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The Long & Hard Road

No one ever told me this season in life would be so hard.
More importantly, no one ever told me it would be so…lonely.
So very lonely, at times.

My husband and I both are experiencing very hard seasons in life. He is getting used to a new and exciting, yet stressful, job. Consequently, often (like tonight) the last month-and-a-half, because of the stress and/or lack of sleep the night before, he gets tucked into bed when there are still hours left of daylight. I, too, am getting used to a new job, and have experienced my share of long hours and work-related stress, though my job is thankfully slowing down and becoming much more life-giving. It also helps that I am now 2 months post- sinus surgery, so I am no longer heavily drugged or in pain; therefore, I can think straight, unlike when I first started. 🙂

For my Loves, his career, though he loves it, is his main source of stress and exhaustion right now.  For me, it is my empty arms and nursery, especially around Mother’s Day. For both of us, this is the hardest season of our marriage, and in some ways, our lives.

Last night, it was John’s turn to not sleep. He sat awake in the family room with his Bible,  sermons on his phone, and his nightlight while I snoozed away. I, on the other hand, had my turn the two nights before, when while he sawed logs, I slept no more than 2 hours in 48. I tried so, so hard to stay awake with him, as I usually do. The Lunesta I found in the cupboard from my surgery, though, beckoned my attention and wooed me into a deep, much-needed time of 12 hours of rest.

 To say that life is hard around the Payne’s right now is an understatement. We are exhausted, in all senses of the word. We are also closer than we have ever been. It’s funny how, if we are willing, the Lord refuses to waste our (and your) suffering, even the kind that involves the most stinging of pain.

 

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Yesterday, for us, was in a way a living hell. We both didn’t make it through church without crying. John got close but broke down at the end. I never had a chance. We both cried some more later on in the day. To make matters worse, I had spent the last 2 nights up in the dark crying out to the Lord to please take this cup of sorrow from me.


He has chosen to call me to wait for earthly motherhood, and though I can quote you all the verses and know I am to be content, sometimes I am just not OK with that. I know that’s not the “Jesus” answer, or something of which I am proud, but that’s the truth. I can quote you all the verses (in context) and exegete the passages, but sometimes all I can manage to pray is, “I believe. Lord, help my unbelief!” To be honest, this road of barrenness has been much harder for me than it ever was to almost die at the age of 19. Can I say that without you judging me and calling me melodramatic? Maybe not, but I am going to say it, anyway.

Sometimes, the pain that is involved in not having our child who passed away, here or earth or any child at all, is just too much to bear for my weary soul.  With each passing announcement of another pending or new birth, I feel like part of my heart is being ripped from my chest, that I am slowly dying inside. I desperately long to be a mother, much more than I ever knew until I was asked to journey the road less traveled that involves not being able to have them. My husband struggles, too, though he tries to keep it together outwardly more than I do; for both of us, though we deal with it differently, it’s our Cross that we daily bear.

As I said on Facebook last night, though my journey is not normal (especially in my circle of friends), it is not unique. I know that. I know, even though Satan want me to feel like I’m the only one, there are millions of women who are either barren or who have miscarried; they understand my pain in a very tangible way. As I also said, though, we women need each other. We need each other, no matter if we are the mother of 8 kids or on our 8th year of painful infertility. We all have something to learn from, and more importantly to offer,each other.

We need to rejoice with those who rejoice just as easily as we mourn with those who mourn. There are a women on both sides of the coin, women who deserve to be loved and fully met in their current season, even if that season is the polar opposite of ours. Is that always easy? No. It is always necessary? Yes, for the benefit of all involved.

Why? Why force ourselves to enter someone’s joy when we are hurting or embrace their sorrow when our life is far from sorrowful?
Because that’s what Jesus would do and calls us to do, as well.
After all, we are to be His hands and feet.

Why? Because that’s how we learn to do live life – the good and the bad of it – together as the Body of Christ.
If you just focus on the good, you lose sight of our utter dependence on Him, of the perfect Redemption to come.
If you just focus on the bad, you lose sight of the beauty of grace and God’s constant hand in our lives.

So, even though my arms are still empty this Mother’s Day, and I just experienced 2 of the darkest days in my life, I publicly celebrate and honor those to whom I am close who are mothers. I love you all and think you are doing a great job. Happy Mother’s Day.

