Joyce Meyer - A Desperate Prayer For A Baby
Ginger Stache: Hi, friends. Welcome to Talk It Out. And today we're gonna be talking about some really important things. And I think it's going to impact a lot of you, whether it's something that you're dealing with yourself or something with a friend. But before we get to that, we're gonna talk a little bit about dietary issues.
Jai Williams: Yes! Yes, let's talk about it.
Ginger Stache: So, tim and I, first of all, I don't cook at all.
Jai Williams: Right, you're not the best, you're good at a lot of things.
Erin Cluley: You have a lot of talents.
Ginger Stache: I like the way that you're making it, kind of like, the bad news sandwich. "You have many talents. You suck at cooking".
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: "But you're okay, otherwise".
Jai Williams: But you're great.
Erin Cluley: Hey, you made a mean queso.
Ginger Stache: That's true.
Erin Cluley: That was really good.
Ginger Stache: Yeah.
Jai Williams: I don't remember that.
Erin Cluley: And bacon.
Jai Williams: She like, burnt scrambled eggs.
Ginger Stache: I did that. Yes. So, I'm a terrible cook, as in, like, it's a danger to society. There are fires involved, and people get ill, so I just don't cook anymore. Tim's a decent cook. But there's a limited repertoire of what he makes and what we can eat. Well, we both recently found out that we have to adjust our diets. And we have to adjust them, this is per the doctor, for different things. So, we can't even eat the same things anymore. We're like, on opposite sides of what we can eat. So, basically, my eating life is over.
Jai Williams: Wow.
Erin Cluley: So, what will you do? Because he cooks for you?
Ginger Stache: Yeah.
Erin Cluley: I feel concerned.
Ginger Stache: We're both very concerned.
Erin Cluley: And hungry. When your husband goes out of town on trips, we do all wonder what you'll eat for a week. So...
Ginger Stache: When he's gone, I eat like a nine-year-old. When he's gone. I eat like a bowl of cereal for dinner. Or maybe, just ice cream, you know?
Erin Cluley: I mean, I like it. But it's probably not gonna help you.
Ginger Stache: That's my dietary issues. Well, we do have some special guests who are gonna be on the podcast with us today, and they are so brave to share the experiences that they have been through. Because today, we're talking about the heartbreak of infertility, and the millions, hundreds of thousands, I don't know how many, but so many families who really want to have a child and are struggling to have that. And so, today, we just wanna talk about that heartbreak, and we wanna talk about how to handle it spiritually, and what so many people are going through, so that people know they're not alone and people know that there is hope. And hope comes in many different forms. Sometimes, it comes in an answer, in a child, and sometimes it comes in healing and peace. And so, we're gonna talk through all this. And Erin, this is a topic that you've brought up before. That's something that you've dealt with quite a bit. So, you're gonna be sharing, too.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, I am. It's one of those topics, you know, we all have our own things that God has had to really help us walk through. And this is one for me. So, even just saying those words and like, to know that our friends are gonna share their stories, it brings me back to a place of a lot of emotion and just that part of your heart that, like a... Only women will understand, and that longing that you just can't, I mean, you just can't explain it. So, yeah, it's a tough one.
Ginger Stache: And I think there's something in this, too, that is for women and for their husbands. Because there, it's a different kind of pain. But there are so many men who want to be dads desperately...
Erin Cluley: Oh,yeah.
Ginger Stache: And it's not happening for their families. And so, there's a lot to talk about, and the different ways that we all deal with it, and things that are going on. But, you know, something that you've talked about before, a lot, Jai, is just how when we go through difficult times and we don't really understand it, you know, it's just so hard to fathom. And that feeling of, "God, I did everything right".
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: "Why isn't it happening the way it should? I followed your word. Why is it not going that way"? And so many people feel that. So, we're gonna start with that. And Joyce is gonna talk a little bit about that thought of, "Why do we have to go through such hard times"? And especially, "When I've done what you've asked me to do, why am I not seeing the answer yet"? So, we're gonna start there, and then, we're gonna come back, and share a story that I think will help you connect to this topic.
