Early in my faith, God did not require much of me – probably because He knew I wasn’t listening anyway so it would have been pointless to instruct me in anything. As I spent more time in prayer and learned more about God, though, He began teaching me about obedience and trust. At first the instructions were easy and rational: don’t binge drink on the weekends because it’s illegal and you feel like death the next morning; move to Richmond for the job there, not the one you want near the beach; marry this guy, not that one.
But then the instructions and lessons became harder, and none more difficult than what I faced in 2008. It is not an overstatement to say this was the year from hell that nearly crushed me and my husband. In a short time span we buried 5 family members, including Mike’s father who died from a massive and unexpected heart attack. A storm threw a tree on our house and carved a sky light into our living room. We found out we had infertility issues, so we pursued adoption through foster care. Our adoption, though, fell through after eight months and we were left broken, empty.
I’m sad to say I failed this test of faith. Losing our foster son cracked me in ways I couldn’t fathom, and I turned my rage and bitterness against God. How could He fail me like this? I had done everything He had asked and this is what I got in return? Is this what I get for following Him? Then screw it. I quit. Don’t ever talk to me again.
So for a year I gave God the silent treatment. I stopped attending church. I hid my Bible. I fumed and swallowed my anger until my insides were cramped with grief and death.
Life goes on, however, and within a year Mike and I were pregnant. We were ecstatic and slowly dared to hope that maybe … just maybe … our dream of having a family were coming to pass. And then I hemorrhaged. An ultrasound and blood test showed that I had miscarried. But there was something that nagged at me.
As I drove from the doctor’s office I swear to you I heard God whisper, “Even in this, do you trust Me?” Say what? Seriously? We haven’t talked in a year, I feel like you have betrayed my trust and abandoned me, and now you want me to trust You?
“Even in this, do you trust Me?”
Against all reason, I found myself saying yes. I wanted – needed – to trust in Him. I had missed Him and desperately longed to see a sign that God not only cared about me but wanted to be part of my life. So I trusted and prayed. I prayed protection over my baby even though the doctor had just told me the baby was gone. I prayed for healing and for strength for me and the baby.
The next day, my doctor did another exam to ensure the baby and tissue had all passed from my system. And lo and behold, instead she found a baby. A growing, beating, live baby.
I do not look upon that year with any fondness, but I walked away with this: I could finally say with Job that until that year, I had heard of God but now I had finally seen Him with my own eyes.