Today I want to encourage you gals on the idea of God’s favor. I hadn’t considered this topic much until recently. I can literally picture myself back in the chair a few months ago in my Bible study group. We have been following twelve different women of the Bible each week. This one focused on Leah and there was something about her story that literally jumped off the page into my heart. God saw her and opened her womb! He opened her womb after three babies meeting the desire of her heart. That struck a cord in my heart.
My husband and I have always somewhat struggled with completing our family. It would be four years into our marriage before we conceived. My first baby ended in miscarriage or at least I’m pretty sure (my cycle is like clockwork) right before I became pregnant with my daughter in 2014. I literally could not rest easy the whole pregnancy in fear she would pass away as well. My son’s conception was eight months later. He was born in 2016. Both of their births were pretty traumatic so I began to think Lord I don’t know that I’m cut out for this. Yet that nagging feeling of not feeling “done” never quite left. So, I began to pray. My husband was open to more children and when we became pregnant last year (2018) I was overjoyed! It would be the perfect gap between my son and this new baby. Then this sweet baby died. Very suddenly to. I was feeling the typical pregnancy symptoms and it seemed like days later he or she was gone. That was a hard blow. I was confused. My son’s pregnancy had ended in terrible hemorrhaging so maybe I had too much scar tissue I reasoned?
I allowed myself time to grieve and began to pray. The need to complete our family had not left so either God needed to take it away or make a way for us. I prayed and sought God as often as I could. I’ve approached my husband about adoption, but there doesn’t seem to be a door open yet with his job to allow for it. So, at this point I’m thinking okay Lord you are going to help me have another baby. I began to really focus on cleaning out whatever crud my body was holding onto to give the next child the best start to life. I ate better, exercised more, had less stress, more peace. You name it! I was getting my body ready. With each arrival of my period I seriously began to feel like this was never going to happen!
Now it’s March of this year I’m at my Bible study on Leah as I read the text I thought and prayed. Lord it’s my desire to can you heal whatever needs healing and open my womb to? Can I have that favor Lord? Fast forward to the weekend sermon it’s all on God’s favor. Okay Lord this must be confirmation! Shortly after this my mother in- law passes and then my father in-law is visiting us. I’m feeling so tired, but chalk it up to the events around the last few weeks. Then I miss my period! Okay Lord did you SERIOUSLY answer my prayer! Sure enough gals I was pregnant! Oh my gosh the joy and exhaustion! I felt good, confident, tired, but was ready for this. God gave me favor. Do you ever experience those times in your life that just feel so dark, by the time good things start to happen you feel like maybe the fog is lifting and you can rejoice again? I’ve felt like hope was returning and even despite what happens next it is still there. I still have God’s favor and so do you dear friend!
My family and I were traveling about three hours away yesterday to pick up a covered trailer for our upcoming move. It was a very rainy day which only seemed to add to the pain I was tormented with in my mind and body. With each bump I could feel a little bit more of the life I had been so proudly carrying slip away. My sadness had come in waves over the weekend when the spotting was light at first on Friday. I remember looking down after using the restroom and stopping stunned. What was happening Lord? This isn’t your favor! Okay just implant bleeding I reasoned and then the truth sunk in as the blood deepened signifying an impending loss.
As I surveyed the last few weeks, I have to tell you I have been reaching out to God with such gratitude and love in my heart. My husband and I have been diligently working our version of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace steps. We were determined to not only become debt free, but leave a legacy for our kids and grandkids. With each passing month I bristled thinking this will never end until I checked our bank account this last week to discover my husband had paid off the last of our student loans! We were officially debt free now except for the house after two solid years of working at it! Fast forward a few days and I receive the largest order my business has ever seen. The gal even commented she felt lead to my business over the others! Thank you Jesus for additional favor! This all mixed in with the news we were expecting has overjoyed me. I was so excited I literally just felt such joy. I thought Lord you are lifting the clouds and making the dark days disappear. It was rough there for awhile ladies, but maybe my sad days were behind me!
As I was sitting in the car yesterday I was fighting back tears. I was so confused and I questioned God. I think that’s one thing God doesn’t mind at least I think he gets it. I was so confused because all the areas seemed to line up. I thought you answered my prayer Lord. Yet now I was losing something once more after it seemed like God had opened that door and given me favor and I felt very alone. My husband and children can sympathize but it’s hard to relate unless you are experiencing the loss. Where are you Lord? As I thought and prayed I could hear that still small voice reminding me of His love and promise to never leave me. I read this article that said even in our joys God is rejoicing with us, yet we forget He is also right there grieving our heartache. I just expect God to wave a magic wand and make the hard stuff go away at times. What purpose does one more loss serve in this moment Lord? Why now? Didn’t you care about my desires Lord? With each new bump in the road it was as if I was reminded that God had indeed answered my prayers and that small miracle was celebrated for the few short months I was able to carry him or her. God’s favor doesn’t always mean you will get what you want for the rest of your life, but He does promise to give you the desires of your heart. I heard a sermon this morning that said when God placed His favor on those in the Bible they didn’t always happen right away- in fact there was often a very long waiting period of horrendous grief and pain right before their miracle. David would be king but not before he struggled with a giant and running for his life from Saul in the desert. Joseph would do mighty things yet he was in slavery and jail long before his desires of his heart played out! Maybe you have been questioning God’s timing on something as well? Sometimes we expect God’s favor to last longer once it does happen. That whatever blessing we were praying for would last for months if not years. Maybe you finally bought your perfect house- yet not find yourself having to sell it? I just assumed that would happen in my case. I had experienced a difficult miscarriage last year so surely my body was ready to carry a baby to term now. Yet this wasn’t the case.
I believe God places those special things in our hearts that He will make work out in the end. His favor will be poured out and yet maybe the results or the path to that favor doesn’t quite turn out like you had hoped or expected. I’m not sure what this season of life looks like for you. I’m sure you’ve experienced heartache maybe not in the form of a miscarriage, but in other areas that were dear to you. It’s hard to not second guess God and His goodness in those moments, but I’m encouraging you to remain faithful to His plan for your life. I often wonder if like Job we are being tested to see how faithful we remain to the Lord. I hope God’s plan is more than that, but that always seems to be in the back of my mind. I want to make God proud even when it’s hard for me to do.
As the pain continues, I think about this baby being in heaven now and how wonderful it will be someday to meet him or her. I’m thankful for the time God allowed me to be their mom. The excitement and joy I felt. In the midst of those short bursts of favor remain hopeful that God will see His promises through to completion in your own life. Write out the things you are thankful for in these moments whether you are receiving God’s favor now or it’s right around the bend. God promises to never leave you alone and He will fulfill His promises.