Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I will be a mom someday by: April Elder

I will be a mom someday” is the note I posted on my bathroom mirror the day I decided to finally let God have control of my pain, despair and emptiness. See, I’m a control freak; typical, type A, sometimes bossy personality (just ask my 2 younger sisters and my hubby). But this particular day, I had to let go.
When my husband and I got married in 2000, we never imagined we would struggle with infertility. After three failed attempts at insemination and watching my sister and many of my cousins get pregnant with ease, I found myself at the bottom of the barrel; resenting every woman in the world who carried a baby. Heck, I’d even stopped going to family functions because the anguish of seeing all the new babies and growing bellies each holiday ripped more of my heart into pieces. Resentment and self-pity weren’t very conducive to family functions. The pain had become a physical one, deep inside me, that heavily weighed me down.
Why was God doing this to me? Why was He doing this to someone who wanted a baby SO badly that it consumed every moment of my life; every breath. It robbed me of sleep.
Some people spend thousands of dollars and years of their lives dealing with infertility (and believe me, I get it) but that just wasn’t for me. I was emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained after only a few months. I couldn’t endure more hormone shots, ultrasounds, blood work, night sweats, uncontrollable outbursts or disappointment when I got another negative pregnancy test. I was toast. I knew adoption was what I wanted.
My husband was not so sure, unfortunately. It is a huge leap of faith to take in another person’s baby as your own. Will it feel like a real family? Will I love it as much as a biological child? Is adoption just a back-up plan and therefore giving up too soon? I’m sure all these thoughts were running through his mind but not mine! I never hesitated for a second after we got the last negative pregnancy test. I often joked that I would’ve accepted a cyclops. It didn’t matter. I just wanted a baby, any baby, in my arms. For me, it was God’s will for building our family, no doubt. And it didn’t take long for me to change my husband’s mind. Remember, I’m controlling…I mean convincing.
So fast-forward eighteen months or so. I’m in the baby’s nursery, as I was every day. We were told that preparing the nursery could be therapy for waiting parents. Not so much for me, though. The waiting was killing me. Our adoption paperwork had been completed and approved months ago! I was still so empty, just like this nursery. I would hold all the gifts we’d received, stare at the empty crib and flip through all the books I intended to read to my little one. But this one day, something different happened. All of a sudden, tears flooded my face and I buried it into the nursery carpet. I submitted myself and my pain to God. I told him, yelled at him actually, that I was so tired – tired of being angry and empty. I couldn’t control this situation any longer. Then I heard His voice in my head. “You WILL be a mom someday.” The word, will, was the key. It was going to happen, He’d just promised me. But only He knew when. I had to trust Him! I had turned my angry back on Him. I had blamed Him.
So at that moment, I handed Him the steering wheel that I had a death grip on. I marched down to my bathroom where I displayed His personal message on my mirror to read each morning. A huge peace filled me and His comfort took the place where despair once resided.
Only a few, short weeks later, we got the call from our case-worker that our baby girl was ready. She had been chosen as ours long before the creation of the world. But I had been too blinded by anger and blame to realize that I couldn’t welcome a baby that hadn’t been born!
And then twenty months later, we were suddenly gifted our second daughter. We weren’t at all planning on another baby but once again, the Lord already had it all planned. He knew my two beautiful girls, now nine and ten, were the perfect fit for our family. He created them and knit them together so perfectly inside another woman’s womb. How could I have ever doubted Him? But that too, was part of His perfect plan. What He wanted me to learn that unforgettable day, is that everything is in His immaculate timing. All He wants is for us to rely on our faith and trust Him no matter what our circumstances are.

April Elder

Monday, October 14, 2013

Woman2Woman by: Jan Rohr

When I was much younger I noticed the many women that were older and more mature. They seemed to have life all together, confident in who they were and what they were doing. I often wondered if I would ever feel that calm confident self they seemed to display. Many decades later I am the “much older woman”. I am a mom with four married children. Counting the spouses we now have eight adults and two grandbabies. Time has passed by with such speed I am amazed. I do not relate to this 60+ year old generation that I am in. I do not relate to a soon approaching retirement. I am still the same “me”. I do not always have life all together nor am I always confident in who I am and what I am doing. I do not always understand what is happening, but I always know who does.
I have been in church since I came into this world. I value the church body, feeling strongly that we must function as a healthy family. It is in the culture of the church that generations should be able to come together, enjoying each other with loving relationships. We can help each other in a powerful way. We can experience our relationship with Jesus together.

