My best friends birthday was approaching, It was a significant milestone. I remembered planning ahead trying to figure out what we’re going to do for her.
I contacted her to find out what she had planned, I persisted in asking her until she said “I won’t be having any celebration”.
I sort of expected it because I’ve known for over 20 years and I have never celebrated a birthday with her or celebrated her birthday. I knew her reasons. However, I did not think that such a milestone would go uncelebrated.
She’s single and not currently in a relationship, she’s approaching the age where having children is considered risky, she’s premenopausal. She is in between jobs and between homes.
The last few years have been really difficult for her having lost her dad, which means both parents will not be around when and if she eventually gets married and have children.
Lack of success and achievement in certain areas of our lives, leaves us disappointed and robbed.
You too may be asking yourself as Christmas approaches, what’s there to celebrate?
There is a perceived natural progression of ones life, grow up, go to school, meet your partner, graduate, get married, have children and live happily ever after.
As I’ve come to know, life isn’t always a straight line from A to Z. Life will take you from N to B and, from S to W and back again from V to K.
Live doesn’t give you what you order, God does. Life doesn’t give you what you expect, faith in God does. Life doesn’t give you what you think you should have, trust and hope in God does.
And as a result of not getting to those milestones we decide what, when to celebrate and how to celebrate.
Celebration is not about things. We celebrate because we look inside ourselves and we know that regardless of where we are and how far we still have to go, we have a reason to be thankful because a lot of people did not get as far as we have come.
We are thankful because against all odds, are still standing. we reflect on the good we have in our lives.
I want to encourage you today, If you find yourself void of joy, void of any enthusiasm to celebrate let the births of Christ inspire you.
What is there to celebrate?
For starters, your health, Your amazing support group, The families in your life. For the strength to keep going, your nieces and nephews, for your job.
Count your blessings, and let your focus well on God’s goodness, not on the absence of should have been.
Our cup is not half empty but half full.
This Christmas rejoice in the fullness of joy that Christ brought when he came into our world. This is why we celebrate.
How often have you wondered what’s going on in your life, how did I get here? How am I going to get out of it? How will it all turn out?
It is often the case, going through infertility leaves us with countless questions.
There’s also someone who wondered about what was going on in her life.
Mary was a little girl from a little village she was betrothed to be married and she was suddenly pregnant.
I imagine many a night Mary ponded what was going on with her? She wondered about her future even though the Angel told her she was carrying the saviour, I imagine in a quietness of her heart,
She had to still process it all. She must have faced doubt even as she progressed in her pregnancy
I imagine she was plagued with so many questions. I don’t think the angels kept coming to reassure her, that the child she was carrying is actually the saviour. There were no account of angels coming month after month to encourage her. Mary trusted God and held him to that promise.
I imagine Mary processed what was going on as she looked at her changing body day and night, contended with knowing and questioning looks from those around her. I imagine even Jospeh’s family may have wondered and she may have wondered as well what on earth do they think happened..
Yes, infertility and what Mary experienced are worlds apart, but nevertheless there are some lessons to draw from Mary’s experience:
Have you pondered what’s going on? Worried about knowing looks, about your aging body? Worried about what the future holds and how you will deal with it?
As I have frequently said in this place we don’t know the future, we don’t know how our story will end, all we can do is hold onto God’s promises.
Has he told you anything? Ponder over them. Has he promised you something? Ponder over it and trust Him completely With your future.
Just like Mary let your soul Him for his wonderful promise which will be fulfilled in your life.
I want to talk today about the fast and slow lane.
If like me you drive regularly, you will understand what I’m talking about. There is a fast lane, where drivers can drive at the maximum speed limit, it’s faster than inner lanes on the dual carriageway. Often, these lanes cannot be distinguished during traffic congestion giving the perception of a faster or slower lane.
How one sees traffic during such times depends on how much of a hurry you are to get to your destination.
Sometimes it also depends on what you think is happening in front of you or around you. So often I’m driving and seem to be stuck in my lane while the lanes to my right or left is moving, I veered into “fast” lanes, only for it to become stationery.
I look back to the lane I had just come off, which is now the faster lane, my goodness I should have stayed on that lane which is now or appears to be faster, sometimes I go back and repeat the process a few times, before I give up.
This happens to me often and I am hoping to improve on my lane hopping skills.
Every time, I tell myself, today is the day I’m not going to switch I’m not going to look at what’s happening to my right, or my left I’m just gonna stay in my lane but soon find myself switching.
A bit like the grass being greener on the other side.
It seems like they have everything going for them, no ruffled feathers, are married with 2.4 kids, good jobs, good house, well manicured lawn, and we wish.
