No Good Thing Does He Withhold – Part 1

“Where are you, God?”
This question frequented my journal last winter. I’m not sure if I have ever had such a faith-shaking season in my life as this past one. The idea of relating to God as a kind father was laughable to me. What kind of caring father would bring His daughter through insurmountable pain and emotional turmoil, and then leave her alone to deal with it.

I entered this past season of my life in an already emotionally tired state. Multiple marriages of those close to us had ended in divorce and I had already dealt with my first two pregnancies ending in miscarriage. Aching for a change and for some slight bit of good news and joy, my third pregnancy came at just the right time. I found out I was pregnant for the 3rd time in early November. From the day I found out about that baby, I just KNEW their life had such deep purpose and meaning. I could hardly contain my joy for this new life. I could feel the winds changing, bringing a breeze of peaceful joy. After seeing the tiny heart beat and the steady growth of this new life, everything seemed to be moving along flawlessly.


About a month later, on a weekday afternoon, I noticed a potential problem. But after being checked out by the doctor, everything seemed to be fine. A week of bed-rest should bring healing to the whole situation, he said. So I laid in bed, day in and day out, waiting for things to get better. To my very surreal and unfortunate dismay, things did not get better, and our third child died in my womb late one Sunday night.

My immediate reaction was to pull from the bank of scriptures in my heart: the Lord gives and takes away, but I will bless His name, He doesn’t ever withhold good things from those who walk with Him, He works every situation out for good. I declared decidedly in my heart, “I believe that God is ultimately working out everything for good in this situation and I will not cease to praise His name because of this.”

This lasted about a week. It was at that point that I began to have issues God. It wasn’t so much that He had let another child die, but that He didn’t seem to be bringing me any sort of comfort at all. In fact, I had never felt such a lack of His presence in my life as in this time. I spent hours crying, praying, begging at least for Him to just be near to me. And, silence. What kind of God leaves me alone to deal with this? Doesn’t bring me any comfort or even let me know He is with me.

On top of that, within 1 month and a half of our 3rd child’s death, I learned of 3 other close friends pregnancies. It was about every 2 weeks that Jimmy and I would learn of yet another couple who was expecting. In determination to never be bitter at the wonderful gift of life my friends were being given, I was driven to my knees in prayer. I didn’t know what else to do but to pray for these friends and the little lives that God had chosen to give them. And in that moment, I heard God speak to me in the quietness of my soul for the first time in a while: “Now you know what I want you to do: I want you to pray for these babies and their mothers.”

Immediately I responded, “You’ve got to be kidding me?! That’s the first thing you have to say to me? After all that’s happened?” Yet, however skeptical I was of my God at this point, I knew enough that to not follow Him and trust Him is pointless. So I took up the charge to pray for all the other pregnancies around me, while my body was still physically recovering from a lost one.

It was in this time that I began to ponder the idea of faith. What does it look like to have faith as defined in Hebrews 11:1: “being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.”? How could I choose to believe the Word of God only when it makes sense to me and only when I can see and feel God’s presence? Would I deny the very words of the One I stake my life on simply because I can’t understand how it could be true? By very definition, faith exists when you can’t see!

So, about a month and half into this challenging time, still without a sense of God’s presence, I began to study the Word diligently and choose to believe what it said. I have never done anything more contrary to my natural inclination. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted” (psalm 34:18) I don’t feel like He is near, but He says He is. So I guess I’ll believe He is. He IS near to me. I will be convinced of this. “He withholds no good things from those who walk uprightly” (psalm 84:11) Well, it sure seems like He’s withholding a number of good things right now, one being Himself, two being children. But, according to His Word, He is not keeping anything good from me. Ok, well, I don’t get it AT ALL, but I will grieve the loss of this child and believe that in their death, you have not withheld any good thing. Somehow, someway, that makes sense. He has given me every good thing!

I spent many nights at our church’s prayer room alone. In determination, I would walk around and say (or yell) outloud: “God loves me and is not keeping anything good from me.” “The Lord is here with me and near to me. He cares for me and is working out all these things for my good and for His glory.” “I will trust Him!!”

Everything in my mind and feelings screamed out: “THIS CAN’T BE TRUE! Where is He then?” But I was determined. I WILL believe Him. I WILL trust Him. I WILL choose to lean on His Word.

David’s psalms were such an incredible encouragement to me in this time. It’s beautiful because He is brutally honest with God about how He feels, even accusing God of abandoning Him and forgetting Him. Yet he always returns to the TRUTH of the Word of God and the history of how God has come through in the past. This became my example of how to be honest with God (which I think is of vital importance in our relationship with Him) and yet not forsake the truth of His word simply because it doesn’t feel true.

