Friday, August 27, 2010

The End of Waiting

Three weeks ago I found out I was pregnant. Eighteen months of "No"s and finally a "Yes!".

I thought my long wait was over. But let me back up...

I had a really hard time in June, struggling with my emotions as many new babies were being born at church and more on the way. I was ashamed of the ugliness of my heart that was being dredged to the surface by my circumstances. I dug myself a hiding-out hole, read some wonderfully depressing books, and pulled away from life. I was in the pit.

In July, I decided I didn't ever want to go back to that pit again. I had laid myself down in torment, by my own choice. I knew this would be a constant temptation for me, because there's a part of me that actually likes being down there in the pit. That realization struck me in my gut. How can I hate this part of me, and yet want to wallow in it at the same time?

I met with a good friend in early August who had struggled to conceive for a very long time, but now has a precious 2 month old baby boy. She lent me the book "Inconceivable" and I proceeded to devour it in one sitting.

God used this book to convict me that my desire for another child had become idolatry. I was willing to give God everything, or so I thought, but in the back of my mind I kept saying, "But not this. This I will keep for myself. You can't have it." I had let the desire to be pregnant consume my thoughts. I worshiped it. I held it behind my back, a treasured possession that I was going to keep all for myself. I loved it more than God, and I was ashamed. I had thought for so many months that it was just my depression that needed dealt with, but no, now I found that it was the source of the depression that was the source of my sin. Why was I depressed? Because life wasn't going according to my plan. I wanted something, above all other things. Well, guess what, I'm not in charge of my life. I gave up being in charge nine years ago.

I repented.

I took my dream of a large family and laid it on the altar. I gave God all authority.

I told Jon that I was okay with having a one child family, if that was God's plan. And I wanted him to hold me accountable for my heart attitude. He agreed.

I told God that I wanted to want Him more than anything else. He answered that prayer, but not in the way I expected.

Two days later, surprise! A positive pregnancy test??? Are you KIDDING me? Now? After I just laid this on the altar? I was in shock for a few days, and then fear took hold. I asked myself, "Hey, you just gave God authority to do whatever He wants with your fertility and had immense peace from that decision. Why are you not transferring the lesson you just learned to this new situation?" I fought my fear the best I could - clinging to promises from scripture and sharing our good news with close friends and family. I wanted to rejoice. But I had symptoms that were nagging me that something wasn't right.

Another u-turn was in store. I went in for an early ultrasound due to my history of ectopic pregnancy. I was having cramping only on my right side.

There wasn't a baby in my womb. But there was a "mass" in my right fallopian tube.

It had happened again. My fears were realized. This was reality.

Why would God allow this? I thought this was my "YES!" What is this?

The first few days I went about my regular routine in a daze, still acting like life is normal. But I could feel the darkness beckoning behind me; I only had to turn around and embrace it and I would descend deep into the pit. I constantly combated the lies in my mind that were waiting to pounce at the first sign of weakness. "This is your fault, you didn't get it the first time around, you don't deserve another child." I can confidently say the enemy didn't win that battle. I stuck to truth. I preached it to myself even though my heart didn't agree with my own preaching.

Then the grief came. And I had to be okay with that. This child deserves my grief. My friends loved me enough to keep asking me how I was doing. They brought meals. They called and emailed. They prayed. I didn't go through it alone. My beautiful two-year old came to me and wiped away the tears from my eyes. And I prayed for God to restore my joy. Slowly the fear of succumbing to overwhelming depression disappeared.

How? I found myself cherishing every little smile that my son brought to my face. I chose to believe that God would not withhold good from me. I chose to believe that He cannot make a choice for my life that is inconsistent with His unfailing love.

These were choices. I chose to believe everything I knew about God's character to be true even though my heart felt dead. I chose to believe even though it didn't feel true. God is the God of the Resurrection. I knew He could resurrect my heart.

And God fulfilled this promise from Psalm 40:
"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD."
I sang songs of praise. He began to heal my heart. He showed me the good that had already come of this trial. My faith had deepened through this pain. This was the worst life had thrown at me to date, but God sustained me through it. My faith did not fail, by His grace.

And something inexplicable happened. I have peace. By surrendering yet again to God's authority, my peace is like a river.

And something else. I have often struggled in feeling assured of God's love for me. But I have a greater conviction of God's love for me now after He's allowed this painful trial and loss than when life was easier. What a beautiful paradoxical fruit of suffering. Logically it would seem that an assurance of God's love would come from blessing, but God chose to bless and answer my deepest heart need through adversity.

I told God that I wanted to want Him more than anything else, and He made that a reality.

Because God is sovereign.

1 comment:

bethany said...

It is amazing the lessons that you're learning from this trial. I'm thankful to God for all the wisdom he is bestowing on you. I'm blessed to have your friendship Ashley!