We sung this song at church a few weeks ago and the lyrics were still as powerful as the time I first heard it. Yet, it was so interesting to see how God can take a song we have heard time and time again, and breathe fresh life into it. Let me explain:
While we were knee-deep in our battle with infertility, the phrases that stuck out to me were these:
- From this darkness, you will lead us: Waiting seasons feel so dark. They surround you. They feel like they will never break, like the light will never come in. Because you are waiting, you don’t know what the future holds. You can’t see ahead – what will the next 6 months look like? Wait, 6 months? I mean 6 weeks…6 days … 6 hours … The lack of vision of what’s ahead is blindingly dark. And so because of that darkness, the promise of God leading us is so encouraging. The prayers laced into this became “Lord, lead us.”
- Our provision through the desert: Waiting seasons feel like one big desert. You are thirsty for answers, you are uncomfortable, you are aching and you feel like you just keep roaming. When will the break come? Will there be shade or water ahead? Will the desert ever make way to a place of rest, relaxation? Or are we destined to just keep wandering around aimlessly forever? Yet, as we wonder, He is our provision. He provides our hearts with peace, our aching bodies with rest, our wandering minds with His Word, filled with words of reassurance that we aren’t alone.
- In the silence, in the waiting, still we can know you are good: Waiting seasons can feel like silent seasons. Sometimes, they are truly silent. And other times God is speaking to us, but it’s not what we want to hear, so we assume there is silence. All we want is direction, but sometimes it doesn’t come. Not on our timetables anyways. Where are my answers to prayers God? Where are we supposed to go next? But even when our heads scream “there’s no direction!”, His word reminds us of who God is. He is good. He has NEVER let His people down. He is not going to start with you. What does that mean? It means we can trust Him.
These lines brought my heart hope, comfort, and reassurance. The feelings I was experiencing – darkness, desert-like confusion, silence – they were normal. I wasn’t a “bad” Christian because I had these questions. And it reminded me to go back to the truth of who God is. Our feelings can’t be trusted simply because we are human and He is God.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)
Now, as I sat back and listened to it again, feeling the little thumping legs of our baby girl and boy inside me, new phrases popped out and caused my heart to sigh in His goodness. Words like:
- The Lord our God is ever faithful: the word faithful means loyal, continual, long-dedicated, firm and not changing. The God who stood with me in the hardest days of my life is the same God who is standing with me on this side. He brings the same peace, hope, comfort, and goodness as He did when my heart ached. He did not give up on me, even when my anger and frustration seemed toxic. And because of His faithfulness, we got to experience a miracle with Him by our sides.
- Promise maker, promise keeper, You finish what You begin … You see it through ‘til the end: Years and years ago, He started a fire in us to become parents and by continual prayer, we asked Him to either change our hearts, close doors, or allow the promise that we would become parents to grow and continue. And when our hearts didn’t change, we took His promise at face value and believed that one day, He would bring His stirrings into fruition. 9 years was a long time to wait on a promise. I felt silly at times, like others were talking behind my back about that naive girl who still believed her God would come through. And yet, here we are – 9 years later – experiencing the fulfillment of the promise that we would become parents. He truly does see His promises through to the end. We just have to be faithful in the waiting and believe that His timing is better than ours. (Hard stuff!)
- All Your plans are for Your glory: When things go “easy”, and there is no hardship, it’s so easy for our human minds to assume it was coincidence, or chance, or just what was supposed to happen. Yet, when there are obstacles to overcome, significant obstacles, obstacles so great that no one really believes it will ever happen, and then it DOES, well, what a beautiful platform to show the Lord’s hand at work! To know that our miracle has brought Him praise, fills my heart SO much and makes every single day in our 9 year wait worth it. My prayer has always been Psalm 115:1 – “Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” and I believe that He answered both our prayers for a family and our prayers for His name to be glorified with these two miracles.
Here’s the point – and it’s not to say in a belittling way “just wait till you get to the other side and then you will understand …”, because man, there are still days I wonder if He could have taken a shortcut and had the same results – no, the point is that God will always meet you and encourage you where you are at. If for you right now, it’s the silence, the waiting, the darkness and the desert – He is right beside you. He is walking WITH you. He is waiting WITH you. He is weeping WITH you. He is urging you to allow Him to be your provision, your leader and to believe He is good. He is asking you to turn your eyes and heart to Him daily and to trust that He is still in this waiting season of yours. WHATEVER the waiting season is.
Perhaps today you want a child so bad your heart breaks. Or perhaps you wonder when you will ever get to a place of thriving with your household finances. Maybe you desire for the city you live in to feel like home, or the homesickness to go away, or to find a friend who truly just gets you. Perhaps you wonder if you will ever regain a healthy weight or lifestyle, or meet a spouse, or be freed from the work stresses that plague you every single day. Or maybe, you just want to be freed from the NICU life, to be able to hold your child without fear of the wires getting in the way or perhaps you are wondering if you will ever sleep through the night again, if the crying will end, if the colic will subside. Or it could be the wondering if your daughter, the one you loved and raised, who turned her back on your family in devastating way, will ever come home again. Regardless of your waiting season, your desert, He is there. He’ll see it through to the end. Don’t believe your current state is your ending until He says it is.
Or perhaps you are on the other side of a painful waiting season, and you can now see how God’s fingerprints were all over your story the whole time. You have experienced His faithfulness, you have seen Him glorified, you have felt the richness of answered prayers. You, friend, have a beautiful platform to share your experience. Allow Him to use you and your story for GOOD. Don’t turn your back on the experiences that brought you here. Turn back and reach out a hand to someone still struggling and let them know they are not alone. Use this time to pen out notes to your future self, who will inevitably go through another waiting season, with your exact feelings and emotions right now. Allow God to work with your future self!
Don’t give up hope. Keep trusting the One who has been faithful through all the ages. He loves you so much.