Joyce Meyer: "You lead me in the paths of righteousness. Yea, though I go through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil". Now, here's the message that I wanna get across to you, and I'm going to tell you upfront what it is, and I'm gonna spend the rest of the time re-reminding you and convincing you that what I'm saying is scriptural. Even though you're doing the right thing, and you're on the right path, and you're growing in God, you're pressing on in righteousness, your path is becoming brighter and brighter every day, that does not necessarily mean that you won't pass through what the Bible calls "The shadow of the valley of death," which basically just means hard times. So, we got to get rid of any kind of thinking, "Well, you know, I'm doing all this stuff, and I'm trying to do what's right, and the right thing's not happening to me, and I'm just tired of this, so I'm just gonna quit and give up". We need to leave the timing of our results in God's hands. Our job is not results, our job is obedience. We do what we do not even to just get a result, but because that's what we believe God wants us to do. And we know that if we do what is right, we will have peace. And listen to me, there is no way that we can ever fail and not be delivered if we're doing what's right. Amen. "Yea, though I go through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me". I'm pretty busy these days trying to get people prepared for whatever may be ahead in our lives. Hey, listen, I hope we just have nothing but prosperous, wonderful, amazing things happen in our world until Jesus comes back, but I'm not so sure that that's going to be the case. And I want us to be prepared and ready. If it stays great, amen. But if it doesn't, I wanna be just as strong in that hard place as I am on the pulpit in the good places, amen? And we're making a mistake if we don't ask ourselves, "Am I ready for that"? We need to ask ourselves if we're ready, if we need to, to go through difficulty and stay firm. Now, what sense does it make if you're doing the right thing but you're just having trouble because of it? Well, it's just kind of part of the thing. And the whole thing is is if you got problems in your life right now, you feel like you're being attacked, it's for one of two reasons. Either you've opened the door by doing something stupid and you've let the enemy in, or you're doing something right, and the enemy's mad about it, and he's trying to come against you to get you to stop it. And you don't need to try to figure out which one it is, you just pray and ask God to show you if you're wrong, keep showing you if you're right, and either way, "I'm gonna keep on keeping on, and I'm gonna come out with the victory on the other side".
Ginger Stache: Keeping on through those hard times. And we all face it in different ways in our life. And today, we are talking about something that is so difficult. And so many women are praying and asking God for a child and not seeing that answer yet. And our beautiful, wonderful friend jami elrod is with us. Jami elrod:. Hi, everyone.
Ginger Stache: Aww, we love jami. And jami, tell us a little bit about this road that you've walked of praying for a child, and exactly what Joyce was saying about trying to do everything right and wanting God's timing to be your timing and not seeing it happen. Jami elrod:. Yeah, my journey looks like it's ten years, at this point. And I never would have imagined that it would take me ten years, or I still not actually have what I want. So, I'm still waiting. I've had to ask myself those very questions, right, of, "Okay, well, your words says to be fruitful and multiply. I'm married, and I'm allowed to do this, now. Like why is this not happening for me"? Then it was, "Am I not ready to be a mom"? "Okay, so what do I need to do to become ready to be a mom? There's women out there all the time who didn't expect a pregnancy. I ready, like, let me do that". And it was a really long process to just keep asking these questions. And unfortunately, he's not ever actually answered them in the way that I thought he would. There was a time, the very first part of my journey, the Lord really asked me to work on being okay, going to a baby shower. Erin and...
Ginger Stache: Oh, that's so hard. Jami elrod:. Yeah. And all my friends, at that time, were round one, round two of babies, round three. And I'm sitting here going: Lord, when is it my time? And so, being able to, first be happy, genuinely happy for someone who has the thing that I don't have... Has been a challenge. But I'm so thankful I'm finally there. It was probably years in the making, you guys. I wish it was sooner than that, but it was not.
Erin Cluley: That's honest, though. Jami elrod:. Yeah, for real. The second thing was to show up to the baby shower and be able to make it through the whole baby shower without breaking down. So, I would on purpose drive myself to the baby shower, hold it together as long as I could, when I felt it was breaking, I would sneak out, go in my car, go in the bathroom, somewhere, break down, get it together, go back out, strong face, right? 'cause I'm not, the party was not about me. The party was about them, and them getting the miracle they have been wanting. And I genuinely wanted to be there to support them. So, that was the first part of my journey. The second part was, "Okay, God, we've been around this mountain. My body is very good at reminding me, monthly, that I still don't have what I want". And so, every month I'm disappointed by... I've been hopeful, but yet, I keep being reminded that I'm not pregnant. So, then, he's asking me to, "Can you, one: believe that I'm a good God"? So, our pastor, at one point, gave a really wonderful sermon on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And in that story, he says, "They said, 'i believe he can. I believe he will. But if he doesn't, I still will believe'." and my perspective had to change, right? Life is so much more than about me getting a baby. But this deep desire within me, and it's not been released. So, as long as that desire is there, I'm going to keep trying to have hope and believe for my miracle. And so, I had to really believe that he is a God, that beyond my circumstances, I trust him, and I trust that he's going to work this out, regardless, if I ever get the answer to what I've been praying for.
Ginger Stache: Did you find that you had to say that before you really felt it on the inside? I mean, how did you get to the place where you can say that and mean it? Jami elrod:. Oh, it was a journey of highs and lows. And I, honestly, I don't know what I do it, I don't know that I've arrived. It is definitely a practical, daily, intentional walk to say, "It's you and me God," right? Well, and my husband, right? He's the third part of this little journey. But my relationship with God has grown so much during this. When I was about halfway through, so about five years in, I had a friend who challenged me to read a book. And the book was about learning to wait well. And realize that during your waiting season, God can use that to grow you in so many other areas. So, I've learned a ton, during this ten years, of how my relationship with God should be, my value in Christ. I'm a very list-oriented person. I like goals. I like to succeed. This was an area of failure for me. And I just realized that element of it two years ago. So, I mean, there's just so many bits and pieces to this story that... He's been so kind and so gentle with me to walk me through each and every step when I'm ready. And one story, I'd like to share, is I felt the Holy Spirit ask me to post on social media a little bit about my story. And it was at a decent level, like a 10,000-foot view, right, of what I've been going through. So, those who are close to me, know the intimate details, but those on social media, probably, not so much. So, I posted it. Got some really wonderful feedback. There was one comment, out of all the comments, that wasn't in line with...
