It was the only thing I ever really desired. Some dream of fame, success, traveling, stage. I dreamed of babies. Any size, any color, any shape. I just longed to mother.
When my life soon bore the branding of infertility, it knocked me to my knees; and then as the years multiplied, flat on my face.
God, what are you doing? I screamed at the heavens, from my crumbled heap on the floor. I have loved you. I have served you. I have glorified you as King. Why did you create me with this desire and not fulfill it?
I read verses like Psalm 37:4 and felt betrayed.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. (AMP)
Wasn’t I delighting myself in Him? Wasn’t I loving Him enough?
Bitterness crept in, slowly and steadily. I didn’t even realize it was there but it was sliding into my heart, making the edges brittle and hard.
One day, as I was reading the verse again–that dreaded Psalm 37:4– I decided to look up the Hebrew. Everything in my heart slowed as I read the words.
And that’s when God spoke.
Be soft and pliable in my hands, and I will give you the desires of your heart.
My heart, with all of its bitter edges, shook. I was angry that God wasn’t giving me what I wanted, frustrated because my desires were good, lovely things… and I was anything but soft and pliable. In fact, with each passing month, my heart was hardening more.
God values a soft heart.
It’s the story of the clay in the Potter’s hands and the silver being refined. It’s the testimony of almost every giant of the faith, from Abraham to Paul. Through their struggles, through their mistakes, through their trials– their hearts remained soft and pliable before the Lord.
I heard His words that day. The call for humbleness to bow my knee. The call to acknowledge His place in my life. The call to open myself up to the fiery licks of this trial– and allow it to soften me, instead of making me more bitter.
The bitter edges were but the outcome of a hard heart. One I had carried, hidden within me for years. Following God when I get everything I want isn’t real faith. It’s what happens in the hardships that shows what I really am, and it is the difficulties that transform who I am.
These fiery trials, this branding of infertility, could actually be used to soften me, if I would choose to give up my will. To repent. To cling to Him, despite my brokenness– and never let go.
As my heart softened, as I gave up my-will and my-desires, I looked around and found that God had made me a mother. Not with adoption or birth, as I had wanted, but with following God’s call on my life and mothering the children He gave me. It had nothing to do with biology and everything to do with surrender.
God didn’t do it my way, and I am so thankful. He changed me, and He is continuing to change me. And in the transformation, everything is made new.
It’s true for you, too. The desires of your heart are not forgotten by God. But He is concerned about something far greater than your desires– He’s concerned about the state of your heart.
Is your heart growing brittle and hard? Have the hardships in life softened you or built calluses? Are you kneeling in repentance or shaking your fist at the heavens?
He is saying the same thing to you, friend,
Be soft and pliable in my hands…