"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and unite the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard."
For the last few years, I have kept an ongoing list of Scriptures that have been encouraging to me during our infertility journey. This passage from Isaiah has been on the list for a while. What initially struck me was the part about healing. It's understandably pretty easy to become self absorbed in the middle of infertility, and, while I know it's bad theology, I secretly started believing that maybe if I just became less self focused and more "others" focused, God would heal me. I am really good at coming up with new ways to "get" God to heal us. One of Nick's most commonly used phrases with me is, "It's not a formula, Mindy."
Over the years and since Silas came along, the all consuming-ness of infertility has faded a bit. I've experienced healing in different ways, and the fog I interpreted these Scriptures through has lifted. As much as I would try to be more others focused at some of our lowest points, I was never really very good at it. Looking back, I know God wasn't asking me to do more or be better. He was just asking me to be with Him. When I look at these verses now, I see my place at that time better. I was not the one who needed to help the poor wanderer.... I was the poor wanderer.
I have found healing, though it looks very different from the healing I had hoped for. Much of this healing has, in fact, come from ministering to others. But, I haven't had to force anything. Instead of just doing all the things I felt I ought to do, I started resting in God and opening my heart to ways He wanted to use me. And, He has provided those abundantly. I feel that God has given purpose to my infertility, which is a huge answer to prayer. And, while it doesn't take away the pain or the desire to be pregnant, it has given new meaning to my life. After walking through the first part of our story mostly isolated (as I talked about here), I am in awe every time God brings someone new into my life to walk through infertility with. These meetings just feel so ordained by God, and these relationships have breathed new life into me that has been healing to my soul. God is using the infertility, the very thing that broke me, to build me back up. I feel God behind me, propelling me forward, guiding me towards people to journey through infertility with, guiding me towards a greater purpose and an overflowing life in Him. He is my rear guard. He is my healer, my redeemer, my restorer.
I still have hope and a deep belief that God can physically heal me and allow us to get pregnant. I'm just also starting to see how not getting pregnant can just as miraculously show God's power and healing in a different way.