“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5 NIV).
Friend to Friend
My son, Steven, and I sat on the floor in his room playing a card game. This summer was proving to be the best ever. Our golden retriever, Ginger, had just delivered seven adorable puppies, Steven was enjoying his sixth summer of life, and after four years of negative pregnancy tests, God had surprised us with a new life growing inside my womb.
But as Steven and I sat cross-legged on the carpet, I felt a warm, sticky sensation run down my leg. A trip to the bathroom confirmed my greatest fears. Later that afternoon, the doctor voiced the weighty words, “There is no heartbeat.”
What do you do when heartbreak slams into joy? When your soul cracks open and there just aren’t enough tears? When hurt steals your hope and you want to give up on life? When deep soul lesions make a mockery of your faith?
I wish I could tell you I left the doctor’s office quoting Romans 8:28 about how “all things work together for good” (ESV). I wish I could tell you that I calmly accepted the loss of my baby with faith, trusting that even this was somehow part of God’s plan. I wish I could tell you I spent the rest of the day singing “It Is Well with My Soul.” But I didn’t do any of those things.
I went home, crawled in bed, and pulled the covers up over my empty womb and broken heart. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, especially God. And what I did say to him wasn’t very nice.
How could You do this to me? If this is how You treat those You love, then just forget it! You answered my prayer only to take it back! Why me? Why this? Why now?
Job was a man in the Bible who also had a lot of questions for God. In one day, his enemies killed all but a handful of his servants and stole all eleven thousand heads of livestock.
Then a strong wind collapsed his son’s house and killed all ten of Job’s children. We read the story of Job already knowing how it is going to end—the Lord not only restored what Job had lost, but “gave him twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10 NIV).
But can you imagine what it was like to live through it in real time? Job was stuck in a bad story and he saw no end in sight. He had no idea why it was happening. He didn’t know God would give him twice as much as he had before. All he knew was loss, disappointment, and pain. That might be where you are right now, stuck in a story you don’t like. But hang on, God’s pen has not slipped. He’s still in control. There’s more to come.
My favorite line in Job’s story comes at the very end. Job says to God, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5 ESV). That is my prayer in every difficult circumstance of life. I don’t want to simply hear about God; I want to see God and have communion with Him in the midst of it.
Sometimes we have to let go of our plans to take hold of God’s purpose…and it’s always good. A houseful of children was not how my chapter of infertility and the loss of a child ended, but I can still say it had a good ending. God has made me fertile in so many other areas, and I wouldn’t change a thing. And when women come to me trying to make sense of the disappointments in their lives, I can say, “Come, sit with me. Let me tell you a story.”
And I know He can do that for you.
Lord, there are some parts of my story that still ache, and perhaps that ache will never go completely away. However, I know that You can use every tear to water the seeds of hope in someone else’s life. I release my pain to You, and I wait open handed for Your purpose on how to use my story to help someone else.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What is one difficult chapter in your life that you feel God is calling you to share with others?
Leave a comment and let’s chat.
More From the Girlfriends
Many of us have heartache in our lives. Our mistakes, the pain others have caused us, and circumstances outside our control taunt us every day, though we long to turn a new page. When You Don’t Like Your Story challenges us to ask: What if God doesn’t want us to rip out of difficult stories but repurpose them for good?
What has been done to you and what has been done through you doesn’t disqualify you from God’s best for your life. It qualifies you for an even greater purpose than you would have ever known without it. So sink deep into God’s life-changing truths. The next chapter is just beginning. Includes an in-depth Bible study for individuals and groups.
© 2021 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
God definitely restored me after my husband’s death. I am happy to share this with other widows.
I struggled with the lost of my daughter for quite some time. I think that part of my life I will never quite understand, however I know God brought me out and gives me opportunities everyday to share, comfort & counsel others. I held on & still hold on to the scripture Deuteronomy 29:29–“The secret things belong to God…..” I don’t worry so much about what I don’t understand, but I trust God with HIS secret
I went through terrible postpartum depression. God brought a Godly woman and mentor into my life during that dark time. She was a tremendous help to me. I think my story might help others.
I have a lot to share i was a widow at 36 years old with a 10 month old son and a 4 and 6 year old i did not want to live.
I did want to live.But God
I had breast cancer 5 years later, my oldest child was diagnosed with mental illness i am dealing with that.
God had brought me a mighty long way i give him all the honor and praise for keeping me.
All things work together for good to them that love God,to them who are called according to his his purpose Romans 8.28
I have a lot of pity parties this scrptures among others help me as well.
Sorry to hear of your loss and struggle. You have to be close to God to get angry with Him, at times. Purpose and hope and faith and love can drive us.
At 14, I had spent a year praying for my mom’s recovery from schizophrenia. She went into the hospital for two months, still unmedicated, and after a month home she died. She walked outside one night and was hit by a drunk driver. My faith was shattered for a long time, waivered throughout my life.
As an adult I had my own struggles with varying degrees of physical and mental health issues. I still earned my bachelor’s degree, and later a master’s degree, and many successes and accomplisents both in school an work. At 31, I was driving and hit from behind by another car. It was the final straw at the time. I had to leave my job and move from Massachusetts back to TN to be close to family. I have had a decade mixed with crisis, losses, trauma, severe mental illness. I lost all my possessions, I temporarily separated from all family, as well as deaths of loved ones. My education that I sacrificed and fought for, being one thing no one could take, was stripped from me. I’ve had cognitive and memory issues.
Admidst many hard periods there were still miracles, blessings, and people who came into my life to help support and uplift me. I’ve had more stability again for 4yrs now, including housing, employment, medication, relearning, and reconnecting with several family members over the last few years. Still a work in progress. I may never have children of my own now, something I feared after my divorce at 27.
I believe there’s still more to come. It’s just already been such a long road, full of hardship and severe mental illness despite medications.
Part of 2 chapters in my life.
That is such a great verse to hold on to.
I’m sure it would.
I know they feel comfort in talking to someone who’s been there too.
I lost my 19 year old daughter 19 years ago this month. I wish I could say I feel God’s mercy and compassion, but I can’t. As for the story of Job, well, to be honest, I don’t like the story. I understand God had his reasons and so many people say that in the end God gave Job twice what he had. But does giving Job twice what he had make up for everything? Of course material possessions can be replaced, but what about the 10 children that died? I can’t see where they could be replaced. A child is not a material possession of riches or land. I DO NOT understand the book of Job.
I was in an abusive marriage for 4 years.
Praying for restoration and healing of your heart, Brenda.
Pamela, I have wondered the same thing too!
Kristie. Thank you. I’m glad I’m not alone in my thinking. I don’t want to come across as bitter, but I just don’t understand The Book of Job and I hope I don’t anger God by asking questions. I understand Job was a GREAT man who loved God with all of his being. Job never cursed God’s name or turned away from him, which is what Satan wanted. But God knew that Job loved him so I question as to why God tested Job at all. Yes, I know the test was Satan’s idea but God accepted the challenge with the exception that Job was not to lose his life. Job went through unspeakable pain because Satan and God were testing him. In the end God gave Job twice of what he lost and God is good. But those 10 children of Job’s that lost their life…..I guess that is what bothers me about the story.
I suppose there will be some things in the Bible that we are not meant to fully comprehend. I just have to have faith that God will give me wisdom and strength concerning these matters. Nice chatting with you! May God bless you.