Last night in our home fellowship group our pastor posed the question of why we ought to be thankful. Being Thanksgiving and all, my mind automatically went to the “blessings” side of my brain and counted off all of the awesome things that God has done this year.
The pastor then added, what about being thankful when we are in the midst of a trial, suffering or other unwelcome event which takes place in our lives.
Huh…well…um…that took some serious thought!
It is so easy to be thankful on the mountaintops, but it’s when God has us in the valleys that we lean into Him and grow the most.
In thinking about what I am most thankful for this year, my heart doesn’t immediately thank God for dry valleys…the infertility, Tall man’s genetic disease, the chemical pregnancy and loss of our donated embryos earlier this year, or the fact that I spend 40+ hours a week away from my 2 year old while I’m at work. Those things naturally don’t rise to the top of my praise report list…but they should.
With some deeper conversations with the Lord, he has shown me that…
It was our journey of infertility that led us to finally discovering the truth about hubby’s genetic disease. Praise God for His mercy that He did not allow us to conceive naturally and pass on the defective gene. Praise God for His grace through the people and technology of PGD IVF (that He has gifted and equipped) that our miracle son was born.
Praise God for infertility that led us to embryo adoption this year. My heart grieves that loss, but we praise God that the embryos are no longer in that forever frozen state and have now gone on to heaven to be with our Creator. I must also praise God for it was through the witness of that loss that my dear friend who saw my heartache first-hand and response to that situation, ultimately led her to give her life to Christ.
God’s word tells us to…count it all joy when you fall into various trials (James 1:2). I have to constantly remind myself that it doesn’t say “some” or “when I feel like it.” It says count ALL. Really?
And just to be certain that I get the point, it also says, In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Yep…pretty sure God means everything…including the desolate valley I’ve been walking.
Because…on the other side of this valley, lies a blessing…God’s perfect plan and purpose for my life.
If you read some of my previous posts, you know that we’ve been waiting for quite some time for our embryo adoption/donation contract to be finalized. It was taking a long time to hear anything from the donor family. There was nothing else I could physically do to make the process go any faster.
All I could do was pray.
The funny thing is…that’s what God wanted all along. For me to pray…He simply wanted me to spend time with Him…alone, in His word.
So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been getting up at Oh-dark-thirty, grabbing my Bible and my blanket, heading out to my patio, and spending some amazing alone time with my Creator, my Friend and my Savior. He is with me as the sun comes up and gives me thoughts to carry for the rest of the day. I look forward to these moments as He breathes life into me.
What has been amazing was that as I spent more time with Him, the focus of my prayers shifted from me, the embryos, me, our family, me, me, me…to Him, His power, His might and His will and direction for our lives.
And low and behold when I wasn’t expecting it, I got a call from our attorney. The precious embryos we had been waiting for have now joined our family. Poof, just like that --- the contract was finished. Signed, sealed and delivered!
The twinkle babies are ours!
What a reminder that my perspective is so small, so tiny and shallow. God’s word and His promises are true, but it’s because of this trial I can finally see that His hand is on me, has been on me and takes care of the entire span of the universe!
So, am I thankful for valleys? This is most certainly not a "bring-it-on" invitation for more trials to enter my life, but I will say that whatever the Lord is doing through our trials, I have faith that it is all because He loves me.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12