“As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”
Last year, at the urging of a couple of dear friends, I made a last minute decision to attend Choose Joy, a Christian conference on infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, fostering, and adoption. Up until that point, when asked how the journey to baby was going, I’d respond, “It’s whatever, I mean, kind of sad, but what can you do?” And I think I believed I was just “whatever” about it all.
Little did I know that going to Choose Joy would release the floodgates of pain and longing and sadness and grief that had been there all along, but for whatever reason I’d become out of touch with, whether they were too painful to engage or whether it was too painful to care.
There are two areas in my life that I’ve been wrestling with waiting, one of them infertility, the other I’ll keep to myself for now. Though very different in nature, the feelings of sadness, bitterness, longing, and frustration with waiting are the same. The shame is the same.
“Is there something wrong with me?”
“Did I do something wrong?”
“Is it because I was selfish and reckless with my body and anorexic for so long that I can’t have a baby?”
“Is it because I wrestled with motherhood for too long?”
“Is God punishing me because I wasn’t sure that I wanted children?”
“Is it because I don’t exercise enough, or eat enough vegetables, or used to drink too much Diet Coke?”
“Is it because I waited until after getting my career in order before trying?”
“Is it my fault?”
“Did I do something wrong?”
And I feel small, like a child who doesn’t understand. I feel vulnerable. I feel shame.
Where, in the world, the first place we go to is to find fault, to figure out who or what is to blame, who did something wrong, what’s wrong with someone, what’s wrong with me (and I do it, all the gosh darn dang time), the tenderness of God and His sweet love for my soul reminded me this past weekend at Choose Joy that, “Oh, sweet child of mine, no! No, you didn’t do anything wrong! No, there isn’t anything wrong with you! No, it’s not your fault! No, this isn’t about your sin or your shame, no, I took care of those already! But do you trust that this all has happened that my glory and my power and my love and my goodness and my redemption can be displayed in your life? Do you trust me, little one?“
Some days, I do, and I rest. Other days, I don’t, and I wrestle. Either way, I am held. So I’m grateful for God’s tenderness and gentle reminders to me yet again as I wrestle, so that I can come to rest.
“No, my sweet. You didn’t do anything wrong. No, my sweet. There’s nothing wrong with you. You just trust in me and wait, it’ll be beyond your wildest dreams.”