third times a charm, right?

This is the third time I’ve sat down at a keyboard to write this story. The first time was in October of 2010 and the second time was in September of 2013. And now today, July of 2017. The Lord has once again ushered us to taking the step of faith into battling my infertility. We recently learned that our third round of fertility intervention failed, and are anxiously preparing for round four.

So, as we wait and pray (and blog) in the hopes of a third child, I feel a little like a broken record. Except this record has a new melody each time it gets played.

You know that visual of a broken jar that gets put back together in order for the light to shine thru the cracks. And how the light would never have been seen if not for the brokenness. And how that’s God’s work in our lives. I love that visual. I love the fact that He makes beauty shine thru our weakness. So when I think about our infertility journeys, I visualize it as the same jar, being re-shattered and put back together with light shining thru from the old cracks and fresh light shining thru the new cracks. The Lord uses each piece of our jar to reveal more to us about Himself. Some painful and some so full of His love and protection.

About a year ago, the Lord began pressing it on our hearts that He may just have more planned for our family. We had suffered several losses on both sides our family and thru our grief, I began hearing His voice of promise. I began hearing Him remind me that while He is a God that takes away, He is also a God that gives. We stepped out in faith and so here we are.

I remember being three negative rounds into the journey the first time. I was disappointed and sad all the time. But mostly, I remember putting so much faith into the science. I remember how easy it was for me to take the Lord’s work out of the equation. And then He blessed us with our little brown eyed girl. When we found ourselves at that place the second time around, I clearly remember how angry I was at the Lord. After He was faithful to us the first time, why would He put us thru this again? I questioned Him a lot. I wondered why he could be so cruel as to make us go thru that again when He obviously could give us a child.¬†How ignorant I was to assume God was being cruel to us. The timing of the birth of our second child was perfect. She came into our family at a time where we deeply needed that joy that can only come from a precious newborn. God proved His love for His people thru the perfect timing of her birth. I will always remember how it was a balm to our souls.

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And so here we are. Three rounds in. Getting ready for round four. We’ve been here before. We’ve walked this road.

But we’re different.

If we’ve learned anything from God’s work in our family thru moving us to Wichita, it’s that His love for us is indescribable. And the way He chooses to prove that to us never comes how we would have planned.

It comes greater.

It comes bigger.

It comes better.

Will it feel greater, bigger & better at times? No. Will we get distracted by our selfish ambitions and our temporary needs. Yes. Am I exempt from those things just because I’m more mature now in my faith than I was 7 years ago? Of course not! Even right now I’m trying hard not to focus on how it would be really convenient for me if the Lord would just hurry up and provide us another child because I don’t want that big of an age gap between my babies. Oh how quickly we wander, amen? Bind my wandering heart to thee, oh Lord!

We are promised the security of His one and only plan for our family. And for that I rejoice. And for that I will praise Him in the waiting. And cling to Him in my wandering.

In all my sorrows, Jesus is better. Make my heart believe.
In every victory, Jesus is better. Make my heart believe.
Than any comfort, Jesus is better. Make my heart believe.
More than all riches, Jesus is better. Make my heart believe.
Our souls declaring, Jesus is better. Make my heart believe.
And our song eternal, Jesus is better. Make my heart believe.

why: known by him

Do you struggle to be whole & content in that you are fully known by Him? I do. It’s a battle. And most days I feel defeated.

I confessed my sin to my dear friend on the phone this week. Telling her that the Lord has used our move to convict me of an idol in my life. An idol that I can now see how it has infiltrated into all the nooks and crannies of how I live and speak.

I seek, strive and manipulate in order to be known more by man than resting in my assurance that I am fully known by Him.

Now, I know that’s nothing profound. I know that is a blanket statement that probably rings true for most believers. For me personally, I can look back thru my life and see evidence of performing to be known.

As a child, I sought the approval of my father. I desperately wanted to be known by him and I worked hard as a little girl to earn his favor. As a teenager, I looked to worldly things to gain approval and I dove into unhealthy relationships hoping to be truly known.

