Tonight I was reading Romans 12. In verse 12 it is continuing a list of how we should behave. It says, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer”. I am most definitely rejoicing in the hope of adoption! Patience, well patience has never been my strong suit. I spent a long time on this infertility journey trying to get God to understand why MY plan was best. As I have started to surrender my pain and disappointments and plans, I have found a peace I had not known. It is a daily surrender, though, because the struggle to give up control is difficult, but it is getting easier. The last part of the verse talks about continuing in prayer. The definition of steadfastly is “with resolute determination”. The more time I spend in prayer the better I feel. That is when I can turn over control. I can lay it all at His feet and know He will take care of me. I may not get what I want, but God knows what I need.
This morning I read a quote that said, “The way through the pain is to reach out to others in theirs.” Can putting aside my selfish pity and turning my eyes to others in their plight really restore my broken heart? Will He truly bind up my wounds? Perhaps the focus on my desires has been the reason for not seeing my purpose sooner. My belief is now, yes, God can use me in my suffering to be an encouragement to others. Thank you, God, for the work You are doing in my life. Help me to spread Your love that others may see You are the true Healer.
Sometimes it is very easy to only focus on the things I want in this life. I know it is okay to desire a baby and to be a mother, God gave me that instinct. A problem arises when I choose to let that control my life, my thoughts, my moods. Last week I started reading a book and the author stressed making an “I will remember” list. So often we forget about what God has done in our lives. The miracles He has performed, the mercies He has bestowed upon us simply fade to the background as our tunnel vision allows us to only see the prize we want. I have barely just started my list, but I already see the wonderful things God has done in my life. His provision and love is so evident that it brings my self-centeredness to a halt. As I mentioned, my list is not nearly showing the width, the depth, the amount of what God has done for me. I will share it with you, though, in hopes that you will take some time to reflect as well on what blessings God has worked in your life. My prayer is that we can all remember the way God has provided for us and how those things have shaped who we are today.
I will remember:
1. God gave me an amazing husband who supports me in everything.
2. He provided for our new home.
3. We both have stable jobs.
4. He has kept Jeremy safe, thus far, in a potentially dangerous job.
5. He led us back to Valley Park Chapel, where we feel like everyone is our family.
6. He provided the hope of adoption.
7. Through our trials He has made my relationship with my husband stronger.
8. He has given me a desire to help other women who are struggling just like me.
The list could go on. When I pause to see all the things in my life that have come about because of the Lord, I am in awe. It helps me to realize that I have so much to be thankful for and feeling thankful is a wonderful place to be.
A couple months ago I was doing a study on God’s comfort. I stumbled across the following. The author was listed as unknown, so I am unable to give credit. The text was a little old, so I updated it some to make it easier to comprehend. It really taught me a lot about what God might be trying to do through me.
Store up comfort. The world is full of comfortless hearts, and you aren’t sufficient for this lofty ministry, you must be trained and your training is costly in the extreme; for, to render it perfect, you too must pass through the same afflictions as are wringing countless hearts of tears and blood. Thus your own life becomes the hospital ward where you are taught the Divine art of comfort. You are wounded, that in the binding up of your wounds by the Great Physician, you may learn how to render first aid to the wounded everywhere. Do you wonder why you are passing through some special sorrow? Wait till ten years are passed, and you will find many others afflicted as you are. You will tell them how you have suffered and have been comforted; then as the tale is unfolded, and the medicine applied which once God wrapped around you, in the eager look and gleam of hope that will chase the shadow of despair across the soul, you will know why you were afflicted, and bless God for the discipline that stored your life with such a fund of experience and helpfulness.
Though I cannot say I love the affliction of infertility and miscarriages, I now realize I would not be able to comfort others in the same capacity if I had not gone through that valley of tears and pain as well. May the Lord use me in my present situation to be a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, a reassurance to others that God is a God of comfort and desires us to rely on Him for strength.