We love stories of hope and triumph.
We love hearing from women who have struggled to have children for years whose prayers are miraculously answered when they find themselves with arms and hearts full to overflowing with bundles of joy.
These stories warm our hearts and renew our hope.
But as much as we love these stories, many of us are experiencing the reality of empty arms and broken hearts because our stories aren’t blessed by the honor of motherhood.
This is my story of hope and triumph in our ongoing battle with infertility.
When we started trying to have children seven years ago, motherhood quickly became my idol.
I wanted nothing more and would settle for nothing less.
Month after month, I waited for God to part the waters of infertility and as months became years, I began to question my faith and God’s faithfulness.
During this time, I read the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3.
If you haven’t studied this scripture before, it’s a beautiful testimony of faith and God’s faithfulness.
Here’s the short version.
Around 600 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah and took many Jewish people captive to Babylon. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were Jewish youths who had been taken captive, educated by Babylonian standards, and were then given high positions in the king’s government.
During this time, King Nebuchadnezzar built a golden idol of himself and commanded all of Babylon to worship this statue. He decreed whomever refused would be thrown into a blazing furnace.
Because of their commitment to worship the One True God, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image.
The king was furious and reminded them they would be thrown into the fiery furnace because of their refusal.
Their response to him challenges me each time I read it:
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18 (emphasis mine)
As I read this scripture, I was deeply convicted that my faith in God had become contingent upon His answering my prayers in the exact way I wanted. I made God into nothing more than a genie in a bottle whose job was to make my wish His command.
I searched my heart and found myself seeking after my desires more than I was seeking after God’s heart.
I found my dream of being a mother had taken over my life.
And I was miserable.
By hinging my happiness upon motherhood, I had stolen my own joy.
This biblical account of three men who stood before a king and a world who demanded their worship, but chose to worship instead their God to whom they had already surrendered, challenged me to do the same.
To surrender my whole heart to my God whose plans are to give me a future and a hope. My God who uses all things for good for those who love Him.
With trepidation, I surrendered my idol.
In my obedience, I found hope.
Hope in God’s promises to prosper and not to harm and His unfailing Love.
This hope reignited the fire in my soul to love the Lord my God with all of my heart, soul and strength.
I don’t want to desire anything more than I desire God’s presence in my life.
Because the kind of faith I want to live out is the EVEN IF HE DOES NOT kind of faith.
Friends, I don’t know what your struggle is today.
But if you’re like me and you’ve wanted something so badly you’ve allowed it to become your idol, may I challenge you to lay it down?
Because y’all, the God we serve can be trusted with our dreams.
He can take the ashes of our brokenness and make them beautiful.
Because He is God, and He is good, and perfect and true.