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Archive for the tag “prayer”

Pets With Anxiety and Stress Issues


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Meet Alaska. She joined the Turner family back in March 2013. She was a cute puppy and loved to play. She loved getting into things as puppies normally do. She loved playing with the other dogs and being outside. She loved to be loved on.

She grew up. She still enjoys to play, love on her family, and be loved on by her family. She makes a great snuggle buddy, and she loves to take rides in the car. She has a deep love for her family, and she is very protective of her family too. And as a bonus, she likes to chase chickens in her spare time (that story is for another day). Ha!

She also suffers from anxiety and stress. She stresses easily with change. She likes order. She isn’t sure of people she doesn’t know. She doesn’t like loud noises or tense environments. This is something we, as her family, have had to adjust to. If you are a fellow owner of a pet with anxiety and stress issues, you understand what I am saying here. And for those of you who haven’t had the experience of owning a pet with these issues, I know it can be hard to understand. I want to help you understand what it is like for the owners of pets with these issues.

Here are just a few things that we experience on a daily basis:

1. People leaving and coming to our house is a traumatic experience for Alaska. Let me explain this a bit. She doesn’t necessarily fall over in convulsions when we leave the house or if we have a guest over and they leave. She does whine and cry, and she gives us her best “sad face,” but her anxiety and stress comes when we come back to the house or if a guest comes over to the house. We have to take special precautions to help make this transition less stressful for her. How? For starters we have to put our husky in another room. For some crazy reason it causes tension between the two. Maybe because they are both big dogs and both female. I really don’t know. Secondly, we have to talk to Alaska calmly. This is almost as if you were talking to a baby. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. Lastly, if all the dogs are contained when we come home, she has to be let out first. If you let any other dog out before letting her out, her anxiety level rises.

2. Classical music is her favorite genre of music. Yes, dogs can have favorite music genres. In the mornings I like to play it after my workout, so that it sets a calming environment.

3. If Alaska wants your attention, she doesn’t want you to share it with her fellow dog pack. Asking the whole crew to come over for some attention simply isn’t a wise choice. This stresses her out.

A few other tidbits: small spaces send her stressing, loud noises cause stress, if she feels overcrowded she will stress, unannounced visitors stress her, new people cause anxiety for her.

I know some of this sounds strange and just plain ridiculous. I get that. There are many days where I think, “Are you serious?” I love my girl though, and I know that this is something she probably gets frustrated with as well. Just like humans can have anxiety disorders and stress problems, animals can have these same issues. As their owners we just have to learn how to help them with these issues.

I have thought to put Alaska on some vet prescribed anxiety medication, but I really would prefer to treat it as naturally as possible. Then there’s the whole taking her to the vet thing. You see my dilemma?

Just a few words of advice to those of you who do not have pets with anxiety and stress issues:

1. Please be as understanding as possible when it comes to other pet owners who do have animals with these issues.

2. Please call ahead before visiting friends or family who own pets with anxiety and stress issues. Your friends and family will thank you.

3. Please do not take it lightly when a friend or family member shares that their pet has these issues. It’s a struggle for both the owner and the pet, and the struggle is real my friends. The struggle is real.

4. Pray for your friend or family member, as well as the pet. Prayer is a powerful tool. Just as I would covet your prayers for me and my family, I would also covet your prayers for my pets. Call me crazy if you want, it’s ok.

I know this isn’t my typical post, but it was on my heart to share. Animals are living creatures who struggle with things just like we struggle with things. They are part of God’s creation that He has asked us to care for on a daily basis. Let’s do our best to care for these babies in the best possible way.

Does your pet struggle with anxiety and stress issues? How do you help them cope with it?

Alaska’s Advocate,
Jac

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The Year of Victory


Year of Victory

Today is January 1st, 2015. The beginning of not only a new day, but also a new year. A chance to start fresh. An opportunity to improve. A chance to invest in growth. An opportunity to be better than last year. Most importantly, an opportunity to lose yourself in Jesus Christ.

