On Sunday March 7th I had the honor of speaking during women’s ministry Sunday at Culbreth Memorial Church. Here’s the link to the video on Facebook.
I also had a few people ask for my sermon notes so here they are. There’s more in the message, but these are were my notes. Enjoy!
My husband and I went through a nearly 5 year battle of infertility before having our miracle. I won’t get into our whole story today, but out of our journey the Lord lead me to write a book which I published last year called While In Waiting. Its our story through heartache, hope, and healing.
I remember the hurt that I felt going through this journey. I remember asking God things like what have I done wrong? What did I do to deserve this? I even felt as though I had to bargain with him. Have any of you ever felt like you had to bargain with him before? One day I said Lord if you will just answer this one prayer for me and give me a baby I will never ask for anything from you again. I knew that wasn’t true, and I’m sure he was thinking I wish this girl would stop talking, and rest in me. Stop talking and just listen to me. Stop and just trust me.
I’m thankful we don’t serve a good thats a one stop shop, but we serve a father who loves us and wants good things for us.
Matthew 11:28 NLT reads
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
In another translation of this verse it says come to me, I am your oasis.
Something else about me is I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to words.
The definition of an oasis is a fertile spot in a desert where water is found. I wanted the Lord to be my oasis, and all I just had to do was let him. I wanted to drink deeply of all he had for me and let his rest wash over me.
Once I was past the initial pain of the realities of infertility my relationship with the Lord really began to evolve. I leaned into my relationship with him more and pursued him more than begging him for a baby.
One scripture I read over and over again reminding me of the Lord’s faithfulness is
1The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
One of my favorite things about our journey through infertility and now into parenthood was how we saw multiple miracles happen. From finances pouring in for treatments, to our baby boy being born, to our son having faith that even challenges and grows me at times.
Now looking back it reminds me of what God was doing in my own interior garden. He was growing me. He was helping me pull out the weeds or things that were unhealthy, and he was helping me begin to bloom and grow through different seasons of life.
In Isaiah 58:11 it says The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
Does anyone like to garden or have a green thumb? Are you the type that kills all
the plants instead?
In 2020 I decided I might be a bit of a plant lady. We were all stuck at home for a few months with the shutdown and up until then my sweet husband had been the caretaker of all of our plants. Anything I had tried to keep alive well didn’t ever live for long. I declared I am going to keep all of these plants alive by myself this year. I not only wanted to prove it to my husband, but I had to prove it to myself as well.
We got the most beautiful hanging baskets full of gorgeous flowers and some to plant in our planter boxes on the porch. The hanging basket flowers were hung on a Shepard’s hook we moved from our back to front yard and it is one of my favorite focal points in my yard now.
Right beside this spot was literally nothing. When you look at my front porch the left side is lined with beautiful lush bushes the whole way and the right side literally has nothing but maybe a few dead looking sticks. Lincoln decided he wanted to start helping me water the flowers. He always went to the spot next to the Shepard’s hook and would pour water onto the ground. I remember telling him multiple times to water the flowers instead of pouring out water on nothing. He said “Mama this is my special spot and I love to water it. I know something will grow.”
I decided to go along with it and he diligently took the watering pitcher over there and kept watering it. He even asked me to help him water his special spot a few times and I obliged him, but thought our efforts were for nothing.
I’ll never forget one day we went outside and he said Mommy look at my special spot. Sure enough there were little green blooms starting to sprout up. He kept watering them everyday and now there are 2 spots growing bushes now. We moved to this house almost 2 1/2 years before this happened and there has never been anything there. I even went as far as to pull up old Zillow pictures to see if there were ever bushes there and there weren’t.
Childlike faith. He put in the work, was diligent, and knew it would grow. He never doubted it for one minute. Even when I had my doubts he never wavered. We even took the time to pray it would grow a few times.
This was a teachable moment for me. If God cares about something this little that was a big deal to my little guy imagine how much he cares for you.
Imagine how much he cares about the things that seem little in the grand scheme of things but they are important to you.
Imagine how much he cares for your circumstances.
Jeremiah 29:11 says- For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Imagine how much he wants you to feel safe and protected by him.
Psalm 91:4- He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Deuteronomy 31:8- Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Imagine how much he cares about the prayers you are praying.
I want to encourage you today that He hears you. He sees you. He knows the desires of your heart.
I believe what God is saying to some of you today is he wants to turn the spots where you feel are dry or there are just some dead sticks laying around and he wants to start pouring that water over that spot. Sometimes in our garden the top layer can look all dry and cracked, but underneath there is where the nutrients of life are. If you do a little digging, or till up the dry part underneath there is fresh rich soil that’s ready for you to plant new things. So sometimes underneath what we view as a mess lies beauty ready to spring up something fresh and new.
He wants to keep watering until something begins to spring up in you. He wants a beautiful garden to begin to bloom. Not just a small plot of a garden, but one with beautiful colorful flowers.
All of us here today are in different stages of life, growth, but the end result is the same. If you feel you are dragging behind in areas of your life you can catch up. There is still time. God has you and he is continuing to water and garden your heart, your mind, and your life.
A gardener maintains and cares for its garden and that is exactly what the Lord is doing for you.
Lets keep digging. Let’s keep tilling. Let’s keep looking for the beauty under the mess. Let’s keep watering friends!
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