Am I bitter or better?

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" -Jeremiah 29:11

It has now been 5 years since I burst into tears in that doctor's office as he told us that IVF, at $20,000 per cycle, was our only hope of ever having biological children, and that the odds of success are 65 percent at best.

It has now been 8 months since we made the decision to take that chance.

It has now been 2.5 months since the day it felt like the world stopped turning, if only for a moment. Two-and-a-half months since I had to call Mom and tell her that her promotion to grandma would have to wait. Two-and-a-half months since I couldn't bring myself to leave my bed, get a deep breath through the sobs or force myself to eat.

It has now been two months since the passing away of a dream.

Friends, it has been a journey and I can say with certainty that my heart will never be the same.

But as I was reflecting on this path, a thought came to my mind: At this point in the journey, am I better or am I bitter? Have I willingly allowed God to work in my life and use this wait, these trials and these tragedies as part of my sanctification? Have I fixed my gaze upon Him? Or have I become bitter?

As much as I don't want to admit it, the answer could have gone either way at times. But here's what my moments of reflection remind me: God has used this time to do so much work in my life (often in spite of me).

In the 5 years before IVF, God called me to Honduras three times with Living Water International. Honduras forever changed my life, my perspective and my understanding of who He is.

These precious kiddos in Rio Piedra, Honduras now have clean, safe drinking water.

In the 5 years before IVF, God granted me the professional dream of a nomination to, participation in and completion of a prestigious two-year industry leadership program. It took me to Washington DC, Panama and Colombia alongside some of the most amazing classmates who, over the course of the program, stretched me and challenged me to grow.

Planting pineapples at Verba Odrec in La Chorrera, Panama.

Learning about biofortification of cassava at CIAT in Valle de Cauca, Colombia.

In the 5 years before IVF, God lit my heart on fire for the plight of the trafficked and enslaved and the work of the International Justice Mission (and allowed me to visit one of their field offices in the Dominican Republic last summer).
The 2017 Run for Justice at Calvary, which raised $26,000 for the International Justice Mission.

In the 5 years before IVF, God led me to a little church in the middle of Villa Faro, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where the people taught me what selfless service in the name of Christ looks like.

The evening session of EBDV (Vacation Bible School) at
Templo Biblico Villa Faro, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

In the months of waiting between loss and another chance, He is leading me back to Villa Faro.

Y'all, in the waiting, He has been so good to me!

Yes, I have had my moments of bitterness, jealousy and anger. My human flesh is a mess. But what have I gained from it? Nothing. I've come to realize I have to let go of the bitter so that He can make me better.

What is it that you're waiting on? Maybe it's a relationship, that dream job, more money, a new house, healing, or another answer to prayer entirely. Whatever it is, just know that God is in the wait. When we refuse to be bitter and, instead, fix our eyes on Him, He is faithful to make us better.

Let's all fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)


Read more encouragement from Hebrews 12:1 and Hebrews 12:2 from Caroline Harries over at In Due Time and be sure to check out her 60-day devotional book by the same name (hint: it's for everyone, not just moms in waiting). And no, she's not paying me or rewarding me for promoting these. They are just so good that I want to tell everyone about them!

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