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Posts Tagged ‘Doubts’

26 Weeks pregnant:

Last night I realized I’m getting very close to starting the third trimester, and I had a little freak out. It feels like there is still so much to do to get ready, so I guess I’ll have to get started with it all. I think I must start with making a list, and then work through that.

Except for my back pain, which is much better by the way, I still feel very good. I enrolled again at the gym for the next three months, because I just wasn’t getting the exercise I needed by walking or swimming at home (like I thought I would do), but I’m taking it easy for now, since I know I’m not fit. But I need to get fit for the birth – my midwife said that natural birth is quite a cardiac workout and I need to be fit for that. One lady that helps out with me at the feeding scheme, her daughter gave birth naturally recently and it was so easy for her, but she was very fit. So that inspired me to get myself off to gym again.

I’ve noticed recently that I’m starting to look lopsided – depending on how our little baby is lying. The other day he was lying on the left side and I had a huge bulge on my tummy on the left and nothing on the right. Also I’ve noticed that my breasts aren’t always the same size. Last Saturday we visited my sister and just before we left I told DH that my one breast looks at least 2 bra sizes bigger than the other. “O, don’t worry,” he said, “they will probably not notice…” Well I think within the first hour my sister said, “Let me just rearrange your top a bit, it looks like your one boob is so much bigger than the other…” I had to confess that it wasn’t the top; my one breast was bigger than the other. But fortunately it seems it was only temporary because they look about the same size again.

Baby is kicking harder and harder and he gets times when he is really active. Last week while we were lying in bed, spooning, DH could feel him kick in his back. Fortunately it’s not sore yet, everybody keeps telling me it will start to get sore and uncomfortable, but I’m not there yet. We still love it to bits and cannot get enough of it.

One advantage of pregnancy that I wish I could keep afterwards is my hair isn’t nearly as oily as it used to be and I don’t have to wash it as often. It also feels more manageable. I’ve always had problems with certain parts curling, but the rest is mostly straight and it seems a lot straighter nowadays. I don’t have to battle to get the kinks out anymore.

DH and I have been researching antenatal classes for the last 2 weeks or so and speaking to a lot of women we personally know who have had children recently and we have decided not to attend antenatal classes. The main reason being we don’t think we will benefit from it much. I have researched the top places that were personally recommended to us and it seems that most of the course content we know already. A lot was covered by our water birth class, especially the important bits regarding the lead up to the birth, the actual birth, birthing positions, what can go wrong, c-sections, and after the birth off course. Then usually they have at least one session on deciding on a caregiver, hospital, the different birth experiences and to choose which you want, which has already been decided by us. Things like the birth plan and breastfeeding will all be done with our midwife, and that is usually 2 more sessions and we think we can research the other things we might still need ourselves.

But I asked DH to give me a commitment for one day where we will make a list of all questions we have, as well as those things we think we might not know that is usually covered with antenatal classes, and then we will work through it together and search for those answers ourselves.

You see, some ladies that know us quite well, and especially those who have trusted us to babysit their children, are confident that between DH and I, we know how to look after a baby. We babysat different children for sometimes a week and up to three weeks, where the parents had to travel abroad, and could not take their children with. The ages differed a lot from small babies up to 6 years or so, and we even had to look after a baby with colic and who was less than six months old at that stage, together with his 2 year old brother. DH helped me so much during those times that I’m very confident that he knows most there is to know.

DH also feels that I’m so good at doing research, due to our past infertility issues and now during the pregnancy that he says he does not think it would be worthwhile to spend a lot of money on 6 or 7 classes and we might only benefit from 1 or 2 of those. So we decided to save that money rather for other classes that seem beneficial to attend after baby is born.

(Ps. It seems that Shumi is doing a lot better again this morning. The swelling around his eye and at the top of his head has gone down a lot and he can see through his eye again. He also greeted us this morning with a toy and wanted to play, play and play. KT was very happy about that, because she always wants to play. So we decided to keep an eye on him and see how he does. At first I thought the swelling was from the tumour, but I’m not so sure anymore, firstly because it came up so quickly and also because it seems to be going down again. It also looks like he has still some will to live in him – He wanted to get into the car this morning to go with DH to work, and DH said to me he will feel too guilty to take him to the vet now, to be put to sleep, when he seems to be better and he loves to ride in the car so much! Praise the Lord! Both DH and I feel so bad that we waivered in our faith…)

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Let me discuss all the limitations I put on God.  Some of them I only got revelation on when I listened to the teaching of An.drew Wom.mack (see previous 3 posts) but some of it I learnt a while ago already from other sources.  If you are a regular reader of my blog since the start you will recognize some of the older revelations as they have been mentioned before.  At that stage I didn’t realize consciously that I was limiting God, I just learnt that I could influence things by changing my attitude, or my behaviour.

