PEACE IN THE STRUGGLE
The movie Soul Surfer tells the story of a young athlete, Bethany Hamilton, whose life revolves around surfing and her faith. But, lurking in the depths off a sun-kissed Hawaiian beach, is a tiger shark.
And he is hungry…
You may have heard about what happened next. The shark’s attack cost her an arm.
How could this 13-year-old ever surf again? And, how would she ever face the fear of the sea that no doubt would cripple her emotionally, as sure as she had been handicapped physically?
In a recent interview with Dennis Rainey’s program,FamilyLife Today, her mother described a day when she said to Bethany, “Let’s just pray that God’s will be done for your life. Let’s pray for God to bring you into the center of His will.” They continued praying this for about two weeks, and the shark attack occurred.
“I don’t pretend to have all the answers to why bad things happen to good people,” Bethany says in her book, also titled Soul Surfer. “But I do know that God knows all the answers, and sometimes He lets you know in this life, and sometimes He asks you to wait so that you can have a face-to-face talk about it. What I do know is that I want to use what happened to me as an opportunity to tell people that God is worthy of our trust, and to show them that you can go on and do wonderful things in spite of terrible events that happen. I don’t think it does any good to sit around feeling sorry for yourself. I made myself a promise: I’m not going to wallow or walk around moaning, ‘Woe is me!’”
It is difficult for me to understand that a shark biting my arm off might ever be in God’s will for my life.
However, our own personal struggle was not with a shark. It was with infertility. Infertility did not seem that it could be in God’s perfect will for our lives, anymore than a tiger shark’s attack.
You see, I had married the loveliest, most gracious and Godly lady I have ever met. By 1997, I was practicing as an injury lawyer and we were teaching a young married Sunday school class at Bellevue. Trish had earned her nursing degree and was a blessing to every one of her patients.
But something was missing…No. Someone was missing.
How do you miss someone you have never met? Couples who have struggled with infertility know this. How could this be in the will of God? We were happily married, Christian professionals, making a good living, with a nice home featuring an empty room we hoped–one day–to call the “nursery.” We were leading a group at church filled with families having baby showers, but never for us. People would often ask why we did not have a baby yet? Or even worse, “Don’t you two want kids?”
It was difficult to have peace in that struggle. But, like the brave young lady portrayed in Soul Surfer, we found the purpose.
We were more than ready when a developing baby needed adoptive parents. The verse in Joel 2:25 came true in our lives, and we have since become parents, the natural way, twice more.
That means one of our kids is adopted…but I always forget which one!