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Hi. Welcome to my "taboo" blog. My name is Steph, and when I first started this, I was still in my thirties. In 2017, I switch decades! I am a Christian, so underlying everything I do and say is the Word of God, and the foundational truths I have learnt over the years. This doesn't mean I'm perfect - I am human. It just means I recognise I need God's help to live this life and try to live out His way, as best I can. So that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the time to read through my blog, I hope you draw strength, hope or encouragement from what you read.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dreaming Baby

I am a great believer in the authenticity of God's word, and love it when I see it being proven true, or seeing when something God said in His word is actually seen to be happening. One of my favourite passages is found in Joel 2:28-29:
“And it shall come to pass afterwardThat I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,Your old men shall dream dreams,Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days"
I love that when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples who had obediently waited, as Jesus had commanded, in the upper room this was a powerful fulfillment of God's prophetic promise to His people. And it is a promise which continues to be fulfilled in our time and among our generation!

So when I have a dream or a vision, I usually know when it is of the Lord, and there have been some incredible instances of God speaking to me through my dreams. Not that I constantly dream dreams from heaven, or constantly have visions. But when I do, I know. because I don't often remember the dreams we all have as we sleep.

In response to this then, I have been silently hoping that two dreams I have had recently are a word of hope for my Journey for Bubba. The first one I had was a normal Sunday afternoon picture whenever we take my gorgeous Stepson home after his weekend with us. We usually take him to Hubby's mum's so she can spend time with her grandson, and enjoy her delicious Sunday Roast dinner! In my dream, that was exactly where we were, sat at the table enjoying one of my Mum-in-laws dinners, and in my arms was a baby. 

The second picture which occurred a couple of weeks later, was another normal scene at home. It was the morning, and I had gone into my Gorgeous Stepson's room, but it was a nursery, and I looked into a cot in the middle of the room, into the most beautiful blue eyes and perfect face of a baby... my baby.

There was nothing spectacular. Nothing major. Nothing particularly special. but for me, I believe this to be a source of encouragement for me from my Lord. He has heard me, he will answer. Bubba may be delayed, but he or she has not been denied. The Journey for Bubba may be longer than I had anticipated, but there will be an ending to the Journey... Bubba. 

Standing on God's word is the only way for the faith to grow in what I believe He has showed to me. And by sharing it with you, I hope I am demonstrating to Him the faith I have in what I believe He has shown me. That's what faith does. It takes what we hope for, what we long for, and turns it into a prayer request, opening ourselves for the Lord to speak into that longing, and hearing what He says, no matter how obscure the situation may seem. When God speaks, we have to demonstrate we have heard Him, for faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pre-Op Physio(gynae) Group Session

I was invited, by the hospital, to attend a pre-operative physiotherapy group session, which I attended this morning. I had no idea what to expect, no idea what would be involved, no idea of how long it would be, so Hubby and I booked time off from our respective places of work to attend this session.

I had thought it would have something to do with things like pelvic floor exercises and the like, to help women recover quicker after their ops. I even considered there may be some pre-op tips about weight-loss, health etc to help us with our recovery post-op. 

So, I arrived at the relevant clinic room, with hubby, and we took our seats amongst the two women over 60, three women over 40 and their respective relatives in a training room within the physio ward (when I saw signs to the gymnasium in the same direction as our room, I started to break out in a sweat!!). They were a nice enough bunch, although one of the older ladies did threaten to control the session with her "in my day" comments, amidst the eye-rolling "here we go" of others! 

The nurse leading the session had a colleague who went around and discretely asked each of us what our surgery was for. After I told her I was in for a laparoscopic salpingostomy the nurse did say that some of what she would be discussing wouldn't actually be relevant for me, though some of it was. Most of her information related to those who were having a hysterectomy which I found pretty ironic, as i am there to try and fix my womb issues!! 

Even so, it was interesting to hear what was said, as she explained about the affects of general anesthetic on the body, and described techniques for helping the body to recover just from that! Apparently, which I hadn't realised, some insurance companies won't insure a driver for the first four weeks after having an operation under general anesthetic, as the brain can still show the effects of it for that length of time. For the fist two weeks, she explained to us, it is perfectly normal to still feel drowsy as a result of the drug, so this is not something to worry about. 

