Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Radical obedience and second chances

I have a confession to make - it's not the first time I've been introduced to this idea of radical obedience. In fact, it was over three years ago that I first picked up Lysa Terkeurst's book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God and I had my first real encounter with God and His telling me to step out in obedience. And I feel as though in order to fully understand where He's brought me over the last three years, I have to go back to June of 2010.

We had just found out that our first cycle of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) had been cancelled due to the poor response of my ovaries to produce enough eggs. This was almost two years in to the grueling process of trying to get pregnant for the third time. This was almost two years after I'd delivered my second son, Robert, stillborn. This was almost two years after hearing that my once very fertile body was no longer able to conceive on it's own and I had heard the dreaded words "Unexplained Secondary Infertility". It had been a rough two years.

I laid in my bed, reading Lysa's book, tears pouring down my cheeks as I read chapter 3 and was introduced to this whole idea of radical obedience. And I knew right away what God was asking of me. I had just deposited a very sizable refund check from our Fertility Clinic and I knew right then that we were supposed to give that money to God. 

I had spent so much time and effort in wanting to have another child that I let it become my idol, even more than I wanted God. Now please let me be very clear: I think IVF is a wonderful thing! I know many women who've been blessed with babies through the medical miracle of fertility treatments. But the moment I put all of my hope and faith and trust in my doctor, there wasn't much left over for God. So because of this, I believe that God was asking for my radical obedience by placing my sacrifice on the altar to be offered up to Him. That Sunday at church, I wrote a check for the full amount of the refund (even though I argued with God about giving it all back, as if it wasn't His to begin with) and laid it in the offering plate as it passed by.

So you'd think that I would have learned my lesson, right? Wrong! In true form of "Katy knows better than the God of the universe," the following July, we were right back where we'd started. My second IVF cycle had failed and as I prepared for our last and final attempt to have another child with a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET), I got the dreaded call at 7:30 am on the day of the transfer that all of our frozen embryos had died during thaw. And there I was once again; broken, devastated and so desperate for God that I felt like the woman who reached out to touch Jesus' cloak, just hoping that His power would heal me of all of my brokenness. 

And so that must have been it for me, right? Wrong again! But this time it was trying to fill that hole for more children by becoming foster parents. After all, this definitely was something that God would approve of, taking care of orphans and all. I assured myself, my husband and our social worker that I knew that fostering was temporary care, but in the back of mind, I secretly hoped that it would lead to adoption. So after almost a year of classes, background checks and home visits, we were licensed foster parents and I knew, just knew, that this must be what God had for us to build our family.

When we accepted our first placement, I was so excited and hopeful. I prepared the room for a four year old little girl that would potentially be in our home for 12-18 months. I had friends shower us with clothing, bedding, toys and everything else a little girl would need. When she arrived and for the first few days, we were all on cloud nine over this little girl that we'd been chosen to take care. And then, it all began to unravel. This little girl was so broken and we were so unequipped for what she needed that we, together with our social worker, made the heart wrenching decision to have her removed from our home to be placed with another family. I was devastated and felt like an utter failure. 

We went on to have a respite, or temporary, placement of another little, 9-month old girl that we all fell in love with. And when she left our home a week later to go back with her foster parents, I fell apart. I didn't understand why this kept happening, over and over again. Almost five years of loss piled up on my lap and I knew that I couldn't do this any longer. I knew that the more and longer I tried to fill the emptiness of my heart with anything other than Jesus, I would always come up empty.

And that brings me to today. In God's infinite love and mercy, He has once again given me another chance to be radically obedient. I know that God is asking me to finally be satisfied with all that He is and to get rid of all of my former self. He is asking me to sell or giveaway all of our baby and kid items that Mason no longer needs. Eight years of toys and clothes and books and games and "stuff" is sitting in my bonus room right now, freshly gathered from the attic and waiting for me to sort and purge. My final act of radical obedience regarding my desires to have more children, finally gone. With arms open wide, I release the grip on my desire to have more children and offer it up to a Father who loves me so much.

The last five years have been the most painful, and in many ways, the most amazing of my life. Like the loving a patient Father that He is, God has refined me and brought me even one tiny step closer to looking more like His son, Jesus. Oh, how I'm grateful for grace! I'm so grateful for second (and third and forth) chances. And I'm so grateful that He's not finished with me yet.

I can already feel that the Lord is stirring something new in my heart for this next season of my life. I know that He wants to use me in ways for His kingdom beyond anything I can even imagine.

But for right now, I'll keep that between God and me.



  1. Thank you so much for sharing this part of your heart. My own heart ached for you as I read these words. I am praying that God blesses you and continues to speak love and affirmation over your life. I can't even begin to imagine the pain that you have had to go through. Bless you.

    Jennifer N
    OBS Core/Teaching Teams

  2. {{Katy}} Things like this are hard. I too have struggled with infertility; we have 4 beautiful adopted children. I am content; but there was a time of struggle too; I believe there always is in this situation. Holding on, trying to make what you want God's will is never easy, so many things "good" things can become our idol. Bless you as you sort and purge those clothes.

  3. Sweet Katy, my heart aches with yours. I have not experienced infertility or even the excitement of trying to get pregnant, however I could feel your raw emotion in your post. Also, as a foster care worker, thank you for being honest about your attempt at foster care. It is a hard job but know that you DID make a difference in the lives that you were able to briefly care for. I am praying for you today and lifting you up to the true Comforter and Provider.


  4. {{{Katy}}}} Your story reminds me of my own surrender while dealing with SIF. What a journey you have been through. I am so glad the Lord is right there beside you! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  5. wow what an amazing story! You have been through so much but it's awesome how radical you are being!

  6. HUGS to you Katy, what a story and what radical obedience you are showing. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. You are so right when you say "I know that He wants to use me in ways for His kingdom beyond anything I can even imagine." He loves us so much that he wants HIS best for us!! Praying for you sweet Katy
    Janet F (OBS Prayer Warrior)

  7. Now that is radical as it's such a hard thing to give up. My heart goes out to you on this journey. I'm praying for you!