He shot his arrows deep into my heart. The thought of my suffering and hopelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.
-Lamentations 3:13, 19-22
The memory of hope is as vivid as the memory of pain. What could have made him dare to hope? What could possibly give you the courage and confidence to have hope in the midst of your bitter suffering? Remembering the love of God. Rehearsing His past faithfulness to you. Choosing to think about the sufficiency and eternity of God’s love. It may seem daring to make room in your mind for what you know is true about God, and honestly, it is difficult when it feels as if He has shot His arrows deep into your heart. But the truth of God’s love transforms our thoughts and our feelings when we choose to remember and choose to believe.
Andrew and I have every reason to be hopeful these days: our embryo transfer in October resulted in a pregnancy that has, so far, been complication free. Andrew is doing well in school. We have a family who is incredibly supportive of us in every way possible. Of course we are full of hope.
But the past eighteen months have been some of the hardest of our lives so far. We battled with loneliness and isolation after our move, one unsuccessful infertility treatment after another, and another, and another, and another, Andrew failed a couple of classes in chiropractic school, I unexpectedly lost my job (but quickly found another), and through all of it, we held fast to hope.
Even in the midst of some of the darkest nights, when I would cry myself to sleep, wondering if we would ever have children, and hating my body for what it would not do, I would wake up the next morning with a renewed sense of hope. There were days, weeks, and cycles that gave me absolutely no reason to hope, but between the loss, the agony, the frustration, and the disappointment, there was always hope. When it made no sense to hope, we still did.
Because God has a track record of faithfulness. His timing is not our own; He never seems to be in a hurry. And His ways are not our own either. But His faithfulness has never changed. When it makes no sense to hold onto hope, we have every reason to be hopeful. When our own hopes and dreams for the future are concentrated in HIM, we have every reason to believe, and every reason to cling to Him. Because He alone is our hope. And there is absolutely no greater hope than the hope that is found in Christ Jesus.
This week I’ve talked to ladies who found out they are pregnant after years of infertility. One gal is even having twins! I’ve talked to a woman whose embryo transfer resulted in a pregnancy, which ended, heartbreakingly, in miscarriage. I’ve talked to people whose IVF cycles did not work at all, and I’ve talked to a couple women who are just getting ready to start their stim shots for IVF.
Regardless of our circumstances, we all have reason to hope. And Christ is all the hope we ever need. He is the hope that is steadfast and unchanging, even when our circumstances are so uncertain.