfort.  Choose this friend wisely.  It is important to find someone who can resist the urge to offer useless advice.  Let your friend know that you are not looking for expertise in how to get pregnant.  No amount of relaxing, or trying this procedure or that is really what you are wanting to hear right now.  If your friend’s cousin Lucy got pregnant on her first In Vitro Fertilization attempt, that’s fine, however, you may not want to know about it.

Give yourself the protection you need from emotionally hurtful situations.  I.e. baby showers, and Mother’s day celebrations may best be left for another season in your life.  Be good to yourself.  Rest.  Consider professional counselling if need be.  Focus on the Family offers a one-time counselling opportunity and referrals for additional support. http://www.focushelps.ca/counselling-service Visit online support forums such as:

Hannah’s Prayer Ministry:  www.hannah.org, Stepping Stones:  http://stepforums.bethany.org

Always remember that Father God is waiting to embrace you in your pain.  He is waiting to give you the resolution that is a perfect fit. Talk with Him, release the hurt and the frustration.  Run into His open arms.

EMPTY HANDS TO OPEN ARMS:  From Infertility to Possibility is available at Christian bookstores across Canada as well as:

www.emptyhandsopenarms.com

Word Alive Press

Amazon.com

Chapters/indigo

Kindle, Kobo, and Apple

You may reach Paula at www.emptyhandsopenarms.com, and https://www.facebook.com/InfertilityPossibility/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Letting it go

letting go

When I say, “Let it go”  I don’t mean to completely give up on conceiving a child.  Letting it go means more about the pain in the heart.  This can mean many things to many people.  It can mean letting go of fear that one might be childless forever.  It may mean that you can emotionally process this journey without the self-depreciation or loathing.  For many it may mean letting go of the bitterness harbored toward people who don’t “get it”.  What is it in our hearts that can hold heavy weights of hurt without any resolution.

Faith occurs when we cease trying to do something by our own efforts and trust Someone bigger to help us through it all.  It is trusting that God will bring a resolution that fits just you as well as the strength to accept that for your life.

Isaiah 54:1  “Sing, O barren, you who have not borne.  break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child.  For more are the children of t he desolate than the children of the married woman, says the Lord.”

Singing the sacrificial song, when everything screams, “No fair’ somehow breaks through the pain in the heart and for a time there is peace.

That is my wish for all who experience the pain of infertility – peace.

Sing your song, let it go.

 

empty hand to open arms ebook (1) for Facebook, etc   http://www.emptyhandsopenarms.com  and available through Word Alive Press and wherever fine Christian books are sold.  It is also available through Amazon.com, Chapters/Indigo, and Ebook, Kobo and Kindle.

Hopelessness and loss are common companions of infertility.  Paula describes the loss of a child she conceived only in her imagination.  She illuminates her struggle in persuading God to grant her greatest wish.  ISBN:  978-1-4866-1156-0

Perfect Love

emptiness                                                                                                  (Photo courtesy of Bing Images)

With empty hands of infertility comes a certain determination of wanting to do things with absolute perfection.  In longing for a child I found such determination in searching out possible solutions.  I however could never reach that point of doing everything absolutely right.  In many ways I perceived I had failed when my attempts to conceive or to adopt because I could not accomplish once simple task of becoming a mother in the physical sense.

This sense of failure brought out in me such a longing to be released from that fear of  childless future, to find a place of peace and a sense of being loved.

Some days in pain, some days in quiet thoughts, I would approach God.  I’d bow my knee and connect once again with the One who knew me so very well.  Here at my Heavenly Father’s feet I poured out my heart.

February 3

Lord, life hurts!  I know you have a plan for me and for all this but I don’t understand.  Can you understand how my heart breaks, how my heart cannot mend.  I want a child so very badly.  I feel so very alone.  Perfect Love is who You are Lord Jesus.  It is the greatest description of You God.  You are Love and when I come in close to You I pray you would envelop me in that love and displace the fear, displace this pain.I want that peace to walk in, simply to trust You and let You love me with that perfect love. My desire is to be made perfect in love.”

“My dear one, It is true that there cannot be fear and love together.  They are opposite.  Fear is the confident expectation of bad, or dread and it’s presence seeks to drive out My love.  You cannot walk in both simultaneously, one always casts out the other.  Fear and love cannot coexist together.Fear is tormenting and your prayer to be made perfect in love is a good prayer.  One that I am working in you to perfect.  Perfect love and perfect peace go hand in hand.  I am perfect and you too are perfect in Me.  You are and have everything complete in you.”

There is no fear in love for perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment.  but he who fears has not been made perfect in love.  1 John 4;18

Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called the Sons of God. 1 John 3:1

empty hand to open arms ebook (1) for Facebook, etc   http://www.emptyhandsopenarms.com  and available through Word Alive Press and wherever fine Christian books are sold.

Hopelessness and loss are common companions of infertility.  Paula describes the loss of a child she conceived only in her imagination.  She illuminates her struggle in persuading God to grant her greatest wish.  ISBN:  978-1-4866-1156-0