To The Hungry Soul, Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet

There’s something safe about having a blog that you know no one is going to read for at least a while (or maybe never). Maybe it’s more like a journal. Regardless, this process seems monumental enough in our lives that I want it recorded.

Riding the range of my emotions with our struggles with infertility and our growing hope and desire to open our home to two Ethiopian children is like being an adolescent all over again. I find myself giddy and waking up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, as I dream about housing these orphans I’ve read so much about. This, then followed by a day where I have an emotional breakdown because our computer technician is a few hours behind on installing my new email account. “I’ve had enough of the waiting!” I explain to Nate when he asks why the big deal about my email. He is a patient man.

The overwhelming piece in all of this is what God is doing in my heart. Two weeks ago I read this verse that I think sums up what I’m feeling:

“The satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” Proverbs 27:7

This thing that feels like our Achilles heal – our struggles with infertility – has actually been the avenue by which God is meeting me and speaking to me most. At the moments where I wonder if I can peel myself off the floor, I am so saddened by our lack … God is more real than He’s ever been.

I continue to see the game of chutes and ladders in my head as I pray. I find myself thinking “what the heck did I do to land on this stupid square that took me down a slide and landed me well-behind where I should be at this stage in life?”

My heart that wants to lean toward bitterness begins moaning out .. “not another set-back” as I am quick to remember being the newlywed wondering if marriage really would ever be good. (Thankfully I can say now that it is GOOD.) Then, God invites. He says to me “climb up here, there’s a ladder just one square away.” And I find Him. In a deeper and more real way than I have before, I meet him.

Sure, that’s just the summary of a drawn out process of what’s now become years. I’ve had months of numbness as I watch friend after friend experience the joys of having biological children, fearing that I may never have that myself. Most recently, August and September were like a mourning period for me. I’d have random waves of sadness, triggered by hearing children playing outside or even seeing a maternity dress in a store. I found myself daydreaming about what I couldn’t have, to the point of indulgence.

I don’t know where the turning point was and I’m fairly certain this may be a corner I’ll re-visit … but God met me. He showed up. He spoke to me, ever so tenderly. In just the right way. Almost as if to make all the waiting worth-it. Because the truth is, my soul is hungry for more than just the normal life… isn’t this true for all of us? And even this bitter thing, because of how it’s being wielded in my life at this moment to bring me closer to God, is sweet.

And separate, but not totally removed from that is our adoption journey…