When my period came this month I broke down. I wept. I couldn’t pray. I didn’t trust my words. I confessed to my mentor that although I thought I was trusting God, maybe I wasn’t. She asked me to challenge that sentence. Does my doubt and disappointment mean I don’t trust God?

I think I trust God for the big picture. For various reasons I do believe that we will have children. My big question mark is when. I can’t trust that it will happen this month. Actually I’m scared to go there again. I’ve been there before. I’ve lost count of the times that I deeply believed that this would be the month. I’ve hoped. I’ve prayed. But each time that hope has been shattered. Each time I feel the cramps or see the blood I’m hit by bitter disappointment. I start to question if it ever will happen.

In these times of disappointment I start to tell myself stories. “It’s my fault it didn’t happen.” “If only I had trusted God more.” “I should have … fill in the blank … more.” I feel like I am being punished. I know that’s not true but it’s the lie that I keep telling myself. It feels real. My theology tells me that God is the one who is in control. That He loves me: period. That nothing I can do can make Him love me more. Or less. Sometimes my heart tells me that too. But when I’m in that dark place, I tell myself the lie. Over and over again. And I start to believe it. I expect reward when I’m good and explain disappointments as punishment. It’s like I picture God as a candy wielding God. When I do my homework He gives me the candy; when I don’t tidy my room I don’t get candy. So whatever happens I feel like I’m responsible. I’ve earned the reward or the punishment.

The subtle messages of prosperity Gospel teaching are all around us. Stories of couples who never stopped believing that they would have children and so God blessed them because of their faith. People encouraging me that God wants to teach me something and then He’ll give us children. The danger in all these messages is that it’s contrary to the Gospel. God doesn’t love us or reward us for what we do. I do believe that there are consequences for sin, but God doesn’t punish us. He’s not the candy wielding God! I don’t know why I’m not pregnant yet. But I do know this:

It’s not punishment.

I’m not condemned.

I’m God’s child.

I’ve been redeemed.

He’s my loving Father.

He only wants good for me.

Whether or not that means He’ll give us children, only time will tell. I can, however, trust His goodness. And somehow that will carry me through.

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