By Sally Bland--
Today is my son, Isaac’s, 17th birthday!! Every year I praise God for molding Isaac into who he is and for the many blessings Isaac brings into our lives! As I look back on Isaac’s past year, it breaks my heart to see him struggle with the loss of school, employment, and sports. One of the sports Isaac normally participates in is wrestling and the outlook for a season this school year does not look good.
As a mom, watching Isaac wrestle has always been….interesting. How do you cheer on your son as he is essentially fighting someone?! A couple of weeks ago the GPBC Elementary students studied Genesis 32 and learned about Jacob wrestling with God. In verse 28b it says that Jacob wrestled with God and prevailed. How can that be? How can Jacob overpower God? There are many times in my life when I felt like I wrestled with God, but I certainly did not ‘win’ as God is more powerful and wiser than I! One of those times was when James and I decided to start a family only to discover that our road to being parents was going to be a rough one.
We expected everything to go as we planned—never expecting there to be trouble. Then months went by with no pregnancy. James and I decided to seek medical advice and learned that I have a medical condition which makes it difficult to become pregnant. I followed the treatments set out by my doctor and started the ever-heartbreaking cycle of monthly testing that continued to end in disappointment. After 3 years, we decided enough was enough. We ended all medical treatments to take a much needed 6-month break before deciding what to do next.
Throughout the years of infertility, we dealt with stress, depression, and pain. It often felt like we were wrestling with God. The only thing that got us through that time was our faith and trust in God’s plan. When I look back on Genesis 32 I realize Jacob didn’t prevail over God because he overpowered Him. Jacob prevailed because he refused to let go of God even when he feared for his life. Jacob understood the only way to defeat the pain and fear of the world was by holding fast to God. James and I understand this as well and our reliance on Jesus is what got us through the difficult years of infertility. Looking back, I am so thankful for those years and that despite the pain God brought us closer to Him through that process. Every year on Isaac’s birthday, I am reminded of the struggles of our infertility. James and I grew closer to God and each other through the process and God ultimately answered our prayers to be parents by giving us our amazing children!
During the 2020 Advent season, the world is in a valley of darkness. We are dealing with COVID-19 and our country is divided. When we focus on the pain and fear of the world, it is easy to get lost and forget about the hope, joy, peace and love that God brings us in all circumstances. Now is the time for all those who trust in Jesus to hold on to the Lord and refuse to let go, no matter what happens!
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”
I pray your family reflects the hope, joy, peace, and love of God as you refuse to let go of the faith and hope of Jesus…and never be afraid of going into the wrestling ring with God (just don’t let go)!