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September 30, 2020 2:00 am
Author Heather DeJesus Yates always dreamed of having a large family. But when infertility closed that door, would she still trust God? After several disappointing years, she and her husband were thrilled to become the adoptive parents of a beautiful baby girl. Would one child be enough to fill her heart? Yates tells how a visit to see her brother's family and their new baby brought her unexpected peace. Through an unassuming little succulent plant called a "Mother of Thousands," Heather came to realize that she, like this little barren plant, could still live a fruitful and productive life investing in the next generation.
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The Bible says that sorrow may last for a night but joy comes in the morning in her journey of infertility and adoption Heather de Jesus Yates has realized just how true that is. Had I not went better for now. My anger and my discontentment and mistrust of God.
Had I not buckled over in my driveway now like honest places in discouragement with him and and sat next women's you could say yeah this is hard. This is heavy heavy. Had I not had that experience would not be on this side after enjoying this is family life today hosts are David and Wilson and Bob Lapine can find us firstname.lastname@example.org will hear today from Heather to Jesus Yates about her vision for her life and the bigger vision God had for her stay with us and welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us there's a word that is what we find in the Bible and it's a word that we just don't use very much because I think it's such a hard, harsh, ugly sounding word (sounds it's it's in the theme of our talk about this week. It's the word Baron barrenness. I'm just saying the word.
It's almost like you don't want to say it out loud because the idea carries with it such a an emptiness, a loss of hope and ugliness. How can how can we serve the God who is the God over all things, and how can barrenness be a part of our experience or part of our existence. And yet for a lot of families. For a lot of husbands and wives who have longed to have children.
Barrenness has been part of their story and they've had to enter into that and go how I meet God in this place and grandparents.
Now that I'm one of our sons and his wife had three miscarriages and it was their first three babies. There was a grieving not only for our son and his wife that for us as well and I think people feel or know someone who is going through it and it's devastating.
Yeah, I think one of the worst things about that word is your it's out of your hands. You can't dislike on to make myself with the word on Baron get to know he cannot mean if I was thinking it's like to feed the defeat. Sometimes you can like I can find victory I can win this game but barrenness like it's out of your hands and you have to struggle through some interesting that so many times we see in the Bible and some of our great forefathers were born out of at first barrenness. We got Heather to Jesus Yates joining us this week to talk about all of this, Heather. Welcome back to family life today think Heather is a she's a mother. She is a wife. She lives in East Tennessee and as we've already heard this week.
She drives a 53 pickup trucks cool whole head is an attorney and she's a writer. She's written a book called the mother of thousands and tell her listeners about the title of that book there's a horticultural connection there right irony because I kill plants like it's my job here of all when it comes to guarding or planting it off. I buy a plant has been like you got such a short shelf life.
Well, when we were going through infertility adoption, fostering the head hit a point in our journey where we'd even had some failed adoptions. We are expecting twin boys for a short time and then that fell through and we were facing a question of whether or not we wanted to pick up with another, and international situation that was looking very different than what we had first considered and was going to lead us down a path that was so involved. We'd already been through so much were still managing quite a few challenging dynamics with our adoption story.
We just didn't know if that was something we needed to say yes to him we didn't know if we were done with growing our family in quantity and it was just time to enjoy our family as a little crew of three, and so we left.
Actually, ironically, to go to Athens Georgia where my brother and his wife led they were expecting a baby and they were actually expecting a baby that they are a night.
We were supposed to go pick up the twin boys. We are waiting for the call. And as I was walking on the driveway and I was praying for my sister-in-law. Any minute now. She's going to labor in any minute now we can get the caller to pick up the boys. Is this the craziest life or living. And we got our call in when a different direction, and she we got our call for my sister-in-law and she had the baby and now those are those are always wonderful got checks that Hebrews 1215 the careful no Bitterroot forms and that such a danger.
