Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fasting and Praying

First and foremost today, I need to let you know that it is Peter David Larson's 11th birthday! Peter, you are a precious gift from God and your sweet spirit is a true gift to this world! We love you!

Well, it's Wednesday, and as my husband has requested of our family at New Life, I am fasting and praying that we would all be ready to receive the new things that God is doing, and wants to do, among us.

When I heard Dave say that we would fast and pray on Wednesdays, it took me back to 1989 when we, as a couple, first chose Wednesdays as the day we would fast and pray that we would be blessed with a child. For those of you who only know us as the parents of four children, it may be hard for you to believe that we struggled to become parents. We had been longing for a child for quite some time when we saw a infertility specialist. We continued to fast and pray, and we began using the miracles of modern medicine to try and conceive. I quickly, and unexpectedly, was pregnant, and we excitedly told our parents and a few close friends, only to have to call them later to let them know that we had lost our baby. I can't describe the utter devastation that I felt with that news; we were so incredibly sad and confused.

We continued to fast, pray, and try to conceive. We eventually were blessed with Hannah Joy, just as we were deciding whether or not we should pursue adoption. Not long after we had Hannah, we decided to begin trying to have another baby right away because we weren't sure how many years it would take us to have another child. Along came Eric Barrington! :) And then, after a longer period of trying to have our third child, we were blessed with Peter David.

I thank God that through medical intervention, we were able to have our family because I know so many others that tried that route and were not blessed in that way; my heart breaks.

Now you may be wondering why I've only mentioned three of my children. Well, they were the only ones conceived by medical intervention. Our fourth child, Kari Elisabeth, was truly a miracle baby because we conceived her while I was on birth control pills for a medical problem I was experiencing. Just think, all those thousands of dollars on infertility treatments, and perhaps all I needed was to be on the pill! :-)

So, I'm sure most people who see us as a family with four children have no clue that we struggled with infertility and worked so hard to have them. We fasted and prayed through some hard and questioning times. We asked God some hard questions. We, or at least I, told God off a few times, and I pouted that He wasn't fair about things. I resented women who were able to get pregnant with no problem, or worse yet, when girls who didn't even want babies got pregnant. After losing our first child, I was bitter against women who had their babies to hold.

BUT....through it all, God said, "I do love you, Gena and David. I know all about the longings and desires in your hearts. I know your anger, and I understand it. I have a bigger plan for you that you cannot see at this moment. This is all a part of your story that I will use for MY glory. TRUST IN ME!"

So, long story short, this Wednesday of fasting and praying reminds me of the miracle of my children!

(Now please, don't comment on the ethical questions of using medical interventions or medications if you have not walked in an infertile woman's shoes. In the same vein, I do not want to imply that my pain is worse than any other woman's pain. Remember, we are all traveling together, and pain is pain, so let's look for ways to support one another. Let's fast and pray for one another; it is an honor to do so!)


Michele B said...

That is such an awesome story! I didn't know you guys had been through so much to have a family. And I'm guessing that was the inspiration for Hannah's name.

And now we are fasting and praying towards another birth, a new thing the Lord is doing in us. I'm REALLY excited for that!

And so glad to be along for the ride!

Gena said...

Hannah's name does have special meaning for us (besides the literal meaning of "favored by God, or gracious" in the fact that it was Dave's grandmother's name.

Thanks for fasting and praying with us. God IS doing a new work and He's allowing us to be a part of it! Isn't that exciting!

We treasure your prayers!