A friend of mine posted on social media a few days that each year she prays for God to give her a word for the year. After she shared her word and her thoughts, she asked for other people to share their word. My word for this new year is “VICTORY.”

I feel God impressing upon me that this is the year of victory. This is year that defeat will not be an option. The only option is being victorious. With that comes responsibility on my behalf though, and yours too should you choose to pursue the year of victory.

Courageous.

Bold.

Fearless.

Adventurous.

Faithful.

Devoted.

Secure.

Relentless.

Hopeful.

Loving.

These are just a few words that come to mind as I think on what a year of victory looks like. I believe that this is year of victory not only for me, but for you as well dear friend. I believe that marriages will have the victory. I believe that relationships with children will be victorious. I believe that there will be victory in finances, in businesses, in health, in faith, and in all areas of life.

Scripture says, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, NLT)

We have the victory through Christ. We have already won through Jesus. We have the ability to be courageous, bold, fearless, relentless, hopeful, loving, secure, devoted, faithful, and adventurous through Him.

I pray that this will be the year of victory for you too, my sweet friend. God has amazing things in store for this year. I can feel in my spirit. I can’t wait to see all the amazing things He has in store for you and for me.

Victorious in Christ,
Jaclyn

God Is Close to the Brokenhearted


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This morning as I was driving in my car I had Jesus Culture playing. I usually have some worship album playing in the morning to set the tone for the day. And Jesus Culture is one of my favorite worship bands. The song playing as I drove was “Heaven is Here,” and the words seemed to just be a bit louder this morning. They seemed to stick a bit more than any of the other times I have listened to this song.

Here are the lyrics:

We won’t stop crying out to Him
Cause He hears us everytime
Yeah He hears us everytime

We won’t stop pouring out our love to Him
Cause He loves us everytime
Yeah He loves us everytime

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you

We won’t stop going out to Him
Cause He meets us everytime
Yeah He meets us everytime

We won’t stop living only for Him
Cause He’s faithful everytime
Yeah He’s faithful everytime

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to God
Shake up eternal signs

Cause heaven is hear now
He’s all around us
Heaven is Jesus
It’s the moment we meet

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you 

These words really were echoing in my head, “We won’t stop crying out to Him cause He hears us every time…We won’t stop pouring out our love for Him, cause He loves us every time…We won’t stop going out to Him, cause He meets us every time…We won’t stop living only for Him, cause He’s faithful every time.”

This morning my heart was breaking, as it is another month of not being pregnant (if you haven’t followed my journey up till now, check out my past posts in regards to infertility and my faith). Another month of feeling defeated and crushed. Another month of feeling as if the enemy was doing a victory dance on top of my head and laughing the whole time, as I sobbed on the inside and then began sobbing on the outside.

BUT GOD. God knew all of this even before I woke this morning. He knew how my heart would break. He knew the defeat I would feel. He knew the lies the enemy would feed me. And He knew He would be there for me no matter how crushed I was. And He chose to speak to me through a song. He chose to remind me of His faithfulness, His love, His strength, and His hope. He wrapped His arms around me as my mind began whirling in a hundred different directions. As the questions began coming like a freight train. As insecurity and doubt began creeping in. As the enemy began throwing his fiery darts at me, my God became my shield and my fortress and my comfort. As He ALWAYS is.

Once the song ended and another song began to play, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “Choose joy.” I sat in my car and began saying that to myself…”Choose joy, Jaclyn. Choose joy.” I firmly believe that one of the enemy’s biggest weapons against us is our own feelings. He was trying his best to get me to sink into a dark place this morning, and just like the faithful Father that He is, God showed up and began speaking life into me.

Am I still brokenhearted that I have no celebratory news of a little Turner this month? Yes, but I know that my God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3) and “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). So I can keep crying out to Him, because I know He DOES hear me every time. I can continue pouring out my love for Him, because He DOES love me every time. I can go out to Him, because He WILL meet me every time. And I can continue living only for Him, because He is FOREVER faithful. The enemy is a liar. My God is my everything, and I will praise Him despite my feelings. I will praise Him even if I have questions. I will praise Him simply because He is The Great I Am, and I know He loves me more than I can ever fully understand.