I think in this journey for women is to have those bitter roots farm and I felt like God gave us that trip immediately to get Athens hold that baby to keep no Bitterroot from forming in my heart. So we went down there and and prayed the holy down there and got there and got to lab on my new little niece got to play with my other niece and see my little girl toddler around with her cousin Hannah busy hectic crazy full house of fun for the whole day, and then my husband I just collapsed in the bed in the guest room and as I was laying there I just had this piece wash over me. It wasn't just this exhaustion from being with a newborn. Thinking sure we don't want another baby were done it wasn't that because there is so much joy there so much sweetness, it wasn't you know now I really know we want to I want to pursue a gang sign one another newborn feel it wasn't any of it was this soul calm and I leaned over and my husband I said you know I think and he just took this deep breath in his chest just swelled thinking back to Dan he said that he had been carrying this sense of perseverance. I need to persevere, to grow, because my my my wife wants another baby and I already feel like we have fought so hard and I am doing all I can to hold the line for health and emotional health in our marital house and are our daughter's safety and well-being to throw us into another complex situation. I think he was carrying this tension of not knowing. So for me to have this piece wash and it was just this this opportunity for both of us to just rest in where we were and not perceive anymore and just be a family and enjoy where we work and so we went to sleep that night and I woke up when I had time to get my greeting emigrating that we just target a person anymore children. Is this the end of something and I was okay. I didn't I didn't feel you know a lot of heavy emotion and so he arty woken up so I got on the bed and clambered out to the kitchen is get my coffee and my brothers going on about these plants he bought his wife for her birthday and I again am a plant killer hashtag plant killer and it's my picture.
And so he's telling me about this and I'm not paying a lot of attention and he's taking me on a tour through the house to see them all and ends with this one.
Sitting on this counter, they said.
Now this is one of my favorites. He said look at the ends of it looked kind of like it is cactus like succulents on all the edges of these branches. Wherever this plant reaches out these tiny little baby platelets form and I looked and there were these adorable little platelets on the edges of this planet never seen anything like it before and he said the nursery guy.
He said be careful where you planter because shall take over the yard all these baby platelets get heavy, and they dropped to the ground and they reproduce the same kind of plant he's like, so we better contained in this pot in the house and he said the cool thing is she doesn't bear seed and he like the Holy Spirit just woke me up to this vision and this joy and I ran to the bathroom because I started a week because I thought that plant is a picture from me of the hope that half that even my bareness heated if you were to plant me like God has planted me in his kingdom.
Deep in who I am in him, he will bear life and it can be revolutionary. We can change the landscape by just being faithful with God in him planting us and as we plant by faith in the hearts of the soils of those around us. We root deep with that in God's word and his presence with us that he will bear life and it can be way beyond anything that I could have ever birthed biologically.
You know, listen to the story.
I did know all the Bextra unit up that your brother's house. I thought there so many people that would've canceled the trip you have attempted me the courage you had. I know people that said, I can't be a near another woman as a baby. I just can't. I can't, and in some ways understand I get it. And yet you had the courage to say I will step into a really hard place. If you had made the trip. Who knows if you get that word from God about your future.
There a lot of layers in that week that had they gone any differently.
A lot of things would've been different with where were at today.
Whether it was with those twin boys being placed in our home. We wouldn't have gone on that trip had we gotten our way and we got in the plans that I had planned it had those two little boys in her home which we later found out like a week later a lot of dynamics that would have been devastating for our family.
So God protected us. He pulled the curtain back and let us see behind the scenes, which he does noise do that he did for us to heal us quicker and to trust him more deeply, which was a real gift, but that plant is called the mother of thousands and so to have that picture coming back from that vacation from that trip of seeing that baby and thank you for affirming that is courage it felt kind of a little obligatory as a sister love to be more noble than that.
That I do see that God was faithful to us to to guard against bitterness and to guard against self-pity and to go into that deep place of poor us that God would hold out from us, but be good to other people. I think he gave that as a gift to protect us from that danger because I did fall for that and other dynamics for sure.
