For today’s Tuesday’s Trial Series, I want to focus on another trial for me throughout this journey- finding ways to rejoice and be thankful no matter the circumstance. God does not command us to only be appreciative when the seas are calm and the road is smooth. We are to be grateful even when we are in the darkest storms and on the rockiest paths.
One thing I am always thankful for is that God does not hand out grades on how we do with specific tasks we are given. If I were graded on expressing gratitude no matter the situation, I can say with certainty that for a long time I would have gotten an “F”. Finding ways to see God’s goodness has been an enormous challenge for me.
I spent much of my time when we were going through infertility treatment very angry with God. Not only could I not see reason to be grateful, I distanced myself from him, blaming him for all of the pain we were going through and unable to understand why my prayers for pregnancy were going unanswered.
After the first couple of years passed, I began to see ways that God had been faithful through it all. I could recognize that although I felt abandoned at times, he was walking beside me each step of the way. This opened my heart to begin searching in stormy times for ways that God’s goodness could still shine through.
In December of 2006, we were at our wits end and ready to completely give up on our journey. It was the only time in our infertility treatments that we ever got a positive pregnancy test. It was followed only a day later with the news that it was not meant to be. But, I will never forget the elation and hope that one test gave us. It was enough to boost us out of despair despite the loss. It is the first time I can remember honestly choosing to honor God in the face of deep pain. That one experience laid the foundation for me to continue to find ways to glorify Him even in our darkest moments.
By no means am I saying I have gotten great at it. My “grade” has slowly creaped from an “F” to maybe a “C”, but as time has passed, I have improved. I have learned that if I choose the thoughts and talk the talk, my heart will eventually follow suit as the grief dissipates.
I still have my selfish times where I am more like an angry toddler, wanting to demand my way. But, each time I step back and reflect on the foundation I am building, it gets a little easier to keep putting the right blocks in place to allow me to grow into the Christian God asks me to be.
Thankfully, he is known for his mercy and patience! I am a work in progress!