Wendy Macdonald delights my heart with her sweet spirit and intuitiveness to the things of God. Wendy lives in Canada in the middle of God’s creation where she and her family find solace in a sometimes weary world. Today she shares how she found the nearness and faithfulness of God during her heartache of infertility. I know you’re going to love her as much as I do. Be sure to follow all the way to the end where Wendy is offering a giveaway.
Describe a time when you felt abandoned by God or very disappointed in Him, thinking He had failed you.
I’ve had moments when I felt abandoned by God. One particularly tough time happened during my decade long journey of infertility; I found out a woman in a less than desirable situation became pregnant while my safe home remained childless.
I ranted at God, and I asked Him if He thought too little of me to bother opening my womb. But eventually I came to believe the sun shines as it pleases. My infertility wasn’t inflicted by God; it just was.
During this time, how was your faith-walk impacted? Were you angry? Fearful? Numb? Doubtful? Did you turn your back on God for a while, or cling desperately to what you know to be true, even though your emotions told you otherwise?
My faith was both challenged and strengthened as I swung back and forth between trust and fear during my childless years. Sadly, I didn’t always cling to God during my decade of disappointment; Sometimes, I buried my grief and focused on accumulating material possessions to suppress my pain. I often pretended—inside and out—I was content being childless.
Eventually, my infertility became the fertile soil for a deeper faith. My walk with Jesus grew more intimate because I needed His comfort. I craved to know God cared for me. So through journaling, Bible study, and prayer, I discovered His comforting embrace in between my disappointments.
But I often ran from challenges rather than run into God’s arms. I struggled because I believed infertility meant I wasn’t one of God’s favored ones. So I tried to avoid baby showers and pregnant women. I moved to a secluded home in the woods and surrounded myself with gardens and nature.
What happened to resolve your faith crisis? How did God reveal Himself to you during this time? With extraordinary comfort? Reassurance? Peace that passes understanding? Quiet knowing?
My crisis point came after I found out seeking serenity in seclusion was fruitless.
Pregnant people started popping up all around me. During one overnight stay by a pregnant guest, I went for a walk in the woods and asked God why He was surrounding me with the very type of people I strived to avoid. I told Him I couldn’t stand the pain of my barrenness and the uncertainty of whether or not I would ever have children of my own. Finally, after years of holding back my true feelings, I poured out my heart before Him like I never had before.
I faced my biggest fears: shame, disappointment, and abandonment.
After I finished my plea for answers and comfort, I listened. In my spirit I sensed God say He wanted me to trust Him and not lean into my misguided attempts to avoid pain. He wanted to be my place of safety. He wanted me to embrace Him and hand Him all of my pain.
I stopped walking and looked above the evergreens and cottonwoods to see a sky more promising than the path of avoidance I’d taken all these years.
“Lord, are You saying You want me to trust You—completely?”
Again, I sensed this was the way I was to turn—to submit to. So on the spot, I chose to trust God with my infertility. I chose to trust Him with all of my pain no matter how things turned out.
Peace, like I hadn’t experienced in ages, flowed through my soul. I walked back to my home with a spring in my step and fullness of joy in my heart. And then I discussed baby names with my guest and rejoiced with her as I trusted God to comfort me.
Weeks later, I chose to attend a lady’s Bible study. And when I discovered it overflowed with babies and pregnant bellies, I chose to trust; I kept attending. I allowed myself to feel sorrow, and I allowed God to soothe my soul.
What scripture became a sure place for you?
Lots of Scriptures became sure places for me during those days, weeks, months, and years of infertility. But the one that helped me the most towards the end of that journey was Psalm 113:9 KJV: “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.”
Did praise play a part of your faith restoration? What about thankfulness? Is praise a big part of your faith-walk now?
Praise and trust became my preferred choice of actions during my faith walk. I stopped fleeing pain. When I chose to trust God, I easily praised Him because I believed He knew best. Pouters can’t praise and those who trust can’t help but praise. Looking back, praise grew in proportion to my growing trust.
How do you find God’s peace when you are troubled?
Nowadays, when I am troubled, I find peace in God by choosing to believe He is able to do more than I can ever anticipate or imagine. I find peace by reading His Word, pondering His Word, and memorizing His Word. I also love to pray, journal, and sing praise songs when I’m alone. When I doubt God can do the impossible, I remember He gave us children.
The adoption door didn’t open for us, so God opened my womb several times and made me the mother of three
What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of the Lord and why?
Father is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the Lord. I love the image of Him holding me, protecting me, and providing for me. Security is something I didn’t know or feel before I trusted in Jesus. Fear of abandonment was my former master. But God’s perfect love banishes fear from my heart when I love, listen, and lean into Him.
Could you offer some encouraging words for those who may be seeking the Lord, those wanting to draw closer to Him and trust Him more, especially during a painful season?
The first place I would recommend a suffering person to go is into the Psalms. David gives us perfect examples of how to pour out our hearts to God. God isn’t afraid of our fear, our anger, or our pain. Being honest with God is honestly the best policy for intimacy with Him. My favorite times of communion with God have been when I’ve held nothing back. A bared soul is beautiful to God. He desires fellowship with us. He knows we are weak and needy. Our Father is strong and seeks to save us. He isn’t a shamer, He’s our Savior.
Win a copy of the Canadian anthology, Christmas Stories and More, Wendy is published in. Anyone who subscribes to her monthly newsletter gets their name entered to win a copy. The draw date is September 1. Here’s the link: BOOK GIVEAWAY!!
More About Wendy:
Wendy L. Macdonald is a Canadian, inspirational writer, blogger, and podcaster who also loves to photograph nature on Vancouver Island. Besides writing and gardening, Wendy enjoys hiking with her husband. She homeschooled their three children, and she believes years of reading classics aloud developed her love of storytelling. She hopes you’ll visit her “Daily Bread” style Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Her byline is: My faith is not shallow because I’ve been rescued from the deep. Samples of her photography have also been included in the 2017 Canadian anthology: Good Grief People. Her main website is wendylmacdonald.com where she enjoys interacting with readers. She’s currently editing her first memoir with aspirations of having it traditionally published, and one of her flash fictions is included in a soon to be released Canadian, inspirational anthology called: Christmas Stories & More.
Wendy’s main social media links: http://www.wendylmacdonald.com/
Wendy’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Just one more note:
I’m guest blogging on Karen Friday’s blog this week and talking about hope. I would love for you to visit. Expectant Hope.
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Thank you for sharing your heart, Wendy! I understand the pain and the peace of surrender.
Thank you, dear Norma. It was worth it to go through that journey just to experience the sweet release of surrender. It reminds me to apply the same honestly and submission before God in other areas of my life. I still tend to take the long road before I get there–but occasionally I take the shortcut and choose to trust Him right on the spot. His peace really does surpass understanding. God is good.
Blessings ~ Wendy
I thought of you Norma because of your own struggles and resulting testimony of the faithfulness of God. He knew that you, Dirk, Amy, and Ian needed each other and miraculously put you together. What a good God He is!
Thank you, dear Nan, for having me as a guest on your beautiful blog. I always appreciate your from-the-heart posts and the lovely pictures you share. Yours are some of my favorites to share on Twitter. I loved your first book, and I look forward to reading your next one.
Blessings ~ Wendy
You are the sweetest lady, Wendy — so full of grace and gentleness. You inspire me. It is an honor to host you on my blog. Thank you for saying yes.