The first big thing I did wrong was by feeling that I will never get pregnant.  Not naturally or with the help of any FS.   Especially when the IVF’s were are failing.  I didn’t consciously think – I will not get pregnant, I was always hopeful, but those thoughts crept into my mind often.  I remember when I went to my first FS – the sister there was measuring my height and weight, taking my blood pressure, etc and she said, “don’t worry you will get your baby.”  The first thought that jumped into my head was, “no, it will not happen.”  I tried to change that thought off course, one never wants to think it, but I was actually a bit upset after she said it, and I couldn’t figure out why.  Let me tell you we weren’t even trying for a baby very long by then.  Not even a year, so to think those thoughts were totally ridiculous. 

Later I would think very often, “I am infertile and the only way I would get pregnant is with IVF.”  Why?  I don’t know.  I thought it was intuition or something like that, but now I recognize it as a lie from the devil.  Now I see that the way we think limits God.  If I think I cannot get pregnant, then I will not get pregnant, because my thinking limits God.

Thinking and what we believe are closely related.  What started out as thoughts soon changed into believing I could not get pregnant, especially after a few years passed.  The longer it took the more I believed.  Eventually I realized my mistake when I read the book “Super.natural Child.birth” by Jac.kie Mi.ze.  That was just before I had my last IVF.  I was able to believe that I could get pregnant, but only with the help of doctors and with specific medication like Intralipid therapy.  It worked – I did get pregnant, but unfortunately I miscarried. 

After my miscarriage I had to learn that I must believe that I can get pregnant, but without the help of doctors or medication.  It helped a lot to learn about God, who He is, what His will is and what Jesus has done for us.  In the mean time Shumi also got sick and I had to learn to believe that he will be healed from cancer.  It helped off course to listen to teachings like the Div.ine Healing Tech.nician from Cur.ry Bla.ke.

Even though I believed there were times of doubt and unbelief.  Times when things didn’t seem to be working, then I had thoughts of, “this is never going to work, or what if it doesn’t work?”  I must say in hindsight I can see that every now and then when things were going well, something might happen that would cause us to take a few steps back again and usually it was when I doubted, or was in unbelief.  I was still strongly moved by what I saw or heard, and the times when things seemed bad, I would waiver.  In those times I was tying God’s hands again until I was able to get some message of hope or faith, and then things would get better again.

In the beginning I was limiting God a lot with fear, fear of never having children or fear of Shumi dying.  I realized it was wrong, and even wrote a post about fear, but I didn’t realize exactly what else I was fearful about.  Last week I had a dream, or rather almost a nightmare, where I woke up in the early hours of the morning and suddenly I saw clearly what some of my other fears are. 

Fear of success:  I realized that if I get pregnant and Shumi is totally healed, then this supernatural healing is a huge responsibility.  I would have to help every single person I know, I get into contact with and actually go out and seek others to lay hands on them and get them healed, because if I don’t then it would be my fault if they are in pain, don’t get healed or even die. 

Fear of failure:  Not only a fear of not having children or that Shumi might die, but also that if I do try to help others and I fail, they might get upset with me, or worse they might not believe in God.  A fear that I could actually cause other people to not get saved, or to believe that God is not real. 

Fear of rejection and criticism:  This one is especially hard and I am mostly talking about people I care about.  Like our friends and family and our church.  I am fully aware that most people don’t believe in this stuff, and that they might think I lost my marbles.  I’m also scared they would want nothing to do with me.  Many preachers I have listened to have said that they were rejected by their church, so I know that is a real possibility.  I’m not worried so much about what strangers think of me, or whether they reject me. 

Fear of the unknown:  If I do get over all the other fears and I am successful then I guess I’ll have to change my life completely and that unknown factor is scary.  I’m starting to realize that God might have an amazing plan for my life, which I never would have thought possible, but that would definitely put me out of my comfort zone.  It will take a lot of courage to be obedient to follow God’s leading on this, but I am in a situation where I’m basically at rock bottom.  I’m not willing to give up my dream of having children or letting Shumi go, so I guess that means study, study, study God’s Word and learn as much as I can, and God is also leading me to start to lay hands on others (here comes fear of rejection again!)

