There are so many stories within our story that I hope to share with you. But this one….this one I’ll never forget. This one leaves me overwhelmed and overcome. This one is one of the most personal, particular stories that I’ll point to again and again throughout the rest of this journey of faith and say, “THAT. That is my remembrance. That is the stone I’m marking on the path to look back and never forget who my God is.”
This story isn’t just meant for me. It’s meant for you as well. Some stories He’s given me to share I hear, “Not yet.” But for a couple weeks now I felt His gentle nudge forward for this one saying, “Now.”
If you’ve ever doubted God’s goodness, if you’ve ever questioned His timing and the promise that He is listening….me too. If you’re there right now. If you’ve cried out over and over and spent everything….me too. If you feel your season won’t end….me too. And this story is for you.
Growing up, I watched my parents daily grow in their faith. They were examples to me of what I hoped to be as I got older, faithful to study God’s word and bring their hearts and prayers to Him. If you were to flip through my moms well used, tattered maroon Bible you’d see margins full of dates and phrases below them, marking specific verses and promises that she was praying over one of us kids, a friend or a family member. She claimed a verse, marked the date and then wrote her prayer. Countless testaments of God ushering her through every season lay on those pages. I knew I wanted that same thing throughout my Bible. A visual representation and reminder of a present God who hears my cries. So when Michael and I got married, I began my own journey of prayers and dates.
But here’s the thing…I didn’t always “feel” like He was listening. In fact, I felt quite the opposite.
Fast forward to the summer of 2018. By this time we were well into our painful journey of infertility. Each step took every ounce of strength I felt I had. I had cried out to God again and again and again….and from my very human perspective, all responses seemed silent. Was He even listening? Did He even care?
This particular weekend was the worst. Michael was gone for a work trip so my parents bought me a ticket to fly home to Colorado. And that evening, wrapped in a blanket sitting on my parents patio in the country with my mom—I broke. My body literally shook with weeping so strong I couldn’t breathe. I tried as best I could through my sobs to express, to lay out pieces of my broken heart and broken spirit. My body was broken. I couldn’t walk. My feet were so bad I literally had to pull a chair into the shower because I couldn’t stand. I crawled through the house to let out Moose. Michael would carry me from the couch to our bed. My body couldn’t get pregnant. The very thing I was created to do, meant to do, I couldn’t. My spirit was broken too. I tried to claim promises. To pray. To continue to hope….but this was the breaking point. How could God say He was good? This—this felt anything but good. I was brought lower than I ever have been, stuck in a darkness so heavy, so thick, so massive that I crushed below it.
My darkest night.
When I arrived home, Michael prayed the promise of Proverbs 4:18 over me as I wept. “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn which shines brighter and brighter until full day.” He whispered, “I know this feels dark…but babe, light is coming. One day we’ll look back and see with such clarity what God was doing.” I nodded my head feebly. I sure hoped so.
Fast forward again to March 5th 2019. The day Asher was born. Every emotion possible coursed through our veins. Every answer to every prayer we had whispered, cried, spoke, claimed, wept or breathed seemed wrapped up in this tiny, perfect boy. Every day of the years before seemed to be culminated into this right here.
The next few weeks we had to stay in Illinois before we were cleared to return home with Asher. When we were given to go ahead we packed up the pack n play, bottles, diapers, our suitcases, newborn clothes, burp clothes and our wonderfully weary bodies and headed home.
I knew there was one thing I wanted—needed—to do when we go there. I pulled out my Bible (with dates and phrases and verses having slowly begun to sprinkle through my own margins) and flipped to Proverbs 4:18. The light…the light was here. It shone brilliantly and brightly. This was where God was leading us all those dark days. This path, our path. The one He planned for us. And I knew without a doubt in my mind that Asher’s birthdate would forever be marked in permanent ink beside that verse we had claimed.
I smoothed out the pages and picked up my pen to begin writing 3/5/19 next to Proverbs 4:18 and realized I had already placed another date beside that verse.
And as I looked at the date (the summer of 2018…my darkest of days) and read the caption below, “Feels so dark. Begin pursuing adoption?” I began doing the math.
Exactly nine months apart.
There, in my lowest valley—my darkest night—when I was certain that God no longer heard my cry…….Asher was literally being formed inside his mothers womb. There, when I thought God wasn’t listening, that He wasn’t good, marked on the pages of my Bible leave the forever testament of His whispers, “Lacey My child. I saw you. And I was working….”
And I wept.
Friends, if you are a believer….God is always (ALWAYS) for you. The things we walk through aren’t always good, but we always have a good Father. The dark night? One day we’ll see with light what He was doing. Satan wants to make us feel desperate. Hopeless. And God says, “No. With Me there is always hope.” He redeems our broken stories and make them more beautiful than we could ever imagine.
I don’t know what season you’re in as you read this. Maybe a season of wait. Maybe of pain. Maybe of quiet longing. Maybe you feel the prayers you continue to whisper in the dark don’t reach His ears. Oh dear friend, my heart, my prayer for you today is that you’d read this story and know….like KNOW….that He hears every cry, every word, every desire and promises that your light is indeed coming.
(Photos by the talented: Allison Marie Photography)