Thursday, March 21, 2013

Why do I pray?

What is the purpose of prayer? It is a genuine question that I have done a lot of thinking about and I'm not quite sure I understand why I do it anymore.

If God has a plan for me, then why would He alter it just because I asked Him to through prayer? If His plan is for our baby to die, what difference will my begging and pleading make? What is the point?

In hindsight, His plan was to take my mom to heaven. We prayed for her heath, for her not to suffer. Yet she suffered greatly then died despite our pleas. That was apparently His plan.

I have prayed for peace through our infertility, yet it has been the hardest thing we've ever endured. We have suffered so greatly and in a way that even our most caring loved ones can't even begin to understand.

I prayed that the doctors were wrong about my DOR diagnosis. They weren't.

I prayed that IVF would work for us in 2012. It didn't.

I prayed all of our embryos would survive after thaw so we'd have options in case our transfer failed. Two died and only one remains. It could very well die at thaw too after spending thousands of dollars, many injections, and months to prepare my body to receive it.

I have prayed for both Kevin and I to have peace and comfort during this excruciating time as we likely lose this precious baby who we went to enormous lengths to have. Yet we have not received peace or comfort. We are  broken beyond words.  I have prayed for reassuring betas, ultrasounds, appointments. They don't happen. We get a glimmer of hope only to have it yanked away. It just feels like one blow after another.

I'm praying I don't start bleeding at work, or at the grocery store, or sitting in traffic. But is this the next step in His plan for me? Am I supposed to learn something from enduring even more trauma?

If it is His will for this baby to die and for us to suffer, what is the point of my prayers?

33 comments:

  1. My heart breaks for you. I am so sorry your both are going through such a hard time. I wonder what prayer does sometimes. I hope that your prayers are answered someday, some way. I pray that you find peace in all this turmoil, and that you find peace in any unanswered prayers. It is not fair.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. This makes me not feel so alone in my thinking.

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  2. I totally understand your questions about prayer. I have had some of these thoughts myself. But the thing you have to remember is this...if we don't pray, if we don't converse with the Lord and pour our hearts out to him, ESPECIALLY in times of trouble...that is when Satan gets into our minds and Satan is the one telling you that God is not hearing you, that God does not listen to your pleas. I am telling you, because I know it is true...God is mourning with you, He is heartbroken with you, He is not pleased to see you suffer, He loves you. You need to continue to go to Him, whether the things in this life go the way you want them to or not, please do not stop praying about everything in your life. Ever since the fall of man back with Adam & Eve, Satan squirms his way in when the horrible things of this life happen...don't let this happen to you. The point of your prayers is not to pray to God and have him say yes to you...the point should be to come to Him and lay out your heart before Him (although He sees it all before you do this, He is so please to have you come to Him). Only He can pick you up from this, only He can bring comfort (which sometimes takes a long time to come, but it will). Please keep praying, and I will keep praying for you. Lots of love & hugs, Kelly

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    1. Thank you so much for writing this. I know you're right, and I can't let go of this critical conversation with Him. I won't stop praying, but I just ache for comfort if he's not giving us a "yes" right now. I feel somewhat better today so hopefully that is Him granting us this comfort I need so much.

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  3. What you are enduring is unimaginable. It’s so hard to push forward and trust God when it feels like our prayers are always unanswered. Reading your question about prayer two thoughts came to my minds.

    First, prayer is important simply to grow in a relationship with God - but this can be really, really hard when life is tough and we are mad at God for how things are going or not going.

    Second, the story of Hezekiah immediately came to mind (2 Kings 1-11). I don’t believe we can change God’s mind or plan, but I do believe that sometimes we still have to ask. In the instance of Hezekiah I believe God knew he would extend Hezekiah’s live (if he asked) and I believe God already knew Hezekiah would ask, but I still think the act of Hezekiah asking was important. Frustratingly, though, is that often when we ask God says no.

    Sending warm thoughts your way and praying for peace and comfort.

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    1. This has been really helpful and encouraging to me. I appreciate you posting it. I know I need to ask, even if the answer will be no. I will continue to ask.

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  4. My heart hurts for you..... No one should have to feel pain like this. I pray daily for God to bring me peace and contentment and acceptance. I pray to know and "see" the big picture". Of course God doesn't answer prayers that way. I pray that God brings peace to you and your husband, not to understand His plan, but to trust that it will all work out in the end.

