By: Beth Doohan
“’My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because You rescued me. No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides You; there is no Rock like our God.’” (I Samuel 2:1-2)
“He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth – praise to our God!” (Psalm 40:2-3a)
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***This article is a continuation of Beth’s Story from “Through Every Season: Experiencing God through Brokenness.” Read the article here: http://wp.me/p8h8cl-5Z.***
How have you experienced brokenness? I mean real, deep hurt and pain caused by loss, abuse or disappointment? I know we all at times find ourselves in situations that are unexpected, painful and traumatic. But God is faithful and will meet us in our sorrow and grief as we seek Him. “Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (James 4:8). “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book” (Psalm 56:8).
In my last article, I shared how my husband and I had a miscarriage of our first baby at seven weeks. The weeks and months that followed were full of grief and disappointment as we sought healing in our Lord and asked Him to give us another child. I can only tell you of the disappointment and even anger brought on by my monthly reminder of being without child. Yet, through it all, my husband and I were determined not to let this experience and grief keep us from our Lord. We have known too many Christians who turn away from their loving Father because of the brokenness in this world, or unbelievers whose primary wall of doubt in God is the pain they experience and see around them. How can we trust a God who allows such wickedness and pain to happen, even to people who are “good” or follow Him?
The answer to this question is found in the Book of Romans. In chapter 5 verse 12, the author writes, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” When man sinned, the perfect world that God had created became broken, and pain, suffering, and death became part of our life in this world. The redemption brought about by Christ Jesus saves our souls from eternal death and brings about life in the Spirit, but even Christ’s redemption for our sins has not altered the world’s fallen state.
Yet, despite the suffering in this world, God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?…No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (Romans 8:35, 37).
Knowing this truth, Corey and I were committed to seeking our Father wholeheartedly in our sorrow, even when it was painful to open up our hearts to Him. How did we do this? Although it was not always easy, we had to choose to respond in faith, to continue to hope in a loving God, and to entrust our dreams to Him.
Respond in Faith
Even though we were brokenhearted by the loss of our first child, we still knew that God had called us to be parents. There are many examples in the Bible of women who experienced infertility or struggled to become pregnant. Yet in their struggles, we see God reward great faith. Romans 4:18-21 says, “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations…And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.”
Abraham chose to have faith that God would do what He said He would, even when circumstances said otherwise. He understood God’s character, and this gave him confident assurance that the Lord would fulfill His promise. In our situation, we knew that God was able to give us a child and chose to believe that He would in His timing, even when facing doubt or discouragement.
Continue to Hope
Although Corey and I knew in our minds that God was capable of giving us a child, we also had to emotionally hope that He would. Hope can bring pain, because it opens us up to disappointment. Yet God does not want His children to be without hope—for He is our Lord and Savior! During our time of waiting, I was greatly encouraged by Hannah, mother of Samuel, who continued to hope in God even through her pain and disappointment. I Samuel 1:10-11 says, “Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: ‘O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if You will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to You. He will be Yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.’”
Hannah chose to hope in the Lord, even when that hope caused her pain from being disappointed. When Eli the priest told her, “May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him,” Hannah responded in faith: “She went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad” (I Samuel 17-18). In God’s timing, He gave her Samuel, whom she had dedicated to the Lord and later gave to become the Lord’s servant. Hannah’s choice to continue hoping inspired me to do the same. To stop hoping would have pulled my heart away from God, not closer to Him. Instead, I chose to hide my heart in God, that He might be my Comforter and Strength.
Entrust Your Dreams to God
Our hearts’ desire was to have a baby, to raise a little one as our own. It sounds simple enough, but with the loss of our first child, and month after month passing by without fulfillment of this desire, we had to continually surrender our dreams to God. We knew His character was that of a loving God and that His timing was best. In the book of Luke, we see a woman who had entrusted her dream of mothering to the Lord and to His timing. Elizabeth was an old woman who had been unable to conceive, yet remained faithfully devoted to her Lord. In His perfect timing, God fulfilled her heart’s desire and gave her a son who became a servant of the Lord. Luke 1:25 says, “’How kind the Lord is!’ she exclaimed. ‘He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.’”
Elizabeth was well beyond childbearing years, yet the Lord had not forgotten her or the desires in her heart. She knew this to be true and thus was rewarded for her faith. In Luke 1:45, Elizabeth shares from her own experience to encourage young Mary, mother of Jesus, that, “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.” I also knew that God had not forgotten the desire in my heart to be a mother and would fulfill it in His timing. Just like Elizabeth, I chose to surrender the dream in my heart to the Lord, knowing that His timing was best.
A Journey of Trust
In due time, one month after our first child would have been born, we learned we were expecting again. God had fulfilled our hearts’ desire!! Our waiting was over and a new journey of trust in our Heavenly Father began. As our baby grew in the first several weeks, the Lord laid certain Scripture passages on my heart as a reminder to trust Him with our little one:
- Hannah’s prayer of praise in I Samuel 2:1-2 – “’My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because You rescued me.No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides You; there is no Rock like our God.’”
- Psalm 31:14-17 – “But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, ‘You are my God!’My future is in Your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly. Let Your favor shine on Your servant. In Your unfailing love, rescue me. Don’t let me be disgraced, O Lord, for I call out to You for help.”
- Psalm 59:16 – “But as for me, I will sing about Your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about Your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.”
Just as Hannah dedicated her son to the Lord in faith, praying in 1 Samuel 1:11, “He will be Yours for his entire lifetime,” I also had a song of surrender with a similar theme in mind for our child and our family during this time. The song “Called Me Higher” by All Sons and Daughters says, “I will be Yours, oh, I will be Yours for all my life.” I am now at 24 weeks of pregnancy, and this verse has become my prayer over our son: that he would be the Lord’s for all his life. This prayer is perfect surrender—knowing that he is a gift from God entrusted to us, but ultimately belongs to the Lord.
In retrospect, I can see how God’s timing really was perfect to conceive again. The months after our miscarriage were a needed journey toward healing and wholeness. The experience of loss, although it was not what God wanted, made us more appreciative of our child as his parents and as ambassadors of God in his life. The renewed joy of bringing forth a child is a testimony of God’s faithfulness that He is completely trustworthy and will lovingly fulfill the desires of our hearts as we seek Him wholeheartedly. May each of us continue to press closer to God through our sorrows and to trust Him in times of brokenness by responding in faith, continuing to hope, and entrusting Him with our dreams.
You are in our prayers, dear sisters in Christ. Allow God to minister to your heart today as you seek Him. He is waiting for you to come to Him and is ready to bring you through brokenness to experience healing and life afresh. He is calling you higher and will not leave you in brokenness! I will close with a final Scripture passage found in Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”
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