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Blessed be Your Name, Even When...

Even though I started this blog a few months ago with the purpose of being content while waiting to be a mother, I have mostly shied away from sharing my thoughts and feelings on this issue. My goal was to focus my gaze on the other blessings that God has poured out upon me and my husband and search for how God was using us here. And now. Not on how God will use us when He gives us a baby.

That is still my goal. I still want to be used by God here and now, and I do not want to take for granted all of that which I have to be thankful for.

However, today I also need to remind myself of God’s goodness and God’s faithfulness. I need to give myself a pep talk.

This morning my husband and I woke up in our hotel room, on our much-anticipated weekend vacation. My cousin’s fiancĂ© works for a hotel in the ‘big city’ about 50 miles away and was able to get us an amazing discount on a suite, and we feel very blessed to be able to spend time away from home on a small budget.

One of the things that we are enjoying while we are here is continual internet access. (We don’t have internet access at home and must content ourselves with visits to the library or coffee shops to spend time online.) So, of course, one of the first things we both found ourselves doing this morning was checking e-mail, even checking Facebook.

“Hill, [Friend-from-church] has a picture on Facebook that you should really see,” I hear as I’m putting on make-up in the bathroom.

“Oh, OK.” Friend-from-church has a fun and quirky sense of humor, so I am anticipating a picture that will make me chuckle, shake my head, and sigh.

Instead, when I come to look, I see a picture announcing very clearly (but of course in a fun and quirky way) that Friend-from-church and her husband are expecting a baby. They are expecting their baby to be born next May, about the same time as my beautiful sister-in-law and her husband are expecting their baby to be born.

My initial response upon realizing what this picture means is not joy, but jealousy. And sadness. And then guilt because my initial response was not joy.

I try to give myself a little bit of slack, though, because I know that some of my strong feelings come from a doctor’s appointment I had less than 24 hours before seeing this Facebook announcement.

An appointment that was less than encouraging and also less than conclusive.

 An appointment at which I heard in not so few words, “You will probably need to use fertility treatments if you want to have your own children.”

“Your body may not be able to sustain a child through a pregnancy without help.”

Traitorous words. Traitorous body.

And I know, the doctor may be wrong. The doctor may not have all the information he needs yet. And what’s so very bad about fertility treatments anyway? Probably nothing.

But even so, I can’t stop the anguished questioning of God inside of me: “Why her? Why not me? They haven’t been married as long as we have! I’m sure they haven’t even been wanting this baby as long as we have!”

I don’t mean to sound melodramatic, or wimpy. I know there are so many women who have much, much more heart-wrenching stories, have been feeling empty-arm pain much, much longer and much, much more acutely than I have.

But even so, the pain is still there, and I still need to address the God whom I love and serve and who I have believed is good, oh so good, in the past.

A teacher of mine once told me that we sing songs like “Blessed Be Your Name” when times are good and it’s easy to believe God is good as a sort of exercise and muscle-building for when times are bad and it’s not so easy to see God’s goodness.

That way, when life gets hard in one way or another, the refrain

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering,
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name.

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise.
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord,
Blessed be Your name!
Blessed be the name of the Lord,
Blessed be Your glorious name!

will play in our heads and we will remember, Yes, God is good. God can use this for good. Even when this doesn’t make sense to me, God is still good.

I can remember this song. I am able to say with my words (even if my feelings aren’t so sure), Yes, God is good. And I know that this one itsy bitsy difficult time will strengthen me and prepare me. I will come to know more deeply the One who is infinitely more precious than a thousand babies, and He will be my strength and my song.

Yes, God is still good!

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