Life can throw us all not just one, but sometimes a number of curve balls. One of those for my husband and I was a diagnosis of dual infertility. Leading up to that moment, and even past the blessing of adoption, I went through a series of rises and falls in my emotions. You name it, and I held every emotion in the book at one point or another—frustration, anger, sadness, guilt, pride, failure, and the list goes on. All those ugly words that Christians aren’t supposed to feel, right? Wrong. We do. There are times I have felt as though we deserved better. After all, we were doing all the right things and in the right order like good engineers do. Pride welled inside of me. I became angry and resentful. And then there was the most shameful of emotions for me as an individual—guilt and failure. I had failed God and this thing called infertility was His way of punishing me for it. Guilty as charged.
I DESERVE THIS.
“I had mistaken God’s preservation for His punishment. I had been tucked away in what felt like isolation, protected by what felt like obscurity, and all the while, my faithful God had been working hard on my behalf.” —Cody Andras (incourage.me)
I convinced myself that because of my past (one I had become very shameful of), God was punishing me, and I deserved every ounce of it. I had dishonored Him and my own body. I was sentenced to a life of barrenness. The punishment was fitting of the crime. I deserved it. End of story.
But this wasn’t the end of my story.
Does God allow consequences for our sins? Absolutely. There will always be consequences to our actions because we live in a fallen world and because we are sinners. But His ways of punishment are far different from what we often envision. He is a merciful and just God. He is our Father in Heaven who, yes, allows consequences, but those consequences are followed by His gentle correction and love. It is just like any other parent/child relationship. We warn our children of consequences, yet we still love them and never turn our backs on them no matter how hard they fall. He gives us grace upon grace just as we do as parents.
The years of unexplained infertility that I mistook for punishment were so far from what God was doing in my life. He was breaking me, redeeming me, and performing a miracle that would come through adoption. It unfolded detail after detail throughout our adoption journey.
As painful as those years were—and even through the myriad of emotions—I could not be more grateful or more in awe of God’s plans for our lives. He restored the brokenness the first time we saw our son’s face. Everything was made clear. Every wrong turn led to the most perfect destination. I am sorry for the wrongs I have made in my life, but God made them all right when He died on the cross, and the moment He blessed us with the most precious gift of parenthood.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” —Romans 6:23
If you are where I once was, don’t buy into Satan’s lies that you deserve this—that you are a shameful human being who is sentenced to a lifetime of guilt and consequence. If you have truly repented, God has already removed that sin from you as far as the east is from the west. He is no longer keeping a record of your wrong. It is forgotten. It was purchased with His blood on the cross. He will do something far greater in you and through you than you could have ever imagined. He is working hard on your behalf. And although it is hard to see it at the moment, He is going to create beauty from your ashes. You will rise and you will have a story to tell.
You are not stuck at the end of your story.