She then described some basic exercises we could do during the first couple of days / weeks to help with circulation, relieve backache, avoid DVT and to ease wind, using her assistant to demonstrate exercises like pelvic tilting, knee-rolling, and rocking & stretching from the comfort of the bed. They then showed us how to get up and out of bed following the surgery, to ease the pain from the wounds. 

There was lots of other information to do with constipation, bladder and bowel care etc... which was really not relevant to me - especially in relation to catheters, and returning to exercise / work / housework (for one lady who is a cook in a care home the result of her surgery means she can't lift anything heavier than a full kettle for about six months! She was astounded at the length of time she would have to take off, thinking it would only have been about two months. Another lady, who is a social worker, was shocked she wouldn't be able to drive her car for about three months following her procedure!). I knew this information was relevant, so decided to speak to her privately after everyone had gone!

While I was waiting to speak to her at the end of the session, the oldest lady in the room started to talk to me, asking if this was my first. Now, as we were there to discuss surgery, and some of the women had already mentioned they'd had numerous procedures... and knowing how old ladies like to talk about their ailments, I naturally assumed she was asking if this was my first surgery... right?? Naturally assumption!

NO! It turns out she thought I was pregnant and was asking if this was my first child. So went on to discuss her two children, born 17 years apart... if she hadn't been deaf (her husband was there so he could relay to her at home the information we'd been given), I might have discussed a little more about why the long gap!! Instead, I smiled sweetly and listened to her stories of her children! Oh the irony!!! **mental note to self, NEVER wear this top out in public again!!!!**

Monday, April 22, 2013

Used Because of My Brokenness

You know that God is working things out in your heart when He gives you the strength in spite of your brokenness! It's not always easy to say to Him, here I am Lord, use me as You will, because you don't know what He will want you to do!!!

But I knew God gave me the strength I needed in Church recently, when a woman who is pregnant came to me and asked me to pray for her, as she was experiencing pain during her seventh week. Submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit, I found I was able to pray, without crying!

It's funny how God takes our brokenness, and turns things around so that His light can shine through us. So no matter where you are at, I would encourage you to say of the Lord, "here I am, use me", then be amazed at how He chooses to work through you. Even in those situations you would never have chosen for yourself.

More Lessons From Scripture: Husbands and Wives

I love Hubby to pieces, but at the moment, he is struggling in his walk with the Lord, to the point where to even pray for me when I ask him, he doesn't feel he is in a place to do that. This makes it really difficult for me, as I read time-and-time again of Christian couples who prayed together and saw God answer their prayers for a child.

I totally believe that God wants this for Christian marriages. I fully believe that a Christ-centered marriage has a strength and a depth between a husband and wife, which other couples miss. And so for me to be in this situation - I have found this Journey for Bubba that much harder. All I would like, is for Hubby and I to pray together. 

This last Sunday, though, God spoke to me so clearly about this situation, that He has set at ease the stress and pressure I have been feeling in my heart. He is so awesome like that. For a while, because I have been praying for Hubby, and seeing only slight glimpses of the answer I desperately seek, it becomes easy to think that God isn't listening. But He sent two women to speak to me at Church - one had a vision of me seeing my prayers added to the bowl of incense which is poured out before the throne of the Lord, as described in Revelation 5:8: ...and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints, and Revelation 8:3-4He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. The second lady spoke of how the Lord had placed a connection in her spirit to pray for me for breakthrough. She has offered to meet with me specifically to pray for the strongholds which are preventing the breakthrough I need, although she has no idea what these are. I immediately knew this was relating to Hubby, and also for my Journey for Bubba. 

But even before these two women spoke to me, God had already spoken His encouragement to me through my study of the women of the Bible who struggled to conceive. 

So keeping in mind the fact that I felt as though I don't have the prayerful support of Hubby, and have felt as though I was trying to stand strong and fight this battle alone... I started to remind God of how important husbands were to the "barren" women in the Bible (you know them ones when you try to tell God about His own story!):
  • Sarah, as the woman married to Abraham, was told via her husband she would conceive - You, Lord, spoke to Abraham FIRST... she overheard You and laughed!
  • Rebekkah conceived after her husband pleaded with You in prayer on her behalf. I don't know what she may or may not have said to him but You Lord, listened to her husband and she conceived.
  • Then Elizabeth wasn't even privy to the conversation You had with her husband, Zachariah because he was in the Most Holy Place and then was struck dumb and couldn't relate any of what You, Lord, had told him! 
You see, God, do You see how important it is for the husband to be in the journey with his wife! Do You see what You have done through these marriages, because I do - I see exactly how important it is for the wife to have the spiritual support of her husband!!

