I am the Paralytic

Luke 5:17-26

One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.

Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach Him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”

But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does He think He is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” Jesus knew what they were thinking, so He asked them, “Why do you question this in your hears? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”


And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!”

I have thought about this story many times and I have played each role:

I have been one of the friends carrying the paralytic, bearing another’s burdens, caring for another during heavy times, bringing that person before Jesus and into His presence through prayer.

I have been one of the Pharisees, doubting in my heart the ways of Christ, trying to make sense of faith and doubt, questioning, searching, seeking my own wisdom and coming up short, not being able to reconcile the things of this world (broken and cursed) with the picture of heaven (redeemed and renewed).

I have been one of the ones in the crowd, witnessing Christ work in others’ lives, standing in awe, worshipping God, bearing testimony of His power and might and grace and mercy in someone else’s life.

Right now, I am the Paralytic.

I feel paralyzed, frozen, without control, waiting: how long, how hard, how much. I have been praying and waiting and hoping only to be met each month with disappointment, discouragement, and doubt. Some days it feels like there’s not much of me left – I’m all poured out (Ps. 22:14-15). I’ve prayed and cried, waited and wept, worshipped and not-worshiped, spoken life and experienced no new life inside of me. I’ve tried praying “harder,” having “just a little more faith,” “worshipping my way through,” “praising Him in the storm,” and seeking “the Joy of the Lord.”

Sometimes I have experienced that joy and so much more. Right now, not so much. It’s more like “a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Ps. 63:1).

One of my favorites is a simple but meaningful southern gospel:

“I need you, you need me. We’re all a part of God’s body. Stand with me. Agree with me. We’re all a part of God’s body. It is His will that every need be supplied. You are important to me, I need you to survive.”

Today, I’m the paralytic and I’m asking you to carry me into the presence of Jesus. Pray for me, intercede on my behalf, do the hard work that I can’t do for myself right now. Be the hands and feet of the Body of Christ and help lower this paralytic through the roof and into the presence of healing, peace, forgiveness, and strength.

He’s got me right in the palm of His hand. I’m going to be fine. I’m going to experience the peace that surpasses understanding – all that and more! But just for today, if I’m the paralytic, could you be the friends? Thanks.

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Fertility Update – IVF

If you’re new here, we are in the midst of a joyful, hard, chaotic, wonderful season of waiting in terms of fertility. I’ve written of our 5+ year story on this blog, so you can catch up by reading Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6, and a quick post on Mother’s Day – or the whole series here.

InVitro Fertilization (IVF) is such an interesting thing. Miraculously, through advances in science and the breath of life that only God can provide, we can now mimic natural conception outside the body, and then place this newly formed embryo (blastocyst, technically) back into the mother’s womb, hoping and praying that it results in a successful pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Wow.

I have had my own journey with the idea of IVF. Ask anyone who’s done it – the reality of IVF is: IT’S A LOT. IVF is a lot to consider, a lot to take in, a lot to wrap your head around, a lot for your body (hormone shots multiple times a day for weeks), a lot to process emotionally, a lot of doctor’s appointments, and a lot of dollars {Forbes}.

After much prayer and a 3 day fast, in November of 2014, we decided to move forward with IVF.

We had *kinda* known that this day was coming, but the idea of facing this invasive and highly-technical procedure, and the reality of it are two different things.

How He sustains us in incredible to me.
We were praying for breakthrough and rest:
     Micah 2:13
     Exodus 14:14

Ultimately, the embryos did not make it to transfer. Our failed IVF attempt ended just  after Thanksgiving.

I’ll include the text we sent to those friends and family who’d been praying for us:
Welp. Our IVF cycle is officially over: the embryos didn’t make it to transfer. I can’t say we’re not heartbroken, but I can say we’ll be ok – not yet but we will be. Psalm 13 is a short 6 verses; it begins with sorrow and anguish, but ends with “But I will trust in Your unfailing love. I will rejoice because You have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me.” We’re living in the “and if He does not” part of Daniel 3:17-18 and claiming that He is still God and He is still good. Grant’s taken the day off and I think we’re just gonna “be” today, you know? Thanks for YOUR prayers quietly guiding us through this journey. xoxo
The day we found out, after having had nothing to eat but our tears, we called in a to-go order at Waffle House. Walking in, I got several sweet text messages from friends that made my eyes well up with different kind of tears: deeply grateful ones. As I was about to hand my card to the girl behind the counter, I realized the irony of the moment:
I am almost a country song: standing here in my pjs, crying, in a Waffle House.
And I wondered what I would say to this bewildered girl if she dared to ask me what’s wrong or if I’m ok. First I thought I’d say:
This is the worst day of my life.
But then I really thought about it – and I know we’ve had some rough days – so was this really the worst? So I quickly revised in my head (thankfully the sweet girl did not ask):
This is one of the worst days of my life. 
But as I pondered it further, this thought truly inhabited me:
If this is one of the worst days of your life, all in all, you have been blessed.
And it hit me softly, that overwhelming thankfulness that allows us to worship in the midst of great sorrow, to praise God in the midst of deep pain, to rejoice despite not knowing why or for what or how long.

I’m not saying it’s been easy, but I can say I have never been more confident in God’s timing.

We have talked and prayed and cried since then. But that still, quiet confidence in God who delights in the details, writing the pages of our story {not on tablets of stone, but on our hearts}, guiding the seasons of our life, has sustained us and we are grateful.

I don’t know what’s next.
I don’t know if or when we’ll do another cycle of IVF.
But I do know one thing:
     God is good
     and can be trusted
     and is worthy of our praise.

There’s a quote from C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia that I love:
-Yes but is He safe?
-Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course He isn’t safe! But He’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.

Fertility Series: Part 6

This gallery contains 3 photos.

{This is the last post in a series on fertility. You can read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and a quick post on Mother’s Day – or read the whole series here.} There are two main reasons I’m writing this series, which is so … Continue reading

Fertility Series: Part 5

This gallery contains 14 photos.

{We’re in the middle of a series on fertility. You can read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and a quick post on Mother’s Day – or read the whole series here.} There are two main reasons I’m writing this series, which is so … Continue reading

Fertility Series: Part 4

{We’re in the middle of a series on fertility. You can read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and a quick post on Mother’s Day – or read the whole series here.} There are two main reasons I’m writing this series, which is so … Continue reading