Then I became a Christian at age 18 and fear of wanting to be known and approved of took on a different role. I found security in my conversion story. If you’ve heard the story of how I came to salvation, you know the drama of it. I don’t mean drama in the ‘teenage -eye-rolling’ sense. I mean the real heart-wrenching kind of drama that hurts & shocks. It’s not the story I would choose for anyone else, but it’s the story God gave me. To Him be the glory in the words I use when sharing His story.

The problem is this. I’m 32 now and I have found too much of my identity in the story, not in the giver of my story and the identity I have thru Him.

I have wanted to be known for my story. I’m proud of it and don’t feel ashamed by it. But yet I know that I work tirelessly to prove to man that I am more than my story. It’s an exhausting feat, never be to conquered.

It’s God’s story anyway. It’s about Him. It’s a story that shows God’s character, not mine. But for better or worse, I have deep rooted fears and insecurities that stem from my childhood. They create an anxiety to be known by man, and even more, to be know AND approved of. So guess what God did for me? He called my husband to a new job 10 hours away from all the earthly relationships & roles I was trusting in to mold this identity. In His incredible kindness, He isolated me.

In the 1940’s when imprisoned, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote over 200 letters and theological writings. ‘Letters & Papers From Prison’ is seen as the capstone of his work. In several of these letters, he, understandably, laments over who he is and who he belongs to.

In one letter, he writes

‘Who am I’: ‘One must completely abandon any attempt to make something of oneself … [instead] we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God.’

And in another,

‘In short, I know less than ever about myself, and I’m no longer attaching any importance to it.’

Am I comparing my recent pain & isolation to his imprisonment. Of course not.But I do believe that God uses isolation and crisis in our life to force us into searching for truer identity in Him, like Bonhoeffer is referring to. For me, rejection, isolation and crisis brings on a reality check that I really don’t know anything about myself…but God does. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.

There is kind of a pattern in my life. God knows that my greatest struggle is my identity and contentment with being known. Or it can also be said as the unsettled feeling of not being known by man. He also knows I’m stubborn and have to have my hand forced at times. At an early age, I learned the pain of rejection. I carry it with me everyday. It has shaped the foundation of my anxieties and insecurities. Throughout my adult years there have been experiences that cut down to that foundation and pull it to the surface. I’ve been broken down by words and accusations from people that I love very deeply. It has caused a huge identity crisis.

So here is where I am today. It has been over two years since my last blog post over on my old blog, July 2014. I’ve yearned to flush out my heart into words on to a screen.

But there has been too much life.

Too much pain.

A lot of loss.

A lot of change.

He has been breaking me.

Reshaping me.

Refining me.

Revealing to me.

Convicting me.

Intentionally causing an identity crisis within my heart.

Reminding me that I am known by Him.

That is what I will cling to.

This line from the song Brokenness Aside rings so true in my heart:

Cause I am a sinner. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Caught up in words, tangled in lies. You are a savior and you take brokenness aside and make it beautiful.

I have asked myself ‘who am I?’ a lot over the last few years. I’m not questioning my identity in Christ. I am fully confident in that. No, what I have learned is to ask myself this question: do I trust that being known fully by Him and Him alone is a safe place? Yes.

So back to where I started. Why did I give my blog this name? It’s pretty simple. I am fully known by Him. My sin wants me to be known more by man. But man will disappoint. Man will hurt. I will fail myself, and others that I love. We live in a broken world. I want this blog to be a place where I can flush out my efforts to be satisfied in that He knows me. And my efforts to know Him more fully.

Like I said before, I know none of this is new or profound information about our relationship with our Savior. But this is just my heart behind my blog title. But hey, I do find some comfort in knowing that when tested, even the great Dietrich Bonhoeffer questioned his identity. And maybe you’re someone who needed this simple reminder today.

You are Known intimately by the creator of the universe. You are more loved by your savior than words could ever explain. You are safe in Him. You are made new in Him. This world is broken, but our God is not. Words and actions by other sinners may break your spirit and cause you to wonder your worth in this life. Christ has made you worthy. That is our foundation.

 1 Corinthians 8:3
But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

~ Missy

*I would love to have you check out the “about our family” tab at the top to learn a little more about my little clan that I love so dearly.

*A special thanks to my sweet friend, Emily Smith, for designing my blog logo.