To The Hungry Soul, Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet

There’s something safe about having a blog that you know no one is going to read for at least a while (or maybe never). Maybe it’s more like a journal. Regardless, this process seems monumental enough in our lives that I want it recorded.

Riding the range of my emotions with our struggles with infertility and our growing hope and desire to open our home to two Ethiopian children is like being an adolescent all over again. I find myself giddy and waking up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, as I dream about housing these orphans I’ve read so much about. This, then followed by a day where I have an emotional breakdown because our computer technician is a few hours behind on installing my new email account. “I’ve had enough of the waiting!” I explain to Nate when he asks why the big deal about my email. He is a patient man.

The overwhelming piece in all of this is what God is doing in my heart. Two weeks ago I read this verse that I think sums up what I’m feeling:

“The satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” Proverbs 27:7

This thing that feels like our Achilles heal – our struggles with infertility – has actually been the avenue by which God is meeting me and speaking to me most. At the moments where I wonder if I can peel myself off the floor, I am so saddened by our lack … God is more real than He’s ever been.

I continue to see the game of chutes and ladders in my head as I pray. I find myself thinking “what the heck did I do to land on this stupid square that took me down a slide and landed me well-behind where I should be at this stage in life?”

My heart that wants to lean toward bitterness begins moaning out .. “not another set-back” as I am quick to remember being the newlywed wondering if marriage really would ever be good. (Thankfully I can say now that it is GOOD.) Then, God invites. He says to me “climb up here, there’s a ladder just one square away.” And I find Him. In a deeper and more real way than I have before, I meet him.

Sure, that’s just the summary of a drawn out process of what’s now become years. I’ve had months of numbness as I watch friend after friend experience the joys of having biological children, fearing that I may never have that myself. Most recently, August and September were like a mourning period for me. I’d have random waves of sadness, triggered by hearing children playing outside or even seeing a maternity dress in a store. I found myself daydreaming about what I couldn’t have, to the point of indulgence.

I don’t know where the turning point was and I’m fairly certain this may be a corner I’ll re-visit … but God met me. He showed up. He spoke to me, ever so tenderly. In just the right way. Almost as if to make all the waiting worth-it. Because the truth is, my soul is hungry for more than just the normal life… isn’t this true for all of us? And even this bitter thing, because of how it’s being wielded in my life at this moment to bring me closer to God, is sweet.

And separate, but not totally removed from that is our adoption journey…

View All Posts

5 Responses to “To The Hungry Soul, Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet”

  1. merritt on

    hi guys – long time, no see … but i found your site through the illians and am so excited to learn of the journey you’re on! jim and i will join you in prayer and can’t wait to see how the Lord’s faithfulness is proven in your lives. ~ merritt compton holmberg

  2. tymm on

    great post – we feel ya over here. It was ONLY through the supernatural work of God that the pain of infertility went away…

    He removed that burden from us which has in turn allowed us to move forward with no regrets, no looking back…

    I’m thankful for that.

  3. Katie on

    Hey Sara,
    This is an old post but the words still hit home. My husband and I are 4 years into the infertility journey. While I would not wish this journey on anyone, we have been blessed by a maturing relationship with our Creator and Perfector. For that, I am thankful.
    Thank you for expressing what I never could.

  4. Sara on

    Katie,

    I’m sad to hear about your struggles. It’s a road I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but am convinced will end in fruitfulness …of many kinds.

    Thank you for your kind comment!

  5. Jenni on

    Blessed tonight to read about your family…stumbled across it from a friend’s post. It is evident that you are a wonderful mommy & an inspiration to me!

Recent Blog Posts

When You Find Yourself Hopeless on Mother’s Day

There’s one kind of woman that still makes me cry. She stretches big bows around pink wrapping paper and makes casseroles when the mama is still hobbling the stairs and bleeding after-birth and she might as well start a pinterest account just for one year-old birthday parties — she’s been to so many. But her womb is empty. She laughs as parents recount toddler…
Continue

What Does it Mean to be Successful?

It’s Sunday night, and the only light in our foyer is from the moon, stretching its arm-beams across our lawn and bringing the outdoors inside with its reach. The house is at rest. Finally. It’s as if we all sighed — the walls, the keyboard, the well-loved doormats and me — when the last child turned off her light. Time lapse would have revealed sparkling…
Continue

The Gift of Limitations

It was a rambling college-town that hosted the race that was to be my last for a long time. It is a town where narrow dirt-and-dust roads lead to horse farms with near-perfect views of the Blue Ridge and millionaires shamelessly drive beat-up old Volvos. Eccentric. Every year, the allure of this four-miler, with its humanitarian push and socialite atmosphere,…
Continue

God Wants Our Sad

This friend’s eyes were some of the first to read the manuscript that I’d almost tucked under my mattress, hoping it would only be shared between me and God. As a timid response to the whisper from Him — write your story — I stayed up into the wee hours of the night and clicked away at the keys during nap-times. Then that…
Continue

I Share a Bloodline With The Children We Adopted

“Look, she’s calling you mommy!” said a beautifully well-intentioned friend, wanting to celebrate just how quickly we’d become a family. My little girl was building with legos in the corner and her less-than-nimble fingers needed help piecing them together. She called me mommy when she was hungry and when she needed help in the bathroom, too. We adopted our first…
Continue