Ginger Stache: That's all it takes, sometimes, isn't it? Jami elrod:. I know, and honestly, I really wish it hadn't had affected me the way that it did. It took me two days of crying to process the truth. So, I was driving in my car, crying out to God, "Lord", again, all those questions, right? "Am I not ready"? "Do I not believe enough"? "Am I not desperate"? "Is it not like Hannah? Do I need to give the child back to you"? "What do I need to do to get this miracle"? And the Holy Spirit spoke so sweetly to my spirit and said, "Jami, I love you so much". And that was the part that I didn't realize that, that was the actual question I was asking, "Lord, do you love me? 'cause you're not answering my prayer".
Ginger Stache: Oh, my goodness. Wow. Where's the Kleenex? Jami elrod:. So, that has actually been a big caveat to my hope being restored. The hope that, it comes and goes. But since he's told me that, I no longer doubt that he's got good plans for me. I mean, I've been saved for so many years, you would think I would know by now. I knew. But Joyce recently said, you know, "It's the knowing". And, at this point, I now, know that he loves me regardless of what I get in life. But I don't get in life, whatever path has me on, it is definitely his plan. And I'm along for the ride. And so, not every day is easy. And he's been so kind to also support me with people in my life who do know the intimate details and can hold me during those difficult times, and it's like, "I know. I just don't even know".
Ginger Stache: You know, one of the things that I see in you, jami, is such joy, even through heartbreak. And I think that's such a wonderful testimony to what God has done in your life and is doing and who he is and who you are. Jami elrod:. Oh, thank you.
Erin Cluley: When jami and I started trying to get pregnant around the same time, together. And so, that alone just makes me emotional just to think about, I remember going to mcalister's for lunch, with you. And we would have these conversations like, "Just one day, it's gonna happen, one day". And she's always been like that. Like, that joy that you have, spoke volumes to me when I was having a bad day, or I mean, just always so encouraging even in the middle of your own pain. And one thing that you said to me, which I resonate with so much, like, the striving. And you and I are both very driven. We like to achieve. And so, "I'm going to achieve a baby. That is my goal. That's my goal". And so, I remember, it was like, I would try everything. Like, "Oh, this is probably the one thing I haven't done yet for God that he needs me to do. So, let me go ahead and do this". And I felt like I was supposed to do this. "I'm gonna call and ask for forgiveness for all my friends who are pregnant, or just gave birth, that I have been jealous of". And like, that will, probably, was healthy of me. That, probably, maybe the Lord was leading me to do that. But I thought, "I've made the phone calls, I've asked for forgiveness, genuinely, so I'm probably gonna be pregnant next month". And then, that didn't happen. And then, I felt like I was to get baptized at church. You were there that Sunday. And I really believed God told me to get baptized again, which I felt ridiculous 'cause I grew up in church, I've been baptized. And so, "Maybe that's what God wants me to do to get that baby". So, I get baptized. Really cool experience. And I still didn't get that baby. And I just remember thinking like, "What? What? I am out of lists. There is nothing left to check off that I can do for you. So, what are we waiting for"? So, I get that feeling of the striving. It's hard.
Ginger Stache: Yeah. That value that you're talking about, just feeling like, "Does God even love me? And where's my value if I'm not worthy"? Which, that's never the truth. That's never how God sees it, that we're not worthy. We don't understand what's happening. But we know that in God's eyes, his love for us is perfect. And so, just to be able to share what you've just shared, jami, with people is so important. That no matter what it is that is missing, that we think we're not doing right, we're not getting, God's not answering, it's not a matter of his love for us. He loves us all so much.
Jai Williams: I challenge people that maybe haven't had the same story as yours, to instead of making those comments, and like, I remember that pressure even when I was first getting, when I first got married of people coming and asking, immediately, "When you guys having kids"? "When you guys doing this"? "When", it's like people rush that process, too. So that pressure, and people that don't even mean any harm, like church people, people at work, it's like, so, I just wanna...
Erin Cluley: Tell 'em your list of things that people aren't supposed to say. People need to know, jami. Jami elrod:. I do. I have a list because, so, a cultural nom, excuse me, cultural norms, I think, indicate that questions like should be asked. Okay, you're out of high school. Great. "Where you gonna have your... What's your career"? Okay, you're of age of some kind: "When are you getting married"? Now, you're married: "When are you having babies"? And the list just goes on, right? Me, personally, women, not every woman wants to have a child. So, you probably shouldn't even ask all women that. The other part is some women just wanna have a career and really value certain things. Some women wanna have it all, right? So, maybe, ask them, "How do you fill your time"? Or, "What's important to you? What are your dreams"? As opposed to these other things...
