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    Give Lots of Hugs

    I just returned home from the funeral of a friend who passed away within days of going into the hospital for surgery. Although it was a serious surgery, nothing like this was expected. Sadly, this isn’t our only funeral this week. On June 30th a private plane carrying two couples and a family of four crashed, and my husband knew two of the men on it. He attended one couple’s funeral today and will go to that of the family of four on Saturday.  So please give your friends and family a hug when you see them—and make it a point to be with them soon if possible. God doesn’t…

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    How to Stay Married While Navigating Infertility

    “Fifty percent of our infertility patients end up getting a divorce,” the nurse explained, when I questioned what I thought was a peculiar portion of the hospital’s legal paperwork. At that moment I was surprised to hear the statistic. But with raised eyebrows and a let’s–just–get–on–with–it mentality, I circled the appropriate decision for which one of us would be given custody of our frozen specimens “should divorce occur” and I went on with my day. A few months later, however, as my husband and I struggled to overcome our intense grief over a double infertility loss, I remembered her words. I then understood perfectly well. Infertility, miscarriage, and loss can…

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    The Struggle with Infertility

    In my last post, I talked about how to make Mother’s Day better for those who mourn, including people experiencing involuntary childlessness. Now that Mother’s Day is behind us, let’s think about how to make church a more supportive environment for those experiencing infertility and pregnancy loss. Dr. Julie Shannon did her dissertation on remaining childless after infertility; I’ve published a few books on infertility and pregnancy loss. So Dr. Darrell Bock, host of The Table Podcast, sat down with Dr. Shannon and me to talk about this topic that is do near to our hearts.   For more on how to comfort those experiencing infertility, see my post, Infertility: People…

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    For Those Who Mourn on Mother’s Day

    Often the worst day of the year for an infertile woman is Mother’s Day. On this holiday, going to a house of worship can feel more like going to the house of mourning. During the decade when my husband and I went through infertility treatment, lost seven pregnancies, and endured three failed adoptions, I found it difficult enough to see all the corsages on M-Day. Sometimes a well-intentioned leader would ask all the mothers to stand, and I would remain seated. Some years a leader would even call for the youngest mother to stand and then smile awkwardly when a sixteen- or seventeen-year-old unmarried teen rose to her feet. On…

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    Unanswered Prayers

    When someone dies, we struggle with the “why”. Why didn’t God answer our prayers? Why didn’t God answer the prayers of everyone else? Why was this life cut short? As Easter approaches and we solemnly remember the Last Supper and the gruesome events that unfolded, the “why” questions of the disciples are laid bare. Jesus was taken by force from the garden. He was tried for false crimes, beaten to the edge of life, and brutally hung on a cross to die in agony and ridicule. His disciples and followers watched it all. They had grown up in the Jewish tradition of prayer. And Jesus, their esteemed rabbi, taught them…

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    Breakthrough, the Movie: Questions to Consider

    Seana Scott and I are at the national conference for the Evangelical Press Association. Tonight we saw a pre-release showing of the faith film "Breakthrough" starring Chrissy Metz (This Is Us). I invited Seana to contribute a guest post, and she offered the following good words:  John Smith and his two basketball buddies do what young men naturally do—egg each other on to take boyish risks. And playing on an iced-over lake, all three kids fell in as the frozen shell suddenly cracked open.  By the time paramedics pulled John out of the ice, he was cold, limp, and unresponsive. After more than thirty minutes of medical effort to find…

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    Worship While You Wait

      Waiting is the hardest thing I am ever asked to do. If I am waiting for something good, then it is difficult because I am so excited and can hardly wait for the party or the present or the event to happen. If I am waiting for something bad it seems even harder. I don’t want it. Yet, I know it is coming so I just want it to happen already. How good are you at waiting? When it comes to children and waiting…well, if you are a parent, you know how draining that can be on everyone. In my last blog I talked about the importance of waiting…

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    Better to Have Loved & Lost?

    Think about a time when you wholeheartedly loved someone and felt adored by them. As you think about that person––spouse, parent, boyfriend or girlfriend, sibling, child––how would you describe that love? What emotions or feelings come to mind? I think of: expectation, joy, excitement, purpose, belonging, peace, contentment, hope. As human beings, we cannot live healthy, abundant, prolonged lives without love. We are created to love. We long for love. We will do crazy things to show our love. But at some point in our lives, we will all lose love. What then? ·  A husband sits silently, mourning the end of 50 years with his beloved bride. ·  A…

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    Hope Deferred—Observations from Hannah’s Story

    She pushed herself up from the table and left the room. She did not have much appetite. The day had been long, and she could take the painful and provoking comments from Peninnah no longer. As she walked towards the temple, tears poured from her eyes and slid down her cheeks and nose, making a wet trail in the dust. Her lips moved as she prayed, but she did not utter a sound as she pleaded and begged the LORD for a child. To make matters worse, the priest believed her to be not grieved, but rather, drunk. (1 Sam. 1:7–14) Hannah suffered much because of her childless state. Many…

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    From Fears to Tears

    In a previous blog post, I’m Scared, Lord, I wrote about my apprehensions concerning my upcoming hip replacement surgery. My doctor was cheerfully confident that I would not experience the post-operative pain I was afraid of, but I was all-too-aware of my potential complications. As a polio survivor, I’m twice as sensitive to pain as those whose brains were not infected by the poliovirus. On top of that, I was extremely aware of the fact that my severely arthritic hips had become basically frozen, leaving me with a limited range of motion. I knew that the surgeon and her team would be moving my legs in all kinds of unnatural…