The last thing that I learnt about limiting God is that I have to start seeing myself pregnant and to start seeing Shumi completely healed.  That was something I could never do, even after my pregnancy last year.  I would hope that I would get pregnant or that Shumi get’s healed, but I couldn’t see it.  So I’m taking time out every day to imagine these things. 

Some of these things are in the past.  I have learnt and dealt with it and it’s not a problem anymore.  Some things I think are sorted out but every now and then I have to deal with it again, and others I still have to sort out.  But I am working on it, and by God’s grace, I’m sure I’ll be able to conquer it soon.

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The previous post was getting too long so I’ll continue with An.drew Wom.mack’s teaching Don’t limit God

“Fear limits God:

There is a natural resistance towards the unknown, a natural resistance towards change.   Most people know that there is more than what they are experiencing, they are praying for change but they don’t want to do anything differently.  They are afraid to do something different.  That’s the definition of insanity to look for change and yet to do the same thing over and over, and to expect different results.  I’m telling you if you want to take the limits off God you are going to learn to deal with fear, because it’s risky serving God.  People are just afraid to do something and yet they aren’t enjoying where they are.

2 Kings 7:3-10 (NIV):  3 Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, Why stay here until we die?  4 If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’— the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.  5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!  7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.  8 The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also. 9 Then they said to each other, We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.   10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there— not a sound of anyone— only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.”

This was when the northern 10 Kingdoms were surrounded by the Arameans, and they tried to starve them out, they blockaded the city and there was starvation.  In the midst of this there were 4 lepers outside the city gate and they asked themselves, “Why stay here until we die?”  Man, I like that!  They said, “We’ve got to do something, if we don’t do anything we are going to die.”  There are some of you that know that if something doesn’t change, you aren’t going to make it.  There is not a hope of you living a victorious, joyful, fulfilled complete life.  You know that your life right now is not the way that it’s supposed to be and yet you are afraid to try anything different.    That’s what these lepers said.  These 4 lepers decided that they could just as well go out of the city, what was the worst thing that could happen?  They could die, but they were dying already!  They argued that they at least have a chance of being spared if they go to the camp of the Arameans.  I love that reasoning, I love it!

It’s the same with the disciples when they were in the boat and drowning in the storm.  Jesus came walking on the very thing that was killing everybody else.  They were drowning yet everybody said, “Peter don’t get out of the boat!”  What’s the deal?  There was as much water in the boat as there was outside, they were going down if they stayed where they were and I can guarantee you all those guys in the boat were criticizing him, “you’re foolish to get out of the boat!”  But he was going to drown if he stayed in it.  There was very little difference between being in the boat and out of the boat.  The boat was going down it was the smartest thing he ever did to get out of the boat!  You know you can’t walk on water if you don’t get out of the boat!

There are some of you who want to see miraculous things happen in your life, and yet you are so afraid of doing anything that put you in a position where you need a miracle!  You’re playing it too safe. You don’t ever want there to be a bump in the road and yet you want a great testimony.  You have to have a test before you get the mony.  If you want a testimony you are going to have to go through some things, you’re going to have to get out of what is easy.

Here are some examples of fear that can limit God: fear of people, fear of man, fear of failure, fear of success and fear of persecution.

Unbelief limits God:

This is related to fear, because fear is unbelief or unbelief is fear.  There are so many scriptures on this topic. I don’t even know where to start. 

Matthew 21:22 (NIV):  22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” 

Mark 11:23 (NIV):  23 I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.”

If you doubt God then you are going to limit what God can do in your life, and a lot of people don’t recognize this but brothers and sisters we live in a culture that is full of doubt.  We are riddled with unbelief, we are baptized in unbelief and most churches are full of unbelief.  I’m not against the church, I’m for the church, but what I’m saying is that there is a tremendous amount of fear, doubt and unbelief.  If Jesus was to come into our current religious setting today I’d guarantee you He would turn everything upside down.  He wouldn’t last 3 and half years in our religious culture – we would kill Him sooner.  We are riddled with unbelief.

Matthew 17:14-23 (NIV):  14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him.  15 Lord, have mercy on my son, he said. He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water.  16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.  17 O unbelieving and perverse generation, Jesus replied, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.  18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.  19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, Why couldn’t we drive it out?  20-21 He replied, Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Let me say this, today if most people went to a church and said my son has seizures and he falls and he hurts himself and he falls into the fire and he foams at the mouth, how would the average pastor respond to that?  The average pastor would say, “Well what do the doctors say?  Is he on medication?  What treatment?  Well you need to see a specialist, let me pray that God will bless the doctors.”  He will ask God to use the doctors and give them wisdom, that’s the way that most pastors would respond to that. 

