Ruth 4:16 “Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap, and cared for him.”
As I read this verse, I can’t help but think of my son. Foster James. Six years old, and at the moment, bald-headed, because he decided to cut his own hair last week. The results were something similar to a reverse mohawk. Lots of hair on the sides. Naked strip right smack-dab down the middle. He looked like a skunk. Now, he looks like a miniature Kojak.
In 1997, Mark and I were blessed with Charis Rebecca. Fat, pink, healthy, wonderful. The answer to many prayers, and the result of God and infertility treatment. Then, we started working on number two.
In 2001, I got pregnant again – the result of many more rounds of infertility treatment! But then, at 14 weeks pregnancy, we lost the baby. We were devastated. I won’t even attempt to describe the black hole of depression I entered after that. For the first time in my life, I questioned God’s love for me. For the first time in my life, I was so mad at God that I refused to speak to Him.
It made things a little awkward for a while – being that angry at my husband’s boss.
Made it a little difficult to be the ideal pastor’s wife.
But, have you ever tried to ignore someone who just wouldn’t leave you alone? That was my experience with God. He is very persistent. He kept loving me, offering me compassion and comfort. And I kept pushing Him away.
He refused to give up. He pursued me, and His constant, loving presence finally wore me down. In a moment of tear-drenched surrender, I said, Okay, God. Okay. I don’t know what you are doing, or why you have allowed me to go through such pain. It makes no sense to me. But okay. I trust You.
Then came the phone call. A teenage girl we knew was pregnant. She wanted us to adopt her baby. And within six weeks of my original due date, I held her hand as she gave birth to my son. She held him tenderly, then gave him to me.
Now, I can’t imagine my life without him. I can’t imagine being the mother of any other little boy. And if I hadn’t miscarried, I wouldn’t have him. Sure, I would have another child . . . but it wouldn’t be Foster James Brumbaugh. And let me tell you, that boy has my heart.
I feel a kinship with Naomi, in that moment when she held that baby. She had experienced such great loss. But God gave back. And not only does He give back, but He always adds something. For Naomi, the grandson she held was the grandfather of the future King David, and a direct ancestor of Jesus Christ. For me, the boy I held that day in 2001 has been an endless source of laughter, of deep joy, bubbling over.
Friend, you may be going through a difficult time. You may be experiencing that indescribable black hole that I know so well. But trust me, the end of your story hasn’t been written yet! God never takes away without giving back. If we will just trust Him, just surrender to His pursuing, persistent love, we will see miracles! He will take our sorrow and replace it with giddy joy. He will take our anger and replace it with peace. Just look at me. He took a barren womb and placed a squealing, squawling, wiggling baby boy right smack-dab in my arms. And I haven’t stopped smiling – or laughing, since.
Dear Father, Thank You for the promise of good things to come. I love You.