“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” -Mt 7:7-8
Prayer is the lifeline of a believer when he or she is pulled by the currents of trials and tribulations. When prayer becomes as natural as the air we breathe, it opens up opportunities for God to answer our prayers. Mind you, His answers may not be the ones we specifically seek, but there is always the promise of an answer.
If you are a couple dealing with infertility, these may be times of frustration, anger, and hopelessness. According to medical terms, a couple is infertile after at least a year of unprotected sex. For most couples, once this dreaded deadline passes, it is the beginning of innumerable medical tests and painful poking and prodding. When they eventually learn that they have remote chances of conceiving naturally, it takes them on an emotional and spiritual rollercoaster ride. The stress of whether to go in for fertility treatments, adoption, or simply wait on God for a miracle can be too much to bear, even for a Christian couple.
Couples struggling with infertility go through a whole range of emotions. But, the ones that weigh in the most are feelings of being abandoned by God and a sense of incompleteness. If you relate to this problem, then I want you to know that God has not abandoned you. Being ‘childless’ does not make you any less in the eyes of your Maker.
If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on the path to take (adoption or assisted conception), it may do you a world of good to surrender your future to God’s perfect will. As we see in Mathew 7: 7-8, continuous prayer leads to receiving, finding, and opening of doors of opportunities. The Bible declares that when two or more of God’s children come together in His name, He is in their midst. Spend time everyday in prayer as a couple. Welcome God into your marriage, ask Him to strengthen you as a couple during this difficult time, seek His wisdom and will concerning your options, and knock on the doors of Heaven until it opens up its blessings for you and your spouse.
The Word of God declares children to be a material and spiritual blessing: they are to take care of us in our old age and are our heritage. God will never deny you this blessing. It is His desire that every one of His child bears fruit, physically and spiritually. As a Christian couple, I urge you to believe that God has a definite plan for your parenthood and that He is in control, even though your life seems to be in turmoil. Let prayer unite you in all the areas where you are not in agreement with your spouse, so that you can make godly decisions for your future.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed
This was what Mary said when she met Elizabeth in Judah. Mary was probably 19 years old when the angel of the Lord met and proclaimed to her that she would bear the Son of God. The angel also announced that her relative Elizabeth has conceived despite her barrenness, for “with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37). It is a wonderful scene where these two women meet. Elizabeth was old and barren, yet with child, while Mary was very young and pregnant without ‘knowing a man’. We see God’s hand in both these miracles that defy the natural order of things.
Most of us suffering from infertility may wonder why God is putting us through this trauma, when He can heal us ‘right away’ and make us pregnant. Well, if there’s one thing we need to know about God, it’s this: He cannot be confined in a neat box! He has many acts up His sleeve and is the sovereign God who decides how and when to answer our prayers. There are times when God will do the unexpected and take us on a path we never even dreamed of.
I believe the person who said “The longest journey of any person is the journey inward”, had a long walk with God! Our struggles with infertility can be a wonderful opportunity to get rid of all the spiritual, mental, and emotional infections and dirt that have slowed us down in our walk of faith. When we trust in, rely on, and put our confidence in the Rock of Ages, we embark on an exciting journey that will take us to the place of complete rest, peace, and joy in Christ.
God works in ways that are beyond our comprehension. Sometimes, we may not like what He has planned for us. But, if we believe that we are in His thoughts and He has good plans that give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), we will welcome any surprise He throws at us. Christian adoption may be one of the surprises God has in store for infertile couples. He knows the inborn yearning in every woman to become a mother and He understands this feeling. Adoption may be His way of meeting your need to become a mother and giving a life of comfort, security, love, and faith to an abandoned child.
If you are confused about adoption, I encourage you to spend some time today in prayer. Ask God to show you what to do and lead you in your decisions concerning adoption. Believe that one day you will have a child who will rise up and call you blessed!
Celebrate Adoption this November through your church or Christian community by hanging this adoption prayer reminder on bulletin boards or around the office. Or, feel free to use the image in a slide during church services to remember those touched by adoption in prayer. Let us know how you find ways to honor adoption this month!
Please click on the image below to download a printable PDF of this prayer card!
“Times of trouble have often been times of triumph to a believer. Suffering seasons have generally been sifting seasons in which the Christian has lost his chaff, and the hypocrite his courage.”