Over time, it became habit to rely on the Word over my feelings. It also became habit to pray for my friends instead of letting my heart run to bitterness and jealousy. And, oh, how I have benefitted from those trying months!

What in God’s Word do you have trouble believing? Do you believe your feelings more than the Truth? Don’t let your feelings run your life. Don’t believe everything you feel and think. Stand firm on the Word of God, speak it to yourself, write it out in your journal, choose to believe it. Have faith, even in difficult times. That is what we do as Christians, walk by faith, NOT by sight (or feeling for that matter).

But there is more to this story. Check out part 2 here: “No Good Thing Does He Withhold – Part 2”

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/blmiers2/6919282123/”>blmiers2</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

26 Comments

  1. toyiaforever

    Wow! Thank you for sharing so openly with us. I was searching up Romans 8:32 & Psalm 84:11 and I was lead to your posts (Part 2 as well). It reminded me when I first got married and everything I desired was being given to other married couples I knew. When I was reading, I thought of Naomi and Hannah instantly. I love their testimony because they were honest about their grief and sadness. Just like you! I really appreciate this so much. When I finally receive the requests I’ve been asking, I will think back on how God brought me to this post! Love your spirit! God bless you and your family.

  2. Elizabeth

    Hi Kelly,
    I’m not sure if you will ever see this seeing as it’s a pretty old post. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing something so personal. My husband and I just experienced this for the second time. We’ve been trying to have a baby for three years and every time we found out we were pregnant for it just to end was heartbreaking. But I have felt the presence of God through your post. I’ve been feeling forgotten or unloved but I know it isn’t true. Your testimony has given me such hope!! I don’t know why this happened…and I’m trying hard not be scared to get pregnant. I want a baby so bad yet I’m scared to get pregnant for it just to end. Anyways I love your entire blog and my husband and I listen to your husband daily! Thank you and God bless your whole family!!!!

    1. Hi Elizabeth! I do read old comments and often pray for this post in particular to strength and encourage those who are tempted to walk in feelings instead of faith. Thanks for sharing part of your story. I’m so sorry for your losses. Thanks be to God that He did the one thing none of us will ever do: willing killed His precious only Son so that we might live. He truly is for us! (Is 53:10, Rom 8:32)

  3. Tatiana

    Wow! All the Glory goes to God. Im amazed that im facing the exact same thing. God is silent with me and has been for awhile (as far as my personal walk goes) I remember being at the altar sometime last year and the Holy Ghost spoke and said “even if the prophet is silent”. I cry and ask God where are you. Why allow me to go through so many horrible things and not comfort me. It bothers me because i have been through a lot and God has spoken. A few nights ago I completely could relate to Elijah going to hide in a cave. What do you do when God is not speaking (or at least your not hearing him)? What do you do when you pray, fast, and do the best you can to walk uprightly before him…yet nothing. I read the word in this dark season but im so discouraged that its hard to believe sometimes, i pray and feel comforted but then a day or so later im back to dwelling on my situation. Ive realized that the enemy wants me depressed, feel defeated, and alone and i try to not allow myself to feel this way and stand on Gods word but its so hard when im not hearing from God. I know that all my answers are with God but i just feel like “when will my true happiness come” I try not to allow bitterness to enter my heart but it does. I become angry with myself, God, my sister, my mom, and just anybody that is around. Will you pray that God will keep me until the day of deliverance. God blessed you Kelly. Im glad i found your blog

  4. Kelly, I’m so proud of you for choosing faith. Maybe with the other marriages, God wanted to perfect you for your spirit/soulmate, Jimmy. I’m so happy for your family. It’s a testament to being a good steward who chose to believe.

    I had a really long relationship with a bad exboyfriend, then, years after the relationship ended, God sent me an angel, better than anything I ever would have expected. He was just like my first love, that never materialized, and I think it was God’s way of saying “he is special, don’t take him for granted.” I am so grateful, and I never want to give him a reason to think that our relationship could ever be compromised.

    I have a condition called ammorea, which means I didn’t get my monthly cycle. Well, after I chose to become chaste until marriage, God started to prepare my womb. My condition corrected itself. My biggest fear has always been childbirth and during this time of transition, I feel like I’m finally ready to become a mother (at 38).

