When You Feel Like Saying “When” – He Has Dealt Bountifully With Me

I didn’t know it, but it was the beginning of labor pains.


                           …and spiritually.

It was my husband’s 27th birthday, and we’d made plans to celebrate as a family. We didn’t get to. I hadn’t been feeling well that day. Well into my first trimester with our third baby, I began to ache and cramp. and bleed. A call to the doctor confirmed our suspicion – the baby was probably gone. The next morning, before I could make it to the hospital, my body passed my sweet baby and we said goodbye to our very tiny (but perfectly formed, fearfully & wonderfully made!) little one.

I’d been following Jesus for seven years at that time, but my faith had not yet been tested by something so raw and heart wrenching. Up to that point, my faith was based not on God’s goodness in all circumstances, but on all the blessings He’d afforded me.

For the next few weeks, hours were spent on my knees, closed away in our bedroom. Desperately crying out to the Lord. Searching the Psalms and trying to make sense of what happened. This became the Psalm I read out loud and praying through often:

{Psalm 13}
How long, O Lord?Will You forget me forever?How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?Consider and hear me, O Lord my God;enlighten my eyes,lest I sleep the sleep of death;lest my enemy say,“I have prevailed against him”;lest those who trouble merejoice when I am moved…

I could not have known it at the time, but the loss of our little one was only the beginning of travail and trial – the labor pains of Christ being formed in me through suffering. It has been five years since the miscarriage, and circumstances have remained difficult while God has remained steadfast and sovereign.

My husband’s business closed. We watched as his dream job that he worked and prayed so hard for just disintegrated. 
My oldest daughter needed major surgery, and has not healed as the doctors hope she would. and at this juncture, they’re not confident that she will.
Our marriage of almost ten years is brittle. A while ago, we needed a break and Will went to stay with family in another state. Since he’s been back, we have been trying to make it work, but it takes time and supernatural grace to undo almost a decade of mistakes, sinful attitudes, and bitter hurt, on both parts.
Our finances have been in shambles at best, non-existent at worst.

I absolutely believe that if we’d not gone through the agony of losing our baby, my heart would not have been prepared for the years and hurts that have come since. The Lord knew that my heart needed to see that He is the God who goes before, with, beside, and after me in suffering as He shows me how to be more like Jesus.

The pain of saying good-bye to our baby was more than my heart could handle. Yes! I will say that again:

God gives me more than I can handle. All of the time.

…because then and only then do I realize that my strength cannot come from within, only from the bottomless well of His grace and tenderest mercy. 

In those aching, at-the-end-of-myself moments, I had a sweet communion with God that I’d not had before. I’d never know the depths of His love like I did in the weeks and months afterward – displayed through His Word, through Will, through the girls, through our families, friends, and church community just showering us with prayer and kindness.

…it’s the same depth of love that I plumbed when I heard

“She’s not healing the way we thought she would. We’re sorry, Mrs. Hunter.”
“The worst case scenario in our marriage is not that I leave. The worst case is that I stay and we are miserable.”
“Your bills have gone to collection because you have failed to pay.”
“Mommy, what are we having for lunch? There’s nothing in the cupboard to eat.”
…and so many other times in between when the load was too heavy to bear.

But, hope of hopes!, Christ comes alongside and in compassion picks up all of my burdens, heaves them onto His own able shoulders, and bids me to just walk with Him. He reassures me that no matter what happens in my life, He will use it all to make much of Him as He grows me in His grace & knowledge.

That even if I fail and make a mess of it all a million times, He is faithful.

That He can take all of the hurts and create something eternally beautiful.

That He owes me nothing, but that He is always faithful to His promises and that everything He does, He does in a way that ‘deals bountifully’ with me.

I tend to forget often just how good and gracious the Lord is toward me – even when I perceive that everything about my life is just coming unhinged. When I read His Word, I am reminded that everything that happens to me is not by chance; it is orchestrated by a merciful and compassionate Father who is drawing others to Himself through my testimony and He is conforming me to the image of Jesus. And that means whatever happens, even when it seems too painful, is God dealing with me not just kindly, but bountifully. 

The last verses of Psalm 13 have become the refrain of my heart these last few years. When I began to feel pity or bitterness rise up in my heart, I sing this to remind myself:

Whatever you have been through or are going through, you can choose to take deep comfort in the truth that no hurt is wasted in God’s economy. He can and will take all of the circumstances that are too much for your heart and use them for good – and trust Him that He is, even when you can’t see it.

Joseph said to [his brothers], “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” {Genesis 50:19-20}

Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only does wondrous things!

And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.

Amen and amen. {Psalm 72:18-19}

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

{Romans 8:28-29}

He has dealt bountifully with me,
for His glory!

Lisha has been married to Will for almost 10 years and has been a mom for almost 8 years to four children: three precious daughters here and a little one in Heaven! She blogs over at the ‘Blish, hoping to lift high the name and grace of Jesus while encouraging others as she embraces her roles as wife, mom, homemaker, homeschooler, & redeemed and beloved daughter of the King. 

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