Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


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And There Was Light: Choosing God

Sometimes God prevents things in our lives that he knows would pull our hearts away from him. I heard this and thought: Lord, would a baby do that? Would I put my baby over you?

The sad truth is, I don’t know. I’d like to think I wouldn’t. I think dealing with infertility makes it more likely that I will put any future children on a pedestal, though. But maybe being infertile also gives perspective. And I know I have some time to think about this and make sure that I won’t have a child I value more than God.

This realization led to a difficult prayer. Perhaps the most difficult prayer I’ve prayed. I meant it, though. Every word. And I still do:

Lord, if having a child would draw my heart away from you or cause me to delight in the baby or pregnancy or any aspect of it more than I delight in you–let me continue to be infertile. Let me know that my relationship with you really is enough. I don’t need anything else. And if you will for me to be childless or to not have biological children with my husband, or anything along those lines, let me trust that your will is good and perfect. Help me believe and know in my innermost being that you are all-sufficient for me. That I need nothing but you in my life.

I want to delight in the Lord. Oh how I want him to be my delight. I want to seek his face. I want to be a woman after God’s heart!

I think about Paul and his conversion experience. This man was a Pharisee. Legalistic as they come. He knew the law forward and backward, but when the Messiah came he missed it. His response to what he heard about Jesus? Kill the believers. Stop the heresy.

And then, one day, on his way to Damascus, Paul was struck by a blinding light, and Jesus spoke.

There had to be something so beautiful, so compelling about Jesus. Paul saw it that day–though in seeing he became physically blind for a time. He saw something that was glorious and wonderful and amazing enough that he turned completely from what he had been, from what he was doing, from what he wanted to do with his life. He turned his life completely to serving God and Christ. He turned his life completely to having a relationship with Jesus and to helping others know his savior.

I submit that you don’t do a 180 like that in life without good reason.

What a reminder that knowing Jesus is worth everything. Choosing anything over that relationship with my heavenly Father, with my Savior–that’s utter foolishness. I repent, Lord, for I have done that in the past. And I pray that I will live with God supreme in my life. My God. My Great God.

The God who gave us light.

Sunrise over the Mekong

Sunrise over the Mekong, Chiang Khong, Thailand

As an aside: this is not to say that I think our infertility is necessarily God’s will for my life–or for anyone’s. Some will disagree with me on this, but I just don’t believe that God’s will is always done. I believe a lot of the pain and suffering that we experience in this world is a consequence of the fall. I believe the sins of man generally have a negative effect on us personally. (I’ve written about this before.)

But I also believe that God will make even infertility something for our good. I’m starting to see the ways he is working it for our good even now.


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The Production of Hope

I had an interesting question in a comment the other day, and it’s sparked a lot of thought.

From anchortomysoul:

I do take comfort in that knowing he said this would happen, and that trials produce perseverance and perseverance character and character hope which does not disappoint! Although the end of that verse confuses me! Ha how does character produce hope?

The verse referenced is Romans 5:3-5

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Last year, I studied Revelation in my Bible study. At first I really struggled with it–and not just because it’s such a difficult book to read through. I struggled with the idea of the world’s end, and especially with the idea that we were supposed to be looking forward to it and even praying for it (“your kingdom come,” in the Lord’s prayer, is just one example). Frankly, it was hard for me to say truthfully that I wanted Christ to return and for the world to end. There are things I want to do. Like have babies, for example.

But suffering makes you think about these things differently. When we were first diagnosed with IF, I felt oddly in tune with the suffering in the world. It was like my personal tragedy somehow highlighted tragedy around me. It was probably because I was so emotional at that time. Uncharacteristically emotional–though I don’t know that “uncharacteristic” is still an accurate description nine months later.

And when I watched the news coverage Monday of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, it was all I could do to hold back tears. Maybe that’s a normal response, but I know it wasn’t a normal response for me 10 years ago. When 9/11 happened I was glued to the TV in fascination, but I don’t remember any real sense of empathy for the people whose lives were lost or who lost loved ones. That sounds terrible as I reread it, but it’s true.

Suffering–through the longing for a family, the challenges that infertility has wrought on us, and, yes, the growth we’ve experienced through IF–has led me to be more aware of the fact that we live in a fallen world. A world of pain. A world where people are hurting every day and all.the.time. This is not my home. And I don’t want this to be my home.

I don’t have an official answer to the question posed, but I have a response. Suffering produces hope. Through suffering, we persevere; perseverance builds our character (I think, primarily, our trust and faith in God, our recognition of our own powerlessness and incompleteness alone, etc.), and we end up with hope. To hope in a place where there will be no more crying. To hope in the perfection promised. To hope in Christ, in his offer of salvation, in the redemption, and in the completion of that story when he will come again.

And now, when I say the Lord’s prayer each night, I mean it. Especially “Your kingdom come.”