The Bible says that trials and tribulations shape our character and personalities, helping us grow as mature Christians. What are the trials you have faced? Are your husband and children unsaved? Are you struggling to have a baby? Do you have constant health problems? Have you lost a loved one? Whatever be the difficulty, be confident that God will use it to become a blessing to you.
Did you know that your trials have many spiritual and mental benefits? Take a look at these: Your problems can drive you to prayer and also help improve the prayer life of others (Isaiah 38:1–2, James 5:13–15), develop our inner person (James 1:2–4, Romans 5:1–5), help you to empathize with those who go through the same problem (2 Corinthians 1:3), and above all, give you a wonderful opportunity to witness to others and glorify God’s name! (2 Corinthians 12:9–10, John 11:4)
Whenever you feel crushed by the weight of your problems, remember these two verses: Genesis 42:36 and Romans 8:28. In the former, Jacob cries out that “all these things are against me”. In Romans, Paul declares confidently that “all these things are working together for good to those who love the Lord”. At the end of the day, you must choose between these two attitudes. Are you going to allow your problems to crush you or are you going to rise up and overcome them for God’s glory? Romans 8:37 declares that we are more than conquerors through Christ. So, choose to beat life’s difficulties instead of letting it beat you up.
“The man or woman who is wholly and joyously surrendered to Christ can’t make a wrong choice—any choice will be the right one.”
-A. W. Tozer
Infertility can have a crushing impact on your life. It can bring everything to a grinding halt and leave us wondering which way to turn. Many times, couples who have been told that a natural conception is impossible, try to rush into assisted reproduction treatments or adoption. When you rush into something like adoption, you risk treating the child you adopt as a substitute for the child you never had biologically. You need to take time to deal with your feelings of frustration and depression, coming to terms with your infertility. If you choose to go the assisted reproduction way, you need to understand that no doctor can guarantee you a 100% success rate.
One way to deal with infertility and the uncertainty over your future is to surrender yourself to God’s will. Imagine a pyramid with God on top and you and your spouse at the two ends of the base. When you both move up towards God in faith, it will not only bring you closer to Him but also bring you closer to each other. The Bible says that God finds us more valuable than the birds of the sky. If He can guide the birds in their migrations, surely He wants to guide you to make the right decision concerning your future as a parent.
Oswald Sanders gives us a beautiful lesson on how to know the will of God – he says he first gathers all the information and facts needed to arrive at a decision and lifts them up to God, praying over them in His presence. He then waits on the Holy Spirit to move his mind in the direction of God’s will! He goes on to believe that God guides him by presenting reasons to his mind to act in a certain way.
If you are struggling to understand God’s will for your future as a parent, I urge you to spend time in prayer seeking His guidance. Be confident that He wants the best for you and is willing to do more than you dare to ask or dream! (Ephesians 3:20)
Shelter our loved ones in Your shadow and grant them rest.
Shield those dear to us; we know every fear You’ll arrest.
Save them from harm and cover them as they end their days.
Please command Your angels to guard all their ways.
Rescue and protect them by the power of Your Name.
Thank You for Your faithfulness that is always the same.
The adoption journey can be a difficult one. And this is one time you want to ensure you are taking time to pray diligently. Each and every day, take time to pray for the following people, known and unknown, who will help you in your journey:
- The birth mother who is carrying or has delivered your child. Pray for strength, courage, peace, and the presence of the Holy Spirit
- The birth father. Pray he is a supportive partner to her or, if absent, that he allows her the freedom to make decisions.
- Your adoption professionals. Pray that they are strong, compassionate, understanding, and protected as they work day and night to build your family.
- Your family and friends. Ask God to encircle you with the love and support you need at this time, bringing in positive people and gently letting go of those who do not choose to be.
- Your heart. Adoption is truly a matter of the heart. Pray for His love for your birth mother and His protection as you but your heart out there.
God bless you today!
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform.
— William Cowper
It is every woman’s dream to hold her first baby in her arms. There is nothing more painful yet joyful as giving birth to your child. You think you are ready to start a family and imagine everything will happen “just as planned.” After all, isn’t that how it is with all the other women you know? But, after 12 months of ‘trying’, you find out that you are now medically an infertile couple. It is devastating news and one that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. But, is it the end of the road? Will you never become a mother? Do you feel God has let you down?
I want to encourage you to meditate on those biblical verses that talk about God’s will and plan for His children (Psalm 25:12, Psalm 32:8, Psalm 37:4,7, Proverbs 2:6-9, 1 Cor. 10:13, Isaiah 58:11) God promises that He has plans to bless us and not harm us…plans to give us a hope and a future. There are times when the plans in our head do not match the plans that God has prepared for us. But, if you trust in Him and take that leap of faith, you will be pleasantly surprised at how God was able to work your darkest hour into a bright and sunny day!
