Ben and I have been married for a little over six years now, and we often get the question “When will you have kids?” We actually decided just a few years into our marriage we were ready to have children. It was exciting, and we were optimistic about our future brood. But as the months passed and nothing happened, my hope began to wane. Though it wasn’t our initial plan, we had always wanted to adopt; if kids weren’t happening naturally, we figured we might as well start the adoption process – another hope met with disappointment as we encountered various frustrations and delays.
As we pursued parenthood, the months turned to years. The repetitive tide of disappointment assailing my heart month after month slowly wore away the hope, leaving me with a rotten mess of vicious anger and soul-gripping depression.
I am angry at God about our circumstances. I rail against Him with every fiber of my being for withholding from me what I long for so deeply. I watch as everyone around me blossoms with life again and again, while I grieve the loss of something that has never existed. My marriage groans under the weight of this burden that has beaten and broken us both. My joyful thoughts of children are now marred with anguish and cynicism.
The one resounding question through it all: why would God do this to me? A God who is supposed to love me, who is in control and could give me what I want – why would He withhold a beautiful blessing and allow such pain? In these dark moments, I am forgetting what is true.
And the truth is I am an idolater. I think becoming a mom will fulfill me. It will make me who I was always meant to be, and I will, finally, be happy and content. I will even love God more if He would give me just this one thing. How dare He withhold it from me. But that train of thought is founded on lies – the truth is motherhood is just another idol I have set up in my heart to replace God. It cannot fulfill me.
Thankfully, the Gospel is true as well.
God loves me so much He wants to give me something greater than what I have planned for myself – in fact, He has already given me the greatest blessing, His Son, and works to make me more like Him every day. My primary purpose in life is not to be a mother. It’s to be made more like Christ (1 Thess 4:3). And this is a greater blessing than anything I long for in this world.
Though it is comforting to know God is holy and sovereign, the brokenness of this world still brings great pain as we struggle – to make our bodies work like they are supposed to, to trust God with our lives, to love others that have what we want.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
We may never feel our deep yearnings satisfied or escape the struggle that comes along with them in the night of this fallen world. But we can be comforted knowing that our circumstances are not the result of God being angry with us, punishing us, or maliciously toying with us. If we have faith in Christ, we know that through His work we are God’s children, we have His favor. And along with that, we have assurance that this pain will end one day.
In the morning, things will be made as they were meant to be. In the morning, our sadness will dry up forever and there will be no more despair, doubt, anger, fear, or jealousy. In the morning, we will have complete joy being in perfect communion with our Father – our God, who knows every ounce of our pain, who loves us and sanctifies us through every second of the anger and grief, and who gave so greatly of Himself to rescue us from it.