The church hasn’t accepted responsibility for meeting the needs of people and so today the average person would say were supposed to be compassionate, were supposed to show sympathy, were supposed to say, “God bless you, I’m going to pray for you, go see the doctor, and as you go off I’ll be praying and interceding for you…”

How did Jesus respond?  He said, “O unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I stay with you?  How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.”  Jesus was not politically correct.  You know what the most people would preach today is that Jesus should have said, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have left you by yourselves, this is too much for you, I should have been here, it’s my fault, don’t feel bad, don’t feel bad about yourself, don’t let any guild or condemnation come.”  That’s the way people would approach it today, Jesus said, “O unbelieving and perverse generation!  What’s wrong with you!  I’m not going to be here forever, I’m trying to get you guys to where you can do this!”

Brothers and sisters the church is supposed to be the first line of defense against poverty, against sickness, against depression, against all of these things and the church is not fulfilling its requirements and if Jesus was to show up today, I believe I’m speaking accurately that the Lord would say that we are a faithless and perverse generation.  We live in a culture of unbelief and even the faith churches, even the spirit filled churches to a very large degree aren’t meeting the needs.  Off course the vast majority of the body of Christ doesn’t even believe that God does those things today, but among those that believe that it can happen they have no handle on whether it will happen or not.  I tell you this is not the way that God meant it to be.  I don’t know any way to express these things without causing some unrest among people.  You know before we can fix the problem we have to admit that this is not the way that the Lord meant for it to be. 

We live in a culture of unbelief, outside of the body of Christ there is terrible unbelief, demonic oppression, there is a spirit of Antichrist working, if you don’t realize it we are living in a hostile environment.  Christians are about the only group that it is politically correct to discriminate against. 

The Lord’s not pleased with the church and where we stand today and our inability to represent Him properly and I’m including myself in that.  I’m not doing everything the way that I should, but Praise God, I haven’t arrived, but I’ve left.  I’m still moving in that direction and it’s a goal of mine to see a 100% of the people set free.”

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I cannot believe how faithful God is.  I’m not sure why I’m surprised, but I must say God has done some awesome things for us recently!  We are seeing things materialize that we have asked for and that is just awesome!  I read this scripture yesterday and I realized that I have asked and God has provided answers to my questions!  He is so awesome!

Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV):  7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” 

I remember as a child my grandmother (my mom’s mom) always used to say, “Zoek en gij zult vinden,” which is Dutch for “seek and you will find.”  I didn’t realize then that she was actually quoting scripture to us, she used to say it to us a lot if we were looking for something, and I must say I have been irritating DH with that saying ever since we’ve know each other.  Every time DH is looking for something I say, “Zoek en gij zult vinden,” mostly because I hear my grandmother saying it in my head, but I never realized how God will use that regarding His Word!  I have asked, and received; I have looked and found what I was looking for…

Do you realize what the first part of verse 8 says?  Everyone who asks receives!  Wow, that is wonderful!  Everyone! Now I am fully aware that a lot of people will say, “But I haven’t received what I asked for!”  That is not God’s fault.  I’ve mentioned in my previous post that the devil can’t stop God, and that is because he was defeated by Jesus.  The devil has less power than God, and the only power he has is what we give to him.  I’m sure some people will not like what I’m saying, but to be honest, I don’t care, because sometimes we need to hear the truth.  It is time we take responsibility for our problems and stop blaming other people, our circumstances, the devil, or whatever excuses we like to think of…

I have touched on the fact of there being a spiritual world and a physical/natural world in this post, where the angel of the Lord told Daniel that his prayers were answered immediately in the spiritual world, but that it took time to manifest in the physical world.  With the help of mostly An.drew Wom.mack’s teachings I have realized that I need to receive the answers to my prayers in the physical world too. 

Now if you don’t believe there is a spiritual world I’ll prove it with Scripture.  2 Kings 6:15-17 (NIV):  15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. Oh, my lord, what shall we do? the servant asked.  16 Don’t be afraid, the prophet answered. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.  17 And Elisha prayed, O LORD, open his eyes so that he may see. Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all round Elisha.”

