I slumped on our bed and cried.
Every month, I careened on an emotional roller coaster. Every month, I prayed, begging God for a baby. Every month, when my cycle came on time, my heart plummeted.
I don’t remember the exact day or event when God confronted me. But He showed me where my heart was set.
…on a pregnancy
…on filling my arms with a squirming newborn
…on having my heart craving satisfied.
And that was the problem.
In the middle of the valley of infertility, God showed me that my heart had become set on having a child. Sure, I talked to (not with) Him about it. I begged. I reasoned. I may have even tried to manipulate.
Maybe God finally had enough. Or perhaps He saw my future if I continued on this track. One day, He stopped me hard with the thought that I had made motherhood an idol.
“What? I love you, God.”
“But you want a baby more than you want Me.”
That stung. First, I was angry at His quiet declaration. But as I considered where my thoughts had been, where my heart was focused, I was ashamed. He was right.
Here are a few things that revealed my idolatrous-ness:
- I began to base my value on having a baby
- I sometimes became angry with God because He hadn’t given me one
- I strategized how to become pregnant
- The idea of motherhood became more prevalent in my thoughts than my relationship with God
I wrestled with the idea of motherhood usurping my heart’s throne. I was a believer, and I did want what God wanted . . . but I wanted what I wanted even more.
Through much prayer, journaling, and time spent in God’s word, I had to own where my thoughts and heart had wandered. I had to choose God, and I had to want Him more than I wanted a baby.
I wonder now if God deliberately held off giving us a child so my heart could re-align with Him.
How do we master the idols in our lives?
- We must confess to our Lord that we’ve been worshiping an idol. We each have different idols. Motherhood. The perfect marriage/being loved the way we think we should be. Complete health. All problems solved. Money. More time. Material items. We need to search our hearts and define our idols.
- We must be willing to give up our idols. This can impact who we always thought we were or should be. My idol tied in tightly with my identity. Letting go of the idea of motherhood reframed what made me “enough.”
- We must choose to give our hearts back to God, withholding nothing. When we’ve allowed an idol to take up residence in our hearts, the only thing that will dislodge it is pursuing God—spending time in His word and praying whenever the idol comes to mind.
- We must surrender the idol, completely. If we justify why we need to hold onto it, that idol still controls us. And this will cause a rift in our relationship with God.
God asked me to surrender to Him my desire for motherhood.
It. Was. Painful.
Tears traced down my cheeks. But, in entrusting that desire to God, His peace began to permeate every part of who I am. I chose to believe that His plans were best, even if they didn’t include a baby.
Some months later while driving home after watching a friend’s children, God spoke to me, almost audibly.
“Jeanne, I will give you a child.”
My heart stuttered. “Was that you, Lord? Or was that me wishing?”
His words came again, with a slightly different emphasis: “I will give you a child.”
I may have cried a few tears that day.
Our Father is faithful. Sometimes God refines us—preparing us—before He offers the desires of our hearts. Our hearts must be in a right place with Him, not holding onto things we think we must have to be complete. We have a Father who loves us.
Let’s choose to trust that in His love our Father gives us His absolute best.
What about you? Have you ever held onto an idol? What’s helped you to deal with idols in your life?
I’m linking up with #TellHisStory and #RaRaLinkup