We have been studying the book of James at our church on Wednesday evenings for the last several weeks. Something that really struck me was James chapter 5, verses 10 through 11, “Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
We all have faced trials and suffering, but we tend to get impatient to see God work in those times. We like to take matter’s into our own hands; filling those voids in our lives with other things, rather than patiently waiting on God’s provisions. We get antsy trying to figure out what’s next for us, instead of seeing where God is taking us.
Too many times in our lives our impatience in suffering leads to greater loss, to deeper heartache, and further suffering.
In 2013, I became pregnant for the very first time after many years of infertility. My due date was December 29th, 2013. Doctors told me that I would likely never get pregnant. And then I did. It was the most exciting, nerve-wrecking time. We waited twelve weeks to make our news public. I created the sweetest video to share with our church, and on Father’s Day, as part of his sermon, John, my husband, shared the video. I then posted the video on Facebook that afternoon. Friends and family from all over the world rejoiced with us. It was truly a high point for us.
Two days later, on June 18th, at our scheduled OB appointment, we were informed that our baby had died. It was likely her heart stopped beating two weeks earlier, but my body showed no signs of miscarriage. I felt as if everything came crashing down around me. It was truly a low point for us. That afternoon, as John called our families to let them know, I just cried and sang the words, “Blessed be your name in the land that is plentiful…and when I walk through the wilderness…he gives and takes away…”
I couldn’t even wrap my mind around what was happening. I underwent a D&C that day and the next morning my very first thought went to my empty womb. I sat in the bathroom floor and wept. I was suffering. I couldn’t understand why I was allowed to become pregnant only to have that baby taken from me. I was so content with our little family: John, myself, and our two sweet five-year-old adopted sons. And now I knew the worst kind of pain.
Several days later, I was informed that our baby was a girl. We named her Hope Shalome. I was also told that she died of tiny blood clots that course through my veins undetected due to a blood clotting disorder called MTHFR.
I wanted so badly to do something to feel better. To ease my pain. I created a scrapbook in her memory. And I cried. But I didn’t feel better.
I decided that in the midst of my suffering there was an undeniable peace that I couldn’t understand. Deep down I had this remarkable sense of stability.
Several months later, without trying, and much to our surprise, I became pregnant again. Because of my miscarriage and diagnosis, my doctor was able to give me a very simple course of treatment for the blood clotting that saved our baby. His due date was June 18th, 2014: exactly one year to the day that we lost baby Hope.
I persevered. I didn’t turn my back on God. I didn’t take matters into my own hands. I waited on God. And look what he brought about! He is full of compassion and mercy!
He saw me and knew my hurt, but used that loss for something good. Because He is good.
I would implore you, as you consider your own sufferings, to be patient. Wait on God. Seek his face. Draw near to him. And see what he brings about!
God, there are times that I want to give up or blame You because I don’t understand this pain and suffering that I or others must walk through. I trust You. I give you this situation and trust You to guide me through. Use this for something more amazing than I could ever imagine. In Jesus’ name, amen.