Ginger Stache: Yeah, that's a great suggestion. Jami elrod:. It can really bring shame. It can bring embarrassment. It can bring all kinds of things, when it's not done, when you're not someone who's in the weeds with someone battling something like this, it really is, it's almost inappropriate to even ask such a deep question, not knowing what they might be going through.
Jai Williams: It's not helpful. Jami elrod:. No, it's not.
Jai Williams: And I know, like I said before, like, I know a lot of people don't mean any harm, but what it does, it's very hurtful. And even after I had my daughter, I remember people asking, "Don't you want a boy"? Like, it's like...And we were trying. So, it's like, "I can't make this happen any faster". So, I understand, like, what you're saying is so helpful and I hope people, really, you know, like, really take something away from that because it's not helpful. If certain things, whether it's your desire to have it or not, it's no one's place to, it almost seems like bullying. Like, you know, even though it's like, it's out of a good place usually, you know, or... Jami elrod:. And usually it's just small talk, which is so surface level. "You're asking me a life-altering decision, here".
Ginger Stache: They have no idea how much our words impact the people we're sitting across from. Jami, thank you. Jami elrod:. Oh, sure.
Ginger Stache: I really appreciate so much, you just being so open and honest in sharing this because I really believe it set some people free who are like, "Yeah, that's where I am. That's where I've been," whatever it may be. But we appreciate it very much. Jami elrod:. Thanks, you guys.
Ginger Stache: And we are praying.
Jai Williams: We are praying. Jami elrod:. Yes, please do.
Erin Cluley: Absolutely.
Ginger Stache: Well, we're gonna head back to Joyce and see what she has to say now, because there is a big difference between choosing our own steps and allowing God to direct us in his steps. And it is hard, and his steps are perfect. And trying to understand that when we're not going the direction, we think we want to, is really difficult. So, let's listen to this. And then, we have another special guest who's gonna share more about her story.
Joyce Meyer: Poverbs 16:9, says, "A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps". Proverbs 20:24 says, "A person's steps are directed by the Lord, how then can a man or anyone understand their own way"? Boy, we're always like, "Well God, I don't understand this. I don't understand that. I thought this was gonna happen, but that happened". Well, he says, "How can a man be expected to understand his way, when God is directing his steps". Proverbs 3:5-8 talks about not trying to figure things out, to stay away from reasoning. And boy, I tell you, this was a big problem for me for a long, long, long, long time. I just couldn't seem to settle down and feel comfortable, until I thought that I had everything all figured out and put neatly in a little box so I always knew what was going to happen. But you know, a lot of times, even if we think we have it figured out, we find out eventually that we were wrong after all. But I'll say again, what God has planned for us is so much better than what we plan for ourselves. Proverbs 3:5-8 are such comforting scriptures. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and mind", in other words, with your thoughts. "And lean not to your own understanding: in all your ways", this says, "Submit to him". Another translation says, "Acknowledge him". In other words, it's simply, "Lord, this is what I have planned today," or "This is what I have planned this week," or "This is what I have planned for a career, but I wanna submit it all to you. And if it's not what you want, then I invite you to change it". "Your will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven". You know, it's easy to pray that because it sounds spiritual. But do you really mean it? Do you have a plan for your life that you think is right? But are you willing to say to God today, "God, if the thing that I have planned is not the best, then I invite you, I want you to change my plan because I want your will in my life"?
Ginger Stache: Those are hard words to say.
Erin Cluley: They are so hard.
Ginger Stache: "God change my plan". Because we think that our plans are best. Even though, you know, we know God is God. And yet, it's so difficult when his plan doesn't line up with what's in our heart. And our friend kim has been dealing with this issue that we've been talking about today. And kim's story is a little bit different. And kim lipe, thank you... Kim lipe:. You're welcome.
Ginger Stache: For being with us. We love you, too, so much.
Erin Cluley: All these wonderful friends with us, today!
Ginger Stache: I know. It's so good to be able to share this story with people that we love. Your story is a little bit different because you got married a little bit later. And I mean a little bit because you are not very old. But you got married a little bit later in life and therefore, you know, thought this will probably happen. Tell us a little bit about your experience. Kim lipe:. Yeah, my waiting was getting married, was more in the, you know, getting married, and I was more mad at God before I got married, you know, than after. But so, yeah, I got married at age 41. My husband and I knew we wanted children, but we also knew it would be possibly an uPhill challenge just because we're older and not sure how this works now, when you're in your forties. So, we tried to conceive for a little over two years and we did become pregnant. So, we were excited like, "Oh my gosh, this can happen," but scared at the same time. In fact, I did the pregnancy test at work and told a few people before I even told my husband. And we were just really elated. But then we miscarried, and we were devastated, just that, "Okay. It happened, God, but now that"? In fact, we named our child, and he would have been five years last week, actually. And so, we still tried. We're like, "Okay, this can happen, we're going to continue to try". And it was another two years and just nothing. And so, for us, we were like, "Well, what's that next step"? Like, "Do we still want children? We're approaching our fifties, now what"? And so, we first looked into trying to adopt a newborn. And we looked at different agencies and we were told we were too old because they don't, you could only be like, 40 to adopt a newborn baby. And that's where someone would choose you to be the parent. And it was just like, "Oh, my gosh," we are stable, we have good values, we just, we have a great support system, but we're considered too old to have a baby.
