A reader recently asked me how I kept my faith strong even during the darkest of days. This reader is going through her darkest days right now …
Her third attempt at IVF was finally successful. She saw one beautiful heartbeat at 6w5d. But then four weeks later at her 10 week OB appointment there was no heartbeat. Her baby had stopped growing at 8w3d.
Dark, dark days.
Dreams and hopes crashed with the words, “I’m sorry. There is no heartbeat.”
I have felt that kind of pain although I’ve never heard those particular words.
My dreams and hopes were certainly crushed when I heard that I had a very small chance of achieving pregnancy even with the help of modern medicine.
It is crushing to hear at the age of 27 that your ovaries are not capable of producing enough healthy mature follicles for an infertility treatment.
Especially when you have dreamed since childhood of having a baby of your very own.
Sitting on that examination table on March 8, 2009, I knew I had a choice to make. It wasn’t a choice between doing another treatment cycle or moving on to adoption.
It was a choice of whether I was going to hold fast to my faith in Jesus Christ or turn away from that faith because I could not understand how God would not allow me to have a baby.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Faith requires us to put our hope in the Lord and the promises found in His Word.
I clung to the truth found in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
On my darkest days, this verse held me up so I could move forward.
However, before I could really cling to this verse I also had to go through something else.
Mourning over what I had lost and even a time of being angry at God.
People sometimes think it is “not Christian” to be angry at God. I, however, believe being angry at God for a season is part of the process that brings you to a place of complete trust in Him.
I had my days where I cried out to God asking Him, “Why?”.
Why do I have to go through this when all I’ve ever wanted is a baby?
Why do you allow the couple who isn’t even trying to conceive?
Why do you allow the unwed woman to conceive?
Why can’t at least one of our attempts at an IUI or IVF work?
Oh it is so easy for our minds to think this way! Satan wants us to think this way while God wants us to think above and beyond our present circumstances.
I allowed myself a season of mourning when I found out pregnancy most likely would never happen for me.
And then, I knew I had to move forward.
You say, “Move forward to what? If pregnancy isn’t in your future then what is worth moving forward to?”
This is when Jeremiah 29:11 became what I would breathe and eat. Just as my physical body needs food and water to survive my soul needed to cling to this verse to survive past hearing, “You probably won’t even get pregnant doing IVF.”
God’s Word told me that God had a plan for me. Not only did He have a plan for me but it was a plan that would prosper me and give me hope and a future!
In the midst of those dark days it was hard to believe that because I could not see it. But that, my friend, is what faith is.
Believing what you cannot see.
And I am here to tell you that God’s plan for your life is far greater and far better than the plan you saw for your own life.
I went through an IUI cycle in September of 2008. I thought it failed miserably and at the time, from my perspective, it did because when my blood test came back I was not pregnant.
God had something more planned though. It was in September of 2008, around the time of that failed IUI cycle, that my daughter, Little Bug, was conceived.
In January of 2009 I came home from talking with friends about adoption and wrote this poem not knowing the miracle God was on the brink of performing:
Our miracle has come, Not in my womb but in our hearts. We are going to adopt. Baby is on the way. She will be here in the month of May.
I can remember after I wrote that poem I sat there at the computer thinking, “Wouldn’t that be something if we did get a baby girl in May, but that is just too soon! It wouldn’t happen that fast.”
After that terrible news back in March of 2009 God gave me the urgency to turn in adoption papers right away.
On the very day we turned in our papers we learned of our baby girl.
And she was born in the month of May.
God didn’t have pregnancy planned for me. He had something more.
Something far better. Something far bigger than my own plans. A miracle.
Choosing faith in Jesus Christ isn’t easy but if you don’t have faith in Jesus Christ you have nothing.
You cannot allow yourself to stay angry at God! Like I said, I would be angry at God for a season and then came a time when I knew it was time to turn that anger into TRUST – trust in Jesus Christ.
After choosing to trust Him I had to believe His promises found in Jeremiah 29:11.
Then I had to surrender my desires for His will knowing His will is always best. Always. Period.
And then comes the hardest part of all … waiting. Waiting on the Lord to reveal His marvelous plans.
This is the verse my Daddy prayed over and over while we waited for Little Bug to officially become ours:
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14
Despite my bleak circumstances, I knew I had to continue to draw strength from the Lord and wait on Him to turn my tears into songs of joy.
He did – in His perfect time. If it had been any other time, I wouldn’t be Little Bug’s mommy and I wouldn’t trade that little girl for anything in this whole wide world.
Looking back now on those dark days I can honestly say those were some precious days because of the close intimate walk I had, and still have, with the Lord.
On those days when I had lost all hope and didn’t know up from down, I would get a notebook and my Bible and go to a quiet place and just allow the Lord to speak to me. If you go to a quiet place to be still and know that He is God and allow Him to speak to you, He will.
God taught me so incredibly much during those quiet moments with Him. I felt lost, deserted, defeated, angry, disappointed and heartbroken. In those quiet moments with Him, He took all of that and replaced it with His love, His peace, His strength and His joy. He taught me so much about Himself and it was there I learned to trust Him and wait on Him to reveal His master plan.
And like a father takes the hand of his child as they cross the street, God picked me up and carried me through those dark days.
The dark days do not last forever IF your hope and faith are in Jesus Christ.
His faithfulness goes on forever and ever.
He has a marvelous plan – a something more – for you, too.
Believe in His promises and put your faith in Him.
In His time, He will turn your tears into songs of joy.
Great is His faithfulness. Great is His faithfulness.