Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tell Me Thursday: Stepping Stones Ministry

I wanted to take a moment to tell you today about one of my favorite resources who offer Christian Support for Couples facing Infertility or Pregnancy Loss. It's Stepping Stones by Bethany Christian Services. If you've never heard of them stick around for a minute. I'm sure you will be blessed.

I received my latest issue yesterday from Stepping Stones. One of the articles was so encouraging that I wanted to share it with you guys:


The Last Words I Expected

by Robin Blonsky



"I'm pregnant."

Those were the last words I ever expected to hear from my sister.

We were sitting in my car after work one day, and she dropped this bombshell on me. Between sobs, she said, "I wanted it to be you." I knew she wanted me to be the one. I was so completely taken aback at this news that I didn't know what to say. I laughed, I cried, and we hugged.

I was relieved that the health concerns that led to this revelation were not more serious than a "bun in the oven," yet I was shocked, completely blindsided, by the news.

A few days later, the reality of it all settled in.

Driving home from work, as thoughts were culminating in my head, I had a meltdown. It started earlier in the day. Did I mention that my sister and I work together?

While we were at work, I heard her plans for the baby's nursery theme, the gadget she wanted to buy so she could make organic baby food, the sports-theme outfits she just bought, and on and on...

They were all of the things I wanted to do. I was supposed to be the one.

After nearly nine years of marriage, having children had yet to become a reality for me and my husband. We wanted children so much.

Driving home, I just could not take it. It was too much. I did not think she would accept her pregnancy quite so quickly, since she and her husband never wanted children. But after having time to think about it, they had accepted their situation and were starting to make preparations.

So I went home, changed clothes, pulled my sneakers on, and headed for a nearby haunt, the Creek Turnpike trail.

The trail is grueling because of all the hills, plus temperature was in the mid-nineties. My stomach was cramped because my cycle was near, so it was a struggle to run that day, to say the least. But I had to.

Running had become an old friend since I hit my 30s. I can vent...clear my head...pray...whatever. It's just me and the pavement, alone with my thoughts.

I began with a brisk walk and a few stretches and then started jogging. It was a tough run. I hadn't done one in months, so I felt like I had to push for every step. It was not the emotionally motivated sprint I had envisioned while driving home.

So, after getting to the top of one of the biggest hills, I stopped to take a breath and collect my energy. As thoughts again flooded my mind and feelings began to resurface, tears flowed. I was overwhelmed by this unexpected turn of events in our lives.

As I took a deep breath and turned around to go back, I saw a billboard on the other side of the highway that arrested my attention. It said, "From here, you can go anywhere."

Hmm, is that so? Sometimes nagging doubts creep up and suggest otherwise.

Tyler, my 5-year-old nephew, learned a big word the other day. My husband taught him what "momentum" means by calling it "mo." Several weeks later, Tyler actually used the word correctly. When he learned that a friend had broken his arm, Tyler said, "Mom, I guess Logan just didn't have enough 'mo,' you know, momentum."

Standing on the top of that hill with tears in my eyes was a defining moment. At times like that, you have to ask yourself, Am I going to stop my journey here and just stay camped out on this hill, or am I going to get my "mo" back and get back on the path?

"Sometimes the moments that challenge us the most define us." (from the documentary, Spirit of the Marathon)

That tough run on that September day and the hard hitting season of life at that moment reminded me that I was indeed, in a significant moment. Sure, life doesn't always turn out the way we hoped. But during times like this, when an old wound re-opens before our eyes, we must decide what we will do.

Will we get our "mo" back or will we lie down and ignore the path that lies ahead of us? Will we finish our course victoriously?

I had to choose that day (and must keep choosing) to keep moving, just as many of us have to choose, sometimes daily, to get up, get back on the path, and keep going, all the while remember Paul's wise words:

...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus...so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV)

I'd like to say that I finished strong that day, but I didn't. It was a struggle. Yet I did finish and so will you if you keep running toward Jesus. From this season, you and I truly can go anywhere. And the choice is up to us.

P.S. Through the past few months, this experience has drawn me and my sister closer than ever. And I am reminded that hope celebrates with others because it knows that good things are on the way.


*******
Reprinted by permission from Stepping Stones, a newsletter for infertile
couples published by Bethany Christian Services. For more information
go to www.ssministry.net.
********

If you have been blessed by this message, I hope you will consider looking into Bethany Christian Services and supporting them with your prayers and/or donations. This month, they will offer a free gift to you: Empty Womb: Full Heart (CD). This gift is a message on infertility brought by Pastor Gregg Matte of Houston's First Baptist Church. When you make a donation on the Stepping Stones secure website you must request the CD or contact Phyllis at stepasst@bethany.org.

If you are interesed in receiving the Stepping Stones newsletter, please email stepasst@bethany.org or call (616) 224-7488

They also have a bookstore (www.bethany.org/stepstore) which will contain Christian resources for couples facing infertility or pregnancy loss. You can even access a selection of past Stepping Stones artilces by visiting the website http://www.ssministry.net/


As a participant in Tell me Thursday, please let me know in the comment below if you subsribed or any thoughts you have. I was not prompted to write this promotion for the website. It's just something I felt led to share. It was one of the resources I found to be most helpful while I walked through infertility.



(Thanks to all of you who participated in last weeks Tell Me Thursday!)

1 comment:

Thomas and Kara said...

I went to their website and I probably spent a good hour reading through dozens of articles. One of articles I read brought up that God doesn't always say "yes" or "no," sometimes he says "wait." I keep forgetting my time is not the same as God's time. I will continue to pray but I will start praying for patience and understanding.

Thank you for sharing. It was very much needed this morning!