My friend, I have no idea what you may be experiencing or what lies the enemy might be telling you, but what I do know that God will never fail you. He will always be there for you, and He will always be your shield. Drive into Him even if you don’t understand. Drive into Him even if you can’t feel Him. Drive into Him even if you can’t see Him. He is there. I promise you that.

More Than Just a Name Tag


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This morning as I was driving in my car and listening to my new favorite worship album (ONE “A Worship Collective” We Believe Live…isn’t that a mouthful), I found myself in conversation with God. I just begin praying to Him (don’t worry my eyes were open…yep, you can still pray with your eyes open *gasp*). My heart was burdened for the lost. My heart was heavy and breaking this morning over the ones who have yet come to know Jesus personally. 

Yesterday I preached about 1. Receive Jesus as King. 2. Feel as Jesus Feels. 3. Share Jesus. And the second one really has stuck with me. You see as Jesus neared Jerusalem we read these words in Luke 19:41: 

                                             “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.” 

The Greek word that is translated today in our Bibles as “wept,” doesn’t just refer to a simple tear streaming down the cheek of Jesus. No, it means a gut-wrenching sob. So Jesus was was sobbing, possibly uncontrollably, over the city of Jerusalem and the people of Jerusalem. Why? Because He could see the lost. He could see the outcome of those who didn’t receive Him as King. A life without Jesus is a purposeless life that will lead only to death. Jesus saw that and it broke His heart. 

So I found myself burdened with this thought this morning. The thought of a life without Jesus. Not only for myself, but everyone. As many curve balls life can throw, I wouldn’t want to do life without Jesus. I can’t imagine it. 

I began thinking about how some people say they want Jesus and want to have a relationship with Him, but yet their life reflects an entirely different choice. They wear the “Hello my name is ‘Christian'” name tag and that is about it. They wear the name tag by going to church on Sunday, but do nothing with the message they heard from the pastor. They wear the name tag by owning a Bible, yet they never read it. They wear the name tag by professing that they are a Christian and believe in Jesus, yet they wallow in sin daily. 

This breaks my heart. Now, please hear my heart in all of this. I am in no means trying to put myself up on a pedestal as some “holier than thou” Christian. I am not that at all. I have had wallowed in my own sin mess. I have days when I am not the best expression of Christ. I say things that I shouldn’t. I get angry when I shouldn’t. I find it hard to forgive at times. But I recognize these things, and I press into God because without Him I am nothing. Without Jesus, I would be a hot mess. Without Jesus I wouldn’t stand a chance against sin…it would consume me. 

                         “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

            “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

I don’t want to just sport a name tag that says I am a Christian. I want my life to show that Christ lives in me, and that He is received as King in my life. And I want that for everyone. There is no greater joy than that of having a relationship with Jesus. There is nothing in this world, no amount of drugs, sex, alcohol, pornography, foul language, material possessions, and anything else this world offers, that can compare to having Jesus Christ as your Lord, Savior, and King. 

I pray that as you go throughout this day that you would allow the Holy Spirit to stir within you. Allow Him to move in your life. Let Him purge you of everything that is not of Him, so that He can fill you with everything that is of Him. I pray that you can’t imagine going through life without Jesus. My friends, He will totally change your life for the better. I promise you that.

Grace & Peace, Jac

Trusting in Him


Today I find myself thinking on this journey of infertility yet again. Seriously, it’s very consuming. Even when I try not to think about it, somehow my mind goes right to it. I see a post on Facebook of someone announcing their pregnant, or sharing a photo of their precious baby. I see a woman loving on her baby out in town as she runs errands. Someone asks me a question in regards to how things are going, or “do you want any more kids?” (because they don’t realize the journey I am on). Yep, it pretty much consumes my thoughts. 

