Jenni Saake, founder of Hannah's Prayer Ministries, had multiple strokes at the end of October. She has had many ups and downs over the last month and a half, but is doing fine mentally and is conversing well.
Jenni means so much to so many of us. If she has touched your life in any way, would you consider leaving her a note of encouragement in the comments section? Please keep her and her family in prayer.
October 26, 2011
I stood in the choir loft between songs, my heart yearning to comfort the couples I saw coming forward as our worship minister asked for anyone with prayer needs to come to the altar. I wondered how many of those couples experienced infertility or child loss. “Comfort them, Lord,” I prayed silently, “Let them know they are not alone. Give them hope in you, Lord.”
Sunday after Sunday I wondered if the Lord was prompting me to start an infertility ministry. “Maybe I ought to say something to someone about this,” I thought weekly. Monday after Monday I forgot!
One afternoon I received a phone call from our church's women's ministry asking if I'd be willing to help organize or set up general women's ministry events. We were new to town and that sounded like a great way to get involved! I agreed to help out and was about to hang up when I hesitatingly said, “Actually, I'm glad you called...” and I shared of the Holy Spirit's prompting I had experienced in the choir loft.
Within a month I met with our church's counseling ministry, and as if God Himself had flung open the doors to usher me in, planned to start a group in the fall of 2010!
As the time approached, I became overwhelmed. What if the women came flocking and we had a huge group? Would I be able to lead such a group? A dear online friend experienced in these things cautioned me that I might find a lot smaller group than I expected. “Of course that might be true,” I thought, “but it's such a big church! My guess is that we'll have a pretty good turnout.”
Isn't it nifty how God ushered me in to leadership, my head filled with big hopes, and then sent me a sweet mentor to remind me that this was His undertaking and not mine? That He is the leader and not me. A good thing too, as our first semester's membership averaged about two women a week – including me!
By the end of the spring semester three of us met regularly. One conceived! Over the summer we switched ministries from the counseling ministry to women's ministry. A sweet, newlywed friend of mine who suspected she would have difficulty conceiving joined. Then I met another new friend at a party, and she joined. Then a potential co-leader joined! Now there are five of us - a little family.
I'm not sure why more women haven't joined us, but wouldn't it be like God to form this group for one lonely soul? Perhaps the whole purpose of our little group is to lead just one person to Him? Maybe the group is for me – to show me how to love and pray for others close to me, so that I can better serve and lead my children with whom God has blessed me. I don't know why God formed this group, but I know He did.
2 Corinthians 1:2-4 says that we are to comfort others with the hope with which we've been comforted. That's what we strive to do. In my heart, I know the ultimate purpose of our group is to point others to the source of all comfort – the Lord Jesus Christ. Adoption, conception, and childbirth may be by-products of this group. But more importantly, we are learning to look to Him for fulfillment and not to our life circumstances. I am learning this too, as God leads “my” group.
Author Website: Blessed by Adoption & Birth
October 19, 2011
Questions swirled in my head. They wrapped tight around my heart, pulling down, into darkness. My heart beat wildly to break free from the compression as the questions kept twisting around my heart tighter and tighter.
Why did my husband and I have to lose two babies? Why are my fallopian tubes shredded? Why when others abuse their children can we have no more? Why are You not giving us children when we know You are able? Why?
My throat tightened as tears poured down my cheeks. Would I drown in a wave of unanswered whys? Would my heart actually stop beating from the pressure?
Why? It is a heavy question to ask. But it isn’t wrong to ask. David asks God why many times in the Psalms. Jesus asks God why on the cross. We just have to ask God why for the right reasons and in the right way. How do we ask God why?
- Understand that the answer to your why is not the goal of asking why. God rarely chooses to let us know why this side of heaven. His word tells us that His ways are not ours. Instead the goal of asking why is drawing closer to God.
- When you ask God why, be ready to listen to Him. Often He is there whispering words of gentle correction, encouragement, hope, and truth. You just have to be quiet and still enough to hear Him.
- Remember God’s character. He is trustworthy, faithful, loving, and He has plans for you. Praise God for who He is while you ask Him why. This will remind you the honor due our Lord.
- Accept God’s answer – even if He never answers. Continually rehashing the same question with God over and over again keeps you stuck. Instead allow your whys to develop an intimacy between you and God that could not have happened otherwise.
As I posed my doubts, fears, concerns and whys to my Heavenly Father, the cords around my heart relaxed. I could breathe again. At times I still fight this battle. My whys, doubts and frustrations resurface and I struggle anew. But God is patient. He listens to me. When I ask Him why the right way, God draws me nearer to Him. Perhaps that is why He allows this battle to recur. That I may draw closer to Him.
Are you ready to draw closer to God? Let’s start by asking Him why the right way.
www.rethinkingmythinking.com. She is also on twitter www.twitter.com/Rethinkingme and on facebook at www.facebook.com/RethinkingMyThinking.