Periodically, someone asks me if there is a single Bible verse that gives hope when nothing else can. For me, there is. I clung to it through what seemed like something out of the book of Job:
In the span of a few years, my parents died tragically young. I miscarried twins – one at a time. We moved cross-country for a demanding residency. We learned our baby had a “biggest ever seen” hole in her heart. Failure to thrive required open heart surgery. And then, it got really bad. A fragile pregnancy, a miscarried twin, five months of bedrest, a premature birth, a life-or-death crisis in the delivery room. Then a cancer diagnosis, chemo with a newborn…. And, so… much… more.
It was relentless.
Wave after wave engulfed us. We were constantly in survival mode. Crisis was our “normal.” Surely, no one would’ve chosen to live our story. And yet… our marriage grew stronger. Our daughter survived open heart surgery. Our premature baby thrived. The cancer was misdiagnosed.
Every time we felt our heads going under water, we found our feet under us. Whenever we felt we couldn’t go on any longer, we’d get a moment of unexpected rest. God was keeping His promise, “Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. Don’t be intimidated; I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my victorious right hand” [Isaiah 41:10].
So is that verse from Isaiah my favorite? No, because God gave us more than just the strength to withstand. He transformed our struggles into these valuable lessons:
1) Take nothing for granted – Not life, not health, not prosperity or safety. Not a baby’s heart beat, or a family’s support. It’s all a gift. We realized we are not entitled to joy, and it is never guaranteed. So when those amazing moments come, we should pause and give God our thanks.
2) Value each other’s contributions – Neither of us could have survived the onslaught of stress and grief alone. We needed each other’s love, humor, grace, and tears. Every trial strengthened our commitment to protecting our relationship at all costs. That forged a solid foundation for our family.
3) Learn to trust God’s plan and purpose – We would never have written our script; we would have made everything come easily. But in hindsight, we see that the struggle made us stronger – our faith, our marriage, our passion for parenting, our sense of purpose. Everything is more focused, concentrated, purposeful. It has surprised us… but not God.
So, given all that, this is my favorite verse: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” [Romans 8:28]. Our journey gave us the proof. We now know the power of this promise, and the peace that comes from claiming it in the midst of any circumstances.
Don’t be afraid of the hard road. It leads you to God’s very best.
Find many more resources & cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com