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Sunday, October 11, 2009
Gideon Defeats the Midianites1 Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. 2 The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, 3 announce now to the people, 'Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.' " So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.
4 But the LORD said to Gideon, "There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say, 'This one shall go with you,' he shall go; but if I say, 'This one shall not go with you,' he shall not go."
5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, "Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink." 6 Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
7 The LORD said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place." 8 So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites to their tents but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.
Now the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley. 9 During that night the LORD said to Gideon, "Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. 10 If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah 11 and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp." So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp. 12 The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.
13 Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. "I had a dream," he was saying. "A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed."
14 His friend responded, "This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands."
15 When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped God. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, "Get up! The LORD has given the Midianite camp into your hands." 16 Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside.
17 "Watch me," he told them. "Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. 18 When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, 'For the LORD and for Gideon.' "
19 Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. 20 The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, "A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!" 21 While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.
22 When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. 23 Israelites from Naphtali, Asher and all Manasseh were called out, and they pursued the Midianites. 24 Gideon sent messengers throughout the hill country of Ephraim, saying, "Come down against the Midianites and seize the waters of the Jordan ahead of them as far as Beth Barah."
So all the men of Ephraim were called out and they took the waters of the Jordan as far as Beth Barah. 25 They also captured two of the Midianite leaders, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. They pursued the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was by the Jordan. - Judges 7
Sometimes, there are things that happen can look to me like they can only be from God, times when it seems like He is trying to make it clear to me who is at work. Dh and I are experiencing one of those times. Warning, this might be TMI but we are so excited that I have to share and Dh has given me permission.
As I have written here before, we have been trying for another child for about a year now. It really took me by surprise because, since we got pregnant so easily with Pk, I just assumed that it would be that easy again. I was wrong and it has been a painful road.
Initially, we didn't know the problem but after some testing in May, it began to appear that the problem was with Dh. We were referred to specialists and on Aug. 24th, we got the devastating news that we probably wouldn't be having another child without IVF (and with the $12 000 cost and the possible complications, we were looking at a very tough decision). It was awful. I sat in the car and cried, totally overwhelmed and, to be honest, asking myself what I had done to deserve this. The specialist we saw did a referral to a fertility clinic and we had our first appointment on Sept. 24.
We really had to steel ourselves for that appointment. In the days leading up to it, we kept trying to be brave about it but we knew that it was probably not going to be good news. I did some research into IVF and knew what I was probably going to expect and it was pretty terrifying. Finally, the day arrived and there we were, sitting in the waiting room for over an hour. I don't know when we have ever been so scared.
The doctor was nice, when we finally got to see her. We had both filled out long, involved profiles and we started with the doctor going through the paperwork, asking a question here or there. She finally got to our test results, which had been sent on from other doctors. As she went through them, she made the odd comment about things and it wasn't sounding all that promising. All of a sudden, she stopped dead. She muttered, "I haven't ever seen anything like this before." Our hearts sank. Being the optimist that I am, I asked, "What's wrong?" Her response was, "Let me just check the name on this result... o.k., Mr. _____, you have gone from being almost entirely infertile to being completely and totally normal in one month. You probably don't even need me."
Being the fool that I am, I immediately dissolved into tears. It was such a shock. The doctor's response was that we probably wouldn't need her after all but that I should do some bloodwork and we would talk to her in a couple of months about possibilities if we needed intervention. We left walking on air.
Two weeks ago, I did the first round of bloodwork that she wanted. Six vials and a day of fasting later, I was really feeling pretty negative about everything. By the following Tuesday, I was in my therapist's office, talking about how I was assuming that the problem wasn't just Dh, it had to be me as well. I was so upset and overwhelmed. The next morning (this was last Wednesday), I decided to do a pregnancy test, not because I thought I was but just so that I wouldn't get my hopes up, yet again. Imagine my surprise when there was not one but two lines on the test... Of course, being me, I couldn't believe it, so I went to buy more tests and Thursday morning, I tested again. Not only was that positive but it was immediate.
The nausea has started already BIG TIME and my breasts feel like they are going to explode. I am sleepy all the time and I am quite a few days late. While I haven't had it officially confirmed, it looks very much like I am pregnant!!!! I certainly won't announce it publicly for a few months but the few people here who know me are the few people I would tell anyway because they are the people I would lean on if something went wrong. I am so excited about this!!!!
I can't help but believe that God's hand is so evident in this. When I saw my GP late last week, her words were, "Well, I don't say this much but I am sensing a miracle here. These changes don't happen so quickly. God is rewarding your faithfulness." I hope she is right. I just feel so blessed.
What a Thanksgiving!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I am grateful for Thanksgiving. It's "Canadian" Thanksgiving this weekend (or just Thanksgiving for us up here) and it is my favourite celebration. To me, it seems like the one holiday that hasn't been turned into a major shopping event. I can sit with my class, in a public school, and we can openly talk about giving thanks and feeling grateful for what we have. We aren't talking about the gifts we want, the money we are going to spend or what we will get. It's nice to have a holiday that is all about being together and sharing.