Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. — 1 Peter 1:13
We’ve both mentioned in previous posts about facing infertility. Those were truly some of the hardest days of our lives. We spent countless nights holding each other in the dark as we cried silently, feeling our dreams of a family slipping farther and farther from our grasp.
During that time in our lives, “The Anchor Holds” was an extremely popular song. Scott sang it often in church services, revivals, and funerals. The second verse was like a knife to his soul and mine every time he voiced it,
I’ve had visions
I’ve had dreams
I’ve even held them in my hand
But I never knew
They would slip right through
Like they were only grains of sand
I doubt anyone else ever realized how much sorrow singing those words brought to him. I’ve no doubt it they did, the song would not have been requested nearly as often as it was. But every time he sang about dreams slipping through, the images we had of children flashed through our minds. And it ached.
In my sorrow, I clung to verses like Jeremiah 29:11 with God’s promise of a plan that was good. I hadn’t studied that chapter then and didn’t realize those words came following the revelation of 70 years of captivity. If I had, I might not have been so quick to wrap myself up in them. But now, I love that verse even more.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. — Jeremiah 29:11
Those years of negative pregnancy tests and discouraging doctor appointments and dreams that might never come true, while not the same as the Israelite’s captivity in Babylon, were my own season of testing. It was during those sleepless nights when I learned what true hope is. It was during the baby showers for my friends when I learned what true grace is. It was during the minutes of holding other people’s babies that I learned how good God is.
As is usually the case, Scott and I processed our grief differently. But in the end, we grabbed hold of two things:
Hope in God and the hands of each other.
We know God has placed that desire for a family deep inside us. And we resolved to become parents, even if it meant we were like Paul to Timothy — spiritual parents to the students in his youth ministry. We chose to believe God is good and His plan is good. We chose to give Him glory no matter what. We chose hope — the confident expectation that God will do what He says.
It wasn’t easy. We still cried a lot of tears. We still ached for the baby we longed to have. We still mourned the children we might never hold. But we chose hope.
We had to.
We grabbed hold of hope and each other and we walked forward in faith, knowing the grace of God.
Maybe you are facing a difficult season. Maybe your life feels hopeless. Maybe the dreams you had are slipping away. We want you to know we understand. We’ve been there. We’ve been mad at God. We’ve been hurt and felt forsaken. We’ve wondered if He even cared.
But we also have found His love to be greater than our doubts. We’ve found His grace bigger than our anger. We’ve found hope in Him, even in the darkest days. When we cried over our desire for a baby, He was there. When Scott’s dad died and we felt lost, He was there. When Scott was sick and on life support, He was there. When I had a heart attack and our world was shaken, He was there. When our families have faced heartache, He was there. When our church has been a mess, He was there. When we didn’t know what to do, He was there. When we messed up, He was there. When we welcomed Casiday Hope into our family, He was there.
One of my favorite songs from the past few years is “Never Once” by Matt Redman. The chorus simply says,
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful.
He has been faithful to us. And we have set our eyes on Him. We have placed our hope in Him. And we invite you to do the same.
~ Teri Lynne
Jesus, thank You for being our hope. Thank You for being faithful to us. Thank You that even in the darkest seasons of life, even when we couldn’t see it, even when we were hurt and angry and hopeless, You were there. May we never cease to put our hope in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.#MarriagePrayers: May we never cease to put our hope in You. (1 Peter 1:13) Click To Tweet
Thank you for joining us for #MarriagePrayers: 31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage. Scott and I will be sharing a new verse and prayer every day throughout May, leading up to our 20th anniversary on June 1. You can find every day’s post indexed here. We pray you will be encouraged and challenged as you pray God’s Word for your marriage.