Ginger Stache: How disappointing. Kim lipe:. Yeah. And so, "Okay, now what"? So, it was during the pandemic, when we were trying to figure all this out, and we met with a fertility doctor. And he says to me, "It's not that you're too old, it's just that your eggs, most likely, are too old. Either the quality or the quantity is diminishing, but your health is great. And you're not too old to have a baby". He's like, in fact, he was helping someone, at that time, at age of 55 have a child. I mean, it was just like, "Okay". So, I don't want that. But, you know, "Thank you". So, we prayed about it, and we went with the route of getting donor eggs so that it would have, at least, someone's DNA in the baby. And so, we went through the whole process of purchasing donor eggs. We had a gofundme page. We raised most of the funds that we needed, because it was thousands and thousands of dollars. So, we came to the point where the first round of all the hormonal injections and drugs, and...
Ginger Stache: It's a lot to go through, isn't it? Kim lipe:. Yes, it's just, you know, a little belly scabs every day, you'd see on your body, and bruising. And so, we went through that. And we were at a place where they bring you in for, to do an ultrasound to make sure you're uterine lining is okay. So, we were about ten days out before the transfer, and they discovered a polyp on my uterine lining. So, we had to stop everything, after two months of all these hormonal shots and stuff and prepare for surgery. So, then, we did the surgery. We had to wait before we started up again. And then, I had to go through it all again. So, at this time, I'm probably 46, 47-years-old, and we get to the place where we're good, the uterine lining's fine. We had eight eggs, four were fertilized, which is a great percentage. So, we get to the hospital that day, and my husband and I, actually even, we created a video for our child, just, "We're excited to meet you". And so, we get in the hospital room, and the doctor comes, and he brings me a picture of one embryo. And I'm like, "Where's the other three"? And he said, "They just didn't make it". He said, "But you have, this is a great embryo". And so, we were kinda already, just disappointed, but "Okay, he says it's a great embryo". We were hoping for at least two to be transferred. And he starts going into plan b, he says, "If this doesn't work", and I just stopped him and said, "This has to work". Like, "This is money. Like, we just can't go through this process anymore". So, we go through, and the transfer happens. And it was amazing to see just the science of it all. The monitors there were looking at the transfer, and it's actually recorded for us. And so, we see the whole transfer. And I get, we had so much faith. Like, it was just, we were very strong in our faith, and we really felt like it was gonna happen. We were already looking at nursery ideas, and so forth. So, it was about 5-7 days later, I do a pregnancy test with lab work, and I waited for them to call me. And they did call me and told me that, "You're not pregnant". And that was kind of the end of our journey of that, so.
Ginger Stache: So, at that point, after so much, you've been through so much. You lost one child already, you had to feel like you were losing a child again. Kim lipe:. For me, the miscarriage was devastation. This was just disappointing, for me. I remember walking down to the basement, that day that I heard about the test, my husband was working, and I shared the news with him, and he was just, "I'm mad". He was mad at God. And from there, I was more concerned about my husband, at that point, than me. You know, like, "I'm disappointed, but my husband is mad". And he even made the comment to me, at one point, that "God must not think I would be a father". So, that's hard for me because that's not true, you know. So, yeah, it's just, we did everything we knew to do, but this was it. And yeah.
Ginger Stache: So, at that point, you made the decision that you weren't going to continue... Kim lipe:. No.
Ginger Stache: Trying other medical answers. Kim lipe:. No, I mean, just if, the plan b woulda cost us, probably, close to $100,000. And we just, what happens, happens, at that point. I'm still able to get pregnant. God forbid, I become a Sarah, 'cause I don't want to be. I don't wanna be alone and, you know...
Erin Cluley: You're young and spry. Kim lipe:. Yeah.
Erin Cluley: You're good. Kim lipe:. And I, you know, I don't wanna be this old parent. So, if it happens, great. But we are at a point that, I don't know, there's just this peace that I have. I don't know how to explain it. You know when you have that peace about something. But there's just, "God, if it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, I still trust you. And I know you have a purpose for my life, and you have a purpose for even all the things that we went through". Yeah.
