I read the Proverbs 31 daily devotional every morning (http://proverbs31.org), and today’s was so poignant that I just have to share. I’m sure we have all been in a place where you are so upset or bothered by a situation or even with a person that you don’t know where to start or where to begin.
One of the most painful experiences of my life was losing my fertility to colorectal cancer treatment. I had to make life altering choices in a very short time. In the middle of this experience, I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. Praying day and night, I was able to comfortably make the decision to go forward with treatment and forgo fertility preservation. After a day of big decision making, a rainbow appeared as we left the Cleveland Clinic, and that evening my husband wrote about how the rainbow is a symbol of God’s promises.
Being comfortable with a decision, is not the same as emotionally accepting the ramifications. I lost my fertility during the same month I had planned on conceiving our last child. That emotional pain was like a raw open infected wound for several years. The only comfort I had was in my faith. I knew that God had a plan for me. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Repeating this verse over and over was the only solace to my pain. This verse once saved me from destroying a display of expectant mother figurines at a local craft store…just sayin’. Had that verse not come to mind in that instant, there would have been an ugly clean up on isle two.
Now, six years later, I can’t say I understand the loss of my fertility, but going through that has allowed me to share my experience with others. I took my fertility for granted even when I had dear friends grieving in the middle of their own infertility struggles. I felt bad for them and deeply cared for them, but I could never truly understand their pain until I lost my own fertility.
My devotional this morning was a great reminder that prayer may not always give us what we want, but God will always give us what we need. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16b (NLT)
These verses transcend all trials in life. Beyond infertility, there are daily challenges in life. There are always situations or struggles right in front of us or just beyond the horizon. There are always disagreements or arguments. You may be frustrated or simply irritated. There are times that we may not know what to say, but the bible says to pray anyways. Romans 8:26b, “… We do not know how to pray or what we should pray for, but the Holy Spirit prays to God for us with sounds that cannot be put into words.” (NLV) In those times, I can give my fears to God and know that He will work things out for my good. I am an anxious person, but the last few years have taught me to pray God’s promises into my life and be comforted by his faithfulness. God not only gives us what we need, but his plan is much more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your promises, your protection and your plan for my life. I thank you that you know my heart when I don’t have the words. I pray for those facing trials or times of difficulty today. As always, I am encouraged and comforted by your will.
- You have a plan for me and I will prosper…Jeremiah 29:11
- The earnest prayer…produces wonderful results. James 5:16
- Do not be anxious about anything…Philippians 4:6
- Deeds and words meant to harm me, You will use for my good…Gen 50:20
- You will go before me and make the rough places smooth…Isaiah 45:2