The anger was enough to drag me from my bed where I had hidden, refusing to eat or care for personal needs the past three days since Mother's Day. I stomped my feet, shook my fists toward heaven, then flung my Bible across the room in utter disillusionment.
When the Book landed, I was overcome with remorse. (Honestly, I think I was waiting for the lightning bolt to strike for my impertinence as well!) I rushed over to find my Bible laying open to Hannah's story in First Samuel, chapter one.
...the LORD had closed [Hannah's] womb... This went on year after year... she wept and would not eat...
“I am a woman who is deeply troubled... I was pouring out my soul to the LORD... I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
- from 1 Samuel 1:6-16 (NIV)
Of all pages for my Bible to fall open to when I threw my temper tantrum, I felt God had a really sick sense of humor at that moment. I sat down defiantly to read the Words back to Him, to prove to God how unjust He really was.
Hannah knew my heartache, but God was a cruel “Indian-giver.” He not only allowed Hannah those years of barren anguish He could have easily prevented, but when He finally did grant her the desires of her heart, He demanded her child right back again. I couldn't trust a God like that!
In spite of my rebellion, God's Word began to burn through the bitterness rooted in my heart. For the first time I saw in Hannah's story that God never demanded Samuel of Hannah. She offered her son, out of free will and in full understanding that her arms would be empty once again, out of praise to God simply because of Who He is.
God broke through the hardness and grief-deep tears to whisper to my battered soul, “My child, you cannot treat me according to the gifts I give or choose to withhold. I AM worthy of your praise, no matter what!”
I knew that if my blistered spirit was to find relief, I could no longer “delight myself in the Lord,” in an effort to “earn” the desire of my heart. With Hannah, I had to truly entrust the outcome of my deepest longings to His care.
I can't say I never questioned God again, for unfortunately I sometimes forget how He has proved Himself faithful over and over. I can't even say that I never again endured depression, for even today I am on a mild anti-anxiety medication, along with some herbal supplements to keep my chemical levels in balance in order to allow healthy function.
What I can say is that God who had been my Savior since childhood, finally became my Lord that Mother's Day week in 1994. He took my heart of stone and began softening it that Wednesday, planting seeds and preparing it for something far larger than anything I could imagine. It took until the following January before Hannah's Prayer Ministries was officially born out of this struggle, interestingly enough, about the gestational length of a human pregnancy.
God wants my honesty rather than my piety. I had been so impatient with His plan, frustrated in His silence. All along He had been tenderly holding me, waiting for my willingness to yield to the Words of comfort He longed to speak to my heart.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
- Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV)
If you would like to know more of the back story behind this one, please visit me today on the Hannah's Hope book blog .
Author Website: Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart in Infertility & Loss