Point made, rant over!!!!

The Lord, graciously and calmly, pointed me to Hannah:
  • She spoke to the Lord DIRECTLY as she prayed ON HER OWN at the Temple. Elkanah was a Godly man, in that he made the annual pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem when required, providing offering for himself and his family, but in response to Hannah's heart-cry, he gave her a very human - very manly - response, when he said to his wife "Am I not better to you than 10 sons" (1 Samuel:1:8). He didn't connect with her on a spiritual level, he didn't appear to have the same level of faith in God's healing power to pray and intercede on Hannah's behalf or to join Hannah when she went to the Temple to pray. Hannah had to deal with her anguish, her grief alone. She knew the only way to be heard, as she desired to have a child of her own, was to seek the Lord directly, which is when we read of the vow she made to God. She was alone in this moment. Yet the Lord was so close to her in that moment. 
  • The other woman was Rachel. She was the wife of Jacob, who became the Father of twelve sons, the one whom the nation of Israel is named after. But at the time, she was barren, regardless of how much she tried to have a child, and she became human in her responses, saying to her husband, "give me a child or else I will die" (Genesis 30:1). We read of poor Rachel's plight as she watches her maid, her rival-wife-sister, her sister's maid all conceiving lots of wonderful healthy babies for her husband, Jacob. we can share her anguish as child 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 is born, and each time, she is still waiting, still childless, still barren. We don't know how Jacob supported his wife through this, we don't know if he interceded on her behalf. We know he got angry with her (Genesis 30:2), maybe felt helpless on her behalf? But we do know that Rachel prayed. Although we don't know the exact words she spoke, as with Hannah, we do know that God listened to HER, remembered HER and opened her womb (Genesis 30:22).
Point made, I was silenced!

There may be wives out there who don't have the full spiritual support of their husbands, not just temporarily, but on a permanent basis, as there are women who are married to non-Christian men. Be encouraged that God is as tuned in to your prayers, ad He is to the prayers of a Christian husband, or to the prayers of a husband and wife standing together in prayer. I would encourage you to ask the Lord to bring you a prayer partner who will pray with you for the child you long to conceive, because I know that there is strength in praying with someone, "...if two of you agree on earth, concerning anything they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven" (Matthew 18:19). But don't lose heart that your prayers alone are in vain, because the Lord has promised to hear those who call on His name. And just as He heard the prayers of Rachel and Hannah - He hears your prayers too. Be encouraged, and don't give up. The journey isn't over yet, you are not barren, you are fruitful and one day, the Lord will bring to bear the fruit of your womb. The fruit of my womb. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Infertility Meeting at House of Commons

Apparently, there is a meeting being arranged for MPs to attend, which will look at raising awareness of infertility at the end of April. This is an all-party meeting on the 29th and is open to all our MPs, including the one you vote for in our local and national elections, organised by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

The reception is to launch the new NICE guidelines on fertility, including: 
  • the best forms of treatment for people who have problems getting pregnant
  • ways of treating people who have a known condition or reason for their fertility problems
  • ways of treating people when no reason for their fertility problems can be found
and will offer an opportunity for MPs to discuss the issue surrounding people like us. Follow the link if you want to know more about the NICE guidelines, although the guidelines seem to focus primarily on IVF treatment - maybe it would be worth asking our MPs to discuss those for whom IVF isn't an option, for whatever reason.

Having heard some comments by MPs in the past, there doesn't seem to be a wide range of knowledge of infertility within the House of Commons, I've even heard us, who are TTC, being likened to a gay couple who can't conceive naturally!! Shocking!

With this in mind, the Infertility network UK is asking for our help in trying to encourage our MPs to attend this meeting, and to represent us, as the decisions they take will be affecting us in the future.  If you would like to support this request, follow this link to some tips offered by the Infertility Network.

For info on contacting your MP use the link, http://www.parliament.uk/about/contacting/mp/

For a copy of the invitation, please contact karenveness@infertilitynetworkuk.com

Listening to the Right Voice

Since the passing away of Robert Edwards a couple of days after Baroness Thatcher, it seems as though the subject of IVF has been coming up more and more in conversation and news articles.... either that or because of the journey I am on, I seem to more aware of this!! 