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Filed under 2014, Adoption, Baby, grace, Life, Marriage, Purpose, Sanctification

October & Adoption: A Call To Prayer & Fasting

I just love October! 😀

Every year, I wait in anxious anticipation for these 31 days of Fall bliss. Though we are apart much of the year, my love for October never wanes. Every year around this time I look forward to my pilgrimage to Mennonite Mum Mecca (what I’ve lovingly named a local nursery), so I can pick out my gargantuan mum (for only $5.50!!) for my front porch. I unashamedly dig through the pumpkin bin at Meijer (go ahead, judge me!) for the largest, most uniformed-in-size pumpkin, because they’re all the same price but far from created equal. Oh, October, it’s true – You and your gorgeous foliage, crisp air which begs for boots and sweaters to be worn, and granted permission to indulge in all things pumpkin makes you oh so beautiful to me. 

While reflecting on my love for October this morning during my devotional time, the Lord gave me an idea to make these 31 days not just fun for me but spiritually meaningful to me. Really, Lord, you’d do that for me? Yes, please! The best part? All of you get to be involved! 🙂

From October 1-31, we’re asking people to join us, as we boldly come before the throne of Grace regarding our adoption. Now that we’re officially “legal,” due to having a completed home study (insert huge sigh of relief) as of last month, now seems like a perfect time to start our quest to involve others in our journey to parenthood.

[Update: We are extending our call for prayer & fasting into November. Additional prayer requests are below in bold.]

Will you join us?

Before we begin, here are some things you need to know:

  • We as a couple are committing to being in daily prayer, as we have been, for our adoption.
  • We firmly believe the Lord is working in our midst and is going to make us a family of three, in His timing and way, for His glory.
  • We trust and believe that the Lord has known our child before the foundation of time and has specifically called us to love and raise them.
  • We are committed to loving our child with reckless abandonment and doing everything within our power to bring them home to us.

Especially during this month of corporate prayer and fasting, though oftentimes our situation can make us feel isolated and, we rejoice in the fact we’re not alone. We know that there is POWER in corporate prayer and are excited to see how the Lord uses this sacred time to strengthen our (and your) faith and further our adoption for His glory. I saw the power of a corporate call to prayer around this time 7 years ago, when I was finishing the first edition of Breathtaking, and am expecting just as awesome things to come of this time around.

We believe the Word calls us to pray not only in an expectant, but also a specific, manner, so we’d ask that you partner with us to pray/fast for the following:

Prioritized, Immediate & Specific Requests:

#1: The Lord’s Glory – Most importantly, that through all aspects of our adoption, the Lord would be glorified.

“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”
Isaiah 26:8

#2: Child(ren)’s Birth Parents:

  • Pray that they both will come to know the Lord, if they don’t already know Him.
  • Pray that they both the birth mother and birth father (if applicable) feel nothing but loved and respected by not only us but everyone with whom they have contact while the adoption is being finalized.

#3: Our Marketing Plans:

  • Please pray for me as I work on completing the “life book,” which will be used as a tool to introduce potential birth mothers to us.
  • Pray for wisdom and clarity on what to include (as this will be the first impression birth mothers are given of us) and how to disseminate that information.
  • It may sound silly, but as one who is not crafty by nature and is highly sentimental/takes this stuff really, really seriously, the “life book” planning really stresses me out, so please pray for peace to reign when I’m working on it.
  • Pray for the website design and our friend, Becky, who is helping us with both the “life book” and the website. We hope to launch that site (“The Paynes Adopt”) in the very near future.

#4: Our Finances:

  • Adoption is very, very expensive and can come with many unplanned expenses (potentially traveling out of the state, etc.). Please pray that we are able to complete our adoption debt free, which has always been our goal, no matter if we adopt within the state of Ohio or not.
  • Pray for me as I look into adoption-related grants and plans strategic and planning well-received fundraising ideas to help supplement our adoption account. *If you have ideas for fundraising, please feel free to share!

#5: Our Spiritual & Emotional Health/Stress Level:

  • This process can be extremely emotionally-taxing for both of us for different reasons. The stress level at our home can run very high right now, as we prepare tangibly and emotionally to add a little one (or two) to our home with potentially only a few days’ notice.
  • That we will keep our hearts open to what the Lord would want to teach us during this season of waiting and walk into our adoption spiritually and emotionally whole individually and corporately-speaking.

If you would feel comfortable sharing with us your commitment to join with us in concentrated prayer this month for Baby Payne, please either send me a message or join our Facebook group dedicated to our month-long event. If you are wanting to commit to praying certain days, please feel free to share that with us, as well. Obviously, we will continue praying after October ends, but we’re rather excited about seeing how God moves amongst us this month!

Thanks in advance for your prayers! God, have Your way!

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Filed under Adoption, Baby, Prayer