The King of Aram wanted to capture Elisha, and they surrounded the city where Elisha was.  When they woke up the next morning the servant of Elisha was afraid, because all he could see was the physical world and to him it seemed to be a terrible situation that they were in.  Then Elisha prayed that the servant’s eyes were opened to the spiritual world and he could see multitudes of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha.  Their situation was not lost, even though it seemed to be so initially and we also need to learn that things might not be the way we perceive them. 

If we pray and ask for something, and it is according to God’s will and we pray in faith, God will give it to us.  How do you know what is God’s will?  Well, what does God say about it in the Bible?  The best is to pray God’s Word, and then you will sow God’s word as a seed.  If we sow the seed of God’s Word, and we believe those words, we will harvest those promises.  It will first appear in the spiritual world, but we need to receive it in the physical world. 

God’s Word must become real to us; we must know that it is true.  I almost want to say we mustn’t believe anymore, but it must be so much part of our reality that we know that what God says is true and that it will happen.  We mustn’t let our circumstances dictate what we believe anymore.  Even if things might not look good, we mustn’t let it affect us, because we must know that in the spiritual world God has made it happen already and that it is up to us to let it happen in the physical world.  Sometimes, like in Daniel’s case there might be demonic opposition, and then we must pray that God will deal with that on our behalf. 

God’s words are extremely powerful.  We must use them – God’s Word is one of the weapons of the spirit:  Ephesians 6:13-17 (NIV):  13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Mark 11:23 (NIV):  23 I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.”

Look at the above scripture.  I always heard:  If you do not doubt but believe, whatever you ask for will happen.  What I only realized recently was that Jesus says here, “if anyone says to this mountain…” and “…what he says will happen…”  It’s not just about believing and not doubting, it’s about saying God’s Word too!  That is how powerful God’s word is – saying it aloud can make things happen! 

This receiving that I’m talking about is not a passive act – something that just happens to you.  That is what I always thought it was, but it has not happened that way in my life.  Joy.ce Me.yer had a message about receiving blessings a while ago and there she used Jacob as an example and here you can see receiving is something you must actively do:

Genesis 32:22-30 (NIV):  “Jacob Wrestles with God  22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.  23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.  24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.  25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.  26 Then the man said, Let me go, for it is daybreak. But Jacob replied, I will not let you go unless you bless me.  27 The man asked him, What is your name? Jacob, he answered.  28 Then the man said, Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.  29 Jacob said, Please tell me your name. But he replied, Why do you ask my name? Then he blessed him there.  30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

Jacob was a trickster, a liar, a thief.  He was not a very good person.  He tricked his brother out of his birthright, and had to flee for his life.  But at one stage he decided enough is enough and he would return to his land and his brother.  He could not take it anymore – he had enough of the fear and being in exile. So he decided to return and bring gifts to his brother in the hope that it would appease him.  On the way there Jacob took everything he owned and all that was dear to him and sent it across a stream called the Jabbok. 

Jacob stayed on the other side and during the night he wrestled with God.  Isn’t it weird to see that Jacob insisted that God bless him?  I don’t think I could have been so bold.  He was a bad person – how could he insist on it?  I would feel that way, that I don’t deserve blessings.  Yet that was what Jacob did and he actually received those blessings!  He didn’t walk away unscathed, but he did receive his blessings. 

Jacob’s story just shows how wonderful God actually is, he did not deserve the blessings, and because he was bold, he still received them.  God loves us so much that He does not give us what we deserve (punishment), Jesus took that upon Himself, but He gives us through His grace and mercy, what Jesus actually deserves (blessings).

So from now on I am going to be actively receiving God’s blessings, all He wants to give us and everything I have asked for…

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Yesterday we watched another program of Joy.ce Me.yer and she talked about attitude again and how we must learn to be happy for others that have what we don’t have.  She said something about: “there is a reason why you’ve been a bridesmaid 16 times and never a bride.  Until you learn to bless those that have what you have and be genuinely happy for them, and not be jealous or envious, only then will you get your breakthrough.”  She said we must learn to be happy with what we have and not to think that we can only be happy if we get something specific (i.e. a baby!)

Guess what I was thinking about when she said that.  My attitude towards other pregnant women, because I’ve been seeing a lot of them lately!  Well I heard the message, deleted the episode when it was finished and we were just wondering what to watch next when we saw how someone pushed a piece of paper underneath our front door.