Ginger Stache: With you and Greg feeling differently about it, at the time, you know, just responding differently, which makes total sense, I think almost every couple would do the same thing, how did you work through it, together? Kim lipe:. You know, when he told me that, the first thing I said to him is, "It's okay to be mad at God and he can handle it. And we've all been mad at God. Go ahead and tell him," you know, "But please don't become bitter with God". So, then, we'd have these dinner conversations of just, "How you doing"? And just working through it. And for me, I was more focused on him, than I was, what I had went through. But it was reminding him of, "Look at the things that God has done for us". We have to kind of go back. And I didn't think I was ever gonna meet you. You're not, you know, you don't know the good three essential food groups that I like. You know, "You're not the guy that I had chosen for my life".
Ginger Stache: Back to what we talked about in the beginning. Kim lipe:. You know, he didn't like Mexican food, dark chocolate or...
Erin Cluley: Coffee, right? Kim lipe:. Yeah, coffee. And I was like...
Ginger Stache: Those are three good groups, yeah. Kim lipe:. This is not who God would have for me, but he's now, two out of three, he's good on. So...
Erin Cluley: Good work. Kim lipe:. But he wasn't who I was exactly looking for. But God had the perfect person for me. He wasn't the checklist guy. He was the guy that God had for me. And so, reminding him that, "Look at God bringing us together," and then, looking at all the other things that God has placed in our lives. And we have to, sometimes, when you're going through those journeys, you have to go back and say, "Remember when God did this for us"? And knowing that God's been truly faithful to me and my life in general, and that's what gets me through those things.
Ginger Stache: Yeah. Kim lipe:. Yeah.
Erin Cluley: I just have to be real honest, here. Like, I can see her husband sitting right behind her.
Ginger Stache: He's on camera behind you.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, he's not just sitting there, creepily, behind you.
Ginger Stache: Yeah.
Erin Cluley: But to watch him, I don't know what Greg's thinking back there, but to stand behind you and support you. And to have known you when you were single, and to have watched you walk through these years, kim, and to see this man supporting you like that is the faithfulness of God. And that makes me mad, too. I'm with Greg. I feel mad about some of this stuff. I have a really hard time understanding, like, "Why, God, what are we waiting for"? Because I don't get it. But that, to me, it's a picture of his faithfulness. And something, he'll do something. We don't know what it is, but man, that's just really, a really beautiful picture, right now. Kim lipe:. My husband takes such good care of me. And I don't, not everybody has that. And I think that, sometimes, we're just looking for the surface level things, and to know that God provided me somebody that I knew would just be there, that he would be faithful to me, and then that he's just a good guy. I don't know how else to explain it to you. But I waited those many years, and the waiting paid off. And so, it's even, when I think of, like, you know, jamI's story is like, God has something for jami. And I know he still has something for me. I don't know what his purpose and plan is for me going through it, but I still believe that there's something. And whether it's me just sharing, you know, or helping others, I don't know. But I just trust that there's something out there for me.
Ginger Stache: It goes back to that hard lesson that Joyce was talking about. What the word says about, you know, "A man plans their steps, but God ordains their way". And when God doesn't ordain the way that we want it to be, it's so challenging and so hard to understand. But there are many, many people who, years down the road, can look back and say, "Listen to me, I've been there, and I've seen this faithfulness of God along the way". And when we're in the middle of it, when we're in the heartbreak, it's really hard to experience that, to see it. So, it really does benefit us to hear it from people who've walked through it and can look back and say, "Hey, it's not even what I wanted, but God did good things". Kim lipe:. Yeah, a foundational scripture of my life has always been James 1:2 that the trials of your life will bring about, you know, perseverance and the building of your faith. And I feel like that's exactly what has helped me in this journey. That if I didn't have that and didn't stand on that, that this probably would have been a lot tougher for me, especially the last round. But I just, it's like my faith was already built up and I'm like, "God, I'm here. And however you wanna use me and use this story, I'm open to it". Yeah.
Jai Williams: That's one thing I love about like, the Talk It Out friends, right? Like, it's a bunch of brave, brave people. Because very rarely do you hear, at least when I was growing up, you didn't hear people talk about their situation until the outcome of being like, "And here's my beautiful baby boy". Like, people don't talk about the struggles. So, I just thank you and jami for being brave enough in the middle of it, not seeing the goodness of God manifest it the other side, yet, you know, like, or not understanding while you're still having the questions, like, I think that is so practical. So, like, that's one of my things that I take away from all the things that I've gone through, is like, the fact that we get to share it with people and give people the courage to say, "I know that it doesn't make sense now, and I don't even know if it's gonna really make sense next year, or the year after that, or ever," you know? But thank you for sharing. That is very, very powerful. Very powerful.
Ginger Stache: I think there's wonderful hope in the fact that God still has a plan. We don't know what it is. And like you said, Erin, we don't get it. We don't always like it. But when I think back to the day that Greg snuck in here, he didn't work here, at the time, and proposed...
Erin Cluley: Aww, yeah.
