this then 31 year old with a 2 year old never imagined that more kids would not be in her future. How and why would God withhold from me a gift He himself declares as a blessing? Why would he not "fill my quiver?"
But as the years passed, my hope of that has faded and I have been left with grief and sorrow in place of that hope. I have lost trust in my body and blamed our circumstances for not being able to seek the same type of medical intervention we did to have Eden (even though it is available here). I have often felt hurt and sad. I have felt like I failed in not being able give more children to Bart and siblings to Eden. As my grief and sorrow grew, my hope shrank. Then, as I have begun to enjoy having “just one,” I often felt guilty for the ease of our life. Beginning to enjoy this felt like I was giving up hope all the more. Letting go of this dream hasn’t come easy, and it’s still something I grieve sometimes. There are days that my heart and arms still ache for another baby. And, I think I will be 80 and at some level it will still be so.
I recently heard this definition of hope from Dr. Dan Allender, “Hope is faith in God’s goodness for the future.” It struck me and has rolled about in my head for days. God has used it to change my heart and to bring some healing to these deep, deep wounds. It has also brought a deeper understanding, in part, of the why - why this and why me, and one of the many things He has been trying to teach me all along.
wrong? Why am I not able to believe enough to make this happen? Though I knew God could, I believed my lack of hope was why He didn’t.
Now, go back and read Romans 4:13-25 again in light of the definition I shared - Hope is faith in God’s goodness for the future. Do you see what that does? How that changes it? I can now see that Abraham was counted as righteous because of his faith, because his faith was in God alone - not in his old body or Sarah’s old womb, not in the miracle, not even in the promise. His hope, his faith for the future, was in God alone. And that hope not only brought about him being the father of a nation, the first father of the covenant we now share through Jesus Christ, but also his salvation - him being counted as righteous before the Lord.
Do you see where my problem was? Where was I placing my trust? In whom was I trusting? Myself. I was trusting in my own ability and in my hope to be strong enough as if I can bring anything good before the Lord that would cause him to act as I want Him to. But, my hope - my faith for the future - should have been placed in God and His goodness. I never should have placed hope in my own body, or in deserving more kids because I was obedient, or even in a miracle. Why? Because all of these things are pitiful, weak, and vastly lesser-than, when compared to the God of the universe who has made himself available to me.
able to understand God’s goodness despite my circumstances. Would I have rather learned this lesson another way? Maybe… But, I am thankful for it. I am thankful for the clarity and simplicity it has brought to my understanding of hope and the confidence it has given me in who God is and His goodness, now and forever into the future.
Though I have never been given more physical children, I can proclaim God’s goodness. And, because He is good, no matter what comes or doesn’t come, I can hope in Him and His goodness for my future. And this hope will not make my heart sick, but will fulfill me and my desires in a way that brings life (Proverbs 13:12) because isn’t that what we really desire deep, deep down any way? Him and Him alone. I can cling to the One who has my goodness in mind and who is faithful to the end of time and beyond. I can rest in His mercies that are renewed every morning and know He loves me like no other and always will. He can be my portion and fill up my whole life and I will never be disappointed or have to lose hope again. And, like Abraham, when I choose to live life hoping only in Him, He will be good to me - He will save me, and there is nothing better than that.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Hi! I am Heather Carty. I'm a wife, a mother, a musician, and a missionary, among many other things. I see myself as a recovering "Older Brother" (see Tim Keller's Prodigal God) who desires to find God's joy in this journey called life. Which, by the way, has not gone at all as I had planned, but has turned out way better than I could have ever imagined.