I have had many opportunities with mentoring type relationships. At times it is a formal assignment at school with a new teacher or student from the University. The purpose and direction is very controlled and planned. The most fun happens when such a relationship turns into a time of sharing God’s goodness. So many many people are hungry to understand the stability of the Christian life. We have many opportunities if we look around to those we rub shoulders with everyday.
My husband and I have also had opportunities to mentor younger adults. The dearest to us has happened in the past 7 years. I must change names but want to tell you the blessing we have had by reaching out and getting involved in people’s lives and one in particular.

Ashley was a girl the same age as our twins. Gretchen and Katie had met her at a church here in our LaPorte neighborhood. The girls had her over to stay for a couple of nights when we realized this teenager was going from house to house with a basket of clothes. No one was watching her, no one was making sure she was safe or keeping her accountable. Gary and I took Ashley into our room to have a heart to heart talk. We wanted to know what was going on….where were her parents?…what was she was going to do?, etc. Within a few minutes we realized this girl needed to live with us. We committed to taking care of her for her senior year in high school. She was going to become a part of our family, living by our rules, living our life style. I spent many hours talking to Ashley. I talked to her about the Lord and the stability she can have by living for him. I reminded her that she had no choice over the dysfunction of her childhood family, but that she had total control over her adult family. I reminded her of how special she was and how much Jesus loved her. Ashley continues to be a big part of our lives. She is marrying into a wonderful Christian family, a family that is pastoring a church in Florida. Her life has been changed because of God’s love. What a blessing it has been for all of us. This may be a different experience in mentoring. It is however an opportunity to share life and help when possible. As Christians we are so blessed to become a vessel that Jesus uses to help others.

As I think back to my experiences I am reminded that we all have something to offer other women in our lives. My adjustments are many…..divorce, mother of multiples, obesity, depression, living a long distance from my childhood family, marital situations and counseling, teaching young children to read, role as a mother in law, empty nest, financial situations, grandparenting, etc. My list goes on, so what do you have to bring to our table of “women helping women”?
W2W is a program created by women for women. Its desire is to provide opportunities to “do life together”. Our desire is to provide women with similar life experiences to encourage and support women who just need someone to share life with. It does not always mean a long “mentoring” type relationship. It may be someone to pray with during a challenging experience or it may turn into a longer relationship. It is a decision that the women involved will make.

At this time we have several women willing to help others with specific issues. If you would like to get involved in such a ministry please email us to begin the process.  Blessings to all of you, ”my sisters in Christ”. We are here to “walk beside” our friends as they experience life’s challenge.

-Jan Rohr

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Going it Alone by Lisa Byrd


The idea of creating a support group for women who have spouses, yet sit alone in church, Sunday after Sunday, was birthed due to many of my own lonely and unsettled years.

When my husband and I married, neither of us walked with the Lord. I always considered myself a believer and like so many believers, I thought that was all it took to be “right with the Lord”.

Long, convoluted story short, the Lord got my attention and called me to a truer walk with Him, my husband, not so much. He will tell you there is something other than this faith, but he doesn’t like discussing it.

I spent many days sitting in church by myself, jealous of the couples who looked so contented and sweet together. I let my imagination tell me their lives were perfect because he was a believer. His wife must be so proud.

Well, the truth is they have baggage, too. Their baggage just looks a little different from some of my own.

I wish I could tell you that coming to “Going it Alone” would assure that your husband will become a believer. Unfortunately, only God knows that.

I can tell you that it feels good to have other people to talk with who are having some of the same experiences you are. I can tell you that if you come to “Going it Alone” you can count on others praying for you and your family. I can tell you if you come to “Going it Alone”, you won’t feel so much like you’re going through this faith walk all by yourself.

One of the core ideas of “Going it Alone” is to have a Godly marriage; sometimes, that can feel impossible if you’re the only one trying. Our Heavenly Father walks with us daily, so even when it feels like you’re out there alone, you’re not. Those of us who get together at “Going it Alone” also have a few others walking with us. I’ve always believed, the more the merrier!

Come join us and see what we’re about, every third Tuesday of each month, 7pm, at the Crosspoint campus, 1134 Old Alvin Rd, Pearland, TX.