I met Jessica a little over a year ago now and feel like I have known her all my life. I have her family picture up on my fridge just to hear people exclaim, “Wait, how many babies do they have?” After facing infertility, their family experienced the joy of a daughter and then TRIPLETS. Joy upon joy upon joy. I know you will be blessed by her thoughts on the years before her babies arrived.
For three years we tried to have a child: Womb, arms and rooms all empty; hearts growing even more so, faith becoming even harder. Three years of not knowing, of not understanding, of not being understood. Three hard years….
And yet, three years filled with unfathomable grace from our Lord. Three years that strengthened us, our marriage, and faith. Faith untested is the easiest faith to have, faith born out of simplicity and near perfection lacks credibility. But faith through adversity, there in is true integrity. How willingly would we accept God’s absoluteness if all the stories in the Bible were hunky-dory, happily-ever-after tales?
Those 3 years dealing with infertility were some of the darkest, hardest, most miserable, life changing, devastating years of my life. Hands down I have NEVER experienced anything as horrible as those. We were beyond angry at God. We felt betrayed by Him, by everything that we thought we had known. If children are a blessing from the Lord, why was He refusing to bless us, what did we do to deserve this punishment?!
Can I share something with you? It may seem obvious, but still…..
God is big. Big enough to handle your anger at Him, your confusion, your tears, your pain, your sufferings. He longs for you to come to Him, pounding your fists against His chest, beating out your heart-ache. Only then can He wrap His arms around your shoulders, quelling your shaking body. Soothing your soul with His very words.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
But God is faithful, just as he was with Job. We weren’t being punished for wrongs unconfessed, but tried. There is sin in this world, and it is of Satan and of ourselves. It is God that is the goodness that brings us through those things and restores us to Him. It is God that will determine how we perceive the trials in our life.
It may not be infertility that you’re going through, it may be something else, but God is big enough for you. No, he may not answer the longings of your heart today or tomorrow, or ever, but He loves you. He doesn’t want to see you in any kind of pain. He didn’t create these hardships for us, because He wanted to punish us for being sinful. It is these hardship that can return us to Him, understanding and loving Him more deeply, but unless we come to Him, we will remain lost.
We often think that things in our life are outside of God’s jurisdiction, somehow beyond Him. That this issue or that resolution is the only “right” one, that by doing something else we are “outside of God”. Who are we to try and box God in, to say that He is only in specific circumstances? That only this way or that, is His way. To put a limit on Him. God is so big, that there is no beginning or end to Him.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” Job 38:4 (NIV)
It is when we try and pigeon-hole God that we are wrong. Whether we do it by not seeking His presence and wisdom during our trials or by passing judgment on His allowing us to be afflicted. It is when we deny His omnipresence that we will incur His anger, just as Job did (read Job 26-31 and 38-42).
It is God’s own son who was treated more dreadfully than anything we could endure on this earth, doing so without complaint and it is because of that, that we are able to even dare approach God in His Majesty. Our God is big enough to take our anger, our pain, and confusion and restores us once again to Him, but only if we come to Him.
Just as Job was changed by his ordeals, infertility, no matter the outcome, irreversibly changes us. While God restored Job’s riches to him and gave him 10 more children, those children were not his first. In the restoration, I can’t help but feel that there must have been some bittersweet feelings on Job’s part. For us: Yes, we now have 4 beautiful children, but we are not the same as we were before, nor should we expect to be unchanged. But, through the struggles and trials we have come to know our God and just how BIG He is; so big that He has the power to resurrect the dead and give children to the barren.
Wife, to a hard working man, mom to 4 of the craziest kids she could have never imagined. Living the life she never thought she would and lovin’ it!
Jess writes from Upstate NY at LifeintheWhiteHouse.com.