  5. Kiara

    Kelly,

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your difficult trials! I could deeply identify with your feeling of God being far away, even when you are pleading with Him to be near. This very night I struggled with the questions of, “If God won’t come near, does He even want me at all? Does He even hear lowly, little me?”. And God said yes. I wanted something physical, a spoken word, anything. But no. God wanted to teach me to seek Him when I don’t feel Him. He wanted to teach me what faith was. After seeking Him for hours, and hearing nothing, He led me to His word, and I felt a little peace. I was afraid that the feeling would leave, but then my faithful Savior led me to this blog, randomly. I had read your blog maybe once or twice before, and God brought you to my mind. This was the first thing that I found, several months after you wrote this blog, and He is still using it so greatly!! Thank you for reminding me that feelings are not everything, and that God is always near! I will continue to run to His Word =)
    Also, congratulations on the beautiful Lively! I’m lovin’ that name 🙂
    Kiara

  6. Marni Walsh

    Wow, Kelly, I had no idea you guys had gone through this 😦 What a painful thing to have to go through once, let alone THREE times. I am encouraged and spurred on by your DECISION to trust God even in these hard times, even though you didn’t want to. That’s what true faith is all about. Choosing to believe what you hope for and cannot see. I am so excited about baby #4 and will be praying that the Lord guards and protects you all (you, Jimmy, and baby).

  7. Jessica White Hernandez

    Kelly,

    I thank God for you. Thank you for be so open and honest and sharing your story, it really ministered to my heart tonight. I am going through a similar situation and I can feel almost every word you typed. It has been a struggle for me to trust Gods word over my feelings even though I know his word is truth and he has always been faithful.I have been crying out just to feel his presence or hear him speak to me through this trial, but he did tonight through your blog!

    Blessings,
    Jessica

  8. What a beautiful story Kelly!
    I have been in a similar place with God recently and it feels to wonderful to finally be able to hand everything over to Him, knowing that His promises are truth!
    I’m anxious to hear the rest of your story! This turned into a beautiful testimony for you so far!

  9. Rachel

    Kelly,

    I just wanted to tell you what an inspiration your blogs have been to me. I am 21 years old and I have been praying for my husband for almost nine years. I have never had a serious relationship before, but I know God has far greater plans than I could ever imagine. Every guy that enters the picture, it’s really amazing, God just shuts the door and I never hear back from them. I have wondered for a long time, What’s wrong with me? God, I have waited so long and all of my friends are married or in serious relationships. God, why does do you set me apart from all my friends, and I end up in a place with nothing to do on Friday nights? I have learned over the last few years that He is more than enough for me, and there is so much that I can be doing on a daily basis, not for me, but for other people. Thank you for showing me that I’m not alone, and for encouraging me. How awesome is our Heavenly Father that He is always there, through the valleys and to the top of the mountain tops!! I don’t understand, we aren’t suppose to though, His love is something I can’t even begin to wrap my head around. It’s really just about saying here I am God, take everything, cause nothing I have to offer is enough to give you. Thank you once again Kelly, your blogs have meant so
    much to me the past several months. – Rachel

  10. Kelly, thank you for sharing your story! Isn’t it wonderful what God can do to our hearts when we feel so weak in the flesh? My husband and I share a similiar story as you, with multiple pregnancy losses, and Ive recently had a surgery to repair my “girly” parts. I have gained so much insight and knowledge, as well as support, from many women I have encountered in the blogging world that share in our stories. I am planning to continue to follow your blog–and I will pray for you and your growing family! 🙂

  11. Kelly, this blog blessed me so much! I have a hard time relying on faith instead of what I feel and see. Learning how to trust God has been such a common theme for me lately. Thank you for writing this, I needed it, and plan to apply it to my life.

  12. Gina

    I just want to thank you for being so open. As I read this it brought tears to my eyes. I’m in the middle of my fourth miscarriage in a little under a year. Our pastor came to visit me in the hospital and gave me Psalm 84:11 telling me to trust in the Lord because He would work all things together for my good because I love Him. I was angry, at my pastor for not understanding my need to be angry and at God for letting this happen again. Sitting here in the hospital I stumbled across your husband’s facebook and his status said to check out your blog which led me here. I know it was the Lord that had me read this tonight, and while I’m still struggling your blog has brought me a lot of peace. Thank you so much!

  13. Eva

    Hello Kelly,
    I have been following your blog for a couple of months. Thank you for sharing these parts of you so candidly. I appreciate you, and how you always bring your struggles back to the Word, where there is victory. It’s very encouraging! Thank you, again. And may God continue to bless you!! =D
    -Eva

  14. Shelly

    Kelly,

    I’ve never met you nor your husband in person, but I want you to know that his music and your encouraging words are a true blessing. It helps to hear about the rough patches in life that others go through and I love how open you are in this entry about how you dealt with your pain. Thank you for sharing so honestly!

  15. Kim

    Hey Kelly. That was a blessed, brave and powerful post. May God bless you, prosper you and protect your family. Amen!

  16. Brittany Ykema

    Kelly I first just wanted to thank you for sharing. I have always viewed you as a humble servent of God and I know that through these times God has been able to strengthen your relationship with Him. You have quietly spoken to me through the times we have grown up and probably many of those times you had no idea. I knew and still know God has created an amazing women and you have been positive example and inspiration of what it means to follow God. I had no idea about all you have been going through and only wish I had been praying for both you and Jimmy. The two of you have been on our minds and only wish we had made better effort to get in touch. God is working in both of you and it is very evident. Thank you for all you have done in our lives and we hope we can do the same in return. John and I will be praying for all situations and your future. We are honored to call you both friends!

