It’s The Time To Press In
by Amanda Hogue
It was two years of struggling with infertility before we started the process of adoption, which took another year and a half before we brought home our daughter. I remember the unbearably long nights of writing our home study, designing a profile book, and wondering if our turn would ever come. During those long nights, I wondered if God had forgotten about us. Our prayers fell flat and seemed like there would never be an answer. This waiting felt like we were living in a wasteland, touring the desert for no reason.
Since then we’ve come to realize that our struggle with infertility was not a wrench in God’s plans, but a vessel to show His glory (Gloria Furman, p.53). Our inability to conceive opened doors to see God’s ability to provide, in so many ways besides financial. The vacuum in our home opened doors to bring two gorgeous babies into our family through the gift of adoption.
Our biggest and most heartfelt prayers were also the answer to the prayers of an expectant mama on the other side of the country. And the craziest thing is that we could have missed this if we weren’t willing to hear from God about his plan for his family.
Maybe this time spent in the wilderness wasn't wasted. Discussing difficulties brings this iconic verse to mind:
My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. (James 1:2-4 The Passion Translation)
The time spent in the wasteland can be used to dig trenches, to spend more time in prayer, weeping on your knees with worship music playing (my quiet time is early so it’s in my earbuds), pouring your heart out to him. If you’re feeling dry, have faith; it’s the dry kindling that burns. The dark and dry seasons are exactly what the Holy Spirit is looking for to ignite a fresh fire! When the trenches are dug deep, when God shows up with his rains, the trenches will catch and hold those blessings.
It’s hard to lean into God when things get tough. If you’re like me, I’d rather binge Netflix and eat junk food. The victim playlist starts in my mind and I’d rather numb it out, cry and head to bed than seek time with Him. It’s frustrating when things get hard, again. But I love this wisdom,
“Trials and tests are gifts? Yes. If we run away from our struggles or choose to numb the pain instead of feeling it, we’re not letting the pressure of the test do it’s beautifying work in our lives” (Jennie Lusko, p. 184).
Here’s the thing, this loss happened. You’re in a waiting season. It’s ugly and painful. Don’t waste it. Allow the pressure to make us more like Him, conforming to his image (see Romans 8:29-30 The Message).
When God is silent when we’re walking in a season of dryness, it’s not the time to give up, it’s the time to press in. A season of dryness doesn’t make his promises any less true and if you’re struggling to believe them, write them out and leave them on notes around your house, as the wallpaper on your phone, and meditate on his truths. It’s an act of faith to keep believing his promises in the silence, but those seeds of faith will allow us to thrive in the midst of pain and loss.