I was reading the paper when an article caught my attention, "I wish IVF had never been invented!" it screamed! Now, although I have made up my mind not to pursue this avenue for myself, I was interested in what had brought the author to this particular position where she would wish away the whole process. As I read through her piece, I almost cried for her - except I was at work (on a coffee break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)!

It was written by a woman in her forties who has undergone the process of IVF first-hand. describing the utter heart-break of the two failed attempts and the constant reminder of her failure as she looks at the bottles and needles still tucked away in the fridge, "our world has been on hold, in a terrible emotional limbo, ever since. I recognise that mine is a controversial  perspective — and yes, IVF has brought untold joy to countless childless women. But I have first-hand experience of the  physical and emotional anguish you endure when the expensive, invasive treatment Sir Robert developed happens to fail."

What the majority of fertile couples fail to understand is the rollercoaster anguish of TTC. But for the one in six couples who struggle to conceive, and I believe that figure is rising, the fact is that life on the rollercoaster of subfertility can be completely overwhelming. It threatens to impinge on every area of life, with the ability to transform a regular balanced woman into a bag of emotional wretchedness, focused on the one thing she desires to the point where, like in a cartoon nightmare, everything flying at her face is either a pregnant woman or a baby, or related to the new nursery she would like to create, as she spins round and round in a whirlwind of her life!

It becomes all she thinks about, as she follows her monthly cycle meticulously, particularly if she is taking fertility drugs / attempting IVF / IUI / GIFT and all the other letters, her conversations are filled with hints or facts or information relating to what she is going through, where she is in her cycle, how many days till she knows a month was a success or a failure, the effects of the drug treatments, the number of eggs she produced.... if you ask her how she is, you will know intimate details you never thought you wanted to know! when she walks into a coffee shop, a church, an art gallery, she can instantly tell you who is pregnant and where all the new babies are! When she visits a new town, she has clocked all the stores related to baby products!!

But not every woman TTC has the network of understanding friends around her - some even seem to have negativity thrown in her direction, just because she is struggling to conceive. As many of us can testify, we never thought we would reach the age we are and still be childless. We never expected to have a problem with what is one of the most natural things in the world. We never asked to walk this path - but here we are!

At the end of the article is a facility for leaving a comment, as I read through some of the comments, I really hoped within my heart that the author would never ever read some of the things people had written - people who seemed to be so full of anger, pride and total disregard for the woman behind the piece. It is so easy for us to sit in judgement over other, but until we have walked ten miles in their shoes, how can anyone condemn another person who they don't even know. I added my support, just in case she did read the comments. 

If you have ever encountered the negativity of people from the five in six couples who don't have any fertility problems, I pray God will help you to forget their unkindness, and to surround you with people who can support you - even if they don't fully get what you are going through. I think it is important to raise awareness of this issue, because in educating those who don't know what happens, we may be able to limit the amount of judgmental attitudes towards us. We don't choose to wait until we're old before trying, sometimes life is just like that! We don't choose to have a condition which affects the uterus, the Fallopian tubes, the ovaries, our ovulation, etc... life can just hit you like that! 

So before you allow someone to intimidate you with their negativity, remember that God knew the journey He was taking you on, before you even stepped onto the path; when He made you, He made you "fearfully and wonderfully" YES! Even with that condition you have and didn't realise! When He looks at you, He looks at you with pride, like a father looks down on his children, and He is so pleased to have you in His care. And He upholds you, day by day, strengthening you in the battle, encouraging you in the darkest night... listen out for His voice, instead of those other voices! The ones who will hear the song of your heart and sing it back to you when you've forgotten the words or the tune.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Prayer for Infertility - Learning From My Jewish Roots

Although I am the grand-daughter of a Ashkenazi Jewish refugee, when my father became a believer in Jesus as the prophesied Messiah, we were brought up in a Christian, rather than a Jewish, home - and I praise God for this wonderful foundation granted to me through my parents faith in Him. Since my twenties, I have been developing more and more of an understanding of the Jewish aspects of my relationship with God, the Scriptures, life and others. There is such a depth I have discovered as a Jewish-Christian that at times I wish I had known about them sooner!

