Thursday, July 5, 2007

the ocean and infertility

I was sitting on the beach last week, watching the waves crash onto the shore line in front of me thinking that yet again, we are not pregnant. It was hard to hold back the tears, even though I feel that I should be used to this by now. I sat in the sand, praying in desperation for....something. Hope. Children. Faithfulness to God in spite of my grief, in the middle of my grief, because of my grief. I watched the rhythmic pull of the tide, with each crash of water, powerful waves crept towards my feet in the sand. I remembered the passage in Job (a fitting book when one wonders at her circumstances) where God says that the waves of the ocean can only go as far as He allows. In essence, God says, "little wave, you can only go this far, and no further up the shore than that." And the wave--powerful though it may be with the force of the Atlantic behind it--must obey, must submit to a Sovereign Creator. And so must I.

This may seem a disjointed train of thought, but what I reckoned with on the beach is that the God who holds the sea at bay is the same God who holds my fertility in His hands, as well as every other aspect of my life. He is the same God who is close and tender when He says, "No, not this time." Maybe His restraint in my life is not really like His keeping the mighty oceans in line, but maybe it is. I know that it is for my own good. And, as only a mighty and powerful Creator can hold the waters in his hands, He is letting me glimpse His glory in the midst of infertility.

Blessings, friends.


"And I said, 'Thus far you shall come but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop.'"

-God, in Job 11:38, NAS


Steph VG said...

Hi, Glenna-
I had some of the same impressions when I was last at the beach. Not specifically about infertility, but it certainly fits. At the time, Matt and I were walking through some very deep waters ministry-wise, waters that ended in our mission board pulling us (for our protection) from one field and placing us on the one we're on right now. That wave, scary as it was, only went as far as the gentle, precious, perfectly wise and perfectly good hand of God would allow it. I've never been more thankful for His sovereignty than when we've gone through deep trial. Thank you for the sweet (costly) reminder that our God is faithful, even when we don't understand what He's doing.

The Petersons said...

Even though this was written over a year and 1/2 ago, I wanted to express the encouragement that I received from this entry. The day you wrote this, I had only been married just under a week. And I had no idea what the next year held in store for me. At that point, we were not ready for kids, but I felt hopeful that I could easily become pregnant at any point. It wasn't until 4 months later that we made that fateful decision and a year later, we're still here.

Some days I don't understand God's plan. Ok, truthfully, I NEVER understand it. Instead, some days I just choose to accept what I don't understand rather than dwell on it.

I do believe that God must have a reason for the limits He places on His creation. Obviously, if the sea billowed over as it pleased, the earth would be flooded. And maybe the reason for your infertility isn't as much like a wave that is only allowed to go so far, but more like a resevoir held at bay by a dam. Once the floodgates are opened, though, the water comes out in raging force rather than trickling out as it perhaps might without the walls. That's how I look at my infertility- that it isn't God withholding something from me. But instead, He is asking me to hold back for a little while until He releases the floodgates. And once He does, the strength and character and ministry I will have will be so mighty because of the limits I've endured.

My hope is that even a year and 1/2 after writing this blog, that you still see your Creator in the same way.