I struggled when I would see other women getting pregnant and I did take a season. I didn't go to baby showers and I didn't know go where they could sing songs to hurting heart, and I encourage other women to take a break. You don't have to do everything for everyone and every season it's okay to grieve for a while what I hear you expressing here is the biological both motherhood is one expression of the life-giving that God calls a woman to it's a profound and powerful expression may be the dominant expression of that but it's not the exclusive expression of that and that every woman is called to be a nurturer for life giver, a killer of souls and that for most wives is gonna look like be a biological mom but for everyone for their biological mom or not there's a broader expression of what that means and how you can live that out. I go so far as to say mother because you look at the definition of what it means to be a mother and it's too birthed to raise that to care affectionately to be a woman of authority and there is this place for every woman in the kingdom of God to step in and say life in me. In Christ life and it is unstoppable life and he is called me to bear fruit and multiply and fill the earth. This is something that we been made to do and it's not unique to women. It is a calling to the believer. If we have conceived of faith in the Gospels implanted within us. We have the ability to reproduce faith. The church is multiplying because of the unstoppable nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And this is something that I would have missed. I think had God not closed my well I think you missed the bigger story in the bigger opportunity here and I'm not diminishing biological motherhood. I'm not would I rejoice if I found that we were expecting, of course, and not because I will finally I can be content now I am fully content right now. In fact we thought I was expecting before the book launched.
I went to the first time in over a decade. I didn't want to be pregnant, because I wanted Street CRED. I wanted to be able to look inside the eyes of a sister who was greedy and would need never conceived because I don't promise you that you'll conceive this isn't a how to get God to do what you want him to do.
He cannot be controlled, but he's he is good and he will be with us all the way through and so I wanted that street credibility look at her and say you can have July. You can have peace.
You can be content even when your world is not going the way you wanted it, even when things don't look like the way that you had scripted for yourself interesting to Heather as I hear you speak Jesus and God are all over your language he's a part of you he's losing out of everything in you, he is your life. He is my life I became a Christian. Kind of a bit of a radical situation.
I was 10 years old I must 11 and I share some of my faith, my whole faith journey is actually my first book, all the while pearls that I had been exposed to quite a few destructive things in my early childhood very, very difficult, painful situations for anyone, especially for a child so when I was 10 or 11 years old in that area. My mom dropped me off at our church and I wasn't used to being around my peers. I was noise might be from my grandparents are older people and so is very uncomfortable in the space and thankfully the lights are down. I was just sitting on the edge knows already had my exit plan I would go sit in the stall the bathroom and by that age, I had Artie been exposed to pornography and sexual assault and other things and so I felt about myself. Generally, that I was dirty and church. I didn't understand a lot of it had a lot of questions about it and the whole process of salvation and justification sing to vacation. It was just very confusing to me that this youth pastor. That night he was sharing the gospel and at the end he looked in the audience. He said if any of you out there feel dirty tonight. Jesus can make you clean and that was the only thing I understood.
I understood dirty and clean and I had tried to make myself clean and all my good works and being a good kid and good student doing everything right and nothing was taking away the sense of dirty in the middle of my being and so when the lights went up. I ran like a four-legged girl down the front altered to pray and find out how can this Jesus make me clean and I found out that it was his blood sacrifice on the cross for me that he conquered sin and death. He died and he rose again from the grave and that resurrection made all the difference that I was clean because he resurrected and so in my faith journey.
I knew this was a major rescue. I have no business being in this kingdom and his family.
He has adopted me in the biggest way and my life has really been just one big thank you card back to him for that rescue and yet you had broken dreams, and I think everyone has broken dreams. I know when I gave my life to Jesus. I thought he can make my life on naysaying and am going to marry someone for it and I'm going to have this lifestyle and then it didn't turn out like that. I have another book idea the title is God is a great plan for your life and the artwork is of Stephen the martyr being stoned to death. I don't know my publishers going to go for a don't think it's gonna sell well thought that is something that is really hard to grasp. You know, as a believer right but I thought that when God got a great plan for my attempt to find an excuse me Jeremiah 2911 that that meant that these things are in a go the way in here. I was a Christian woman is like I've done all the right things we've waited for our spouses.
We've no checkboxes refer to ministry with type typed all of our lives we go to we can remember.
Surely we should have a baby.
This baby will be amazing.
I'll leave it at the temple like candidate. So yeah, we thought now isn't this how God works, but he's not a vending machine.
He started out.
The plan is going to be faithful to the planet so much better is better, had no idea that to become a pastor's wife to live in Detroit it's God would've painted that out to me.
