Today at MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) I am giving this testimony of the Lord’s work in my struggle.
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This story is not over, but here is where I am in it.
My dream was my own. I wanted to live on a gravel road under a huge midwestern sky and raise a dozen or so children. I met my husband Brett in college, got engaged six months later, got married six months after that. I was a few weeks pregnant with my daughter Norah on our January honeymoon, and she was born in July ten days after my 24th birthday. I am the oldest of seven kids, and love big families, so after a couple years I started to worry that we were doing something wrong since I wasn’t getting pregnant again. I obsessively read hundreds of books and articles on fertility and different kinds of family planning, and kept praying fervently that God would answer us and give our daughter siblings. I read so many stories of infertility, miscarriages, and adoption. When Norah was four, I went to see a doctor and my husband and I took a natural family planning class for a year, during which we changed our diet and became healthier overall, though we did not have any symptoms of infertility other than the lack of pregnancy.
Throughout all of this I wondered and prayed, worked and trusted. Every single month I hope and am disappointed.
Some people assume we only want one child. Some people ask when we plan to have another or just straight out ask me if I am pregnant! Some people give me advice, or assure me that God will do a miracle if I wait long enough. God DOES miracles – He can do anything! He has a BETTER future in store than we can imagine, I am certain of that.
I Corinthians 13:4 says Love is patient. (& bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things) God has so patiently taught me that it is all right to grieve. It is not wrong to wrestle my feelings out with Him. He continues to remind me that no matter how much I desire to have control, I need to submit my will to His, like Jesus did on the cross. I sometimes wonder if I am being punished for my sins, but the truth is I am blameless in Christ! When I am jealous of the pregnancies and babies around me, Jesus turns my eyes back toward Him and the good gifts He has given me. When I am buried in bitterness like Job’s wife who said “Curse God and die!” He teaches me how spectacular all of His work is, how much He loves me and is working everything for MY good. Perhaps we will have more children in God’s time. Perhaps we will foster or adopt someday. Perhaps Norah will be an only child. I am learning to say whatever God gives me is enough. I am being changed by this beautiful mess.
“Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.” Job 13:15
http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/a-song-for-the-suffering-with-john-piper [please take a few minutes to listen to this song by Shane&Shane]
Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, they came each one from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite; and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him. When they lifted up their eyes at a distance and did not recognize him, they raised their voices and wept. And each of them tore his robe and they threw dust over their heads toward the sky. Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great. Job 2:7-13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ullv_XN2d8M [Jason Gray is pretty much my neighbor]
just sit with me in the ashes here
and together we can pray for peace
to the One aquainted with our grief