We are honored to share a part of Amanda’s personal journey here on Love Made Known. Her courage, vulnerability and honesty is inspiring; it’s not easy to share our deepest struggles or pain, but just as God is continuously conforming Amanda into His image, He is doing the same for you no matter what season you find yourself in.
“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” -C.S. Lewis
I sat in my dark closet, crumpled in a ball on the floor with my head hanging low. I clutched my heart desperately as I was sure it would physically shatter and I watched my dreams go down the drain yet another month. Water fell out of my eyes as if someone inside me had turned a faucet on and forgot to switch it back off. I could not breathe. My heart, though broken, still thumped wildly. My husband Sam was in the other room watching TV, clueless as to the puddle of heartache I was sitting in. I tried to keep quiet to avoid him hearing my sobs and gasps for air. I didn’t want him to know I was crying… yet again.
October was the first month I thought it had really happened. It had been only 6 months and we had kept the information a secret as we were hoping to surprise our friends and family, who otherwise thought a baby was far from our current plans. Six months sounds like such a short time, but considering I was “ready” a whole year before my husband, every day our baby was not in my arms or growing in my belly was absolute agony. When my body made it clear that I was not pregnant, I could not handle the weight of reality, and I crumbled. My once hopeful and fervent prayers had turned into shortened, soft pleas, and then into numbed silence. What was even the point, anymore? The Lord had turned a deaf ear to me and all I ever heard back was the sound of my own desperate breath. Hopelessness and despair had swallowed me whole.
Fast forward 6 more months, add a million more tears, loads of anger, confusion and depression, and this brings us to present day, where our bouncing bundle of joy has yet to make its debut. I have somehow survived umpteen pregnancy announcements, the birth of multiple babies of dozens of friends, and 12 very long months of grief and loss. We’ve spent thousands of dollars on herbs and supplements, teas and acupuncture treatments, and after only one appointment at the Fertility Center, over a thousand more. Searching for answers gets expensive pretty quick.
They say hindsight is 20/20 vision. I think most of us would agree that the storms we have endured held within them major character-defining moments – events we had to brave in order to become who we are now. That we would be someone completely different had they not occurred, and though they were difficult times, that they stretched and grew us in the best of ways.
It’s a much different story when you’re smack in the middle of a storm, or have been wandering in a desert for what feels like 40 years, no Promise Land in sight. You don’t have the luxury of hindsight yet, so it’s much easier, in the midst of chaos, to feel forgotten, abandoned, and completely alone. To lose sight of why you’re even here in the first place. To question the journey, to question the pain, to question the goodness of our God.
I have been ashamed of who I became through this journey and learned that I fail miserably when my character is tested. I am embarrassed by how flimsy my faith proved to be. Jealousy, anger, judgment and spitefulness toward God and others made their home in the darkest corners of my heart.
I came across the following verse last year, and I have engraved it on the tablet of my heart ever since: “Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’” -John 13:7. One thing I’ve learned through all this, is that even when God chooses to be silent, He is never absent and always at work.
God has stretched me far past my breaking point this past year, to remind me that He is my portion and is sufficient for me in any season. And though I hate to admit it, and though it has been the most painful season of my life, I have truly grown. The ugly and broken parts of my soul that I did not know were there, have been exposed, and I have allowed God to begin replacing them with light and truth. Incredible life-long friendships have come to fruition in my life because of this trial — friends who understand me at my very core, and who walk with me hand-in-hand through the fire that’s still ablaze brightly before me. The vulnerability my husband and I have shared has caused our marriage to grow deep roots in love and understanding. I have learned an incredible amount about validation and empathy, what to say and what not to say to someone with a broken heart, and I can only hope that God is being glorified as I trust His plan and continue to take faithful steps into the unknown.
A friend recently sent me a poem called “Wait” by Russell Kelfer. And though the character in the poem questions God during his season of wait, the Lord simply replies, “I could give all you seek and pleased you would be, you’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.”
Friends, I am with you and for you, and you are never alone.