Ginger Stache: To kim, in front of our whole staff. And it was just so sweet. And we were all so happy. And to know that, that was the beginning of God's good plan. And just so many more things ahead for you guys. So, thank you. Kim lipe:. You're welcome, thank you.
Ginger Stache: Thanks for sharing all of it with us. Like you said, Erin, we've known kim through a lot of different stages and going through all this. And kim is hilarious. She is fun, and she's a tough cookie, and she's full of faith, and I love her to pieces.
Erin Cluley: Kim hired me, so.
Ginger Stache: Oh!
Erin Cluley: Yeah. Kim lipe:. And then, Ginger took you away.
Erin Cluley: Well, that is something I'll let you two work out later.
Ginger Stache: We're fighting over Erin, still.
Erin Cluley: Go ahead, go ahead. Tell me why...
Ginger Stache: Thank you, kim. We appreciate it. And we wanna talk about that hope because that's what we all need. We all need that hope to get through the next day, and the day after, and the day after. So, let's hear what Joyce says about God's word and that hope that is real for all of us.
Joyce Meyer: Even in difficult situations, God will show us what to do if we put our hope and our trust in him. Keep acknowledging God and he will direct you. And I want to encourage you to verbalize that trust. Every time you start to worry, which believe me, the enemy, the devil will try his very best to get you to worry, "Well, what about this? Well, what about that? Well, what are you gonna do if this and what are you gonna do if that"? You can't worry about all the ifs, and the buts, and the what ifs. What you need to do is open your mouth and say, "I trust God". It's better even to say it than it is just to think it. Because when you say it, you also hear it back again yourself. "I trust God. I'm not gonna waste my time trying to figure this out. I trust God". Now, you know, I just have a sensing that there are so many people watching right now and you desperately need to stop trying to figure everything out. Because there are things that God knows that he is not gonna tell us. He may tell us later. He may never tell us. But one of the things that we say is we live life forward, but we understand it backward. There's so many things that when that were going on in my life, I just did not understand them. And I'm sure that many of you have things going on right now that you just do not understand. But five years from now, a year from now, maybe ten years from now, you look back and you say, "Wow, I didn't understand that then, but now, I see how it fits into my life". I look back now and even some of the people that I was involved with when I first got into ministry, they ended up hurting me really bad and I was just emotionally devastated by that. But I look back now, and I realize that if God would not have removed them from my life forcibly, I would have tried to take them along with me on my journey and they weren't right for where God was taking me. We really need to trust God in good times and in difficult times.
Erin Cluley: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: You know, when you look at what God expects of us, and he knows how weak and fallible we are, how I want to figure everything out and I wanna know all the answers, and he just doesn't need to work in that way. He's God. And yet, when we sit and we listen to our friends sharing in their hurt, you know, it's hard to see people that we love. It's hard to even see people that we don't know, who are hurting, and who don't understand what is happening. And so, when you go to God, and you just say, "Lord, help me," sometimes, we just have to stop the prayer, right there. It can't be, "Help me understand". It can't be, "Help me see what the future is". It's just, "Lord, help me". And there is a comfort that we can't understand. And I think you see that in both jami and kim.
Erin Cluley: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: A comfort, even in the midst of heartbreak that only the Holy Spirit can bring. And so, for everyone who's with us, right now, with that desire, that broken heart, that's not being answered, whether it's this, whether it's for a child, or it's for something else that they're desperately asking God for, I just think we keep going back to that, God's ways are so much higher than ours and they're so hard to understand. But you've been there yourself, Erin, and you walked through many years of that.
Erin Cluley: I did. And even still, like it, it doesn't even feel fair for me to say that. Because I got those babies. So, why me, and why can't my friends? And I don't get it. And something that has been so huge for me, I feel like, like you, God and I have a lot of conversations like, "Come on, now. What are we doing here"? And so, something that I always have to go back to is God is good. And so, last night, I was in a Bible study and we were talking about this phrase, these three questions, ask them to yourself: "Is God good"? "Is God good to me"? And "Is God good at being God"? So, at face value, yeah, absolutely, God is good. Is God good all the time? "All the time, God is good," right? We say that all of our life. But then, you face something like this. And do I actually believe that he is who he says he is? And the promises that I stood on, all those years ago, when I wanted a baby, he was good then when I didn't get what I wanted. He's good because I got what I wanted. But he's still good because his plan doesn't look like I want it to, for my friends. So, that's one I have to wrestle with a lot.
Ginger Stache: You have a notebook, here, with piles...
Erin Cluley: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: Of written out scriptures and prayers and promises that you were standing on, and...