Woman Entering Mikvah
This is became stronger today, as I found a ritual Jewish based on Leviticus 15:19-24, which Jewish women still follow, which God had set out when He first met the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai. I'm not saying I would particularly follow this personally, but I have discovered that contained within this ritual is a prayer of strength for the women who is TTC, which is so precious. In this, there is an acknowledgement of the struggle for women who, like the Matriarchs Sarah, Rachel and Rebecca and not forgetting Hannah, desire to become a mother of her own Bubba. Through this monthly prayer, there seems to be a freedom for the woman, unlike us Christians who are still hiding from infertility, to be allowed to grieve in order to move forward each month. Because at the end of the day, the monthly journey can't be covered by a prayer from three months ago - as each cycle of hope for Bubba fades with the arrival of Aunt Flo.

Every month, after Aunt Flo has been and gone, Jewish women enter a Mikvah (a large bath used in Jewish rituals for full immersion in order for the person to be purified and made clean - there were literally hundreds of them around the Temple in Jesus' day!!) in order to be purified after her period. Before she is immersed, she says a prayer, which in the case of a woman who is TTC is so significant, and such a blessing as it acknowledges the pain, the struggle and the hope for life:

A Meditation - Using the Mikveh when Dealing with Infertility

Prayer written on the ritualwell website, shared by Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers

Mekor Rakhamim (meaning ‘source/place of mercy’. While at such times [Rabbi Debbie] do[es] not sense the merciful, giving God, Rakhamim has it’s root in Rekhem, meaning womb, and therefore is an obvious choice) I thank you for the blessing that is contained in my body’s abilities and functions, which I should not take for granted. But I also cry out to you in my pain, anxiety, and wants. I do not expect an answer, and yet I hope for one.
Help me and my beloved stay strong through the coming month, and remember the strength we share together. We pray that this will be stronger than my monthly remembrance of death, contained within which is a reminder of the hope for life. Help us not to blame ourselves, or each other, and to accept those blessings we do have, rather than focusing on those we do not.
May I find comfort in the merit of my mothers, SarahRebeccaRachel, and Hannah, who called out to you in their childlessness, and were comforted.
Blessed are You Eternal, who creates each of us whole, and none of us perfect. 

I'm not saying I should suddenly start looking for the nearest Mikvah and start dunking myself under each month, but I think this prayer would become a valuable part of the Journey for Bubba on a regular basis. Surely bringing God to the forefront of our pain, of our struggle is the key thing here! Surely inviting God to keep His hand over Hubby and I each month, as we go through the monthly cycle of hope, anticipation, waiting and failure can only be a good thing.

I hope this type of monthly prayer can be a source of comfort and strength to those of us who are embroiled in the monthly battle of TTC. The battle is not ours, it belongs to the Lord!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Added to the Waiting List

Arrgghhhh!!! I just want my Bubba!

OK! scream over!

I have just received a letter from my consultant to say that I am on the waiting list - which I knew already - for the laparoscopy which will be done to try to open the blocked Fallopian Tube. It turns out that he wants to perform the surgery on both sides - which I hadn't known - rather than just the one tube which we know is blocked. The down-down-down side of this is that I would be at very high risk of an ectopic pregnancy, what with both tubes having been worked on. Oh man! 

It's the waiting game continued, but the chances of success with the surgery are low. The chances of being more at risk for complications are high. What's the point in putting my body through this, I have to wonder??? I suppose it will provide my consultant with the clearest picture of what is happening in my Fallopian Tubes, and it could clear things - even for just a couple of attempts - for the eggs to travel, unhindered, to where they can meet with Hubby's Little Swimmers.

I mean, at the end of the day, there is a blockage, and not having the surgery won't change that. As far as I know, the tests showed only one side is blocked, but what if there are complications on the otherside, which my Consultant seems to think there is? If this is the case, that means that no having surgery wouldn't be a great option anyway. I just don't like the elevated risks of having an ectopic. I just want Bubba to be healthy, whole and here!

Either way, through this situation, GOD WILL BE GLORIFIED! Whether Bubba is conceived BEFORE the surgery has to happen, whether Bubba is conceived AFTER the surgery, whether there are increased risks and potential complications... GOD WILL BE GLORIFIED!

