“Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.
You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
Bring Joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.”
Psalm 86:1-4

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes…”
Psalm 119:71

From these scriptures I have gleaned that occasions of desperation prepare the way for the recognition of Christ Himself, for example, when
-the wine ran out at the party
-the disciples fished all night and caught nothing
-huge crowds had nothing to eat
-a great storm came, putting the disciples lives in danger
-a child died
-a dear friend was crippled
– a man was plagued with leprosy

In our weakness, Christ appears in His Mighty Strength and Power to conquer, fix, heal, and answer all the “problems” faced. Into each situation came Christ Jesus, bringing His Love, healing, His peace. He still comes to those who are weak and ask. He is El Shaddai, the God who is enough.

There are people out there who believe many different things about affliction, pain & suffering.
Some believe it is merely in your head and that the problem isn’t real… assuming you are weak spiritually and so you suffer. Others will go as far as to say that there must be some terrible sin in your life and that you are being punished for it because bad things don’t happened to good people. Yet others say everything happens for a reason.
I disagree with all of these points.
I do think some things happen for a reason… we do live in a world of sowing and reaping. There are consequences to our choices… good and bad. I also think that we live in a sin stained world… we have much sin that we deserve punishment for. Thankfully we have a Savior who paid that finally debt for us and that battle has been won. As Christians we live in the victory of the cross. We live in the freedom of what Christ died for. Does that mean we won’t have pain or suffering? Of course not, the Bible prepares us for quite the contrary.
In Mark 13:17, Christ is preparing the disciples for end times… “How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Pray this will not happen in the winter…”
We have been in “end times” for 1900 years… since Christ ascended to Heaven.
“We know that the suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His Love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” Romans 5:3-5
Romans 5:6
“You see just at the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”

We are powerless without Him. How sad is the man who puts faith in himself and in the creation around us rather than the Creator.

One of my favorite verses through this time is, 1 Peter 4:12-19.
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at your painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His Glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of the glory and of God rests on you…
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”

There is much scripture that talks about the woman having pain and suffering in childbirth. That is no surprise for me… I have been down this road before (5 times before). The pain has gotten much greater… I am also not surprised of that. I know in my heart that I have been obedient to God’s call to accept His gift of another child. I believe He never gives us more than we can bare. I came very close to feeling like I couldn’t bare the pain at times. But never did I regret allowing the Lord to do His work in creating another life in me. What an honor that He would entrust Isaac and I to raise another one of His Children. He closes women’s wombs in different ways and at different seasons of life. It is amazing to me how he has been providing the strength! I am excited to watch how the Lord blesses us with this child. We have been persecuted by some for having a large family. Today’s culture is not very gracious on this topic. It is humorous to me how perfect strangers and friends alike all think their opinion matters. When really we answer to only one God!

I believe there is a big plan for this baby’s life. Every child has the potential to make change in a broken and corrupt world. I compelled to share with you how I was encouraged by doctors to abort. Not just this pregnancy, but 2 others as well. I can not imagine what my life would be like without my dear Austin, Luke or this baby. If I were a women who had no faith and trusted doctors alone and took every word as if it were truth and gospel… they would not be here. I am sure anyone who knows my children would be shocked to know why and how many times we have been persecuted for trusting the Lord in faith and moving forward without a flinch. Even family members think we are crazy… some say so… others keep it to themselves, but you can see it in their attitudes and comments they say about the consumption of big families and so forth.
Yet none of them would ever say you shouldn’t have had that one. They are all treasured and loved.
After feeling very persecuted and run down physically, spiritually and emotionally. An older, more wise lady in our congregation rebuked me when I said I have been persecuted. She educated me and I feel compelled to share this wisdom with you.

After being questioned by a fellow believer if it was really worth this child’s life… I felt very hurt and shocked that someone that I knew to be pro-life and such a strong believer would say this.
I called it persecution as I vented. She reminded me gently that persecution only comes from enemies… fellow Christians aren’t typically enemies… they are allies/ on the same team. She went on to explain what had happened as “friendly fire.”
During the Persian Gulf war tragedy struck American families as many of our soldiers were killed because of our mistakes… we killed our own troops by accident. They had clouded vision and made massive mistakes that cost many lives of team members.
What I was experiencing was friendly fire. There was some form of clouded vision, either by emotions and concern or by worldly ideas, or both. The reality of this gave me a clearer perspective and helped me to forgive the pain caused and the words spoken. It wasn’t there fault entirely… clouded vision causes people to make mistakes to team members.
I believe all these things to be confirmation that having this child is totally ordained… why else would I be experiencing so much opposition? Satan doesn’t want strong followers of Christ to be having babies and raising them up to be spiritual warriors for the Lord. He has been doing all he can to discourage me and tempt me when I am at my weakest. Sharing this with you is my way of claiming he has no power over me or this situation, or my pain, or my circumstances. Satan has no power here. I am going to fight and keep running the
race. With the Lord being my only source of strength and experiencing the blessing of many well trained children (which took a lot of work I might add… it is not luck), we will get through this trial and do it glorifying Him all the way.