Hitting Rock Bottom

My friend emailed me yesterday saying he is shocked by how abandoned he feels as he makes his way through infertility (and a host of other challenges).

He and his wife are struggling through a time that seems so dark and lonely, it is hard for them to remember what joy feels like.  Or rest.  Or peace.  Or comfort.  They are trying to keep their heads above water while drowning in despair.  For him, coping has become a battle between sarcasm and detachment.  For her, it is body surfing a tidal wave of grief.

He left me a voicemail later in the day saying he’s tired of being told to trust God.  The implication was, he no longer does.

What can I offer couples whose infertility – especially when compounded by other hardships – makes them feel helpless and hopeless?  What can I say to someone who is tired of hearing that God cares?

Nothing.

When someone hits the wall like this and falls in a heap on the ground, it’s not time to talk.  It’s time to listen.  It’s time to sit quietly, patiently, compassionately — and offer comfort simply by acknowledging their suffering and choosing to remain with them in it.

It is a very hard place to be:  feeling angry at God and invisible to Him.  Massively resentful and utterly ignored.  A psychological death spiral can begin when these feelings become confused with the Truth.

Despite how it feels, the truth is God has not turned His back on my friends’ struggles or hardened His heart to their pleas.  In fact, as a loving Father, it breaks His heart to watch them suffer.  But, He knows what they don’t see and can’t imagine:  this is for a purpose, and it shall pass.  The journey isn’t over and this is not the end of their story.

Despite what they feel, He will not give them more burden than they can bear.  He’s promised.  And He’s also promised, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”  His character will not let Him be other than who He is: a covenant-maker and a promise-keeper.

So, no matter how dark, how lonely, how angry, how bitter, how devastated, or how hopeless they feel, He has promised He will never leave them.  They can reject Him, but He will not abandon them.  No matter what they say in frustration, or what they do in despair, He promises, “I am with you always.”

My own journey is testimony to His faithfulness — as are the journeys of so many couples I’ve taught, met with, comforted and encouraged.  We are all witnesses to the truth that God is faithful, and He is with them.  One day, they will be witnesses, too.

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For more inspiration, resources and cause for hope, click this link

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