I jumped up to open the door, not looking at the paper, to see who it was.  The door was locked and I had to scramble to get the key to open it and when I got outside it was my one pregnant neighbour, her husband and their 1 year old daughter.  The piece of paper was a baby shower invitation.  It’s for next Saturday.

I have mentioned her before – she is the one that had a miscarriage just before me and exactly 6 weeks later she was pregnant again, and 6 weeks pregnant at that!  And before you think she is a fertile 22 year old – no!  She is at least 35 or 36 years old!  Not much younger than I am.  So DH and I chatted a bit with them and they went on handing out some more invitations.  My first initial reaction was – there is no way I’m going to that baby shower!  I’ll buy her something and give it to her separately. 

Later at night, just before I was getting ready for bed and I was saying some scriptures over Shumi I realized that I was upset and tearful suddenly.  At first I thought it was about Shumi, because his nose has been bleeding quite a bit lately, but then I realized that it is not only that.  I remembered that just after I spoke to them I went to the loo and I saw some spotting.  Not much, only a drop or two, but still spotting.  I was hoping, praying and believing for a miracle pregnancy and here on CD 24 of my cycle I get to see spotting again…  I’m reminded that my body does not always work perfectly…

I was struck down by doubts again, not just doubts of ever having children, but also whether Shumi will be healed.  And that is why I got upset.  I just got down and prayed to God to help me.  To help me to get through this test and pass it with flying colours this time.  I am so sick of wandering around in the wilderness and walking around the same mountain time and again…  Like the Israelites that wandered around the desert for 40 years in what is an 11 day journey on foot.

So I have decided that I am going to that baby shower.  I am going to bless that family.  I am going to be happy for them.  I am going to admit to God when I’m sad, I going to try to not be jealous or envious, and the only way I’m going to be able to do that is to ask for strength from God – continuously.  If I am envious or jealous I will ask for forgiveness immediately…  I will not complain or be unhappy about it.  I am going to enjoy that baby shower!  And I hope that it will be good enough for God.  I am not going to dread our other neighbour’s baby shower.  She is about 3 weeks behind this one, so I might even get another invitation soon, but I will do exactly the same should I get an invitation to hers as well. 

Please God let me pass this test!  Give me strength to do what You want me to do!  Please help me to die in the flesh and not act according to my feelings, but act the way You want me to!  Amen

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Theresa asked in a comment that I should write a post about how I keep my faith.  I am more than happy to comply with that request as I also very often have questions about similar issues and it’s not always possible to ask other people those kinds of questions.   So I know the frustration of wanting to know something and not necessary getting your questions answered.  So I will try my best to answer it as honestly, openly and accurately as possible.

Let me first say this:  I don’t have any special kind of faith.  My faith is based on knowledge and relationship: knowing God, who He is and what He wants and can do for us.  Once you learn about God, His love for us, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and what it all means it gets easier to have faith and to trust in God.  So in times when I waiver I look for comfort and help in God’s Word.   I pray to God to help me and to show me the way.  Sometimes I get answers quickly and easily.  Sometimes I need to look for it for a few days.  Sometimes I get an answer before I really know I need it.  Like this past Sunday in church – the minister spoke about patience and when I heard the message I realised I really needed to hear about it that day, because I didn’t consciously notice I was getting impatient again…  Getting all this knowledge takes time.  I put in a lot of hours of study and it literally took me months before I realized that what I learnt was what I believed, and what came out when I waivered.  I wrote a post about it here if you want to read about it.

Another thing:  I do sometimes waiver in my faith – I’m not a strong person that just believes in God all the time.  I had a big crisis of faith a few months ago and I even blogged about it here.  I also learnt there is a difference between doubting and being tempted by the devil.  At first I thought I was thinking wrong thoughts.  Later I learnt that is was the devil tempting me.  He tries his best to get me to give up.  I realised it while I was watching the movie the Pas.sion of the Chri.st.  In the opening scene they show Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane and they have the devil next to Him whispering all kinds of temptations to Jesus.  You can read about it and watch a part of the movie in this post.  A lot of the time I thought I doubted God or His promises, but I didn’t.  It becomes doubt or sin when you act on it.  Not when you hear it.  So I try (I’m not always successful) to counter those temptations with statements that agree with God’s Word.  I don’t always quote scriptures.  I might say something like:  “I know God will make me pregnant,” or I might quote an exact scripture like:  Exodus 23:25-26 (NIV): 25 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.” I like to use this one a lot because it is general and applicable to me, but also to everyone that is sick like Shumi and my mom.

