“You got this wrong, God.”
Throughout my life, I have occasionally had this conversation with God. “You got this wrong, God. You made a mistake in letting this happen. This isn’t supposed to be happening to me. To us. To my family.” This conversation has occurred during periods of adversity and affliction throughout my life.
I asked it the day the doctors discovered my sister was going to be a full-term stillborn, I asked it after a friend committed suicide, and I asked it during my parent’s terrible divorce and custody battle. I prayed, and pleaded to God to make it better, to bring life back from the dead for the sake of loved ones, to hit the rewind button on the innumerable bad decisions.
But I have never questioned God’s plans for me more than during these devastatingly long four years of infertility.
Can you imagine being given a diagnosis that has not been explained by doctors, affects your daily life, crushes your soul, month to month, week to week, and four years later, you are still in the same boat?
Did God choose the wrong script for us? Did He forget to hit “Next” on our story? Has He turned his ear away from our prayers? Why has He left us here?
No, this wasn’t a mistake. God didn’t get this part of our lives wrong.
“Thou are so good, wise, just, holy, that no mistake is possible to thee.” Repose, The Valley of Vision
He knew that I would be turning 30 last week and would still have no children to call our own. That our hearts would still be aching, wounds would still be open, and we would be living with circumstances that we are unable to alter.
I cannot write these things without tears welling up in my eyes and a lump forming in my throat. The thought that we may never have biological children is almost too much to bear. But so was watching a friend’s family lose their son, my mother lose her daughter and countless miscarriages, and my family falling apart. God brought us through that. I know He is able to bring us through this trial, too. And I have seen Him give “a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
I don’t know what God will use to refine you. But for Caleb and I, one of the vehicles he has chosen for us is infertility.
He knows the end to our story.
So pray for us. Because the delay of our dream hurts. Because the refining hurts. Being vulnerable hurts. It takes certainty from you. It takes away your dependence on everything you have tried to hold dear as you watch it slip slowly through your hands like sand.
I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?” – Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis
My pastor recently said in a sermon that we have to give God time to work out His plans. He said that it may be a week or it may be 70 years, but we know that His plans are good. I remember thinking to myself, but I don’t have 70 years! God needs to do something before then! But the point is that God is available right now. God doesn’t work within our time-frame. We have the ability to act on His promises now, before they are fulfilled, living by hope and faith.
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.“ 2 Corinthians 1: 20 – 22
More than ever I have felt God asking us to practice what we preach. Do we really, truly believe what we say is true about God? Does He really hold our future in His hands? Do we really believe that He does not make mistakes? Can we have a complete and whole relationship with Him even while walking this road of sorrow and grief?
“We’ve sung lines from old hymns about following Christ wherever he leads and realized that, for us, that means following him through the valley of the shadow of infertility.” – Jeff Cavanaugh