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Archive for May, 2010

I heard this message Sunday in church and although it touched me a lot, I just felt the time was not right to share it with you.  Then I watched Joy.ce Mey.er’s TV program and she talked about it in her message too.  So I guess the time is right after all.

1 Samuel 17: 4-7 (NIV):  4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall.  5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armour of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back.  7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield-bearer went ahead of him.”

Goliath was huge – a giant, in my Bible it says he was 3 meters tall.  Everybody was afraid of him.  He gave the Israelites a challenge:  they must elect somebody to fight him.  There weren’t many volunteers, even though Saul the king promised his daughter as wife and some other privileges if somebody could defeat Goliath. 1 Samuel 17: 23-25 (NIV):  23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it.  24 When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.  25 Now the Israelites had been saying, Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father’s family from taxes in Israel.   The task was so daunting that there was only 1 person interested in defeating Goliath and that was David.  But David did not rise to the challenge because of the promises of Saul.  He was not interested in the reward.  He was upset because of the way Goliath spoke of the Israelites and of God.  1 Samuel 17: 26 (NIV):  “26 …Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God? & 1 Samuel 17: 36 (NIV):  “36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God”. 

1 Samuel 17: 31-37 (NIV):  31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.  32 David said to Saul, Let no-one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.  33 Saul replied, You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.  34 But David said to Saul, Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.  36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.      37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. Saul said to David, Go, and the LORD be with you. 

Saul heard that David wanted to fight Goliath and he called David to him.  He was worried that David would be killed, because he was still very young and not very big.  David told him that he had to fight lions and bears to protect his father’s sheep.   He said that if he can kill lions and bears then he would be able to kill Goliath.  And he did kill Goliath.  He did not use any fancy weapons and armour, he just used what he knew how to use and he trusted that God would help him.  1 Samuel 17: 49-51 (NIV):  49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.  50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.  51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.

My question to you is:  “What is the Goliath in your life, what problem is so huge that you may think it is impossible to beat?  I want you to think back to other big problems in you past – let’s call them the lions and bears – that you had to defeat, and succeeded in defeating.  When you look back and see what you have done, also in difficult circumstances, it makes it a little easier to believe that you can defeat the Goliath too.   It may be that you are afraid, there is no shame in that – Joyce Meyer says we have to do it afraid then.  If we read the story of David and Goliath it does not really seem that David was afraid, but I’m sure he must have been.  I’m sure he defeated Goliath afraid – it says in 1 Samuel 17: 48 (NIV):  48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly towards the battle line to meet him.   Maybe he ran up to Goliath, just to get it over and done with, before he could chicken out…

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A prayer request please!

I have mentioned before that my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer last December.  She had to have an emergency hysterectomy and she received 5 weeks radiation treatment afterwards.  My mom had some abdominal pain recently and her GP referred her for another CT scan.  There was a difference between last week’s scan and the first one she had in January and yesterday she heard that she now has cancer in her para aortic lymph nodes.  So she has to do another round of radiation for 5 weeks with chemotherapy once a week during that same time.

Fortunately she had the abdominal pain – her next appointment was only 9 July and we are very thankful that it was picked up at least 7 weeks earlier.  She has a very positive attitude and she is convinced that she will beat this cancer too!  Unfortunately I goog.led  para aortic lymph node cancer and I scared me a lot.  What I did see before I stopped was that it seems a common problem that emerges after ovarian or uterine cancer.  I just pray to God that they were able to catch it in time, and that they will be able to treat it…

I also want to ask you to pray for a very dear friend of mine whose dad was diagnosed with a very aggressive prostate cancer last Friday.  They did a biopsy last week and now he has to wait 6 weeks before they can operate on him.  It does not make sense to me, but that is apparently how it works.  She is very close to her parents and the thought of losing her dad is absolutely terrifying.

Please keep these two people in your prayers; please ask for complete healing from the cancer.  Jesus promises us in Matthew 18:19 (NIV): 19 Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”

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Revelation 11:18 (NIV):  18 The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.