I must say God is faithful and He has given back to us.  I have seen and heard certain things that can only be God’s hand that caused it.  It was sometimes things that might seem coincidental, someone saying something on a day when you needed to hear it, or something happening just at the right time or in the right way.  I do not believe in coincidence or in luck.  I see it as God giving us what we need, when we need it.  Once you start to notice these things, you see how often it happens, and I try to give God the glory and praise for every one of those “little miracles”.

I have also seen things that can only be God – like the polyp that disappeared during my last IVF cycle.  It was there on the scan one day and less than a week later is was basically almost completely gone.  It has never happened before with any of the other polyps I ever had and even my FS could not explain it.  Or the lump that Shumi had on his back – it was big and hard – like bone, suddenly there one day and a while later completely gone.  Both of these times I prayed to God asking Him to heal it, confessing scriptures and He helped out.  Proof like this helps a lot to strengthen you faith.  But I must say I must consciously think back on these things every now and then – it’s very easy to forget about things like this and start to waiver again.

I cannot always blog about every feeling or thought that goes through my mind, so it might seem that I’m stronger in my faith than what I actually am.  Let me tell you there are times when I feel bad, when it’s difficult to keep my faith, or there are times when I get discouraged, but every time the only thing that helps me out of the situation is a message from God or the Word of God.  How long I am in that situation mostly depends on me – I have to realize that I’m under attack and that I must turn to God for help.  That might take a day or two sometimes, but I must say I’m getting better at recognizing those situations.

I have some favourite scriptures that I meditate upon on and confess out loud.   Joy.ce Me.yer said once that we believe what we hear from our own mouths the most.  I found it to be true – the more I say something out loud the more I start to believe it.  Here are the confessions and scriptures that I turn to the most in no specific order:

Phil 4:6, 1 Peter 5:6-7: “I do not fret or have anxiety about anything. I do not have a care.”

Luke 18:27: “What is impossible with men is possible with God”

Philippians 4:13 (NIV): 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Exodus 23:25-26 (NIV): 25 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.”

Deuteronomy 7:13-14 (NIV): 13 He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land— your grain, new wine and oil— the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land that he swore to your forefathers to give you.    14 You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor any of your livestock without young.”

Psalm 127:3-5 (NIV): 3Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.    4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.    5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate”

Psalm 128:3 (NIV): 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots round your table.”

Psalm 113:9 (NIV):9 He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.   Praise the LORD”

2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV): 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are Yes in Christ. And so through him the Amen is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

Isaiah 55:11 (NIV): 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

1 Peter 2:24 (NIV): 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

Isaiah 53:4-5 (NIV): “ 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

John 10:10 (NIV): 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Romans 16:20 (NIV): 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”

James 4:7 (NIV): 7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Here and here are some more posts I wrote about doubts and my faith, where you can see that I’m not always strong in my faith, but where I got messages of hope in the times when I needed it.  Alternatively you are welcome to click on the Faith tag and get all the posts I have written and tagged about faith so far…

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I have mentioned guilt and condemnation in the last few posts of mine.  It’s been something that I have been struggling with.  So as always, that is what you are going to hear about, whatever has been on my mind lately. Now you might wonder what that has to do with the title of this post.  Trust me they are related, keep on reading and you will soon see the connection. 

I have mentioned that DH was away – for a whole week, so on Saturday I didn’t really have much to do so I decided to rent the DVD of the Pas.sion of the Chr.ist.  I know it’s a movie that’s been out a long time already, but we have never seen it.  Why?  I thought that I knew and appreciated the big sacrifice Jesus made for us and as I cannot really watch any medical TV series, because I cannot stand the sight of blood and guts, I thought it best not to watch the movie.  But for some reason on Friday I thought that I need to see for myself graphically how terrible the suffering of Jesus was.  As I was alone at home I could watch it without feeling self conscious about crying, because I knew I was going to cry a lot.

The movie starts in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was praying moments before Judas would betray him and he would be arrested.  The devil is whispering things to Him.  Things like:  “Do you really believe that one man can bear the full burden of sin?”, and “No one man can carry this burden, I tell you, it’s far too heavy.  Saving their souls is too costly,” etc.  What did Jesus do?  He continued in prayer, in anguish, but he continued and ignored the devil. He asked for help from the Father.  There is this snake that comes from under the robe of the devil and slithers over to Jesus.  I think they wanted to symbolize the temptation, but when Jesus gets up from His knees he crushes that snake under His foot. 

