If you will, I will

I was inspired to share the following story with you after exploring a new blog from Rindy Walton called Sharing Burdens…Rindy Walton. Here is an excerpt from Rindy:

Purpose of this site: We all struggle with issues that we find embarrassing or shameful. We might feel guilt or remorse, or know humiliation and regret. We all hide these behind masks and walls. This site is a place to be honest and real. It is a site where you can be yourself and share your difficulties.

I know we all have a lot of “things I can’t say on Sunday” stories lurking around. Here’s one of mine. I share with the hope of encouraging you “not-so-put-together” Christians out there to feel the freedom to be yourself in Christ.

◊◊◊

My husband and I had been married for 3 years and in our divine wisdom proclaimed, “It is now time to have a child”. And so we tried. And there came…no child. We continued to pursue this noble goal to go forth and multiply. Then a year later there came…no child. My doctor wasn’t too worried after all I was still relatively young at 33 and so we proceeded with the standard “why aren’t you getting pregnant” exams and tests.

And so we were still hopeful. Now let me tell you, I have friends who have tried a lot longer than we did with enormous ups and downs—joy and disappointment on a colossal scale–so I knew I’d be able to handle this tiny setback.

With every negative pregnancy test, I sank lower and lower. All our friends were very supportive and quick to tell us it would happen soon and we’d be such great parents. Problem was, we weren’t convinced we wanted children. We began to examine our lives. Both happy and reasonably successful in our professions, we found that we wanted children because everyone else wanted them for us. At some point, I decided I was pretty ok with my life and that having a child would probably mess that all up. Another problem. I wasn’t convinced of that either. I wasn’t fulfilled completely at my job but the idea of motherhood and giving up my job perks didn’t sit well with me either. Physically and emotionally, I was sinking into depression. I called in sick to work on a regular basis barely able to make it out of bed. I couldn’t get through the day without eating a complete meal every hour or so sponsored by my local ATM. I still had to lead a congregation into worship. I had to comfort a neighbor who had just lost her pre-teen son. My doctor prescribed hormones to take (like that helps your emotional state!) where I would have to have regular checkups to make sure they weren’t causing any other damage. I found a new hobby…wine. With each glass, the stomach twisting disappointment of another test with no blue line became less painful. I couldn’t sleep. Nighttime pain relievers helped with that issue. I could relax enough to fall asleep and then drag myself out of bed the next day.

So, all the while I’m trying to get pregnant, I’m sucking down alcohol and painkillers. Not a very friendly environment for conception.

Finally one night, as I stood in the bathroom, Tylenol P.M. in hand, I looked into the mirror and I swear I heard a voice, “If you will obey me and not take that pill tonight, I will be faithful”. I wish I could say my first thought was, “Yes Lord, I will obey.” In reality, I thought, “I don’t want to” and “Faithful how? Is He going to help me fall asleep? Am I going to be pregnant tonight?” By the grace of God, I put the pill back in the bottle and went to bed. The next day I took a pregnancy test and…no child. HE LIED! Another failure.

So two days later I took another test and…no child. Aargh! That can’t be right! I actually dug the test out of the garbage can 2 hours later. Now it said it was positive. So, going for the “best two out of three” option, I thought, “One more time and then I give up.” I took a third test and…wait, is that a blue line? Its awful faint. Maybe its just a shadow, hold it up to the light better. Nope, still blue. Um, Doug, is that a blue line? Yes. YES. YES. YES IT IS A BLUE LINE! What do I do? Call the doctor. Too early. Wait…wait…wait. OK now, call the doctor. What do you mean he’s not in? Fax him at his other office? Oh you’ll fax him my message at his other office. Ok. Now what…lab tests, more hormones, blah, blah, blah. It was official. And then there came…Madeline. Beautiful, screamin’ Maddie B., the most breathtaking thing I have ever seen in my life(screaming aside).

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Boy His mercies are new every morning. He is faithful. What would have happened had I taken the painkiller? Maybe nothing. Maybe a birth defect or miscarriage. God only knows. He chose to show me only what would happen if I didn’t.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. What an awesome story! I heard God speak to me quite plainly while my mom was sick before she died. I was in the shower one morning, praying (like I often do in the shower, in lieu of singing) and I was telling God how worried I was. He said, “Trust me.” I responded, “Ok.” That’s the first and only time I’ve ever heard anything so clear from Him.

    Reply

  2. […] My blogging friend Joni has written an awesome post about her struggle to get pregnant titled If you will, I will. It is a story of disappointment, depression, questioning and ultimately faith and obedience in […]

    Reply

  3. Great story. Isn’t it great to be so honest and transparent.

    About four years ago God clearly told us to move back “home”, a place I swore I would never live again.

    We had lived in Phoenix for the last fifteen years (minus two years in DC) and loved it. Great jobs, great house, great golf and a beautiful two-year old daughter. Life was good.

    We ignored it for months, but something kept pulling at us. Then we found out a very close friend of ours had been diagnosed with Stage Four Liver Cancer – and was only given a few months to live. It was time to move home.

    For the first six months I had no job. Our savings was taking a huge hit. I couldn’t believe that this was God’s plan.

    Just when we were ready to give up and move again, I got a job. Our friend, Mark ended up living for the next year and we got to spend a lot of time with him.

    And we found the church we had always been looking for. It’s easy to see God’s plan for us now, but in the middle of it we weren’t so sure.

    Reply

  4. Ohhh Joni, thank you for all of your honesty. People need to hear stories like yours. There are too many christians out there trying to play the part but never really sitting down and getting honest with themselves and God. I think honesty is the key to your faith and your relationship with Christ. I think of Kind David when I think of honesty. He screwed up but he talked to God about it…..honestly talked. He is a great example of this and so are you.

    Thank you again
    Gretchin

    Reply

  5. Posted by Tylor on June 29, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    I really do appreciate when people can be brutally honest like this. It reminds me and the world that we Christians are not the perfectly adjusted super-humans we sometimes try and make ourselves out to be. Instead, we are simply broken desperate people who found our only hope in the grace of Jesus Christ.

    I would respond here with my own confession story but, actually, I wrote it in a blog post sometime back. So, for the sake of your comment space I simply offer that:

    http://finitemind.wordpress.com/2006/09/15/confession-of-this-finite-mind/

    Reply

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