1) I can't believe I haven't updated in a week! It was that time of the month, so I was feeling pretty tired this past week. It is still hard. Every month. It starts and I think I guess there is not going to be a miracle this month. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I didn't believe in miracles.
2) Our visit with our house guests went well despite the unexpected news. They ended up staying until Thursday (last Thursday, not today). I found out they hadn't told anybody about their pregnancy so it wasn't just us. Not sure why. Hopefully, I didn't out their pregnancy on my blog. A friend who knows them didn't know who I was talking about so hopefully no one else knew either. However, it will be pretty difficult to hide it if that is their intention since the baby bump is getting pretty obvious.
3) I am doing better as far as the other unexpected news we received. Even though it is not much longer (about 6 months longer than we were expecting), it feels like it is so far off now. John actually told me he was sorry he said it was okay for us to be excited :( I think he is having as hard a time with it as I am. He said he almost threw away my Adoptive Families magazine away when it arrived. He copes by getting angry, I get sad. I am trying to adjust my attitude and embrace this waiting time. I have several things I am thinking about doing over this next year. I will post about them very soon. I am going to an information meeting about one of them tonight so I want to wait until I get more information before putting it "out there."
4) I do have to brag on my husband. John just finished his first year of school to become a family nurse practitioner. One more year to go! He finished this first year with a 4.0 GPA!!! The Friday before last, he was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International - The Honor Society of Nursing. And just yesterday, he found out that he was selected as the most outstanding 1st year FNP student. I am so proud of him. He has worked so hard over this past year and it is wonderful to see his hard work recognized. Here are a couple pics from the induction ceremony.
5) My position at work is being converted from a contract position to a government position, which means more pay and much better benefits, especially in regards to vacation and sick days. Previously, I had no sick days at all and only 10 vacation days. This didn't sound too bad until I had to take a week of unpaid leave when the federal government shut down this past winter because of the blizzard. I am excited to be able to save more money towards our adoption and also be able to continue to pay my in-laws back for the money they loaned us for infertility treatment. I think I would be a little bitter about all the money we spent, but because we were part of the shared risk program, we got almost $16,000 back which was the start of our adoption fund.
6) On Saturday, I was able to attend a Prayer Rally for North Korea. It is exciting to see how God is uniting together many ministries and churches (especially Korean churches) together for His purposes for North Korea. At the beginning of the day we had a time of prayer for repentance and healing (how can we ask God to work out something in North Korea when we have a log in our own eye). An invitation to come up and be prayed for was given and initially I didn't think I would go. But then they mentioned how it is difficult to love others when you are doubting God's love for you. Infertility has taken its toll on me in many ways. Sometimes I really struggle to believe God is at work in my situation. I was sitting there feeling overwhelmed by so many emotions - doubting God's love, doubting His plan, hurting, and wanting so much to have more faith to believe. So I decided to go up to receive prayer. A pastor (though I didn't know he was a pastor at the time) and another gentleman laid hands on me and prayed. It was truly amazing. I didn't say anything to them and yet they prayed for everything I had been thinking. The first gentleman prayed for God to show His glory (actually he said this many times), for God to show His love to me in a tangible way, for more faith, and for healing from the pain. Then I was totally blown away when the pastor prayed for me. He said he saw me as a little girl who the heavenly Father was delighting in. Though I stumble and fall at times, He smiles at me, even laughs, He is so happy with me, and He knows I am trying. How I wish I could capture everything he said because he gave me the most beautiful picture of my heavenly Father, one that was much needed. I had a view of God as critical and judging of all my faults and I have not found it easy to shake this idea even though intellectually I know it is untrue. This picture of God as a loving Father who is cheering me on and delighting in me even when I fall down is radically different. It reminded me of a loving father who is watching his little one learn to walk. He doesn't get angry when the child falls down. He smiles, he encourages, he laughs, he delights. I never was able to wrap my mind around this picture of God before. I believe this pastor gave me a beautiful gift. When I have failed this past week, my mind has returned to this picture of God - still loving me, still delighting in me.
Then the first gentleman prayed again and said he had a clear vision of me riding a horse in a green pasture. I am not sure what to make of this one. What comes to mind is being carefree and at peace. Interesting considering that is what I have been seeking. I want to be free of this pain of infertility and pregnancy loss. I want and desperately need Christ's peace and healing. At the end they both said that they felt like that day was the beginning of a new day in my life. I am still pondering their words.
7) To be truthful, it was difficult to focus my prayers on North Korea. My mind kept returning to God's plan for us as far as children. This was partly not my fault because for some reason the subject of adoption came up repeatedly throughout this meeting, either in the context of our spiritual adoption or in regards to the orphans in North Korea and Northeast China (also North Korean children). In fact someone even specifically prayed for an opening up of adoption for the children in Northeast China. To be honest I was thinking it would never happen, but then I read that in fact a bill had already been introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback to allow for these adoptions. Definitely felt my heart stirring on this one.
8) I was feeling bad for having so much trouble focusing my prayers, but then Sunday at church my pastor said that when a particular thing keeps coming to our mind when we are praying, it is because that is what we need to be praying about!
I am behind on my blog commenting, but you girls are definitely in my prayers. Lisa and "A" I am praying specifically for your cycles. I am so hopeful for you both!