Today I’m excited to introduce another one of my InScribed sisters, Amanda Hope Haley, author of Barren Among the Fruitful: Navigating Infertility with Hope, Wisdom, and Patience.
Her book is one that has touched my heart deeply as a mother. You see, pregnancy came easy for me. Each time we tried, a baby was born. But not so much for my friend. And for years, she tried everything possible, including seven years of hoping and begging God, to have a baby.
And when no baby came, God eventually allowed Amanda to see her circumstances through a different lens. Amanda “Hope” Haley writes in her book, “I learned that God gives us only one hope: reconciliation with Him through the work of Jesus. Jesus is my only hope.”
Wow! Once Amanda surrendered her greatest desire to the Lord. He gave her true Hope. I want that kind of hope, don’t you? Biblical Hope. God’s Hope. Below is a window into the heart of my friend, Amanda. Take a peek and get to know how God’s hope has transformed Amanda’s heart and given her a new perspective on her dream of motherhood.
At the end, Amanda asks a question. Leave a comment for a chance to win one of five copies of Barren Among the Fruitful we are giving away today and be entered in our bigger giveaway to celebrate the start of my Living So That on-line study which begins October 22nd (giving away 2 sets of our Inscribed books and 2 InScribed Necklaces). For details on how to join us for the study, click here.
Your Financial Freedom Is an Asset to God
My husband David and I have enjoyed a lot of freedom lately. We’re constantly traveling for work, we don’t have a ton of responsibilities, and we aren’t weighed down by debt. But we aren’t taking any of this for granted.
To be blunt: I have a loved one reporting to prison on Thursday to serve time for a crime that he not only didn’t commit but that didn’t even occur.
We’ve been praying and enduring with this family since he was arraigned 7 years ago. We’ve watched as his health has declined, his relationships have strained, and his bank account has drained. It’s a journey that would make anyone look at her own problems and say, “I’ve got it pretty easy.”
All of that began as David and I were in the middle of fertility treatments. Our bank account was draining, too, but in our case it was a choice. Whereas our friend was paying exorbitant fees to lawyers in his attempt simply to stay with his wife and family, we were paying exorbitant bills to doctors in our attempt to grow our family.
In both cases, the husband and wife had long-standing habits of fiscal responsibility. Neither couple had debts outside of our small mortgages. We all made a point of “living within our means,” and that strong foundation made it possible for us to more easily weather our storms. He could hire a reputable lawyer; we could continue assisted reproductive therapies.
Did our significant financial investments give us all what we wanted? No. Our friend must leave his family, and we will never have children of our own. But did those investments still have value? Yes. He is serving a fraction of the time initially proposed, and we’ve realized God can use us and our money in ways other than parenting.
If David and I had gotten our wish 7 years ago, then it is likely that almost everything we have would be tied up in our nuclear family and every choice we make would be influenced by our children—as it should be. We probably wouldn’t be so sensitive to our friend’s situation, in that case. But we can look back now and see that God has a different plan for our lives. Apparently He wants us to be unfettered so we will have assets (be they monetary or temporal) He can use to bless others and accomplish His will.
The apostle Paul says it is preferable not to marry because family relationships divide our “loyalties” and keep us from wholly dedicating our lives to God:
My primary desire is for you to be free from the worries that plague humanity. A single man can focus on the things of the Lord and how to please the Lord, but a married man has to worry about the details of the here and now and how to please his wife. A married man will always have divided loyalties. The same idea is true for a young unmarried woman. She concerns herself only with the work of the Lord and how to dedicate herself entirely, body and spirit, to her Lord. On the other hand, a married woman has vast responsibilities for her family and a desire to please her husband. I am not trying to give you more rules and regulations. I only want to give you advice that is fitting and helpful. I want to help you live lives of faithful devotion to the Lord without any distraction (1 Cor. 7:32–35, The Voice).
Paul was speaking from his own experiences, suggesting that the fewer ties we have on earth, the closer we can follow God and the more we can do for His kingdom. He calls some of His children to be spouses, but not others. Some to be parents, but not others.
Jesus tells us that God’s most important command to “‘love the Eternal, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second great commandment is this: ‘Love others in the same way you love yourself’” (Mark 12:30-31, The Voice). That isn’t contingent upon our lives looking the way we want them to. We don’t serve Him only if we’re wealthy or have a big family or are free. Regardless of our circumstances, God has a way to use all of us right now to accomplish His one will of reconciling humanity to Himself.
How has God used you or your pocketbook to bless others in ways you couldn’t have predicted? Leave your comment today for a chance to enter both giveaways!!
Thank you, Amanda, for stopping by and sharing from your heart today. I’m excited for your book to come out and for the hope and equipping it will bring to many marriages and families!