During the months between our full IVF failure and whatever would be coming next, God performed a miracle in my heart. I had been praying for years for a biological child. One because I wanted to experience pregnancy and two because all the members of my husband’s family look exactly alike.
You can stand smack in the middle of a family reunion and pick out every person who married in.
I’ve heard the kids (my father-in-law and his three sisters) tell tales of occasionally meeting someone on the street who would say, “You must be related to _____ (fill in the blank with any family member).”
I wanted our kid to be a part of that.
But sometime during our journey through the Uneasiness, the Unexpected, and the Unknown, I made the decision to believe God had called me to motherhood and so, somehow, I would mother. Biology started to be less important than trusting God to fulfill my calling, until, one day, I didn’t care about it much at all.
Instead, we started praying about embryo adoption (because I was still holding on to actually being pregnant one day). I’d printed all the forms, started filling them out, and kept each precious piece of paper in a folder on the shelf in my closet where I could see it every morning and every night.
Hear my heart when I say, I still desperately hoped our one final round of IVF would be successful, giving us a baby in nine months. I was afraid and joyful and grateful to have the chance to do one more infertility treatment before moving forward.
But through the three years of waiting and failing and more waiting, God had shown me just how good He was, taught me how gratitude changes every.single.thing, and proved He could be trusted to complete His calling on my life.
I learned Jesus was who I wanted most.
Certainly more than a silly, selfish dream of having a biological child who looked just like her Daddy.
Jesus had become my One Thing.
The Unimaginable, Just As He Said…
Our Unimaginable is Sunday on our Grateful Easter journey. It’s the day when everything that was possible in the Unknown happens.
Once again, the women who loved Jesus, they are right there. They arrive at the tomb at dawn Sunday morning, just in time to be the first witnesses to Jesus’ miraculous resurrection.
The earth shook violently so that an angel in God’s army could enter the world, roll the gigantic stone door away from Jesus’ tomb…
…and sit on it.
Anyone else picturing this enormous, glorious, blindingly white, loud as thunder warrior… dangling his legs off the top of that rock???? Like a kid sitting on a dock.
Bless my own heart.
“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” ~Matthew 28:5-6 (NIV) (emphasis mine)
I suspect Mary and Mary were in no way anticipating an earthquake, a heavenly warrior, nor hearing Jesus had risen “just as He said.”
The Unimaginable, The Victory We Need…
Does that kind of thing ever happen to you? The Unexpected has come, you have no idea why or when it will end so all you can do is wait well in your Unknown. And then, the thing you never saw coming finds itself right on your doorstep announcing a victory you never anticipated.
That victory is not always what we want.
I am certain the women would never have picked Jesus dying on the cross as the eternal solution for their sins. Never. They would have wanted Him to stay with them on earth, to be able to learn from Him and worship Him in the flesh for the rest of their days. But that’s not the victory God knew we would need when He created the earth.
Sometimes the victory looks like a worldly loss but it is actually a kingdom gain.
IVF doesn’t work but a child is adopted from foster care. The experimental treatment cures nothing but they are fully healed in their heavenly home. The prison sentence comes but they find their Savior’s redemption behind those walls. The diagnosis feels like a burden at first but becomes the blessing you never expected. The house has to be sold but the new home brings the community you desperately needed.
Earthly loss but kingdom gain.
But then sometimes the victory is the absolute best we could have hoped for, the one miracle we’d been praying for. Bodies cured, marriages restored, finances replaced, babies born, souls redeemed.
Regardless of the form in which our victory arrives, we can stand firm on the promises of Jesus. He promised to never leave us, never forsake us, told us to trust He is preparing a place for us, that when we believe in Him we are His righteousness, and the work is done, It is Finished.
Just as He said.
The Unimaginable, Jesus Met Them…
“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” ~Matthew 28:8 (NIV)
When the Unimaginable happens, we feel the same things the women felt as they ran away from the empty tomb; fear and joy.
This is really happening. The ending has come and it’s either the best thing we could have hoped for or it is the exact thing we were praying against. Regardless, we are filled with fear and joy. What will life look like from now on? How do we learn to live in this new atmosphere, in our unfamiliar circumstances? Where do we find the strength to figure it all out?
“Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said… ~Matthew 28:9 (NIV)
Jesus met them.
Jesus meets us now.
And we have all heard the stories.
The parents who have lost their child, they tell of a peace that passes all understanding. The scans reveal the tumors are shrinking on their own. The job offer came with the exact salary needed to keep their home. The pain ended and he received full healing and freedom in heaven. The last round of IVF they could afford gives them the baby.
Jesus meets us in whatever Unimaginable victory we face.
The Unimaginable, Worship Him…
“…They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.” ~Matthew 28:9 (NIV)
Our response when we realize Jesus has done just what He said He would do and He’s met us exactly where we needed Him to meet us, should be the same as the women who first saw our resurrected Savior…
Go to Him, grab hold of His feet, and worship Him.
Jesus, He is the One Thing we need, in the Uneasiness, the Unexpected, the Unknown, and the Unimaginable.
We can be prepared in our Uneasiness by following Jesus’ example on Thursday.
In our Friday’s, people around us will see Jesus in us as we walk through the Unexpected, giving Him the expected glory as we go.
On Saturday’s, the women who loved Jesus teach us about distance and pondering and doing only what is absolutely necessary before we rest in our Unknown.
And in the Unimaginable Sunday victory, the ending with a Kingdom gain, we go to Jesus, grab His feet, and offer Him our worship of gratitude and release.
Jesus is our One Thing.
This is our last week of A Grateful Easter. This week of reflection is so important. We have much to be grateful for as we walk with Jesus to the Unimaginable victory of His resurrection. Just as He said. Invite Him to meet you and then run to Him, grab His feet, and pour out your worship of gratitude to your Savior. Jesus is our One Thing. Download your A Grateful Easter Study Guide to join us for this last week, the holy week, of our Grateful Easter journey.