I would've thought that terrible and yet it's in the know and you just looked at me a ball past. It is been the most amazing right that I could ever imagine and hope for because when we follow him we don't know what's around the next corner. But when we keep our eyes on him, it becomes the most joy filled journey that impacts other people. And when we can allow our pain to help other people get through their own pain. There is real meaning and purpose and that yeah I will say that there was most certainly in the middle of the journey of infertility. There was no joy that was not a place of joy.
There was no singing of songs, God's plan for me is better than my plan for me now. I was not seeing that I don't think any of at all on this now and I think what you make such a good point is that this is a journey and that a lot of the times it's through the pain. We don't see God with us and being good to us that were tested in that place to trust him in the midst of the suffering with us and the suffering in the valley the shadow of death I will fear no evil. Why because you're with me your rod and your staff there to comfort me, and it is a one step at a time comfort. It is not.
Oh, I've got all this great theology and I've got all this faith in God. He's he's gonna gloriously make this into such a beautiful redemption story. Well yes because he is faithful but you don't get there very quickly.
You need to be honest with greater out along the way.
In order to have that sincere place of rejoicing and contentment. Because had I not wept bitterly. Had I not poured out my anger and my discontentment and my mistrust of God.
Had I not buckled over in my driveway and yelled like to he fed and poured out the honest places of grief and discouragement with him and sat in the company of other women who could say yeah this is hard this is hard. This is heavy. This is really heavy. Had I not had that experience. I would not be on the side with laughter and joy.
I would still be eating all the franchise so is it Romans Road you know you've got a go through the pain of the curse before you can come into the redemption joy of the cross and that is true from the beginning when God set everything up and we had this beautiful experience with God. We had all of this true nature of God's goodness just absolute abundance and beauty and the end. This is what I want. This is the most amazing life. It still wasn't enough and bringing in the curse on the earth and is moving to the curse and having to wait and wait and wait for the joy of redemption.
I really feel like infertility is that picture is that picture of how I feel card. I feel the curse barrenness was associated with curse and when you are in that place and you cannot your life and you feel that longing within the Old Testament hints at the things are never satisfied in one of them is a barren womb and there is something in us that wants to create life. We are made in the image of a creator who creates life and that is written on our very nature to want to create life. So when you feel your nature hit the curse and you feel that inability to create life in your body.
You have to walk through that curse and see what God did to it.
He redeemed it with a cross and it's that journey for me that I can't imagine going through infertility without the hope of the cross without resurrection. Without that other symbol that you're expecting that symbol of life that he showed me.
Yes, you get the positive sign on a pregnancy test but it's the same sign that gives me hope that I have life within me is the cross ever find yourself go back. I mean, you replace no sounds like and you wrote about your you've got perspective, you've been through the journey. Seems like a valley in your sword out of it.
Do you ever find yourself went to bed at night or in a quiet moment of regret or going back to the pit just just wondering if that ever happens, and if your mind starts to go there.
What you do because I think a lot of people probably struggle I'm over here now.
But I looked at my hand and I still have skin so I do have struggles and I'll still go back there and I think I always will again. The barren womb will always long it always cry out, and so there are times you know we have an adoption story and that means there are complex dynamics in our story that are permanent there just etched now into our story and God says it's good, and sometimes I just have to trust him. That's good because sometimes it doesn't feel good and it's a reminder to me.
I didn't give birth to my little girl and it takes me back to some of that pain of sorrow of freely you don't think Hank had. Sometimes I wish I could just shove her in my belly and I do this over it and take some factors out of our story and I come back with those open hands again and surrender that when you say you work all things together for good. You work all kinds of not good things that don't taste or feel very good on their own and you will move them in some mysterious way to get her to where all together they will work out to be this this good thing good for me. Good for you, good for the body good for the bigger story that you're telling I know that when I saw your book title. I had no idea about this plan is. I don't know if he will plants, but I had this thought and then as I read to the end we talk about our destiny a Michael there is because muscle mother thousands at the Mexico be a father of thousands and were all called weather that we have biological children. We can as you said plant small root deep bear life because of Christ in us and what a beautiful picture of the destiny and the call the mission of every Christ follower. When you look at Sarah and Abraham story and identify so well with her and her grief and her frustration and the tension it created in their marriage and I just know I put in the book to some flesh around Sarah because I just I can't wait to sit with her and say tell me the truth. What happened when I look at her story and I see what God did, keeping the promise destiny by faith. His descendents. It wasn't so much about the biology, it was about the faith they would be a mother and father of the feet, the kingdom of God was can be built by faith is a game changer. This huge paradigm shift know that the Hebrews they were all about lineage and genetics in heaven genetics are just now could be a big deal.
