Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:5 (NKJV)
“You’ll never get pregnant again.”
Our hearts broke as my fertility doctor dropped those cold words on me and my husband when our daughter was two and a half, several months after experiencing a devastating miscarriage from an ectopic, or tubal, pregnancy. The fertility treatment I’d tried failed miserably. One fallopian tube was gone because of the miscarriage and the other damaged beyond repair from an abortion at eighteen. With devastated and shattered hearts, it was all I could do not to burst into tears and run screaming out of the building.
Something collapsed inside me that day as our dreams and our future with lots of children and all the wonderful, crazy chaos they would bring imploded. I’m the woman who wanted five children, and God, the good Father who gives good gifts, wasn’t giving me what I wanted. Everything worthwhile seemed to evaporate as the doctor uttered his harsh words: “You can always adopt.”
Except “everything worthwhile” didn’t evaporate. My husband and I simply didn’t realize it at the time.
What we didn’t know then is the lesson He’s repeated many times since: God is still writing our story. He had a purpose and a plan for everything we went through, but when you’re in the thick of it, it’s nearly impossible to see where you’re heading.
Perspective doesn’t show up right away. In fact, it can take years before you begin to see clearly, when you can finally see God’s hand.
As new Christians at the time, we didn’t understand how sometimes the very dream you cling to, the dream giving your life purpose and joy, may not be God’s dream for you. He may require you to lay down the very dream you hold so dear because — and this seems crazy, but it’s true — He has something far better than you could’ve imagined. All He asks is that you trust Him.
We planned on having a large family, and it never occurred to us we wouldn’t. I mean, it’s a good thing to want kids, right? It is, but it’s a better thing to want God’s will, whatever that entails.
We decided the next best thing would be to adopt, so we made three private adoption attempts, and guess what? Three times the adoptions fell through, just as we neared the baby’s birth. There was even one instance where a baby boy was practically handed to us, but God made it clear he was not our baby. Instead, he was to be our dear friends’, who were also trying to adopt. We learned a tough lesson through that experience: Just because a blessing falls in your lap doesn’t mean it’s yours to keep.
Talk about hard! The very blessing we had been praying/begging for fell into our lap, and God told us to give it away. During that difficult year, we learned that sometimes God will let your biggest blessing become your deepest test.
We were right in the middle of our story. Our daughter was young, and my heart’s desire was to give my husband a son to carry on the family name. I didn’t get the son I desperately wanted, but our daughter has made her dad’s name famous in a completely unexpected way through her music.
Through it all, I learned the most important lesson I’ve learned in more than thirty-five years of following Him. He alone — not a husband or family, no friend or occupation, no accolades or anointing, nothing on earth — can satisfy my deepest desire. God is everything any of us will ever need, and He will do whatever He must to teach us that truth.
I learned the hard way that His ways are not my ways but His ways are always best, every. single. time.
Years do give perspective, so be encouraged friend. At the time, dealing with infertility and loss took me into a season of deep depression, and I couldn’t grasp how a good God, a God who’s supposed to give good gifts, wasn’t giving me the good thing I so desperately wanted.
It makes total sense now. He needed to teach me a deep and crucial lesson. My mistake during those years was wanting God for what He could give me. In His fathomless mercy, God taught me to love Him simply for who He is. I didn’t enjoy that time in my life, but I will be forever grateful. He took me through a maturing season that utterly changed my perspective and understanding of His grace.
Whatever you think you want and aren’t getting — the baby, the job, the husband, the career, the following, whatever it might be — does Jesus get to decide? If you’re following Him, truly walking the narrow way with your face set like flint, can you trust Him with your future? I know how difficult it is, and I don’t make light of it one bit. But let me encourage you: He knows, but His way is the way of the cross, the narrow way that few find. Do you want to be one of the few? I’m certain you do.
Keep following, precious one. Where He’s leading you is good.
He alone -- not a husband or family, no friend or occupation, no accolades or anointing, nothing on earth -- can satisfy my deepest desire. -Kate Battistelli: Click To Tweet