When I graduated from college, I was in a relationship with someone I greatly cared for. He had stood by me as a friend and boyfriend for three years as I tried to work my way through a sudden loss of stability. My parents had divorced, my childhood home was being sold, my church had split down the middle and the sense of displacement was staggering at times. However, the boy I loved didn’t believe in the God I was longing for. He would go to church with me and he would sit quietly while I prayed, but he didn’t know how to help me find the peace I was searching for.
The first promise I remember God giving me was a few months after I graduated. I knew I needed to end my relationship, but I was terrified of losing the one constant in my life. I was sitting in church, praying about the first thing God asked me to do that I didn’t want to do. Immediately, Matthew 19:29 came to me, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much.”
For anyone who has met my husband – let’s talk about how God keeps His promises. Matt wakes up with the Gospel on the tip of his tongue and He loves me in a way that can only come from loving Jesus more. His faithfulness in constantly and patiently pointing me toward Jesus has helped me find a new stability that isn’t dependent on anyone else. The Word of God is living and active and it will not return void.
A few months after Matt and I were married, I started having terrible pain in my lower abdomen. After months of pain and multiple infections, we found out I had endometriosis. The doctors told us that it was likely we would have a difficult time having children in the future and that, due to the type and condition of the disorder, I wouldn’t be able to have children at all without first having surgery. Following the surgery, Matt and I tried for months with no results. As we were beginning to hit a low and wonder if it was going to happen for us, our entire family was dealt a blow when Matt’s dad, Jack, passed away unexpectedly.
Many people don’t get along with their in-laws – I’ve heard both the jokes and the horror stories – but Matt’s parents are my parents. They loved me as their own daughter before Matt even gave me his ring and I love each of them dearly. While all of us know that Jack is rejoicing and worshiping his Savior with his arms wide, the pain has been great.
Matt and I both struggled with the realization that our kids would not get to meet their Papa. The thought still brings tears to my eyes; however, the Thursday after his funeral, Matt and I attended a church service. A few minutes into the church service, God sweetly whispered His second promise – we would have our precious miracle. I won’t lie, I didn’t immediately recognize it for what it was. It wasn’t until an hour later, when the pastor prayed directly over our family and said, “How good you are to us, Lord – from death you always bring life” that I knew the promise God had made me. I cried as we continued to pray and from that morning on, I woke up every morning saying, “Thank you, God, for this baby. Thank you that you love us so much.”
Four weeks to the day that Jack died, I took my first positive pregnancy test.
It is so beautiful to me that God – the Mighty One who saves and who commands the wind and the waves – knows each of us so well, in such a tender and intimate way, that He can simply reach out and breathe a promise of His love directly into our hearts.