Charts. Tracking. Articles. New research. Hoops. Hoops. Hoops. And more hoops. 

I feel like a flipping science project some days, and on other days I feel like a complete failure in this area, and then some days I am full of hope. Anyone walking this journey (or that has walked this journey) can completely understand the wild roller coaster of emotions. And just when you think you have a handle on our emotions, you flip out or melt down just like that. Hello crazy! 

I am not sure why some people get pregnant by just thinking about it, while other people can’t seem to get pregnant no matter what they do. It just doesn’t seem fair. Not at all. Yes, I catch myself going down this road every now and then. Just let me be real with you. It’s not pretty. I really don’t want to have the urge to scream at the young single girl who keeps popping kids out left and right. But the truth is, I do. I really do. I feel like Paul when he wrote in Romans 7, “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” (Romans 7:18-19, NLT) A bit of a battle within. And it is just that…a battle. A spiritual battle. A physical battle. A mental battle. An emotional battle. A battle in every way. 

Today I am thinking on how much I hate this journey. Seriously HATE it. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. I am thinking on the fact that I have been pregnant before, and I have a beautiful daughter from that pregnancy (and she is such a blessing). I am wondering why I am dealing with this since I have been pregnant before. Why is it that those who aren’t trying to get pregnant are plastering their “Ooops, it just happened,” statuses and pictures for those of us who would love an “oops, it just happened” to see? Why is it so difficult for those of us who genuinely want a child, to even have our desired child? Why/ Why? Why? My mind is spinning in all directions. 

Then I also am thinking on that even though I feel like my God has forsaken me and turned a deaf ear to my heart’s cries, I know He hasn’t. Even though I have told Him that I am angry with Him and don’t understand, He holds me in His arms and tells me how much He loves me. He holds my hand every step of the way on this journey, and when I feel like I can’t take another step, He carries me. He always carries me and holds me in His hands. 

Oh how I wish I had the magic formula to make all of this better. I so wish I could snap my fingers and find that infertility is just a horrible nightmare and not even real. But I can’t. I’m not God. But He is. And I have to trust Him no matter what. I have to cling to Him even when I feel like letting go. I have to press into Him even when I feel like He isn’t there. Why? Because deep down I know that my God is faithful, loving, merciful, gracious, and full of life. He can turn my darkness into light. He can take my mess and create a masterpiece. 

I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good, and because of that I will trust in Him. He is my living hope.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcmUYDU-2DY/>Trusting in Him, Jac

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Faith in the Raw


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T
his quote sums it up almost perfectly for me. No matter how many times I have told myself, “I will just give up. This is too hard,” I can’t throw in the towel. My desire to have a baby with my husband isn’t a desire like walking into Kohl’s and seeing that beautiful Vera Wang handbag that I would love to have. It’s a desire that goes much deeper, and one that can’t fully be expressed in words. So, here I am. Another month. Another cycle. Part of me wants to throw in the towel and just say, “Screw it!” The other part of me says, “You can’t give up. You want this child. Have faith.” 

Faith. You would think that as a Pastor’s Wife and Christian I wouldn’t struggle with faith, right? Wrong. I struggle with having faith just like anyone else struggles with it. There are times when I have incredible faith, and then there are times when it is difficult to even have the faith the size of a mustard seed. Today is one of those days. It’s been over 3 years and nothing has changed. I have no answers as to why my body isn’t conceiving our desired child. No magic tricks to share that got us success. No babies to even speak of. Just the same charted cycle month after month after month. The same “negative” pregnancy tests. The same ovulation predictor kits letting me know that there is nothing wrong in that department. Just the same. 

This morning I read from Hebrews 11, and verse 11 struck me. 

“Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word.” Hebrews 11:11, Amplified Bible

 

It is sort of obvious as to why this verse would stick out to me, right? I know. And then again this verse also had me telling God, “Please Lord, please don’t let me have to wait till I am as old as Sarah before I receive my child of promise.” Seriously, this is a concern of mine. I have shared it on numerous occasions with my husband. I want that “physical power” that Sarah received. I want her faith. But wait, didn’t she laugh first? Didn’t she think it to be a joke? Yes, she did. So, then where was her faith? Maybe it was in the fact that in the back of her mind she continued to cling to her desire, and when God shared that she and Abraham would have their child of promise she clung even tighter to that desire and hope. She may have been laughing on the outside, but maybe in the depths of her soul she was shouting, “Yes, Lord! Yes! I believe it! I receive it!” Maybe. Just maybe. 

I can share from my own experience that even though my husband and I have three children between us, the desire to have a child together is strong. Our desire to have this precious child doesn’t mean that we don’t love the three children we have now. Our child of promise is wanted. It is already loved. It is prayed for. My soul yearns for this precious child. My heart longs for Ada and/or Liam (maybe the Lord will choose to bless us with just one, or maybe He will bless us with both). 

So even though part of me is screaming, “Screw this! I am done! I have had enough of this emotional roller coaster. I am sick of the same crap every month. I am tired of seeing pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, gender reveals, and the likes plastered all over my social networks, all while I am over hearing dying inside. I have had enough of it!,” I can’t ignore the other part of me. The other part that whispers, “Don’t give up Jaclyn. It’s not a lost cause. Your pain will turn into joy soon.” And it might sound weird and crazy to some of you, but even though there are times when I am so mad at God and want to scream at Him over this pain, He is where I find the greatest comfort. I can do nothing apart from Him. I am afraid of the dark pit I might find myself in if I let go of Him for even one second. So I cling tighter to Him. I rest in Him. I bury my sobbing heart in Him. And I allow Him to hold me while I break into a million pieces. And He lets me. There is no other place that makes sense for me to be than in His arms. It is the only place that makes sense. 

I will continue to press on in faith even on the days where my faith isn’t even the size of a mustard seed. Why? Because I know my God is greater than any pain I might have. He is bigger than any doubt. He is more powerful than any disappointment and discouragement I might face. He is my God who loves and adores me no matter what. He is making a way even if I can’t see it. And He is forever faithful. The enemy will not have the victory because I am the precious daughter of the Most High God, and in Him is where I find my strength, hope, and faith. 

He’s The Remedy


I am going to start this post off by getting the ugliness out of the way. I didn’t sleep very well last night, at all. I was having some pains that were making it difficult to get comfortable. At 1:30 am my eyes popped open, and I wrestled with myself to go back to sleep. There was no way I was going to get up and do anything at that time of the night (I mean, those days are long gone). I finally got myself back to sleep only to have my eyes pop open again at 3:40 am. Ugh. This time it was a combination of needing to go to the bathroom and Alaska (our husky mix pup…..she is almost 7 months old, so get a picture of Godzilla in your mind) whining at my feet. I got out of bed and headed straight to the bathroom. I thought I would figure out Alaska’s problem after I dealt with mine. Alaska surprised me as I came out of the bathroom. She was sick. Again, picture Godzilla being sick. At 3:40 am, this dog had to get to sick. Really? I mean, doesn’t she know people sleep at that time of the day? So, half awake I proceeded to clean up her mess, only to discover this wasn’t the first time she had been sick while I was getting my beauty rest. Seriously?!? After I got everything cleaned up, Alaska and I headed back to bed. My alarm woke both of us up at 6:30 am, and we started this cycle all over again. Alaska, this time, was escorted outside so that she could be sick to her heart’s content without having to worry about having to clean it up. (Yes, I do have a heart and I love my dog dearly. Don’t start thinking I am all Cruella Deville over here.) Let’s just say the spring in my step this morning hasn’t been very “springy.” More like a zombie walk where one foot just gets dragged along for the journey. 

