this man named Jesus

I am here, pure and simple, because of this man named Jesus. I kept hearing about Jesus at school and church, so one day, when I was five years old, I asked my dad who He was. My dad explained Jesus was the Savior of the whole world and could be Lord of life if I wanted to follow Him. I figured if my dad, who was a pretty awesome guy, called Jesus his Lord, then I should too. Everything inside me leaped with joy when I said, “Yes, I want to follow Jesus!” Everything in my life since then has been marked by my belonging to Him.

But just because you belong to someone doesn’t mean you stay faithful to them. Or you appreciate them. Or you listen to them. There have been seasons of my life where a person could have looked at me and thought, “I mean, she’s a nice human, but I don’t know what Jesus has to do with that.” The truth was, for a long time I compartmentalized my faith. I ignored Jesus when I didn’t care to listen, and I came back to Him when I really needed Him for something. I served Him when I felt like it and obeyed the commands that were easiest. That whole time, I thought Jesus and I had something pretty good going on.

My infertility changed all that. It affected so many aspects of my identity: my worth as a woman, my status as a wife, and my contribution as a friend. All of a sudden, my faith had to get real. I had to start looking at the hard truths in the Bible: things like God’s sovereignty over good and evil, over joy and pain, over successes and failures. For example, when I felt like I had failed my husband, I had to learn what God had to say about what a wife truly brings to the table. I had to learn that our marriage wasn’t a mistake just because we couldn’t produce offspring together.

And oh, the sin that was revealed through my suffering! Isn’t this often what happens when we go through a difficult trial? The darkness within is exposed, and we learn there is a certain evil that God intends to pluck from our souls? (Job 42:1-6)  My infertility showed me what a selfish, lustful, ungrateful human I could be, but that this sin did not disqualify me from God’s salvation. In fact, nothing qualified me for God’s salvation, other than His love. I learned in the midst of my sadness that I could try to outrun God, but He would never let me go.

All of this learning was proof that I did, in fact, belong to Jesus. I was His, and that had been the plan since the beginning. I may have started following Jesus when I was five years old, but even before then, Jesus knew He would use my infertility to show me He could not be compartmentalized. Goodness, how I love Him!

This Jesus. He is why I am here. My prayer is that whatever your journey with infertility is, Jesus will meet you in the midst of it, and you will discover through it all, that you’ve belonged to Him all along too.

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