You know, when we move into that new season of life and so that was a game changer for me when I realized the big story God is one detail was one of faith that they were to become father of many nations. Mother thousands that this was can it be about faith. And if I if I keep my head buried in this little story, and I stay consumed in my own grief and my own pain. I mean this the most amazing story that God could ever tell in my life so I wanted it that Lord you write the story you write the script.
I'll go where you go. He promised to never leave me no matter where we go, and that ultimately is what I want.
I want to stay connected to him. I love your subtitle from barren to revolutionary. I got pushed back. I did the publishing in the sales team and the marketing they kept multiple times they came back and said this word revolutionary. I don't think women can understand it from barren to fruitful. That's what we need to be needs to be fruitful. That'll be the elves iPod biblical I know where you're coming from with that and it is you know it's in Galatians and but this is an about is bearing fruit.
This is about a complete paradigm shift is about joining God and changing his world.
That's why I like it I like to revolutionary because that resonates with my heart like I want to change the world. I want to send this back to the sales team for I look at you and I think you are over redefining motherhood one soul talk shared with another teenage girl or a woman across the table at a time, and I even created a little T-shirt for a book launch and defines motherhood as the state of being a woman who shows up to the next generation. Trusting God to build his family through her will you pray for other women. We need your prayer. Father God we thank you that we have direct access to talk to you about all the things of our hearts.
Thanks to your son Jesus's sacrifice on the cross for us and we also think you that we don't call you adoptive father, we just call you daddy because there is no distinguished meant between us and your son Jesus.
We are co-heirs to you. We are all your children now, you have paid for us. You bought us and you chose us because it was your delight to chase us so father in the secure place is your children.
We ask for you to bless the wombs of your children and not just the physical ones father we pray that you would open the eyes of the blind to see the stories that you are telling in these marriages that father where they are struggling in the stories of barrenness of miscarriage of broken dreams. Father we pray that she would help them to see your resurrection helping to put their hope in the only place it secure. It's in your plan and your faithfulness in your character is good. Father, we thank you that the work that you begun in them you are going to finish that father. It is your will for them to bear children biologically think you thank you that you will see that through father. If it's not.
We pray that they would be free from consumption of these small stories and that their eyes would be lifted up to look around to see the world that you've given them. Father we pray that they would be fruitful and multiply. They would show up to the next generation trusting you will build your family through them in Jesus's name we pray. Amen Heather, thank you for beloved.
We look to for repair insured with us. Thank you. Limited or listers. We would love to send you copy brothers book. The book is called a mother of thousands from barren to revolutionary were making it available this week to any of you can support the work of family life to the if you have a desire to invest in the marriages and the families of hundreds of thousands of people every day all around the world by investing in the work of family life to the we'd love to have you join the team and would love to bless you with a copy of Heather's book family life to exist to effectively develop godly marriages and families. We believe godly marriages and families can change the world one the home of the time so we want to encourage you to be a part of the team that makes family life to the available in your community and online on our mobile apps through all the channels were family life to the can be heard help make that happen by making a donation today go to family life to.com to donate or call one 800 FL today to make a donation and be sure to ask for your copy of the book, the mother of thousands from barren to revolutionary by Heather DeJesus Yates when you make your donation. Thanks in advance for joining with us and we hope you enjoy the book and we hope you can be with us again tomorrow when working with talk about how a wife should respond when her husband just won't take initiative is passive. We will have a conversation tomorrow. I hope you can join us for that thinker engineer today. Keith Lynch along with her entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson about pain. See you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life to you as a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. A crew ministry help for today hope for tomorrow