I was really struck by the notes in my reference Bible for the above verse.  It says:  “God rewards his children in the Bible according to what they deserve.   We see time and again in the Old Testament that obedience very often resulted in a reward in this life (Deuteronomy 28).  But obedience does not always lead to an immediate reward.  If that was the case the all “good” people would be rich, and suffering would always have been the result of sin.   If we were used to being rewarded for every good deed, then very soon we would start to think that we are “good”.  Then we would do good deeds for selfish reasons.  It is true that God will reward us for our conduct here on earth (Revelation 20:12 (NIV):  12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.), but our greatest reward will be that we will live for eternity with Him!”

Luke 17:7-10 (NIV):  7 Suppose one of you had a servant ploughing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’?  8 Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’?  9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?  10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’

My reference Bible says:  “We are only doing what is expected of us when we are obedient to God.  That means that He never owes us anything, no matter how “good” we may be.  That means that we never have to be rewarded if we avoid sin, as that is also what is expected of us.  Do you sometimes feel like you deserve some credit because you serve God?  Obedience is our duty and cannot be seen as a special deed of charity.”

You will see I put the word good in inverted commas, because there is no such thing as a “good” person.  We are all sinners, and because of the sin in our life we cannot be called “good”.  The only person that was without sin was Jesus Christ and therefore He is the only one that can be called good.  We often think of ourselves as “good” and it is not easy to accept that in the eyes of God we are not “good”.  That does not mean that He does not love us because we are not “good”.  He knows it is impossible for us not to sin, but we must still confess those sins and ask for forgiveness. 

I once heard Joyce Meyer say that a lot of people expect God to give them what they want and when they eventually have what they want they will work on their attitude and everything that is wrong in their life.  She said that it is imperative that we find God and change ourselves first, like He wants us to be, and then we will most probably receive what we want.  It does not work the other way around!  So what do you know must change in your life?

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Welcome ICLW’ers:

This is the second month I’m participating in IComLeavWe, and last month I was in my 2ww of my 3rd fresh IVF.  On the last day I got the excellent news that I finally got my BFP after 10 years and 5 months of trying.  I am 7 weeks pregnant today and we got to see the heartbeat of our little one with our first scan yesterday.  It was the most amazing experience of my life!

I thought I would share some random facts about myself, just so that you can get to know me better:

  • I’m the older of 2 girls and I’m 14 months older than my sister.
  • My parents are Dutch immigrants, but I was born here in South Africa.  We did live in the Netherlands for 3 years when I was 6-9 years old.
  • I’m rather tall – 1.77m or about 5ft 10 inches (I hope I converted it correctly)
  • We have 4 godchildren – my sister’s 2 girls (MC is 6 and TM is 4) and DH’s older brother’s 2 sons (MA is 4 and WJ is 2).
  • We are currently babysitting our 2 nieces as their parents are in the UK.
  • DH is exactly 6 months older than I, to the day.
  • DH and I went to the same school, but we didn’t know each other then, although I was friends with some of the boys in his class.  I knew of him, but he can’t remember ever seeing me there.
  • On our first date DH asked me if I ever wanted to have children – just to check that we are on the same page.  He almost scared me off there.
  • We only met 3 weeks before my 22nd birthday, and he bought me an expensive gold ring, although he hardly knew me…
  • The longest I ever dated someone else before DH was 1 month.

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Our 1st scan!

Our long awaited appointment arrived at last and we got to see one healthy heartbeat!  We are so happy!  I never thought the stress before your first scan would be just as bad as going for the pregnancy test!  Yesterday afternoon I started getting bad cramps and lower back pain and it was so bad I had to lie down a bit!  I had my poor husband all stressed up, because I said it feels similar to AF cramps.  Poor man – he was up at 1:40 am this morning and vomiting!  To make matters worse I had two tiny spots of brownish discharge, so we were a bundle of nerves when we arrived at the clinic this morning.