Whether you want to try assisted reproduction treatments or want to consider adoption, invite God into the situation. Trust that God, in His wisdom, is trying to make something out of you through this difficult time. Ask Him to guide you towards His divine plan for your parenthood and show you what He wants you to do. If you are considering adoption, take a step back and check if your motives are pure: Do you want to become a parent or do you want a biological child? You cannot adopt a child for selfish reasons i.e., to make you a mother or to fill a void. An adopted child is no different from a biological one. The former is born of your heart while the latter is born of your body! God has prepared a child for you. Be strong and persevere in prayer until He leads you to your child.
Prayer delights God’s ear, it melts His heart, it opens His hand: God cannot deny a praying soul.
It is so important to involve God in our everyday lives by talking to Him. Yes, talking to Him and not praying at Him! Many people confuse praying with reciting a list of requests and needs or using flowery language to impress God. In truth, prayer is simply talking to God. God loves to be a part of every aspect of our lives, from the mundane to the toughest situations we face. Adoption is one of the biggest decisions a couple can make and it can be a very confusing, difficult, and frustrating process. If you try to do it on your own, you will most likely end up jaded and feel tempted to give up when you meet the challenges of adoption. But, with God’s help, you can not only pull through but also allow Him to prepare you for parenthood.
I read this quote recently and realized how true it is when applied to our prayer lives: “Trams and trolleys and some buses have long poles which reach up and bring electricity and power to the motors from overhead wires. The pole may be within an inch of the wire, yet no power can pass; the bus or trolley stays in the same place. The people inside can sing and shout and preach and hold a great meeting, but when they get out they are still at the same place.” If we are not connected to God through prayer, we cannot progress spiritually.
No amount of preaching, praising, and worshiping can substitute for the quiet time we spend at the Master’s feet, sharing our deepest hurts and sorrows, and listening to His response. Your prayer life will establish your walk with God and will help you determine if you are on the path God has chosen for you. When you open your heart and talk to God, He will show you what He has called you to do. The answers may not be what you want to hear, but I promise you that there will always be an answer!
When life knocks you to your knees—well, that’s the best position in which to pray, isn’t it?—Ethel Barrymore
Finding out that your teenage daughter, whom you thought was sexually inactive, is pregnant can be devastating for any parent. But, it is even more shocking when you thought you had raised her in a good family with firm Christian values. While this is an incredibly difficult time, it is also the exact time when you need to turn to God and ask Him to help you handle the situation.
Remember that your daughter is scared right now and needs your unconditional love and forgiveness. She needs her parents to help her make tough decisions concerning her future and the future of the unborn child.
While you may be tempted to give in to your emotions, you can learn how to hold tight to God through this wonderful example. Greg Asimakoupoulos narrates the incident of a pilot called Henry Dempsey. On a flight from Portland to Boston, Dempsey went to the rear of a small aircraft to investigate an unusual noise he had heard. When he reached the tail section, the plane hit an air pocket and Dempsey found out, too late, that the noise was coming from the rear door that wasn’t properly latched. The door flew open and Dempsey was sucked out of the plane. The co-pilot quickly alerted the nearest airport and made an emergency landing. While helicopters searched the ocean for Dempsey, they actually found him clinging on to the outdoor ladder of the aircraft. He had caught the ladder as he fell out and held on to it for 10 minutes as the plane flew 200mph at an altitude of 4,000 feet! Asimakoupoulos says “Things in life may feel turbulent, and you may not feel like holding on. But have you considered the alternative?”
Hold on to God because it is never too late for your daughter to make the right decision – a decision to choose life with a Christian family. http://mydaughterispregnant.com/ is a wonderful resource for mothers wanting to help their teenage daughters do the right thing.
Excerpt from Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes, electronic ed., 622 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000).
As an adoptive parent herself, the author of Called to Adoption understands the importance of working real person as your adoption professional – it is key to your adoption success in adopting a baby or child. It is important that you can relate to your adoption professional, and that they have an identity. Lifetime Adoption’s passion is adoption; the people who work at Lifetime Adoption are very passionate about the adoptive families, children, and birth parents that they work with. They have an open door policy, lots educational programs and info to help you make the right decision for you! LifetimeAdoption.com