Almost twenty years ago, my father gave me some advice that I have often returned to. He said, “If God has laid a calling on your heart, He will find a way to bring it to fruition.” You do not have to worry that the calling will expire or disappear. It may not be according to the timeline you imagined or look the way you envisioned, but the seeds God plants in your heart will grow into what He intends if you can remain faithful and patient.
This is my story of brokenness and redemption: of infertility and loss coupled with learning to trust God’s goodness.
I know it’s cliche, but from an early age I knew I wanted to be a mama. It was part of who God created me to be – a parent. Years later, I married a wonderful man and knew that together we would raise beautiful children. However, that didn’t happen the way I imagined it would. Instead, while all of our friends were having babies, we struggled through negative pregnancy tests month after month and the discovery that I had fertility issues. After testing, and treatment, and more testing, and more treatments, it felt as if our dream of becoming parents was slipping further and further away. The dark emptiness of infertility set in.
Everything felt so hopeless.
So impossibly sad.
And it dictated our lives. The treatments, the tests, the medications, the schedules, the holding our breath to see if it worked — it was all we ever thought about. I knew God had called me to be a mama. Why wasn’t it working? Why couldn’t I fulfill my calling? I eventually did become pregnant. We were so overjoyed. But, things quickly changed during the 9th week of my pregnancy when we learned that our perfect little baby – whose ultrasound had shown a strong heartbeat just two weeks earlier – had stopped growing. As I stared at the still screen, the words of my doctor echoed in my ears, “I’m sorry. There is no heartbeat. Your baby is gone.” I was beside myself with grief and mourned the loss of that baby so deeply that I spiraled into a depression.
Infertility and loss are socially taboo – they aren’t topics that most people are comfortable discussing in casual conversation. At some point, deep in the darkness, I realized I had become isolated – not just socially, but I had also pulled away from God. Anger and hurt had sprung from my obsession with becoming a parent. Without realizing it, I had lifted up my attempts to bear a child as the most important thing in my life and it had consumed me. The emotions that accompanied the infertility and loss — grief, anger, doubt, jealousy, depression, and isolation – became unmanageable. My sweet husband and family did their best to support me. But it wasn’t enough. I realized that I needed to lean heavily on the Lord to get through this dark time. I surrendered my desire to conceive. My prayer changed from, “Lord, please give me a baby,” to “God, please hold my heaven-born baby in your arms because I can’t.”
The time that followed my miscarriage turned out to be one of the richest spiritual times in my life. I learned to lean in deeply to God and to trust Him to care for me. I began to pour my energy into focusing on my relationship with Him instead of on getting pregnant. My faith grew. My marriage strengthened. My depression faded. I began to see His goodness all around me. It’s so ironic: my infertility led to such a fertile spiritual time. While the personal and spiritual redemption I experienced was incredible on its own, my story doesn’t end there. Down the road, I became pregnant again- but this time was different- no tests, no treatments. I gave birth to a healthy, perfect, beautiful little boy. When I shifted my focus from my empty childless hands to being held in the hands of my Creator, my entire perspective changed. I could see what a gift I had been given through my brokenness- God had led me through deep waters and allowed my faith to grown in ways that made me a better wife, mother, and person. And true to what my father had counseled me years ago, God allowed me to fulfill the calling he placed on my heart to become a parent. Even though it wasn’t according to my timeline and the journey didn’t look the way I thought it would, there it was just the same.
God had taken my brokenness and redeemed it. And it was perfect.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26
Greer is the daughter of a preacher and a teacher and lives in the South with her husband, young son, one dog, three cats, two frogs, and a fish. It may sound like a zoo, but she wouldn’t have it any other way! She works as the director of early literacy for a non-profit educational foundation. A prayer warrior by nature, she often finds that she connects with God in the little moments throughout the day (and night!). She’s grateful for the strong women that God has placed in her life who support and encourage her and she loves meeting new people and seeing how God is moving in their lives.
We’re in Week 3 of our Broken & Redeemed study! Grab your favorite beverage, crack open your Bible, and together let’s rejoice with the broken and redeemed of God.
We also have a corresponding kid’s Broken & Redeemed journal geared for children in elementary grades. You can grab a copy on Amazon at this location.