Worth the Wait
by Kerry Hasenbalg
“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5
It’s been nearly five years now since my husband, Scott, and I first experienced the pain of losing a child through miscarriage. And as hard as it is to put into writing, the reality is we have gone on to experience the pain of losing two more children through miscarriage and yet another little girl through stillbirth since then.
I used to think that the greater testimony of God’s faithfulness in our loss would have been to give us twins the next time around. And as wonderful of a testimony as that would have been, that has not been His choosing for us. Though I long to have a glimpse of the future, now that I am in a state of waiting to see the beauty that might come from these ashes, I am actually incredibly grateful that God has continued to heal our hearts and remind us that it is His love which keeps us from knowing the details of the future. We only have the grace we need for the future when the future is upon us.
And one of the ways He has comforted us is by encouraging us to remember His faithful deeds in the past when our hope of the future is too clouded to “see” clearly. When my faith for tomorrow is weak, I have learned to pray today, Lord, please bring to mind examples of how You turned ashes into beauty and made the bad things work together for good for us, Your people, in times past.
So for those of you who, like me, are currently waiting on the Lord, I want to share a little story which testifies of the faithfulness of our God—who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
I was at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert presenting a highlight on the need for adoption when a security guard backstage excitedly approached me and said, “Since you’re connected to Shaohannah’s Hope, I want to share with you what God did for my family through adoption. Over 30 years ago,” the man began, “my wife and I wanted to have a child, but we were not able to do so biologically. We then prayed about adoption and felt led by God to adopt a little boy from South Korea. However, after filing all our paperwork, we found out that because my wife has been a type I diabetic since childhood we were disqualified from adopting due to current regulations. We were not only emotionally crushed but also confused because we really felt that the Lord had said there was a little boy for us in Korea. What was God doing? We wondered if we had heard the Shepherd’s voice correctly.
“Several years later the adoption agency called and said that the regulations had changed in our favor and they had a little boy that we would be eligible to adopt from Korea if we were still interested. Of course we said yes, went through the process, and adopted him.
“Thirty years after the adoption, my wife became terribly ill as a consequence of her diabetes, and she went into total kidney failure and was put on dialysis. Every family member was checked to see if any of us were a match for a kidney transplant, but none of us were close enough. Due to my wife’s condition and age, she was so far down on the transplant priority list that there was basically no chance she would receive a stranger’s kidney.
“Our adopted son then asked to be tested as a possible kidney donor; however, knowing that he was adopted, the hospital refused. He was determined to find out whether his blood type was even compatible with his adoptive mother’s. Therefore, he went to the local blood bank and gave blood. Seeing as he had never been sick a day in his life, we didn’t even know his blood type. And only as God’s sovereignty could design, not only was our son a blood match, but when the hospital finally agreed to run him through a series of tests we found that he was in fact a nearly perfect match to his mother for a transplant. He ended up being his adoptive mother’s kidney donor and saved her life!
“Looking back at the heartache and wait to have children as well as the setbacks we had endured to adopt our son, we can see now that God’s timing and the child he chose for us could not have been more perfect. God knew exactly how to connect us to the child He created for us. My wife used to become saddened knowing she had never experienced carrying a baby in her womb; however, after her transplant, she told my son that her greatest joy is that for as long as she lives, she will always carry a part of him within her.”
For those of you who have known grave disappointment and are currently waiting on our Lord to fulfill a deep and godly longing in your souls, I pray that you, too, are encouraged by this testimony of the faithfulness of our very good and loving God.
Today, we can choose to believe that the God of all mercy knows our desires and is at work fulfilling them in His way and in His time for our blessing and His glory. Let us not forget that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are higher than our ways. He knows the way to bring about the greatest testimony of His faithfulness in our lives.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.