Sunday, February 20, 2011

Brokenness

I shared last week how broken yet encouraged I felt at church, and I wanted to explain a little more. I have also shared before how church is often a very emotional place, and not just because of the millions of babies and young families around. It is a place where week by week I refocus myself on the center and purpose of my life - Jesus. Doing that is always like drinking a long, deep gulp of perfect, thirst satisfying water, but at the same time realizing just how thirsty I am. And I am always so thirsty.

As I experience my thirst, it opens the wound a little. I see my neediness, my brokenness. And that was part of the sermon on Sunday. Jesus says in Luke 4:20-30 that many have heard and will hear the good news, yet they will not believe. Our pastor emphasized that we need to know our brokenness and need for God so that we will turn to him. He (through other scripture) said that it is often easier for the "poor" to believe, because they have nothing and know they need God. And it is easier for the "rich" to believe, because they have everything yet know they are not satisfied, but the "middle class" can deceive themselves - the "I will be satisfied when..."

He quoted a story from Charles Spurgeon (I am paraphrasing greatly here - forgive me): A successful judge attended his church. One day he came up to take communion, and a criminal he had convicted and sent to prison for some time was taking communion next to him. Later, Spurgeon talked to the judge and said, "What a great act of God's grace today that you and the former criminal took communion side be side." The judge replied, "Yes, but I not referring to God's grace towards the criminal, but for myself. It is a miracle that God brought him to salvation, but it is a greater miracle that the Lord did so for me. I grew up in the church and could have just thought I was "ok" without ever really knowing the grace of God - yet the Lord revealed it to me. That was the miracle I saw today as I took communion alongside the other man."

And as I listened I was struck by just how "middle class" I am, and not just in the money sense. But I had a fairly stable and loving home life growing up, no major life traumas, and I, too, could have just tried to be "ok" if it were not for God's grace saving me from my middle-class-ness.

As I rejoiced that God saved me, I also rejoiced that God continues to draw me to himself. I was truly thankful for my infertility as I sat there - thankful that God has used it to keep me broken and not grow numb or forgetful to his great love and grace. I always want to be broken before God so that I can depend on him. I hope it will not always hurt so much, but in that moment I welcomed any pain so long as I do not stray from the love of God.

And I thanked God for my infertility, and worshiped him. In my heart of hearts I do not think I had been able to do that before.

Thank you, Lord.

12 comments:

Heather said...

Wow Hillary- I so needed to hear this today. I have not yet been able to thanbk God for my infertility and the pain I have been through- but I think I am almost there. thank you for being so real, so raw and so honest. I can relate to all that and appreciate your pain- Because I am living right now myself!

Bless You!

Micha said...

Great post!

Mellow said...

Thank you for sharing this. How Awesome!

Leah said...

It's wonderful that you were able to thank God for something has has no doubt been so painful for you. I think it means you can see infertility as not just an awful situation, but as a situation that has brought you lessons, and brought you closer to God. Continuing to think and pray for you.

Jessica R said...

Hillary, I have felt the same way, and I hope that my story will be uplifting and not at all saddening for you! DH and I struggled with IF and for a long time, while we tried on our own and were diagnosed by our RE, I fought to maintain control of it. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't pray about it, didn't once ask God where He wanted us to be, because I was terrified of the answer. When I finally did go to God with it, the answer was what I feared - that it wasn't time to move on to fertility treatments yet, and that we needed to wait - no reason given, no timeline given. During that time while I waited and struggled, the whole thing broke me down like I have never been broken before. God truly showed me that I have no control, and that I must follow His plan. Finally, after breaking me down and teaching me the hard way to trust in Him (because I was way too stubborn to simply choose to trust Him), I came to a place where I could feel grateful for our IF struggle - for how it had strengthened our marriage, but mostly for the huge changes God had made in me during it. They were changes that were sorely needed, and it felt good to know that I was growing toward him - I felt the pull that you described as He draws us to Him. I felt like a 'new creation' and could literally feel Him working in me. It was an amazing feeling. One night, I told my husband that I was grateful for our struggle because I'd had so, so much to learn and so much growing up to do, and it felt good to do it. Then I told God that I was grateful for the changes He was making in me, and that I was grateful for our IF because it allowed Him to work in me and to grow me and my faith. A few weeks later, IUI worked.

As always, you are such an amazing example of faith - I wish I could say that mine had been half as strong as yours while we struggled. The whole time when I thought that God was withholding something from me, it turns out that He was giving me other gifts. For a long time I was so focused on the only gift I wanted from him that I failed to see what He was offering to me.

You are in my prayers!

Tabitha said...

beautiful...

Melody said...

Abosultely beautiful, Hillary.

lifebytheday said...

Oh sweetie, what a beautiful post. As you know, I have struggled with my faith throughout our IF battle...and I don't honestly know if I would have gotten around to thanking God for my infertility if I hadn't eventually gotten pregnant. I always appreciated the clarity and compassion that I got from our struggle, but I never understood why he would make us want something we couldn't have. I will be praying that God grants you your heart's desire, especially deserved after this beautiful acceptance you have shared. Hugs!

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

This is so moving. You are clearly so close to God's heart.

A said...

praying for you as you seek where God has for you to go next (hug)

M3MU said...

Beautiful post. It's amazing the lessons that come about at church when you need it the most. Wishing you all the best.

M3MU said...

Beautiful post. It's amazing timing for some of the lessons that are taught at church. I wish you all the best.