    When is your next ultrasound?

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    1. It's so hard to understand, that's the hard part. I will continue to do it because I know it's the right thing to do. And I worry about the alternative of NOT praying. I just sometimes have such a hard time understanding it. My next ultrasound is on Wednesday March 27.

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  5. After our twin miscarriage DH told me that he felt like Job. Job never stopped praying... never stopped believing...

    When I prayed in those days, I prayed for strength. That's a wonderful reason to pray. It's what I've been praying for you.

    God has a plan. He has children in mind for you. I never know what He's planning... but I know that after my miscarriage of twins (2nd loss, I'd had a chemical pregnancy earlier) I was able to reach out to a HS friend on FB going through multiple miscarriages. I know that she and I were a comfort to eachother, and we probably never would have reconnected if not for our mutual miscarriages.

    I pray for you daily! May God grant you the strength you need to get through this!

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    1. Thanks Malia. I could use any and all strength God can give me right now. I am glad that your story has a happy ending and I know ours will too someday. I know you know from personal experience that there are some days during the darkest times that you do wonder if this story will have light at the end or not.... I'm glad yours did with miss wiggler. :)

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  6. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".
    - Jeremiah 29:11

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    1. Thank you so much, brings tears to my eyes.

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    2. This is the verse my husband and I clung to throughout our years of struggling with our own infertility and as we had 2 unsuccessful FETs with adopted embryos. It's hard to believe it when you're in the midst of the pain but He truly does have plans for you and He is working them out even now. They say hindsight is 20/20 and looking back on our story I can tell you with certainty- God's timing is absolutely perfect and His plan for our family was amazing, even though it included a lot of difficult times. Praying for you!

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  7. I found this on someone's blog and thought it would be fitting to share with you, Liz.

    "When Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemene shortly before His death. He knew He was going to die. And it was going to be a very painful death on the cross. He was terrified. Horrified. Scared out of His mind.

    And what did He do? He prayed. He cried out in inutterable words the feelings of His heart. And He asked God to spare Him the pain. He begged God to "take the cup" from Him so He wouldn't have to go through all the agony.

    But, then, He did something remarkable. In the midst of those cries, He surrendered to God's will. He BEGGED His father to not have Him go through an agonizing death on the cross, but then, immediately after, He said that if it was God's will for Him to do so, He wanted that more. He wanted what God wanted more than to be spared the pain. (And can you imagine where we'd all be if God had shown mercy to Jesus at that point and spared Him the cross? Yikes)."

    It is soooooooooooooooo hard to get to this place of where Jesus was at that time...and to TRULY pray for God's will to be done, whatever it may be, at times may feel impossible. I pray that whatever the Lord's will is for you, that it would include many many times of great joy for you in the very near future. ((((HUGS)))

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    1. I have done a lot of thinking about your response. I think the one thing I've been missing all along is how much God suffers with me and doesn't like seeing me hurt. But sometimes that's just what comes with the territory of whatever needs to be done in God's will. I appreciate that you posted this and the kind words, as always.

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  8. Hi from ICLW. I have no clue what God's plans involve most days. I know that I have DOR and will end up doing Donor EGGS because I only miscarry any time I get pregnant. I believe that God is trying to lead me down a different path than the one I had planned but that is okay too. I shouldn't try to fight it. But this is just me. I'm hoping that he has good things in store for you.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. Sorry you had to visit for the first time on such a dark and negative post. :( I am sorry for your losses and I hope that your donor egg cycle brings you a successful pregnancy and take-home baby.

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  9. I wish I had more cofmorting word but I just want you to know that I am thinking of you often and here for you - to read and send yoy cyber hugs!

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    1. Aww, thank you so much for the kind words and hugs. They do mean a lot to me.

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  10. from ICLW (have been following your blog for a week or so now though) and have been praying for your snowflake - I don't even have good answers as to why God chooses to "answer" some prayers, and not others - I have asked these questions myself... Praying at least for peace for you, no matter what happens.

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    1. Hi Kate. Thanks so much for following and commenting, and especially for the prayers. I am glad to know I'm not alone in pondering these questions. I know it will turn out okay in the end, even it it's not going to mean this is our take-home baby. God has a plan for us. :)

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  11. ***blog warning, if you click on my link; SAIF/PAIF***

    Liz, I can't say that I know exactly how you feel. I can only say that I know how helpless and betrayed I felt when we lost a baby during pregnancy. I felt betrayed by my body, betrayed by God, betrayed by science and technology and ....so there's that. I felt betrayed.