The doctor says that there was a 2nd sack but it was empty, so it implanted but did not develop any further.  Surprisingly both DH and I are not really upset about it, as we are just so happy to see that one heartbeat.  Baby measured at 7.1mm and at 6w4d – it’s 2 days behind what I actually am, but I’m not going to worry about it!  I trust in God!  He will protect our precious baby!  The doctor did not measure the heartbeat but he says it’s strong and he estimates it was beating between 140 and 150 bpm.  The doctor is happy so we are also happy!

Here is a picture of the scan:

Thank you God for this wonderful miracle of life you have given us!

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I was speaking to a lady from our church a while back.  She asked me if we had any children, so of course the answer was no.  It was last year sometime while I was doing my 6th or 7th IUI.  So she asked why we did not have any children.  I felt I had to answer her honestly, so I said we have some problems, and that we have tried many treatments, but that I’m in a happier place as I’ve handed my infertility over to God, and that I trust that He will do what he believes is right, and that we are in the process of doing another IUI. 

Her next comment completely floored me – She said:  “Isn’t it weird that we are quick to hand our problems over to God, but just as quick to take it back?”  She implied that I took it back from God because I was having treatments, but that was not how I was seeing it at all!  I trusted that God had moved us on to the path of fertility treatments as a way of getting pregnant.  I was not only expecting a miracle pregnancy, without medical intervention, but I also believe that God can work through doctors and through medical procedures and with the help of medicine.  Please do not understand me wrong – I do believe miracles can still happen without medical intervention, and I was certainly hoping for one like that for us, but like I said I believe God can perform miracles through doctors too, and I felt that He would decide which miracle it would be for us!

At another time other friends of ours from church once told us that it is wrong to go for treatments like acupuncture, as it is a traditional Chinese medical procedure, and as such not based on Christian practices or principles.  We did not get into an argument with them, as we felt it is not worth it, and we valued our friendship too much.  We decided to agree to disagree.  You see I’ve had severe problems with a Sciatic nerve pinching me in the past and I was in a lot of pain for about six months and the only thing that helped in the end was acupuncture.    Now I thought – what if the Chinese invented operations?  Would that also have been wrong and could you never go for an operation, even if it is life threatening?  Or for that matter any form of treatment that we see as western medicine? 

This argument made me think about our fertility treatments – my one FS is not a Christian, I know that for a fact, but how many of my previous doctors that ever treated me were Christian?  None of them as far as I know, because none of them ever spoke of Jesus or God.  How can we ever know exactly what someone’s religious beliefs are?  I’ve known people who said they were Christians, yet they do not act like Christians… If we want to argue like that then we need to make sure that we only deal with Christians in every aspect of our lives, and that is totally impossible.  You cannot just deal with Christians, and that is certainly not what Jesus advocated!  If you read the New Testament he was always with the sinners, the people that nobody wanted to be with, but those that needed Him the most!  I certainly believe that it is not Jesus’ will that we isolate us from non-Christians.  How will we ever be able to lead anyone to God if we were like that?

I’ve learnt in the past few years that you should always go back to God’s word, if you want to know what He wants you to do.  Now there were no fertility treatments or anything similar in the Bible that I could find, so we had to try and use logic, to deduct what we thought was God’s will.  I had quite a debate with myself, and even with my DH and in the end we decided that we believe that it is God’s will to work through doctors, even doctors that are not Christian, and that God would not have allowed us humans to develop medical procedures like IVF and IUI if it was not His will.   If it was not His will those procedures would not be successful!  We decided that we will still glorify His Name and give our thanks to Him, if I should get pregnant, because we will still see it as a miracle from Him! 

What do you think?  Did I take my infertility back from God as soon as I handed it over to Him?  Did we not trust in Him because we did IUI and IVF?  I do not think so, and the one thing that makes me so sure about it is the fact that I am finally pregnant with the help of a non-Christian doctor and IVF.  I really do believe it is still a miracle from God!

