Living Life While You Wait, Pt. 2
Last month I started a three-part series of blog posts on Living Life While You Wait – Seeds of Character. You can read part one here. Here’s the second installment, Living Life While You Wait – Seeds of Giving. I pray you’ll find hope and inspiration from my story.
Living Life While You Wait, Part 2
Seeds of Giving
I love to garden. There’s something about putting a seed into the ground, and returing in a few days to spot tender green shoot. Yet before you see the beauty of the garden or taste its bountiful harvest, you must first deliberatley plant a seed in the soil. A seed is a tangible thing you plant or can give away. As hard as it is, sometimes we must reach beyond ourselves and ‘give away’ what we desire most in order to reach out to others. Through my infertility, God has given me an opportunity to know Him in an unexpected way, helping others understand His love, even in the disappointment and grief of infertility.
As I dealt with my own pain, I had the desire to reach out to a local Christain infertility support group. I live in a large metropolitan area of four million plus people, so I asumed there would be at least one local group within the city of Houston, but none was listed. As I continued to search, I discovered the nearest Christian-based infertility support group was more than a five-hour drive away in Carrollton, Texas near Dallas.
When I was a young girl, my wonderful mother taught me how to sew (you can read about here here) and when I married, my precious mother-in-law taught me how to crochet trim around a blanket (which she learned from her ninety-year old neighbor). The two skills combined helped me create a beautiful baby blanket.
I remembered reading about the history of women in colonial America crafting “piecework”. Women knitted and sewed garments for pay as a home business. So I had an idea. I composed an invitiation to a “Peacework” party in my home. I asked my girlfriends to gather to learn a new skill with the goal of giving to the infertility support group.
The gathering of women — mothers, daughters, aunts, friends, — young and old alike, all fellowshipping and lauging, purposed with a common goal to make baby blankets was a desire acoomplished. We had so much fun together. Our tow-month project stretched into six moths. Finally we finished and wrapped the baby blankets in ribbon, tagged with the sentiment, “Stitched with Love, Hemmed by Prayer.”
A hot August day arrived. The delivery day of the baby blankets. After church, my friend Jenn and I started out on our five-hour stretch along the Texas highway.
As l listened to women’s stories at the meeting I was touched beyond tears. No words truly describe how much my heart moved with compassion. As I shared my journey, I told how I wanted to reach out to them in their pain. I handed each one a blanket. The women cried as they carressed the soft flannel and read the tag. It was a priceless moment for me.
||My goal was to insert picture here, but computer was cranky. Carry on.||
As soon as we got in the car to return home, Jenn turned to me and said, “You need to start something like this.”
I said, “Yeah, right. How would I do this, and where in the world would I do it?”
But God was already at work. Within months, the wife of my pastor asked me to begin a Christian infertility support group through the women’s ministry at the church. This was something I did not seek out on my own to do. I say this humbly, I strongly feel God used the seed I planted to bring a harvest to help others with infertility within the largest church in America.
Our HOPE – Hearts Of Promise & Expectation Infertility Support group is thriving after many years. We’ve close to 70 babies born or adopted into families where women were told there was “no hope to conceive” and/or “no money to adopt.” God is faithful! HOPE support groups are growing across the city of Houston. We now meet at three different churches within the month, Lakewood Church, The Ark Church and The Foundry Methodist Church. (check here for meeting times) Others churches and individuals across the nation and beyond are inquiring how to start a support groups too. I’m blown away at times!
As the scripture in Psalms 126:1-6 NLT
“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.
They will weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.”
The pain of infertility cuts deeper than any knife ever could. For me, there’s something about walking alongside other women who are hurting. Women who are struggling with the same issues; sharing tears, frustrations and similar prayers. I call it “planting seed”. When I witness the faithfulness of God; as He dries our tears through another set of hands, how He heals our bodies through supernatural touch or through medical intervention or dumps provision in the empty buckets of one seeking adoption — I stand in awe. Most of all, to hold ‘answered prayer’, a baby…well, it’s just pure joy for me.
So, what about you? What is one way you can give of yourself to others? To give out of what you need? Will you share in the comment section below? I challenge you! Go ahead and plant that seed, water it with your tears and watch God bring about your harvest.