Tears of Joy and Grief

By Rica Allen

She was weeping tears of joy and had a beautiful look of shock on her face as she looked at the baby inside her belly on the screen through ultrasound. This was a rare case in our pregnancy resource center, as most women coming through our doors are not hoping for the pregnancy they find themselves in.  This woman had been told her whole adult life that she was infertile, not only that, but her boyfriend was also told he was infertile.

As a client advocate, I was in the sonogram room with them and joined in her tears of joy but also cried my own selfish tears of grief, being an infertile woman myself.  My heart ached as I wondered why the Lord would choose to heal this woman’s infertility and not mine.  After all, she was having premarital sex and I am a married woman serving the Lord… some pretty self-righteous thoughts were swirling around in my head.   This was a very painful moment that made me want to run and never go back.  In fact, the only source of comfort I felt in this selfish moment of mine, was from the crafty enemy.  I kept hearing this soothing voice in my head say “you don’t have to keep doing this… it’s too painful, just stop coming”.  It was as if the enemy was rubbing my shoulder and comforting me with this lie.  I would soon learn that satan was desperately trying to thwart God’s plan for 2 young women waiting to be seen.

I am a married woman serving the Lord… some pretty self-righteous thoughts were swirling around in my head.

I tried to pawn off this next client to a new client advocate I had been training… she said no, she wasn’t ready.  So off I went feeling I had nothing to offer this next hurting young woman.  I prayed and asked God to do His thing because I had nothing, I just wanted to go home and never return.  Well God did show up and did do His thing!  This 2nd client came into the counseling room extremely abortion determined.  She was very rough and intimidating, as was the friend she brought in with her for support.  As we proceeded through the intake interview, I thought I would shy away from sharing the gospel and just kind of rush this woman through the process so I could leave.  But God in His goodness, had other plans.

As I proceeded to share out of obedience to Him, I discovered my client (nor her friend) had ever heard the gospel.  As I began to share the “3 Circles” with them, they also informed me they had not even heard of Adam and Eve.  This was shocking to me!  Much to my amazement, both of these women chose to place their faith in Christ that day.  Not only that, after a few weeks of follow up with this client, she shared that she had decided to choose life for her baby!!  She said she felt she had been seeing signs that lead her to this life decision.  I was able to remind her that we prayed the day she was in the center that God would reveal Himself to her in the days to come!  He was faithful to do so for sure!!

But God in His goodness, had other plans.

My point in sharing this is that it goes right along with Joe Valenti’s sermon a few weeks ago.  The idea of “what thing that makes us the most mad, is the thing we are made for.”  For me, this would be abortion, which causes me to respond by serving in a pro life ministry.   Obviously in the flesh, the last place an infertile woman would want to serve, would be counseling women who want to terminate their babies.  But that’s the beauty of this… as beloved children of God, we serve in the Spirit, not the flesh.

God has called me to serve and love these women through a Holy Spirit empowerment.  This is not something I could do on my own.  So, to God alone be the glory!  There is however, an act of obedience we must be willing to take.  Serving comes at a great cost to those who serve.  There is a dying to self that we must be willing to undergo.  I have heard it said that “if it doesn’t feel a little bit like dying, it’s probably not the gospel” we are sharing.  When others can see a willingness to embrace difficulty and pain that results in joyful service, they can get the slightest glimpse of what God has done for us through Jesus.

He left the comforts of Heaven to pursue us needy people.  He came to absorb all the burden, pain and suffering on humanity’s behalf in order to restore us into relationship with God.  He calls each of us to die to self and embrace what we are made for, specifically those things that make us the most mad.  We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus and that is what we must do, whether painful or not.   The joy that results in serving on Christ’s behalf far out ways the pain that can exist in the midst of that service.