If Jesus can raise His friend Lazarus from the dead, then He can breathe life into this deadened womb of mine:

John 11:4: [Jesus] said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Oh Father God, if there is ANY WAY at all that we can avoid doing this surgery, then I ask that You would intervene in my situation. I pray that during this time I am on the Waiting List that You would hear my prayers and You would grant me Bubba. But if it is Your way for this to happen, then I pray You would bring me to that place of peaceful acceptance that this is Your plan for Bubba and me, because I am not there yet. At this stage, Lord, I actually don't want to be there at all! But not my will - Yours be done.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Faith Cycle

I don't know about you, but there are times when my faith-level seems to be a bit like my monthly cycle. I'm specifically talking about this Journey for Bubba, because for almost everything else, there seems to be a consistency in the level of faith I have - particularly when it comes to praying for others!

But like my monthly cycle - there are days when I am full of faith, and there are days when my faithful resolve has weakened somewhat. I may have noticed a pattern too.... Before ovulation - faith levels are up there in the heavens... around the due date of Aunt Flo's arrival - there is a sudden and dramatic dip... or plummet, depending on the symptoms I start to experience!

It's quite exhausting, actually, but this is the cycle my body and my spirit seem to have fallen into step with! The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak!

So with this in mind i was struck by this particular incident of healing in Matthew's account of Jesus' life:
Matthew 9: 28:29: ...And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, According to your faith let it be to you. 

If Jesus had asked me at the wrong time of the month this particular question, and healed me "according to my faith" ... ooeerr missus! That's quite a scary thought that Jesus would sometimes limit Himself to the faith of the person He is healing! I had a conversation with someone just yesterday who thought she had to have people to pray for her, in order to be healed by God, until I explained that it's not about the person praying, it's about the God who hears, answers and heals. 

I've always believed that, and yet here we have a journey of healing. Firstly, two blind blokes are following Jesus, asking Him to have mercy on them. Then when Jesus entered a particular house (don't know who's house it was, but they obviously had an open door policy!), these two blokes followed them in. This is quite an incredible thing to do... It can't have been easy for two blind guys to follow someone they couldn't see into unknown areas and entering into a house they had never been to before... and who knows how long they had been following Jesus? Matthew's account doesn't give us any indication of the length of time Jesus walked from one place to the other, it could have taken days, definitely hours... I went to Israel last year, and we went to the Galilee area where Jesus lived The region is mountainous... it's not a level footpath where the blind men would have been walking... it is rocky, dusty, had they been available, hiking boots with the little spikes would have been required as they'd have trekked through the cities of Galilee. 

Some of us may have been walking this type of Journey for Bubba in a spiritual sense. following Jesus wherever He leads us, sometimes our journeys are up and down... like a mountain. Crying out to Jesus in the hope He will hear us, "Have mercy on me, Jesus. Have mercy and hear the cries of my heart". 

To us, it would seem obvious what we need from the Lord. Just as it would seem obvious to those around that these two blind blokes would have a level of faith which says they believe Jesus is able to heal them, based on the fact that they had followed Him like this.

But Jesus asks them what would appear to be a superfluous question. He says, "Do you believe I am able to do this?" I'd be like, "Err... hello, isn't it obvious??? I can't see where I am going, but I followed you all this time... I saw and heard you raising that little girl to life when she was technically dead, I heard about that woman who touched your coat and was healed... do I believe you can do the same for me????"

But actually... Do I believe God is able to heal me. I don't have a problem with Him healing others... but do I believe He can bring healing in my body, in my situation??

And this is the question I leave us with... You may have following Jesus for years... you may not have been with Him for that long. You may have felt like your walk with Him has been rough and mountainous, rather than the smooth path you were hoping for - or believe you see others walking. You may have been crying out to God for most of your Journey, "Lord have mercy on me!" But now that Jesus turns His attention to you, and asks you "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" Be prepared to answer Him, for He may just respond, "according to your faith, let it be to you."

Father God, I believe You are able, I believe You are willing. But I know that there are times when I hold myself back because I think why would You for me, when there are so many others who have a greater need. Lord, I ask that you would increase my faith that You will, to match the understanding I have that You can. I pray that across this whole situation of others who are TTC, that You would increase faith, so we will be able to respond to Your question with great faith. Lord, I pray You would bring a consistency in how much I believe You can, and take me off the roller-coaster of up down faith which has followed my monthly cycle, bringing a level which will uphold me when times are tough. "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief" (Mark 9:24).