I realize I might have stepped on some toes here, as I know for instance that the Roman Catholic Church does not advocate all fertility treatments, but I would really love some comments from everybody on their opinion on this matter.  It certainly seems that there are people from every church (definitely from our church) that believe that we must just trust in God and not do fertility treatments.  I’m not easily offended – that’s another lesson I’ve learnt, and I certainly respect other’s opinions, so please feel free to voice your opinion!

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I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel so strongly about it that I need to write about it again.  I basically felt that it was almost impossible for me to ever get pregnant.  I just went through all the treatments of the past year, just so that I could say:  “At least we tried.”  I felt that I didn’t want to regret not trying when it was too late.  Quite a few times my FS would berate me for my negative attitude when I went for a scan, as the moment I saw a polyp I would make a comment that the cycle would not work.  I did not have much hope, and I was starting to feel that I was just wasting money towards the end.  DH and I really did discuss the fact that our 2nd IVF and the following FET’s would be our last treatments ever and that we would make peace with the fact that we would be childless if any of those did not work.  We never expected to have just 1 FET, and that almost all our frozen embies would not survive the thaw.

Why was I so negative?  Simply because we were trying for so long already and we have never had any success before.  I just thought that if I could not get pregnant after 10 years of trying, why would anything change?  I did not know of any people who were trying for so long and had success.  Yes, I knew of people trying for so long or longer, but they did not have their baby or even a pregnancy yet.  I know 2 ladies that gave up hope and went for hysterectomies, and I know one of them really did regret it afterwards and I guess that’s why I felt we had to try at least.

But things changed on the 10th of March this year, I remember the date so well because it was my dad’s birthday.  That was the day we had our appointment with our FS about what went wrong with our FET.  I just wanted to go, get closure and get on with my life.  My FS said that day that I must not give up hope – he knows I can get pregnant, and that it is just a matter of time before I do.  He said that our fresh embryo’s were very good quality, much better than expected for a woman of my age and in his opinion my body is much younger than my actual age.  He had a plan for a low stimulation protocol that obviously worked out much cheaper than a normal IVF as the medication was so much cheaper.

I started this blog and I went through my diary with lessons I’ve learnt recently and I was reminded of the following two people:

Matthew 9:20-22 (NIV):  20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.  21 She said to herself, If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.  22 Jesus turned and saw her. Take heart, daughter, he said, your faith has healed you. And the woman was healed from that moment.”

John 5:5-9 (NIV):  5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.  6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, Do you want to get well?  7 Sir, the invalid replied, I have no-one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.  8 Then Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.  9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked… ”

I suddenly saw the numbers jump out at me – 12 years and 38 years.  These two people had problems for a longer time than I, and Jesus healed them immediately.  I realised I had to get faith and my mindset had to change.  A dear friend from Fertilicare site suggested a wonderful book to help me in those areas (Super.natural Child.birth by Jac.kie Mi.ze) and it did help me tremendously.  I was just what I needed and I got it at the right time.  I’m still using it now because it deals with every aspect from infertility, to miscarriages to pregnancy and giving birth.  It is a relatively cheap book that reads very easily and quick, but you can refer back to it time and again.

We could not make up our minds whether we would be doing the 3rd fresh IVF, until a day or so before AF was due.  We were scared to try again, but eventually we decided to go for it.  Today I’m so glad we did, because I am eventually pregnant.  There was a time where my attitude was very important – I still got a polyp during this cycle, but this time I had the tools to deal with it.  I prayed and confessed scriptures over that polyp and on the day of ET it was almost gone!  That surely helped me with my faith during the 2WW.  Some days it’s still hard to believe that I’m pregnant, but mostly I am thankful for every moment since we have received the good news!  To me this is indeed a miracle pregnancy!  Even the sister at the clinic said so.  Her exact words were: “See miracles still happen today!”

So what I’m trying to say to everyone reading this is:  “Do not be discouraged by your circumstances!  Miracles still happen today and if it can happen to me it can happen to you!  There is nothing special about me or my DH that makes us more worthy than any of you!  Trust in God and have faith!  We might not understand why, or get impatient with the timing, but God has a plan, and the realisation of that plan might be sooner than you think!  Do not give up hope!” 

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