It was finally time to take the kiddos to school. Austin, Kirstin, Princess (the Chihuahua), and myself loaded up in the car and headed to school. I felt like it was a David Crowder Band kind of morning, so I hooked up my iPhone and played a bit of the Remedy album and a bit of the Church Music album for our morning commute. God has such a way of speaking (or singing) into our lives at exactly the right moment and with exactly the right words. We tend to miss it at times, but this morning I heard Him loud and clear. As the music played my attention was perked when the song “Remedy” played (from the Remedy album). 

He is the one Who has saved us
He is the one Who forgave us

He is the one who has come 
And is coming again
He’s the remedy

Oh, I can’t comprehend
I can’t take it all in
Never understand
Such perfect love come
For the broken and beat
For the wounded and weak
Oh, come fall at His feet
He’s the remedy
He’s the remedy

 

I began thinking on how the worst of days cannot compare to the saving grace and saving power of Jesus. He is the remedy for it all. He comes in like the knight in shining armor and makes everything right. Not even a lack of sleep stands a chance against Him. 

Then, my attention was drawn again to the song “Shadows” (Church Music album), as I heard these words:

Life is full of light and shadow 
O the joy and O the sorrow 
O the sorrow 

And yet will He bring 
Dark to light 
And yet will He bring 
Day from night 

When shadows fall on us 
We will not fear 
We will remember 

When darkness falls on us 
We will not fear 
We will remember 

When all seems lost 
When we’re thrown and we’re tossed 
We remember the cost 
We rest in Him 
Shadow of the cross

 

Again, God was reminding me that He has me. Zombie walk and all. He has me in His hands, and He’s not letting me go. No matter if I am plagued with a lack of sleep, unexplained secondary infertility, not feeling good, and whatever other situation and circumstance I can find myself in, He has me. 

I can rest in the shadow of the cross, knowing that Jesus Christ is the remedy for it all. He makes all things new. ” See, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) He makes wrongs right. He turns darkness into light. He holds me safe in His arms despite the chaos that may surround me. He brings joy where there is pain and sorrow. He brings hope when it seems all hope is lost. He brings love where there seems to be none. He brings grace where there is shame. He is the remedy. There is nothing too great for Him. 

Come fall at His feet, He’s the remedy. He’s the remedy. 

Listen to Remedy here:http://youtu.be/4DPdWn7m3I0

Listen to Shadows here:http://youtu.be/7TF35CmGB4k

Something Beautiful


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Yesterday I had this picture in my mind as I listened to NEEDTOBREATHE’s song, “Something Beautiful.” I saw this picture in my mind, but the woman at the feet of Jesus was me. I was at His feet completely broken and sobbing, just in need of Him and His touch. As I listened to the song over and over again, I was consumed with His Presence. I could feel Him with me in my car as I listened. He was all around me. He was with me. 

This journey of infertility has been a difficult one, to say the least. It is not one of those journeys you expect to find yourself traveling. You don’t pack your backpack with everything you will need, put on some form of protectant cream, or even pack snacks to enjoy along the way. No, you just find yourself on the journey somehow. Unprepared. No protectant cream and no snacks. Some days the journey isn’t as hard to get through, while other days feel as if you are traveling through quicksand every step of the way. 

This song, “Something Beautiful,” spoke to me yesterday as I was driving. And I found myself having a spiritual experience with every word. 

 

In your ocean, I’m ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin’ on my feet
It’s like I know where I need to be
But I can’t figure out, yeah I can’t figure out

Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There’s only one way to figure out
Will ya let me drown, will ya let me drown

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

And the water is risin’ quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can’t be sure when it will subside
So I won’t leave your side, no I can’t leave your side

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

In a daydream, I couldn’t live like this
I wouldn’t stop until I found something beautiful
When I wake up, I know I will have
No, I still won’t have what I need

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful 

It’s amazing to me how God uses the littlest things to speak volumes into our lives. There in my car, through a song, He spoke to me. He touched me. He assured me that despite this difficult journey, He’s got me. He loves me. He adores me. And He knows my brokenness, my hurt, my sorrow, and my desire. There in my car, I was somehow at His feet. I was reaching out to Him as He was reaching out to me. There in my car, He reminded me I am His beloved no matter if I find myself in a valley or on a mountain top. 

