Something we greatly struggled with in our walk through infertility was the feeling that the trial kept pushing on past these sort of “lines” that we prayed diligently not to cross. You may have similar lines in the potential timeline ahead of you that, when you think of them, send your heart into a panic and send you to your knees begging not to get there.
To be candid, some of the big “lines” for us were:
-getting to a year of trying to conceive and having to do tests
-having to do treatments
-a big one for me was having to give myself shots; it was just an unbearable thought
-treatments that failed
-having to return overseas still childless after a hiatus and go back to life and work without a baby
Spoiler alert: we walked right through every one of these lines, and every one of them felt more painful than the one before. There were several other small “cringe” milestones, but these were the big ones we prayed about over and over. It was hard for us to understand why God would make us go through these things when we so desperately asked Him not to.
Midway through the above bullet points we happened to go to some counseling as a way to debrief and pre-brief (is that a thing?) our coming stint back overseas. There actually wasn’t much on our agenda to discuss; it was just something we decided to do to strengthen ourselves for our coming return to a rather stressful lifestyle.
Anyway, it was during one of these counseling sessions that we had an “a-ha moment” (to go all Oprah on you) that altered the rest of the course of our trial.
We were sharing about the struggle of having to cross each of these “lines” – one of us was openly sharing our hearts, and said something like this: “We totally trust the Lord in this situation and have a lot of peace. We feel we’ve totally given it to Him. I guess the hardest thing for us is that we feel there are these lines that we have in our hearts that we just beg Him to spare us from, and so far He hasn’t.”
After elaborating more on this pain, our counselor said the most obvious thing:
“It sounds to me like you haven’t fully surrendered.”
We were taken aback at first. Are you kidding, lady? Of course we’ve surrendered! We’d already been going through this for a very long time. We were long past handing it over to the Lord.
But the more we discussed it, the more we realized she was right. In holding onto to these “anything-but-that” points of prayer, we were holding back some trust in God. And the worst thing was, it was kind of killing us. We were denying ourselves the full peace we desired in this valley of pain, because we kept holding on to these things we just “couldn’t” do.
Perhaps this can be a challenge to you now to take those “Please, Lord, just don’t make us ______________” lines and finally erase them. I can personally testify to the freedom and peace you are likely forfeiting by gripping on to your lines.