Don’t Let Me Forget

“When you hold your baby, you will forget all this pain. It
will just fade away when you see that sweet face. It will all be over.” I
cannot tell you how many times I heard this when we were going through
infertility treatments. Although the people who said this were doing so out of
care for my heart, deep inside I didn’t want it to be true. I don’t want to
forget that pain. I want to remember every tear I cried. I want to remember
every single stick that said “not pregnant.” I want to remember the look on
Brandon’s face when I would tell him the news. I want to remember all the times
I laid on the floor begging God to take the hurt away, or the deep desire to be
a mom. And all the times I cried out to Him from a lamenting heart. I want to
remember the struggle I felt and the intense exercise of my faith.  I want to remember every hug, card, and
prayers I received from my friends. I want to remember the hard to be able to cherish
the strength of our marriage that came from it all. You might think this is
strange. Who wants to remember the most painful days of their lives?

As I have been reading through the Old Testament, I run
across the word “altar” so frequently. I circle the word every time I read it. When
studying Scripture, that probably means you should look it up. So I reach for
my trusty Halley’s Bible Handbook, my worn ESV, and NIV Study Bible that I keep
on our end table for such occasions. You will be interested to know what I found.
Normally altars were places of sacrifice or burning incense. Probably when you
think of the word, your mind immediately takes you to a bloody, repentive
place. Altars represented communion with God and places of deep reverence. Not only
did they represent sacrifice, but they also commemorated encounters with God.
They were built to last with stones and dirt. Altars were made to be concrete,
visual reminders of times proving God’s faithfulness, His protection and

An infinite God used His great wisdom in telling His people
to build these altars. He knows our little finite minds can’t comprehend His
greatness or remember all the times He has been faithful to us. They are just
too numerous to count. So, He tells his people to build these rock and dirt
things so they can see a physical reminder. He is just the best!

I had a slight obsession with this concept a few years ago
when I was teaching high school girls in Bible study. We all decorated these really
cute cups and on the front we wrote, “God’s Faithfulness.” Every time God
answered a prayer, or proved Himself faithful to us, we would drop a little
stone in our cup. