“And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” -Rev. 21:3
This verse is giving me great comfort today, as I’ve realized lately that much of my questioning and struggle boil down to the question, is God good? Scripture says it outright countless times, yet I still find it hard to believe. Believe at a heart level. I question how a God who is sovereign and good could allow the kinds of suffering that I see and that I experience myself. My own suffering pales in comparison to some of the horrors occurring in others’ lives and around the world. How do sin and the fact that we live in a fallen, broken time and place factor in? It feels easier to swallow that sin and brokenness are the default for now but that Jesus is entering into it and redeeming it all even now. It somehow feels more compassionate — but perhaps just easier to swallow — that this suffering isn’t what the Lord wills, that He wants something different for us, wants us to not have to anguish for the past two years, wants our bodies to be working, wants us to be parents already, wants to take away the pain, is crying with us and wants to wipe our tears. Can He be as good and as compassionate if He is willing this suffering and this situation for us? For others around the world?
Not easy questions, not ones I am really trying to answer here. And maybe it doesn’t even matter. If I play with the ideas in my mind, I tend to think so — think in my head — but in my limited human-ness it seems to break down somewhere, leaving me wondering about a sadistic god who would will such pain for greater good. I hate to even write the words. Could there be a greater good?
For the longest time that has felt impossible and at the very least, trite. But I dare say I’m beginning to experience some of it. See it, taste it. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
I’m coming out the other side. It sounds crazy to say when we haven’t even started IVF yet, we haven’t a clue what the outcome will be. I’m feeling more like myself again, only a more mature, seasoned version. A little deeper, a little more dimensional.
My friend Katherine, someone I’ve grown closer to only through this time of suffering, is one of those people who just gets it. I can pick up with her and instantly feel understood, not to mention less like a crazy person. Katherine wrote me after our final IUI attempt failed and I asked her if I could share it here on my blog. It is just too beautiful to keep to myself and I hope some other infertiles can find it useful. Her words encouraged me greatly at that time and continue to as I’m beginning to experience some of what she talked about. (As an aside, her email is also a perfect example of how to be an amazing friend to an infertile. I keep it in my inbox and about five other cards in my journal, all containing priceless words my amazing friends have sent me the past year.)
Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that we’re thinking about you guys. [My husband] told me that you came in for prayer about next steps, which was sad news (since I was a little behind on the blog and hadn’t heard about this month yet) and also so encouraging that you guys are doing things like getting prayed for. I can think of about 1000 times we should have done that but it never occurred to us.
I am so sad to hear that your little one did not arrive this last month. We really mourn with you, my friend. Such an exhausting and grueling process. It’s very exciting news that you’re moving forward with IVF, though. On to a new adventure. 🙂 I know it may not feel like it, but you are in the thick of something big in your life. If you were to graph your growth over time (the inside kind, of course), it is taking a steep upward turn these days while you gain a treasure-trove of experience, wisdom, future empathy for other women going this path, and all sorts of other things that you might not have wanted, but are getting nonetheless. Count on it – if you hang in, you will get your baby one day – and unlike all those other lamos who got pregnant on the first try, you’ll have that treasure trove to go with it.
Needless to say, I hope and pray that you have both of those things very soon. 🙂 We’d love to see you guys sometime soon. We can talk and lament over this stuff, or just ponder the final scene of DA. Either is fine. 🙂
How beautiful is that? (And great that she deeply empathizes, mourns with us, has faith for us, and relates to the feeling that super-fertile people are lamos. 🙂 ) I replied to her that I would hang on to this image because, at that moment and for a long time before, I was not feeling an ounce of growth or feeling God’s nearness.
I am beginning to get a very real sense of this treasure trove, though; I think that day is coming. I’m increasingly aware of a feeling that I’ve gained something the past two years. In a time that has felt so dry and agonizing and empty. I think that depth and dimension are exactly what she was talking about. Maybe He can use this — whether He willed it or not — maybe this treasure trove is worth the suffering, and that He, in fact, in all His goodness helped me in the suffering and brought and is bringing this treasure into fruition without an ounce of my own effort. I never thought I would say that and really mean it — not as a defense against my pain and confusion — but I don’t think I imagined what and how good the treasure could be.
We still await a child. We still do not know how or when the Lord will bring him or her to us. We wait and we wait. We wait and are in anguish and are comforted. We wait uncertain and fearful and aware that He desires to wipe away our every tear. We wait, praying He continues to build that treasure trove, praying that above all on the other side the treasure is good and that we will know and taste His goodness.