Two years ago, I was in a Bible study and we were reading in Genesis discussing when God spoke to Abram in Genesis 15:7-8. Abram responds to God’s promise by saying, “But how will I know?” Clearly Abram was a man of great faith; in the very verse before, it says Abram believed the Lord and He credited it to him as righteous and later in Hebrews, Abram makes the Bible’s Hall of Fame because of his great faith. Yet he asks the question, “But how will I know?”
This ended up really resonating with me because I can’t count the number of times growing up that I would follow up the statement, “I’m saved,” with an internal, “But how do I know?” I always repeated the sinner’s prayer whenever I heard it because I wasn’t sure it stuck the last time and several times I closed the Bible somewhere in Exodus because I was so discouraged. I lived a long part of my life – too much of it, really – like I served a bipolar God who loved me one day and was angry at me the next.
In the first year of being married to Matt, the entire foundation of my faith shifted, changing the way I saw God and also the way I saw myself. It started in a conversation when I asked Matt if he had ever doubted his salvation, and his simple, “No” made me realize there was something vital I was missing. We studied scripture together until I finally understood what it meant that Jesus died for all of my sins: past, present and future, and that repentance was about changing my mind, not needing to “reclaim” my salvation. With this new foundation in place, I found myself developing a real hunger for scripture that I had never felt before and spent months learning about the grace, the covenants and the promises written throughout the Old and New Testaments.
Matt and I were able to start praying together in a whole new way – with the authority of the righteous. As my mother-in-law likes to say, “We refused to live beneath what Jesus died to give us.”
And then we hit a road block.
I had been having severe abdominal pain for several years and the doctors told us something came back on one of my tests, suggesting that we might have trouble having children in the future. At the time, we were told that if we wanted a baby, we would need to act quickly which meant changing the plans we had made for our lives. Suddenly there was all of this pressure to make decisions and every month that the tests came back negative, I could feel my spirits sink. So many people told me, “If it’s part of God’s plan, it will happen” and I found myself again asking, “But how do I know?” I had poured over all of these promises but nowhere in scripture did it say, “You will have a baby.”
In June, God brought me back full circle to Genesis 15. In my head, I was thinking ‘I get it, even those with great faith have doubts’, but the verses continued to come back to me so I decided to open my Bible and read over the passages again. This time, God revealed two new things to me – the first, who did Abram ask “How will I know?” He asked the question to the Lord; it wasn’t something he just asked himself. He was expecting an answer. And the second, how did God respond? Scripture says that God – the creator of our universe – responded by meeting Abram at his faith level and making a covenant, an unbreakable promise, for Abram’s sake. As Matt says all the time, our God doesn’t change. The same God who met Abram where he was at is the God I know today.
Feeling encouraged, I let my heart cry out to Jesus during my prayer time, asking for and expecting a response. I wanted to know without a doubt that my heart was aligned with the Spirit in my desire for a baby. I don’t know what I was expecting… probably a bird call or a chime or some sort of sign that I had heard others share about, but what I got was a sweet promise spoken directly to my heart of a healthy little baby. Two weeks later, I had my first positive pregnancy test.
As I look at my little girl now, one thing I want for her is that when someone asks her if she has ever questioned God’s love for her, it’s the easiest thing in the world for her to say, “No.” I want her to know that, without a doubt, our God is always for her.