I got such a revelation from watching this!  It sounded just like the stuff that goes through my mind a lot.  (I know I cannot compare my situation to that one of Jesus, but I’m talking about those same type of thoughts) “You are crazy to think that Shumi will be healed!  Look at him!  Why do you think you will be healed and get pregnant naturally?  Why would things change now?  Stop wasting time and go see your FS – maybe he has some ideas to help you.”  On and on, and I realized that although those things go through my mind, I don’t have to accept them.  It becomes doubt only when I act on it.  If I turn to God just like Jesus did, it is not a sin!  I don’t have to feel guilty!  I don’t have to be condemned!  It’s not me that thinks those thoughts; it’s the devil trying to tempt me! 

Now today I read again from “The batt.lefie.ld of the mi.nd and Joy.ce Me.yer explains the terms doubt and unbelief so nicely, so I want to share that with you.

“… O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  Matthew 14:31

“And He marvelled because of their unbelief…”  Mark 6:6

“We usually talk about doubt and unbelief together as if they are one and the same.  Actually although they can be connected, the two are very different things.

Vine’s An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words partially defines doubt in the verb form as “… to stand in two ways … implying uncertainty which way to take,… said of believers who’s faith is small… being anxious, through a distracted state of mind, of wavering between hope and fear…”

The same dictionary notes that one of the two Greek words translated as unbelief “is always rendered ‘disobedience’ in the R.V” (the Revised Version of the King James translation.)

As we look at these two powerful tools of the enemy, we see that doubt causes a person to waver between two opinions, whereas unbelief leads to disobedience. 

I think it’s going to be helpful to be able to recognize exactly what the devil is trying to attack us with.  Are we dealing with doubt or unbelief?

Doubt

“… How long will you halt and limp between two opinions?…”  1 Kings 18:21

I heard a story that will shed some light on doubt. 

There was a man who was sick and who was confessing the Word over his body, quoting healing Scriptures and believing for his healing to manifest.  While doing so, he was intermittently attacked with thoughts of doubt.

After he had one through a hard time and was beginning to get discouraged, God opened his eyes to the spirit world.  This is what he saw:  a demon speaking lies to him, telling him that he was not going to get healed and that confessing the Word was not going to work.  But he also saw that each time he confessed the Word, light would come out of his mouth like a sword, and the demon would cower and fall backward.

As God showed him this vision, the man then understood why it was so important to keep speaking the word.  He saw that he did have faith, which is why the demon was attacking him with doubt.

Doubt is not something that God puts in us.  The Bible says that God gives every man a “… measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).  God has placed faith in our heart, but the devil tries to negate our faith by attacking us with doubt.

Doubt comes in the form of thoughts that are in opposition to the word of God.  This is why it’s so important for us to know the word of God.  If we know the word, then we can recognize when the devil is lying to us.  Be assured that he lies to us in order to steal what Jesus purchased for us through his death and resurrection.

Doubt and Unbelief

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, So shall your offspring be.  19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead— since he was about a hundred years old— and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”  Romans 4:18-21

When I am in a battle, knowing that God has promised and yet being attacked with doubt and unbelief, I like to read or meditate on this passage.

Abraham had been given a promise by God that He would cause him to have an heir from his own body.   Many years had come and gone and still there was no child as a result of Abraham and Sarah’s relationship.  Abraham was still standing in faith, believing what God had said would come to pass.  As he stood, he was being attacked with thoughts of doubt, and the spirit of unbelief was pressing him to disobey God.

Disobedience in a situation like this can simply be to give up when God is prompting us to press on.  Disobedience is disregarding the voice of the Lord, or whatever God is speaking to us personally, not just transgressing the Ten Commandments.

Abraham continued to be steadfast.  He kept praising and giving glory to God.  The Bible states that as he did so, he grew strong in faith.

You see, when God tells us something or asks us to do something, the faith to believe it or to do it comes with the Word from God.  It would be ridiculous for God to expect us to do something and not give us the ability to believe that we can do it.  Satan knows how dangerous we will be with a heart full of faith, so he attacks us with doubt and unbelief.

It’s not that we don’t have faith, it’s just that Satan is trying to destroy our faith through lies.

Faith is a product of the spirit; it’s a spiritual force.  The enemy doesn’t want you and me to get our mind in agreement with our spirit.  He knows that if God places faith in us to do a thing and we get positive and start to consistently believing that we can actually do it, then we will do considerable damage to his kingdom.”

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