Earlier this summer, I wrote a post about my difficulties getting pregnant, how I was having a hard time curbing my own impatience and the increasing bitterness I felt at a situation that made me feel helpless and out of control.
The positive response I received was so humbling, the many “me too” comments so comforting, that for me it was a chance to both purge and heal. For too long I had denied my hurt over the situation, and being vulnerable enough to recognize and admit it was restorative.
Here’s the thing: Even as I wrote my post this summer about not being pregnant, I actually was pregnant. I just didn’t know it yet. Isn’t that just like God? It wasn’t until I found myself at the end of my own strength that I realized he had already done it.
I recently organized books in our office in an effort to stem the hoarders-lookalike appearance of the room. I had good intentions (really!), but all those lovely books distracted me. I am a compulsive book-lover; I may loan them out but can’t bear to sell them or give them away.
As I was looking through some of the books, I started to realize that when I page back through old devotionals (Susie Larson’s are the most dog-eared), my favorite part isn’t what’s written on the pages, it’s what is scribbled in the margins. Notes to myself sometimes, but mostly prayer requests. Pleas for help. And as I read them over once more, I was once again reminded of how many have been answered: Marital issues resolved, relationships restored, complex work situations untangled for the betterment of all involved, and health issues healed.
That’s not to say God always answers the way we want him to – if that were the case, my sister’s cancer would have been resolved by healing rather than death. And I fully recognize that seasons of infertility and sickness and unresolved pain can go on for much longer than the paltry months I faced. I know from experience that sometimes we go through hard things without having all the answers, trusting that someday we’ll understand.
And isn’t it true that when we get what we want, it’s not always what we’d expect anyway? All of my pregnancies have had their own complications, and this current pregnancy is no different. Diagnosed with gestational diabetes at just eight weeks pregnant, I’ve got several months of testing blood sugar and counting carbs in front of me. (Let’s face it, denying a pregnant woman brownies and pasta is just cruel.)
But I truly believe that it’s in the moments when I feel the most alone, the most abandoned, the most forgotten by God that he shows up. It’s in those moments that he reminds me of all he’s done. Oh ye of little faith. (Oh me of little faith!)
I know that if I trust God now, he will prove his promises again and again — in his time.
“Once again I’ll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts.” Psalm 77:11-12 (MSG)