Early Sunday morning I was exchanging texts with a good friend. She told me about a Scripture verse from her devotions which had brought me to mind. As I left the house to take my daily walk, I began meditating on this passage.
By means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer. For he gets their attention through adversity.
Job 36:15 (NLT)
This truth resonated with me deeply, recounting the last five years of desert barrenness in which I had lived. Though it was often dark and difficult, though I struggled to hear from the Lord and found myself floundering in prayer, I knew – even then– that this suffering was a means for my Father to refine me.
I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.
Isaiah 48:10 (NLT)
I drew deeply into practices of spiritual discipline, seeking desperately for the Lord’s hand in my hardship. I longed for His nearness, His comfort, His wisdom. Those early mornings of silence and prayer, accompanied only by candlelight were the most sacred moments I’ve experienced. I’ve tried hard to replicate my dark encounters with Jesus, but they cannot be conjured.
And so I am thankful. To anyone who will listen, I boldly proclaim that I would not for a moment trade in these last five years. My infertility journey was a sacred set of steps nearer to the heart of my Lord. There was much suffering, long bouts of adversity, constant struggles to surrender – and I knew I couldn’t go on but by the Grace of God.
Hindsight reveals this goodness, this salvation through suffering. I begin to understand what James meant in the first chapter of his letter.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-3 (NIV)
I can’t claim to be “Mature and Complete;” I still lack much. But I am not the woman I was. God has used my trials to develop my perseverance, my faith, my understanding of Him, and my passion to follow no matter the cost.
And I am so thankful.
P.S. A happy Baby Fuji update:
We discovered the gender of our little one! Click here to watch.
And I took my first “bump” photo: