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A Matter of the Heart

Our hearts are such silly things, but they are important to God. I am not talking about the heart that pumps blood through your body. That is a mere muscle. I am talking about the heart that feels and loves. The same heart that worships our Lord in song can turn and feel the most negative things and fuel the most negative thoughts and actions. 

When I look at the Bible to the women that are written about there, I see their hearts are weak like ours and they feel those negative emotions as well. The two times it jumps out at me have to do with their abilities to provide children to their husbands. In Genesis 30 we read of Rachel, Jacob’s love, and how she became resentful of her sister that could have children when she couldn’t. Sarah and Hagar had a resentful relationship because of Sarah’s inability to bear a son until she had Issac. These feelings of resentment got in their way of trusting God to work out His plan in His time. I relate to these women so much. 

After my oldest daughter was born, my husband and I wanted to have another child. So when our oldest was two, we started to try to expand our family. We got pregnant and soon after I was in horrible pain and rushed to the emergency room. I was having a miscarriage. There was nothing they could do. I was supposed to come back in a couple of days to confirm my worst nightmare. Many of you have gone through this experience as well. Some of you were far along in pregnancies and lost the baby. Some of you had to deliver stillborn children. We don’t talk about the emotional toll this has on us. Doctors deal with the physical problem the best they can. This process continued for me for a long time. Loss after loss. It was so difficult. I went to fertility specialists, had medicines, blood drawn over and over, scans and x-rays, injections, tests, ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, tears, anger, more tears, crying out to the Lord and asking him why. Was I not a good enough mother to my one child that I didn’t need to have another? Did I do something wrong? Would I never have another baby? Was I not grateful enough for what I had? 

Month after month I cried out to God. This turned into years. I had given up. I had become hard-hearted. Every time someone announced that they were pregnant it was a knife to my heart. I was angry and resentful toward God. I was resentful toward my friends and family members that were able to have children whenever they wanted. I was resentful toward the foster and adoption systems that made it so difficult for loving people to have a child that someone else didn’t want. How could they? 

Something changed in my heart. I realized that I was living my life wanting something and not appreciating what I had. I was otherwise healthy. I had a loving spouse. I had a beautiful daughter that was becoming a teenager. I needed to let go. Somehow I did. I made peace with it. I allowed my resentment to turn into a heart that was wanting to nurture the family I had and take care of myself in a way I never had before. I allowed myself to let God fill that hole in my heart. 

It was a January morning. My husband was driving back from the Carolinas. I hadn’t been feeling well that morning. I realized that I was late - which wasn’t too strange. But for some reason this time it was different. I took a pregnancy test bracing myself for the negative result again. Except this time, it wasn’t negative. It was positive. Thirteen years since our first baby arrived and I was going to have another baby. I was elated and terrified. Dare I hope and dream? Was this really going to happen? All those years of resentment suddenly seemed so silly. All that time felt wasted. 

I felt so blessed and so happy to add our sweet second baby to our family. Her name means “my dream” and above her bed has always hung the Bible verse from 1 Samuel 1:27 that Hannah says, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.”

Through all of my resentment and envy and depression, God was a kind and loving and nurturing constant. He still loved me. He waited for me to turn to Him and wait. I know that this is not the story for all women who deal with fertility issues. Some never are able to have children of their own. But you know what, God is still a nurturing father to you. He wants to fill that hole in your heart with Him. Even if He had not blessed me with my other children, I still would feel that way. I felt that way before the blessings of Alora and Willow. 

“Love is patient and kind; love does not boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6

When I was truly able to let go of the irritable resentment I was harboring, I was able to allow God to love me the way He wanted to. I was able to love him the way He wanted me to. And I was able to nurture the relationships I had and the ones He wanted me to have as well. I will never stop being thankful for ALL of my children - those that I gave birth to, those that I lost, and those that I have adopted in my heart. 

Sisters, I hope that hearing my story can bring you to a point of letting go of some of the resentment that you might be holding on to. It is so painful to hold and so refreshing when we can really let it go and allow the nurture of our Father God to heal those sore places in our hearts. It is a hard journey, but so worth it. Let us pray for you if you are struggling with this. It might not be about children. It might be about a spouse or a parent or a sibling. It might be about a friendship that has gone wrong or a job situation. Whatever it is, resentment has no place in the heart of one that loves God. He didn’t make us that way. If you have been holding onto that, it can be scary to let it go. Trust your Abba Father to nurture your heart to a place of fulfillment in Him.

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