I cannot believe that we are already rolling into February. It has been a couple months since my last post, which is no surprise with all the business that comes with the holidays. With the new year, usually comes new resolutions or goals. I’ve never really been one for making a new year’s resolution but this year I really did want to set some goals to work on my spiritual and physical health. I’ve been eating healthier, exercising more regularly, and really been trying to spend time reading my Bible every day. I’ve really been looking at 2018 with great expectations and have been excited for what is to come.
It took all of three weeks for my excitement to wain. Honestly there have been several things that have come up that just make me want to say- why God? How is this your plan? Why do these people I care about, who love you, have to go through such difficult times?
I have been doing really good reading in my Bible every day, but as soon as these things started happening I started feeling angry and hurt and my first go to was to say to myself- “I don’t want to read in my Bible today.” It’s completely opposite of what I should have been saying. If I have questions about what is happening in the world around me- the Bible is the first place I need to go. I know all this. How, you may ask? I know all this because I’ve learned this lesson before.
When I was at my lowest point in my fertility journey I had been trying to get pregnant for a couple of years. Jeremy was on staff at the church so I was at church regularly, I was on worship team, leading the youth girls. I was highly involved. And though I did spend many hours praying and calling out to God, I just couldn’t bring myself to pick up my Bible. I would look at it. Chastise myself for not reading it- I mean, I knew better- but I just couldn’t do it. And because of this my faith was slowly dying. My spirit was dying, I was just losing my sense of who and whom I was.
What didn’t make sense was if I was spending all this time in prayer talking to God, how was he supposed to answer me? The most obvious answer is- through His Word. So even though I was talking to God a lot, I wasn’t giving Him the opportunity to answer back.
Then a moment came that was a turning point for me when Jeremy and I were at a leadership conference. During one of the worship services, the leader mentioned something about someone dealing with infertility and that God was listening. I started crying because I had been praying for over 2 years for a baby and really didn’t feel like God was listening at all.
Through my tears, I grabbed my Bible and opened it to the book of Psalms, chapter 13. I couldn’t really believe the words I was reading. It was like the author had been inside my head. This was the desperate plea of my heart.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
The author of the psalm, David, is described as a man after God’s own heart. And even he at this time was crying out to God- where are you? Why aren’t you helping me? People were literally trying to kill him. He was in fear for his life.
But what struck me the most when I read it was how it ended. Yes, David felt alone, and afraid, and confused. But even so, he chose to praise the Lord.
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lords’s praise, for he has been good to me.
I will trust in you God. In your timing, in your plan because of your unfailing love for me. He has been good to me. He had. I had a wonderful husband, amazing friends. A great job. A lovely home. I had more than I needed in so many ways. Yes, what my heart desired the most was still something I had to wait on but reading this one Psalm changed the rest of the wait. Here it was- God’s answer to me. I hear you Marissa. I see you. I weep with you. And when the time is right I will bless you with a beautiful little boy.
After that day I started reading in the Psalms everyday. It slowly brought me out of the deep darkness I had slipped into. God’s Word brought light and life into my life again. I chose to use this time without children to take 2 trips to Africa and invest deeper into the girls in our youth group. Things I wouldn’t have been able to do with a baby at home. Things that would have lasting effects on those I invested my time into and also on me.
Years later, I find myself reading through the Psalms again. I may be discouraged or confused by some of the things happening in my life and in the lives of those I care about but instead of shutting myself out of communication with God I will be leaning in, continuing to read every day.
Whenever I speak with someone who has been struggling with infertility for any length of time I also recommend reading through the Psalms. Just reading one a day will get you through 150 days. Really no matter what struggle you may be going through, I encourage you to take a look at the Pslams. You may be surprised at how much they resonate with you.