“The Dr. said there’s no heartbeat.” My little brother’s words assaulted my ears and blew my mind, leaving my own heart racing and twisting my stomach into a tangle of knots.
A defeated “I’m sorry,” was all I could whisper, but what I wanted to scream was, “WHY God?! I just don’t understand!”
They’d prayed for a baby, believed for healing, and then I received a blessing. “You’re gonna be an aunt!” I practically had the whole nursery design completed for them before God cradled and lifted those words back up to Heaven.
And a miracle became a miscarriage and a prayer that was answered turned into a question that wasn’t.
So what do we do when our grim reality collides with God’s limitless ability? That’s what I pondered as I piled up tissues and collected gifts for the SONshine Box I had never planned to make.
Unlike the gift box, I couldn’t wrap this one up neat, or make all the pieces fit, much less place a pretty bow on top.
As much as I tried to straighten every crease, smooth out the crinkles and the questions, and then fold in all the right reasons, it still didn’t look right. Didn’t seem right. Not even when I taped on His Word. The result was that life still looked messy and torn.
I couldn’t reconcile why God would give a gift He was just going to take back.
And enough was enough. My sister-in-law had already battled through PCOS, an endocrine disorder that can bring infertility, and YET like my favorite woman in the Bible, that one with physical issues, she pushed through the obstacles of time, doubt, and fear, and she received her healing.
I was there during a prayer night to hear her cries as Jesus caught her tears and touched her body. And called her daughter. I imagine her receiving the long-awaited words, “Daughter, your faith has made you well” not long before hearing, “You’re pregnant!”
And I thought of my brother hearing, “Son, you’re going to be a father.” Those words would have to come from God because he’d already buried both parents in his 20’s.
So again I implored, “God, wasn’t that enough? Hadn’t we been through enough? Couldn’t we have just kept this one gift?”
Days later, I trudged up their driveway for her women’s Bible study that she wouldn’t cancel. Carrying my Sonshining gifts and hiding my cloudiest questions.
Still asking, “What do you do, what do you say, when it looks like faith flatlines and dreams die?” I didn’t find the perfect answer, but I watched as God unwrapped a perfect example.
We’d been a cozy five-girl Bible study group, with most of us just wanting to huddle around her that night. To cry. And then cry some more. But we didn’t. We couldn’t. A new girl showed up, so we exchanged quiet smiles and loud, knowing glances instead.
Honestly, I kept waiting for the new one to leave so that us old ones could have a moment to grieve. But it got late, so we finally pulled out our surprise box of SONshine, and then we watched the real gift arrive.
Because that night my sister-in-law became the gift. A vessel of God’s light shining forth. She didn’t tuck away grief and hide disappointment. She dug deep. Letting His words flow out. Gently pulling out her pain and reaching for His purpose.
He’d healed her body and her fear, and now was a time to simply draw near. And grieve. And breathe. But even more, to STILL BELIEVE.
She gripped the tassels of His Word—”Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6) Followed by, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)
And she shared how a sign had gone up on her road the very week she’d been tempted to fear during pregnancy. It said, “Trust in me” with a picture of Jesus. She didn’t know who placed it in the ground, but she knew God tilled the soil for her faith and wrote those words on her heart.
Because it’s easy to trust Him when everything is in place, but trust can only be activated when all we have is grace.
“I told God I would trust Him no matter what, knowing HE is enough,” she said.
He is enough. Yes, enough was enough. Those words still echo, as I recall rocking in a chair, but sitting at a Well. Watching tears drip and walls fall. Listening to women, friends and strangers, freely share as He washed over us with buckets of love.
And that’s exactly what we did every week after that, as she poured out her faith and God’s love, encouraging women to surrender fear and to shred shame—and to never give up hope for their miracle.
No wonder ladies went from trickling in to flooding in. Because she pointed to Him. And she still does. Because He was enough. And He still is.
Even if we weren’t family, she’d still be my friend. A Woman at the Well who personifies the essence of this site: “When we share our lives and our hurts, God connects our hearts—to each other’s and to His.”
And that’s why and when we celebrate. And why I’ve made her my FIRST official “Well Done Woman,” here at the Well.
Although that’s reason enough to celebrate, we’re also celebrating another first this month. The first birthday of her daughter and my niece.
A one-year-old pure gift, all wrapped up in fifteen tiny little pounds. And though she may be little, she is fierce in faith already. And she sure is a keeper.
She deserves a story of her own, so I’ll save that one for later. Meanwhile, comment and share your faith and your trust story here as I prepare to share some new SONshine Box ideas soon. Until then, I’ll sit at the Well with you as we trust and believe–no matter what–because He is enough.
I like to write. Why do I write? Kind of hard to say, but I’ll go straight from the hard part and hit straight to the heart part. It’s about that daughter part. What this daughter misses most about her mama are the encouraging words. So I’m just here leaving a legacy of love and words to mine. For them, for me, and for anyone else who could use the same. Sitting at the well. As I simply write out life and fight out fears in the light of His Word.
Latest posts by Christie Hughes (see all)
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- THE RETELLING: FACING THE FEAR OF SHARING JESUS IN WORDS - July 29, 2016