Erin Cluley: Yeah, I was looking, last night, 'cause I wanted to, there was some stuff I was looking for specifically. So, I have all these journals. And I found this one, and it's from the year I was waiting. Like, it was the one year right before I got pregnant. And so, it's just pages of emails and scriptures on fertility. And I'm reading these notes last night of like, "Where are you"? And "Why can't I have this? I'm doing what you're asking". But then, mixed in there, I'm seeing, "Mike and I are struggling". And so, he and I were going through stuff. And so, like now, in hindsight, I'm so grateful that he didn't give me what I wanted then, because we were not in a place to have that baby. And so, for our specific story, I can see the hand of God all over these pages. And I see his faithfulness show up, even though I'm not getting the answers I'm wanting. I'm writing down scriptures of things I'm standing on and believing. And even though that baby didn't come on that day, on that page, he showed up. God showed up for me that day. And years ago, I did the 30/30 challenge with Joyce. And I committed to 30 days to read my Bible and study it for 30 minutes a day. And that was another thing on my list of things I was gonna do to get that baby. "If I do this, then I'm gonna be pregnant at the end of the 30 days". But I didn't. I didn't get a baby. But what I got was God meeting me every single day that I showed up. And he didn't change my circumstance, but he changed my heart. And he showed me that he's good.
Ginger Stache: Yeah, it all goes back to our lives don't look the way we think they're going to look. And trusting God, in the fact, that when it looks different that it can still be good. And that's so hard. My mother lost a baby at full term, so my sister was stillborn. And I have always thought about that sister, how wonderful it would be to have, her name was luanne, to have luanne as my sister. And then when I was pregnant, the second time with Morgan, I had a miscarriage. And they told me, you know, "The baby was gone". I had a lot of bleeding, had a miscarriage. And then, about a week later, they found out I was still pregnant. And so, it was twins. And so, you think of those children that God gives you, always, for the rest of your life. I have a sister. And I have another baby. So, those life-altering moments when God gives you a gift, even though we don't understand the heartbreak of when it's gone, when it feels like he took it away, there's something, a part of your heart that, that baby is always, always a part of and a part of your family. And I think about all the women listening, right now, who've lost children, or haven't been able to have that child that is the desire of their heart, and there are so many things that we just don't get. But there will come a time, when we're all in heaven, and there's a fullness, a fulfillment of everything that we needed will be met at that point. And I wish I could say, "It's today". I wish I could say that "We'll all have those heartaches healed, right now". But God promises that every tear that we shed, he is collecting and cherishes, and taking care of. And so, I wish there were answers. I wish there were things that we could say. But...
Erin Cluley: Can I say one thing?
Ginger Stache: Yes, please.
Erin Cluley: Because I need to show you something that's in here.
Ginger Stache: Yeah.
Erin Cluley: In this journal is an email that you sent me. So, this was, I had just gotten pregnant. But I was so scared because I wanted this baby so badly and I got it. And I thought, "He's gonna take it from me," like, "Because he's not good". I hadn't believed yet that he was good. So, I am emailing you. You had said, "I'm praying for you. I don't know why, but I feel like you need prayer this week". And so, I said, "Oh, my gosh, I do need prayer". And so, you said the same things then, that you just said now. Because I needed a friend to tell me, "I don't know what will happen". You say, "I don't know what's gonna happen, but you are a mom, and it will, from here, on out, it's gonna be hard and scary. But God has, remember, God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control". And to hear my friend encourage me in my pain and my fear was exactly what I needed in that moment. And the same thing, when I had jami, and I could tell her, "Today's a hard day. And just to know you're not alone," that is so helpful in this situation, on either side of the journey. So, I'm never gonna delete this email, in paper form.
Jai Williams: Delete. It's like, you can't delete the paper.
Erin Cluley: No, I can't delete it.
Ginger Stache: Too many tears. Too many tears to talk, right now. Like, they are dripping down my neck, into my sweater. Ooh. Oh my. I just want, exactly what jami said. I just want everyone who's listening, right now, to know how much God loves you. To know how much, like kim said, he understands your anger. Like Erin said, he understands your guilt, because you don't understand, maybe, why you have something that someone else doesn't, or your pain, because someone else has something that you don't. God is big enough to handle all of it today. And we pray, in Jesus' name, that God gives you the desires of your heart as you delight yourself in him, and that as you walk through this journey with him, that he will give you something even greater than you thought you needed, that he will give you a comfort, and a love beyond your imagination and a joy that surpasses any earthly thing that you could ever have. And we just wanna encourage everyone to know that, you know, there may not be an answer today. But God's love is real and it's tangible, and it's right there, with you, right now. And we're sorry that you're hurting, and we love you so much. We just wanna get you in God's word because, just like Erin did, for all those scriptures that she was standing on. We do have a free audio download for you that you can get right now. It's a book from Joyce called, "When, God, When". And it's an audio download of her teaching from that. And it's so good when we're asking those questions, "When is this gonna happen for me," whatever the "It" is, I don't know what it is for you today, but God loves you through it and he will not leave you. He will hold on to you so tightly as you walk through this. So, go joycemeyer.org/talkitout and you can get that free audio download. Know that we love you, we're praying for you, and that we're so grateful to our friends who shared this story today. Lots of tears. We knew there would be.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: But it's always worth sharing tears with people that you love. So, thank you all for being with us. We love you too, and we will see you next time.