To all who are struggling with infertility,
I thought about you as I hiked up Humility Hill today. That may sound strange, but it’s true. As I climbed, I realized that sharing this story might prevent you from making the same mistake I did. So, here goes….
Two years ago, there was something I desperately wanted. It wasn’t material “stuff,” it was a blessing – and one I was convinced was absolutely essential to the future I envisioned. I’d done what I could to influence events in my favor, but the outcome was completely out of my hands. So, I turned my attention to God and began to pray like crazy.
I would set off on long walks and pray about all the ways that saying “yes” to my desire would be wise on God’s part. Like a persistent salesman, I showed up at every turn, relentlessly doing my best to show God the wisdom of agreeing with my extensive research, my wise judgment, my logic and reason. I wanted Him to realize He didn’t need to think this through – because I already had!
All the traits and skills that had made me a successful advertising executive were brought to bear: positioning, strategic thinking, timing the pitch, compelling arguments, downside risk assessment. You name it, I covered it. My prayers were 100% transmission, 0% reception because there was only one thing I wanted to hear from God. YES. Until I heard it, I’d keep at it.
So, did I convince Him?
That’s why I call it Humility Hill.
I was hiking up the hill one day on one of my long walks, giving God an earful, when I reached my conclusion: “… and that’s why I want you to do what I will.” Those were the words my mind prayed – and they froze me on the spot. I have no idea what really happened, but it seemed as if I turned to stone the minute I heard myself say, “…do what I will.” It was if I’d said, “Obey me, God.” I realized, that’s what I was really praying. I was telling the God of the universe: do what I say. My will, not Thine.
That realization left me breathless. I don’t know how long I stood there, not breathing. Not thinking. Not moving. Just staring my hubris in the face. I had spent months pestering God to bend to my will. Begging Him, pleading with Him, browbeating and reasoning with Him. I was horrified… and very ashamed. I stood atop the hill for a long time, having no idea what to say or do. I wanted to look away from the truth, but I couldn’t. Then, I realized there was only one thing to say… the words of Jesus: “Not my will, but thine.”
In that moment, I let go. I released my grip on the circumstances I desperately wanted to control. God had shown me my arrogant self-absorption, and I chose to face it. To humble myself and change it. I chose – in that moment – to give up the fight for control.
A few months later, I got my answer. It was as close to “yes” as it could be, but still be “no.” It seemed clear that God was saying, “I want you to know I heard you – but I have a better plan.” Not long afterwards, that better plan manifested itself. It was, and continues to be, so much better than what I prayed for.
Because of that experience, I’ve learned to pray for God’s best in every situation. I don’t try to tell Him what that is; He already knows. And I’ve realized, I don’t always. The Bible says He “withholds no good thing,” and I’ve come to believe it’s true for those who trust and honor Him. As a result, I find myself at peace – even in the midst of uncertainty.
If you’re ready to take God at His word, stop praying for your will to be done. Instead, pray for His best – and then, watch Him delight in giving you more than you imagined possible.
For more resources and cause for hope, visit PregnantWithHope.com