  17. Nichole

    Kelly – thank you for sharing your journey with an open and honest heart. My husband and I are going through a similar situation and you have been a source of great encouragement to me. God is using you in a very real way to touch others’ lives.

  18. Ashley

    Thank you so much for sharing Kelly. Thank you for being transparent. My husband is a pastor, and we took a step of faith by resigning from our church back in April. Our last Sunday is this coming Sunday and we have no new church yet. Our finances, home, job, church home, etc. is in God’s hands. We’ve been trusting Him. We DO trust Him, but I had such a despairing, discouraging week last week. I hold true that He’s got the plan, and often say we must feel a little how Noah felt. We obediently took this step of faith and I know that He’s got something great in store. I’m just sooo bad at letting Him handle the details. Thank you for your testimony!

  19. Awesome read 🙂 thanks for the encouraging words!

  20. Heather

    I appreciate this post. I know that it takes courage to be so open and honest about those things you feel in your heart that, as Christians, we so often don’t want others to see. My husband and I have been married for 12 years, have been trying to have children for 11 years. We’ve gone through the fertility tests only to find that everything is completely normal & healthy with both of us. There is, quite literally, NO medical reason why we don’t have a house full of children. The only reason we don’t have the pitter-patter of little feet that we so desperately desire is simply that it has not been God’s will. I think in some ways I almost wish there was a medical reason. But just for God to say “no”…..it’s hard to bear sometimes. The scripture that I have clung to through this…..that has felt, at times, like the only thing keeping me from falling into desperation…..is the end of Genesis 18:25: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”. My singular source of peace is knowing that the God of all the earth does ONLY right. That doesn’t always make it easy, of course, but it’s a rock solid fact that I hold onto like a lifeboat in a raging storm.

    Congratulations, by the way, on your upcoming bundle of joy. We truly serve a great, big, wonderful God!

  21. DiAndrea

    Thank you. I am trying to hold back tears because I feel every word you’ve written. I’m a school teacher and I was laid off last year and have since been trying to find work. I was able to substitute teach and do other things, but all the while working on getting back full time. Can I just tell you how hard its been? I know God is working, but…see there’s that BUT. I know that even when its hard the Lord is faithful and just and I need to profess my trust no matter what. Sooo hard, but so worth it. God bless you, Kelly! Thank you for this. I WILL rest on Gods word!

  22. Christy McNabb

    What a wonderful example of honesty and vulnerability that leads to an openness with God that pretending NEVER could achieve!! I am honored to be able to rejoice with you in our Savior’s goodness according to His word…. And to pray for you, my sister in Christ, as you are struggling to understand and need to be carried by the prayers of those sisters who long to see victory in your life! I am humbled by your vulnerability and transparency and am inspired to follow suit!
    God, strengthen Kelly according your promises today Lord! Sustain her with your strong right hand! Sing over her Lord!!… Let her hear your song! Let her feel your embrace! Bless her as she has been a blessing to so very many!! Amen!

  23. stephanie baker

    Even though I am not a mother, I have seen with patients the difficulty of losing someone that although you have never met, you love with all your heart. I have cried with them, prayed for them and it never gets any easier to experience. Thanks so much for your encouraging words. You show so much wisdom and I am so happy for you guys. =)

  24. Wow. I can relate to everything you said in this post about wondering how God could bring one of His kids (me, in my case) through insurmountable pain, etc., only to leave that child alone to deal with it. Been there. Done that. Still doing it, actually.

    Here’s a link to a brief post I wrote on the topic … I think you’re evidencing “real” faith, too.

    http://dsimple.wordpress.com/2006/10/20/real-faith/

    ~Debi (DSimple)

    1. Wow. i can hear the turmoil and feel the stirring when I read your words. I too have a similar way of speaking to God in certain sad moments in life and even though it seems so selfish and vulnerable and desperate he takes in every word and thought that I express to Him and turns it into something quite beautiful and intimate. You are a true mother and nothing stands between the children you and Jimmy will create together who will so graciously live and breathe and the prayer that goes right alongside them that only a mother who knows this understanding and this blessing will provide for them. I will never understand why God has allowed to drug you through this but I do know He protects you, your body, your life he has created and Jimmy’s and will sustain it and hopefully you will find the comfort and rest you have pleaded for. I do know when you hurt and when you grieve He does too like those around you who have the same spirit grieve with you. He is not only with the brokenhearted he is the one who is broken for you. Your not alone. I hope our friendship may grow stronger. ❤

      Love,
      Bethy

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