And as I continue to walk this journey for who knows how much longer ( I pray I do not have to wait till I am as old as Sarah or Elizabeth, Lord. Please.), I will continue falling at His feet singing, 

Hey now, this is my desire Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful To touch me, I know that I’m in reach ‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful Oh, something beautiful

 

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The Taboo Subject of Infertility


This week I have found myself surrounded by baby announcements, pregnancy announcements, new births, baby birthday pictures, and other “baby” things. Yes, I tend to notice these sorts of things more so than probably a few of you. You see when you struggle with infertility, whether it be first time infertility or secondary infertility, you notice everything “baby.” With all of that being said, it has prompted me to write this blog post. I have felt like sharing this for a little while, but have always hesitated and held back. So, today you get it in all of its glory (or lack thereof).

For those who do not know what it is like to struggle with infertility, it can prove to be very difficult when trying to offer comfort or help to someone who is struggling with it. And although the intentions may be meant in a very positive way, sometimes words spoken can actually do more harm than good. So, here are some things to consider when you are trying to comfort or help someone who is struggling with infertility:

1. Do not say, “It’s not the right time yet.” Ummm, you basically just told this woman who has been trying to conceive a child for who knows how long that she got the timing all wrong. And so this woman is now going to think about the 16 year old cheerleader at the local high school who just found out she is pregnant, and question why it was the “right” time for the teenager but not for her. This statement offers no help or comfort at all.

2. Do not say, “God knows what’s best.” I know you mean well, and I know that God knows what is best for His children, but making this statement to a woman struggling with infertility sends the message that maybe God doesn’t think she will make a good Mom. I know, you are probably thinking that is crazy, but it’s true. That is exactly where her mind will go. She will begin questioning why God is “punishing” her instead of taking your words as an encouragement.

3. “You can have my kid(s) anytime.” A woman struggling with infertility does not find this humorous. It’s not funny, no matter how much you try to laugh about it. A woman struggling with infertility would gladly take all the children in the world, but making these kind of statements comes across as a slap in the face more than a funny joke.

4. Do not say “Just relax. It will happen.” I’m sorry, but for the past who knows how long this woman has done everything she can think of trying to conceive. When all you want is to get pregnant and have that precious bundle of joy of your own, it kind of consumes you. Relaxing is meant for a vacation, not as advice to a woman struggling with infertility.

5. “You already have a child (children), why would you want another one? Just be happy with what you have.” Oh, our children mean the world to us. It has nothing to do with not being happy with what we have. We have a desire to be pregnant again, to feel that sweet precious life growing within our womb again, and to add to our family. We want to be “fruitful and multiply.” For those of us who struggle with secondary infertility, we still love the children we have. Please do not treat our desire as something negative.

And lastly, here are some things to consider when dealing with a woman struggling with infertility:

1. She is hurting deeper than you realize. She may smile at you. She may go to the movies and laugh at your jokes, but deep down she is hurting. Infertility is a pain that goes way deeper than surface level. So when a woman who struggles with infertility tells you she is “fine,” know that deep down she is not fine. She just doesn’t want you to know that.

2. She truly wants to be happy for you. For those of you who are becoming first-time parents, or expecting another addition to your family, a woman struggling with infertility genuinely wants to be happy for you. It is just hard. Seeing or hearing about your pregnancy announcements, pregnancy updates, baby pictures, and other things of that nature is hard for her. It is a reminder of what she so desperately desires for herself, yet has not yet obtained it for whatever reason. So, don’t take offense if she kindly declines from your baby shower, baby’s birthday party, or ends up hiding your posts from her Facebook newsfeed. It just hurts too much at the time.

3. Women who struggle with infertility are everywhere. Infertility is kind of a taboo subject that doesn’t get talked about a lot. But there are more women and couples struggling with infertility than you realize. They are in your neighborhood, at your job, in your church, in your community, and even in your family.