“Oh my goodness I wish I could have that”
Have you been trying to be pregnant since forever, multiple IVFs, and failed cycle and Still no child. While your friends, neighbour or sister in law keeps popping them? It’s natural to sometimes wish you were in that other person’s shoes.
We really don’t know what’s going on in that lane, in other peoples live, until we switch lanes, an appearance of speed or bliss isn’t always the case.
My encouragement to us, is to stick it out, in your lane, in your world, while hoping for the best outcome.
Expect, prepare, be at peace, regardless of what is going on in other peoples lives, around you.
Your lane maybe slower but it will move and in time take you to your destination.
There maybe detours, road blocks, temporary traffic lights causing serious traffic jam, in the form of IVFs, endometriosis, miscarriage, delays.
Your journey is not compared with anybody else’s so stick it out.
Take the detours, complete the IVfs, do the treatment again if possible, hope, Pray, expect and repeat.
As I read about the baby news of Isreal Houghton and his wife Adrienne, my heart leaped for joy, this couple have been married for about 5 years and behind the scenes they have hoped, prayed, while trying for a baby.
Infertility is no respecter of persons, rich, poor, high class, low class, infertility can and have broken couples, marriages and relationships.
So I was excited for this news that they have conceived via a surrogate mother, and even though they have continued to be public figures, behind the scenes they have pleaded with God, expected, and held on..
So be encouraged, right now, you maybe at your wits end, wondering when Lord, why Lord, How Lord. The behind the scenes experiences where
we cry, we pray, we slop, we start again is not public view, but heavens knows and sees.This poem puts simply
behind the scenes we
fall apart and let the broken pieces of our emotions dance before us.
behind the sciences we sometimes smile and grasp to the last shred of hope, perhaps there will come a day!!!
And hope is all we bond on to.
Behind the scenes we keep on keeping on,
we gather strength and give it one more try,
When strength fails and the future seems bleak,
behind the scenes sometimes the sun comes and breaks through the dark cloud.
my prayer for all those still waiting is to stay the course and trust His perfect plan.
Here we are, the last day of 2021. We were given 375 days, but not everyone made it to the end.
My prayer at the start of 2021 was for protection, to remain in health and strength. Looking back I can see that my prayers were answered. Of course I asked for other blessings, but I have come to know that lasting blessings are worth more than material wealth or comfort.
As you look back over the year, what blessings stand out to you?
What battles did you overcome? Where there small mile stones you celebrated?
We sometimes over look some blessings because they don’t seem to come front and centre. compared to the big things we asked for.
I get it. For years having a child of my own was front and centre for me as well, it was my number one prayer at the beginning and end of each year.
At some point, I yielded my expectations, dreams and hope to God. I prayed for strength and he gave me strength to continue to expect, I prayed for wisdom and he directed my steps to the right places, he placed good friends in my path a support system through trying times.
These blessings were not front and centre non did they featured in my prayer list at the beginning of the year, but taking stock at the time, they were answers to prayers.
So as you look back, to 2021. Give thanks for those who helped you on this journey, the spouse/partner who stayed and support you. The Holy Spirits leading and the strength to continue and hope on into 2022.
Hope is defined by Webster: “to desire with expectation of fulfil.” Continue to hope in 2022, but give hope wings, infuse your hope with faith in the God who makes all things possible.
Because hope expects, faith believes and receives.
The Birth of Christ brought profound joy as well as grim news of a saviour who would die and rescue the world.
Mary felt Joy for Her saviour and child was born. But she also knew that he will be opposed for he’s appointed for the rise and fall of many. Luke 2.34-35.
I imagined she was sad/thorn because of the impending danger he faced early and later years in life.
Yes, Christmas morning brought both joy and sadness. And as the years rolled by Mary watched her baby the saviour slept, with teary eyes, she knew the holy one of Israel would pay for the sins of the world.
So why she was happy at his birth. The long awaited arrival of the saviour meant joy for Many, but for Mary his arrival ended her peace. Her heart felt pain each time he went out of the house.
Every time he left the house, She anticipated, she wondered at every knock, every greeting, her heart skipped a beat. Has the time come?
So for you Christmas morning may mean so many things it maybe mixed with Joy and happiness, you are here still standing, a loving partner, family and friends, a job, and hope for the future.
Or you may have lost your marriages, had another miscarriage, loss a child, received the dreaded news of blocked tubes, ageing eggs, No job, no funds. Yes Christmas came, but your reality is one of fear for the future.
On this Christmas day, let your heart be quiet and still, be reassured that you are His priced possession.
Your celebration maybe with gratitude, joy, dissatisfaction or disappointment. Just know that “you are His and He is yours”.
