We moved to SE Asia with our 10 month old son in 2014. The rest of that year is pretty much a blur of language learning and culture shock but I do remember the next 2 years with perfect clarity. I spent the majority of that time trying to get pregnant, being pregnant or recovering from multiple miscarriages.
In the grand tradition of overseas wives I was sure I’d be able to handle pregnancy and childbirth in a foreign country. In fact, I was looking forward to the adventure of it. Our second child would be born in Bangkok- how cool was that? However, God seemed to have other plans for growing our family. And I was not giving into those plans gracefully. Even after the first 2 miscarriages in 2015, I had a shred of hope. Surely, this was still possible. God wouldn’t ask me to go across the world, far away from family, friends, support and decent medical care and then take this away from me over and over again, would he? I prayed and begged and took supplements. I just needed to wait for God to come through.
But there were 3 more losses in the next year, a few months apart. By the time I was staring at that last positive pregnancy test in October, I realized the primary emotion I was feeling was fear, not joy. The anxiety I had in the next 2 weeks was through the roof and when the inevitable did happen, the sadness almost pulled me under completely. My husband and I both agreed. It was time to be done. I needed to let go of this dream of having another biological child and admit to myself that it was not going to happen for us.
This was not done without a lot of grieving and anger towards God. Why had He let this happen to me? Not just once, but over and over again? I felt like I had been obedient in coming here. I had done everything He had asked of me and he couldn’t even give me another baby? He knew how lost I was in this place our first few years here, how hard it was. Why would He add so much more hard to this experience? There were healthy pregnancies and and newborns all around reminding me of what God was refusing me. Try as I might, I could not move past my anger at the situation.
The ugly truth hit while I was reading a blog written by a woman who had suffered infertility along with multiple miscarriages as well. As I read about her experiences the thought that came into my head was “This is not the same thing at all. Because she doesn’t live where I live or do what I do.” I froze- Wait, WHAT? Where did that come from? Is that what was really in my heart?
I had to finally admit to myself – and especially to God- what I was really angry about. It wasn’t just about the miscarriages, although those were heartbreaking. But by serving him in this place, by following my husband to this country, I felt like he OWED me something. Can you imagine? The God of the universe, who sacrificed his son to give me life, owed ME. Because I was living in a place with no Starbucks, Amazon delivery or decent hamburgers, I was entitled to be in God’s debt?
This was some super ugly stuff I had unearthed and I had to spend quite a while in prayer confessing my arrogance and pride. I’m still confessing all of that stuff because, to be honest, it’s something I struggle with on a daily basis. But with every prayer my heart is softened, and my eyes opened to see the beauty in the life God has handed me. He is my portion, and I am working on that being enough. Yes, I was obedient to Him when I came here but that is the only response possible to the overwhelming love and mercy that he pours out on me daily. I owe him everything; and whatever undeserved gifts he desires to bless me with will be received with open hands and a thankful heart.
Have you ever had a truth you were afraid to admit to yourself or God?
How has God shown his forgiveness and grace after you admit to your ugly sin?