    Separating our IF struggles and my faith/beliefs has been impossible. Separating our pregnancy loss and grief from my faith & beliefs has been impossible. Although it's so technical and scientific and "cellular" at the RE's office, in our home and hearts, it's bigger than that. It's more than that. So, when things haven't worked out for us at various steps along the way, the doubt that has crept into my heart and mind seemed so much bigger that looking at the data and statistics and that scientific/cellular level of things.

    ...I'm just typing and things don't always get conveyed the way you want them to, and I just hope I'm able to give you some small comfort in some small way.

    I'm a person who just loves music. It helps me cry and process things sometimes, and sometimes it helps me to escape...it's just music, but it helps me.

    So, after we lost our little Masyn, I heard this song for the first time, and it just spoke to me. "Held" by Natalie Grant. If you haven't heard it, and you're a music person, then look it up. It's good. It helped me to kind of explain some of my own feelings during that time...

    Many prayers going up for you guys.

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words and for posting this. I understand what you're trying to say and I find it comforting. I also love music, and I looked up the song you talked about. I just cried and cried, but it was good. I will keep this in mind. There is something cleansing about listening to music and just crying. I appreciate the prayers and encouragement.

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  12. Hello from ICLW. I've been reading for several weeks now, wishing the best for you and your little one.

    I've struggled with the same questions about prayer. A friend of mine suggested praying with images instead of words -- like picturing a loved one surrounded by light. I don't know if it's really praying "for" something, but it helps get me out of my head and into my heart, to focus more on the love than the fear.

    What I've done most lately is just pray (if you can call it that) with a silent gesture: on my knees, head down, arms out and palms up. It feels like surrender. Sometimes it's surrender in the sense of "Thy will be done," and often it's just "I give up." But the open palms feel like an invitation, too -- wanting God to be with me, whatever that might mean.

    It sounds like you're doing what you can to keep the channels open -- through prayer, through talking with people and asking honest questions here. I'm so sorry you're going through these crushing disappointments. Sending you love...

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate that I am not alone with these questions. I am going to try to continue to pray because I know how important it is even if it's hard. I know it will end in blessings for me. I appreciate your kind words and love.

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  13. Oh Liz, my heart goes out to you. I know the feeling of stopping dead in my tracks after years of trying to make sense of the pain, the diagnosis, the failed embryo transfer - all of it and then turning to God to say - really? This is what you have in store for me? This is the best you can do? This is why I pray? But you know what, He never gave up on me (thank God!) and He kept calling me to Him, just as I sense He is doing to you right now. He wants you to trust Him. He wants you to trust that His will is good and perfect and yes, you are going through horrible tragedy right now, but He wants you to keep your eyes on Him. And someday, your prayers will be answered - in His own perfect way. And as you stare at those little eyes staring back at you that day, you will know that THIS child is the child He had been saving just for you. And suddenly, all the pain, all the suffering is worth it and you know that all along God WAS listening to your prayers. I wish I had a crystal ball so I could tell you when that would be! The waiting is unbearable at times. Girl, I wish I had your address because I would send you a book that I found to be so encouraging after my first EA miscarriage - it is called "Holding on to Hope" by Nancy Guthrie. She also wrote a one year devotional book called "Hope" that is really encouraging as well. I will continue to pray that God would draw you near in this heartache. Hugs, Laura

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    1. I know you're completely right. It's just so incredibly hard waiting and falling over and over again. Anyone who has been through infertility knows this, and I know you do too. Just unbearable, like you said.

      I appreciate the book suggestion and just purchased it for my kindle. It looks like exactly what I need right now. Thank you for recommending it!

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    2. Yay! Enjoy it - for me it put my pain in perspective and helped me look at the bigger "God" picture. Hang in there, girl. You have many lifting you up in prayer!

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  14. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I'm not a religious person by any means, but I'd like to think there is a reason for everything that happens...what those reasons are I honestly dont know. Hoping you and yh can find some peace in the upcoming days. (hugs))

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  15. I wish I had more to offer, but I'm sending hugs.

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  16. I have often wondered this myself many, many times. I just know that I FEEL so much better when I pray, whether those prayers are answered or not. This is such a tough time for you, but you have so many people thinking about you and praying for you, including God.

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