Christmas is more than just physical gifts it is an eternal gift of Hope, Joy, deep contentment in knowing that He who has promised will be faithful as He said:
“I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you”.That’s the true gift of ChristmasHis abiding presence with us, which is our reassuring Hope.
When you think of Christmas and the period leading up to it, I am sure you are not thinking of variants, lockdowns and isolating. .
Lately all we read about is how far covid has spread, the various variants, numbers infected and living under the threat of lockdowns.
Christmas and the time leading up to it, use to be a time of excitement, anticipation, waiting for that gift, looking forward to carol services, the dread of secret santa, expecting friends and family for the pre- Christmas lunch/parties and post Christmas visits.
After the Christmas festivities we begin to plan for the year ahead. But the uncertainty of Covid has caused panic around the globe, the question on everyone’s lips-
“Is another lockdown coming or not”.
The present situation makes me pause and wonder about the few days before Christ birth,
How did Mary and Joseph felt at the coming of a baby at a time of great uncertainty? They had to travel to Bethlehem for the censors.
Making that journey miles away, with Mary only a few days from birth was no small feat. Only to arrive with no room anywhere in town not even in the inn, but in the manger in the inn.
The uncertainty surrounding Christ birth is nothing compared to what we face today.
Mary must have uttered a silent prayer to God. “Remember us lord” Help us God”.“Protect us God”.
I am sure she did, because they had to flee a few days after his birth, on the run to save His life. She must have constantly prayed for safety carrying the promised child.
You too may have had your procedure cancelled or postponed, or maybe expecting after a long wait and living under the uncertainty of what the future holds for you and your child. Under the threat of Covid and other external factors.
During times of stress and distress we often cry out for help, we ask God the higher power for intervention, to step in and often he does.
Just like He stepped into Rachel’s situation and she became pregnant. God stepped in and saved Jesus from being slaughtered.
He will remember you and step in.
He does and has not forgotten you, he knows your name, your situation and location.
Draw near to him now and stay close, and be enclosed in His peace. He will come and he will help you.
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14
In our previous posts I wrote about Rachel and how God remembered her. often we make statements like ”God remembered me”.
But does God forget? That’s the question. Has he forgotten about you?
God is not human and does not forgets like humans beings does.
But often we use the word “God has remembered me”. Usage of that word suggests there is a flaw in God. A human flaw of forgetfulnesses.
Man is fallible so, man forgets. But God is not a human that he should forget, right? Nor a human that he should lie, has he said it and will he not do it?
Let me Put it to you that God does forgets. Yes he does. He forgets your sins. He himself said “I will remember their sins no more”. So here, God deliberately forgets and erase your sins from His memories. So when He looks at you He sees you clean.
Earlier on in my quest for a child I went through various scenarios, of times when I may have done somethings for which I was atoning for. It could be anything but the guilt of it all stacks up even more when I couldn’t fall pregnant.
I knew I was forgiven, I knew the delay was not a result of things I may have done. I just couldn’t stop thinking there was something that is causing the delay. I wanted an answer and maybe you do too. It’s so easy to find a reason to hold on to. Hence we blame it on some past wrong doings.
We sometimes think that there is an underlining deep spiritual message that God was trying to send us?
God did not keep the receipt, He clears the hard drive and every backup copy, He destroyed them. He does not remember my sins. He Forgot.
So I want to challenge you today to take whatever mistakes you think you have made, use an erase-able pan or a pencil Stack them up.
write what you remember one by one,
Put a strike next to them.
Scribble over them.
Then use the eraser and rob them out.
Finally rip the paper.
Do the same on your computer/Ipad or smart phone.
start typing out all the things you think you may have done wrong,
then press the back button or highlight them and
then delete it all without saving.
This is what God did.
He deleted, he erased, then ripped up the evidence. He doesn’t remember your sins because when you ask for his forgiveness he just erase it. He wiped the slate clean, he cannot remember and see you as new when he looks at you.
So the next time you think the delays you are experiencing is because of some past sins, some jealousy, habits or other horrible stuff, Just Remember, He doesn’t remember your sins.
You are forgiven, washed and cleaned and you have put on Christ As Paul said, so each time you pray he sees Christ. Not your sins.
He sees His son whom he sent as a baby a long time ago to come and cover you, to come and stand in your place on the cross.
Now you are dressed in righteousness and faultless to stand before His throne. That’s who you are, faultless. So come boldly thanking him, for his forgetfulness.
In his book God came near, Max Lucado wrote. Do yourself a favour purge your cellar . Exorcise your basement. Take the Roman nails of Calvary and board up the door.