A pink spotted giraffe was perched by the door and tiny pink and purple rattles hung on the chairs. Presents piled high and laughter filled the room. The afternoon promised yummy goodies and sweet friends to love on.
Huddled close around the mom-to-be, we marveled at the latest gadgets and the adorable pink dresses. But, with each new package, the discontent in my heart grew louder. It became increasingly harder to fight back the tears. God, why can’t I have a baby now? I’ve waited so long. I can’t possibly wait longer. Tiny little washcloths are passed around and my heart feels bitter.
Watching those mommy tummies swell began to make my heart sick with envy. Life had not gone as I had planned. Heartache and betrayal led to years of fighting God. Years of fighting led to more heartache and…waiting. Lots of waiting. Now I find myself aging with no promise of a baby bump. I can not find joy, my mind is set on what is lacking.
Tangled up in self-pity, I didn’t see that she was making her way to my side of the room. She wrapped her arms around me and whispered a promise in my ear. For what seemed like an eternity, she prayed and wept over me. The lump in my throat grew larger as the guilt of sinfulness crushed my heart. Praying over me was a woman that had walked the wilderness of infertility for TEN years. Month after month, she felt the crushing blow of another negative test. Year after year, the doctors had no answers. Even in vitro had left her barren.
Yet, here I sat, wallowing in the selfishness of discontentment.
“How long have you been trying?” she asked. I wanted to shrink back into my skin. To no avail, I said a quick prayer for the rapture to occur before I would have to answer her question. The look on her face went from concerned to confused as she watched me squirm.
The truth is. I haven’t ever tried to have a baby. I’m just having a pity party because the timing wasn’t right. I was having a pity party because we were still saving up and paying off debt.
Shame consumed me. My grumbling had not only embarrassed me, it hurt my friend. I desperately wanted a change of heart.
Maybe my problems weren’t that big after all. Maybe instead of grumbling over each baby gift passed around the circle I should have been thanking Him for what He HAD provided in my life and the lives of my precious friends.
It’s been over ten years since that day, but I can still see the stretch marks that were left on my life. I can’t help but wish that we could go back there. Back to a place where life’s small problems were wrapped up in not being able to have what I wanted at that very moment or struggling to make it through the night alone when my husband was out of town. A place where, even if I didn’t realize it, life was at a momentary high.
I find myself feeling like an Israelite. Constantly forgetting where I’ve been and what God has done for me.
All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Num. 14:2
Everytime I read that verse I am baffled that the Isrealites were so blind that they would actually ask to go back to slavery, simply because God hadn’t provided the promised land fast enough. I tell myself that I have more sense than that. But history has proven me wrong. I so easily get caught up in my little trials that I completely forget about the ways God has already delivered me. I find myself bitter over the manna, despite it’s miraculous provision.
I find myself desperate to return to the mountaintop.
But life isn’t always lived on the mountaintop. One must also walk through the wilderness. And it is here in that desert that I must make a choice. I could sit here and wallow in the loneliness, complaining about the dust and the manna. Or, I can trust God that this manna is EXACTLY what I need in my moments.
Whether I choose to accept it or not, absolutely everything is in HIS hands.
The truth is, it’s really not that bad. No more pity parties. Just trust. Life is hard, but God is faithful.
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Do you find yourself grumbling? How do you overcome these feelings? How do you remember what God has done in your life?
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