Women and couples struggling with infertility need your love, understanding, and prayers. If you don’t understand what they are going through, simply say that and pray for them. If you don’t know what to say, share that in a nice way and pray for them. Love on them without being awkward.

I hope this post helps someone, whether you are a fellow woman struggling with infertility or someone who knows someone who is. Please feel free to reach out to me if you struggle with infertility, or if you just want to understand a bit more. I welcome questions, tears, vents, and comments. Praying for my fellow women who long for their child of promise.

Jaclyn

Keeping the Faith


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This verse of scripture is one that might seem a bit odd for my post today, seeing as though I am not posting in celebration to an announcement I have been longing over three years to announce. I don’t have that announcement yet. No clever “we’re having a baby” announcement. No cute picture of a tiny pair of TOMS in the middle of my feet and my husband’s feet. No picture of an ultrasound showing the beautiful picture of a miracle made reality. None of that.

No, this post is one of sharing my struggle of a desire still being unfulfilled. A heart left empty yet again. A longing still aching to be made reality. Another month of a heart breaking into a million tiny pieces that nothing and no one can put back together. Not even all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could fix this. It is a pain so deep and so real that it can’t be understood by anyone who has never experienced it. And still a pain that I believe can only truly be understood not only by those who have experienced it, but also by only a woman. I don’t think men can even fully understand the full extent of a heart broken by this desire to have a child.

So, why this verse of scripture then? Why would I choose a verse that is used in celebration? I used it partly because I am told over and over again to keep believing. Keep having faith that my child of promise will come. Keep clinging to my Heavenly Father and trust in Him, that He hears my prayers and is answering them in His time. And the other part is because when this child of promise is made a reality, this will be the verse of scripture painted above his/her crib. It will be not only my reminder of a promise fulfilled, but it will be there as a blessing over my precious miracle.

Call my crazy if you want. Honestly, most days I question my own sanity in more ways that just in this. Again, some days are easier than other days. Some days I can go without shedding a tear over this, and other days it takes all I have not to burst into uncontrollable weeping much less even get out of bed.

Yes, I have a beautiful daughter that I am thankful for. She is a blessing. So, please don’t  be one of those who questions why I would want another child if I already have one. All I can tell you is that I have a longing and a desire to be a mother again. I have a longing to feel a child growing within my womb and to experience the miracle of birth with my husband. And it isn’t one that can be satisfied by anything else. It isn’t like wanting an ice cream cake, and instead choosing a cup of greek yogurt. This is much deeper.

I am told, “in God’s time,” “keep believing,” “you have to have faith,” and “don’t think negatively.” I know all of these are said with well-meaning intentions, but honestly it doesn’t do anything for my deep hurt. Do I believe God can work miracles? Absolutely. Do I have faith that God will one day bless me with my child of promise? Most days. Do I enjoy feeling down and heartbroken? No. But I am human, and I fall short more often than I would like to.

I know I am probably all over the place with this post, but that is how raw emotions are. One minute you feel this way, and the next minute without warning your emotions are on the way opposite side of the spectrum.

I have names for my children of promise: Ada Willow Turner and Liam Eli Turner. (Again, call my crazy if you want to.) I pray that Ada and Liam would grow inside my womb to be healthy, strong, warriors for the kingdom of God. I pray that God will bless me with these precious miracles soon. I pray that my body is healthy enough to carry them and support them. I pray that my broken heart would be mended by the discovery of one (if not both) growing and developing within me. I pray that my sorrow would be replaced with joy. I pray that the enemy would not steal this precious gift from me.

So, 1 Samuel 1:27 is appropriate for this post. To serve as a reminder for me to not lose hope despite how I feel, and to speak life over what appears to be without life for the moment. I must keep believing. I must stand firm in my faith. I must not let the enemy use my emotions to cloud what I know to be true. I must continue looking to the Lord and seeking His face always.

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