I am so humbled to be able to share with you the beautiful testimony of my precious friend Kerry, to provide an example of one woman set free from the burden of discouragement and depression.
As I read her moving story, I found myself more encouraged and inspired than I could have imagined. Our hope and prayer is that you will be encouraged today as well.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
My husband and I have been married for almost fifteen years. About four years into our marriage we wanted to start a family and began trying to conceive. After about a year, we knew something was wrong. I visited specialists but they couldn’t really find an answer. At that time, we weren’t really comfortable with any infertility procedures, so we decided to look at adoption. Our adoption journey was not an easy one but we were soon blessed with a beautiful little girl that we were able to bring home from the hospital at two days old. We named her Alivea Joy and we hung a sign over her crib that said “I am a dream come true.”
Alivea is now almost six years old and we have started the adoption process again. We also tried in-vitro fertilization when Alivea was two years old and that procedure did not work.
The past ten years have been really hard on me. And to be honest, I didn’t realize how hard until just this past year. I’m the oldest of three girls in my family so I’ve naturally always acted older than my age. I’ve taken on more responsibility and I’ve always been driven.
I treated my infertility like another project. I worked and worked at it until I was so tired and I never realized what it was doing to my health and to my spirit. I never allowed myself to grieve or to ask God hard questions. I said safe prayers. I asked for easy things.
Last summer, I was doing some reflection and realized that I had had it all wrong all along.
I wrote this in my journal
When we first started trying and failing, it was hard but there was still hope. We were young and there were so many other things to distract us. Careers, friends, church, shopping, trips, home improvements, shopping, eating out, books and later crafting, blogging and adoption
None of these things is wrong. But my reliance on them instead of God. My belief that they would save me. That they would numb the pain. That was wrong and that’s all they did. They numbed it. They didn’t take it away.
Only Jesus could do that. And even He doesn’t want to do that. He wants to walk with me through it. Not pick me up and throw me over it to the other side.
Did I expect God to be my rescuer or my sustainer?
When I wrote that last line it was honestly something I had never thought of before. I didn’t even really know the difference between being rescued or sustained. I began to study those words and what I found was eye-opening.
I had been living for so long in the shadow of a denied promise. I had been asking Jesus to rescue me for so long and I’ve come to the conclusion that what He really wanted was to sustain me. He wanted to walk me through my infertility.
As I began to study rescue and sustain, I found that they mean two entirely different things. I looked at the amount of times Jesus (or God) is referred to as the deliverer (or rescuer) versus how many times He is referred to as the sustainer and the disparity was very clear. God is referred to as the sustainer almost 4 times more than He is referred to as the rescuer (or deliverer).
I began to study these words more and found the hope and promise of Jesus wanting to be my sustainer. I began to embrace the peace that came with knowing that Jesus cared more about me than about my circumstances. He cares more about the person I am becoming and about the fruit (John 15:16) that He is bringing about in my life than about just picking me up and dropping me on the other side of my infertility. I definitely don’t have all of this figured out yet. Hard days are still a reality but I find more comfort knowing that He is walking beside me.
I really believe that Jesus is the sustainer. He is the deliverer too. But for whatever reason, He has chosen to walk with me through my infertility. I don’t know what He has for me yet. I don’t know what the end result will be. I only know it will be good, because He is good and He is the giver of all good things (Psalm 84:11).
Life is hard and it doesn’t always go according to our plan. But God is good (Psalm 34:8).
Today, I’m relearning how to live. I’ve thrown off the chains of depression and bad self-image caused by my infertility. Instead, I am vowing to live for God’s glory in the valley. The valley is right here and the valley is right now. And right here and right now aren’t always pretty. Sometimes, it looks really messed up. Whatever your circumstance, whatever your trial. God cares and He has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11). He knows the ending of the story. And He will walk with us through it. For more about me and my story please feel free to visit my blog.
This is such a powerful testimony with great wisdom. So often we have the expectation in faith that God will rescue us and get disappointed, disillusioned, bitter when we don’t see the rescue happen. Yet, God as Sustainer is far more important – because it is part of our change, our transformation from glory to glory.
I was reminded this at the funeral of a friend this week who was made paraplegic from a mountain bike accident ten years ago. We prayed for healing, oh how we prayed. Yet, it never came. But the courage, strength and love for the Lord that he and his family showed was such a powerful witness throughout his life and in his death. God the Sustainer, even through the darkest times.
Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
Mel from Essential Thing Devotions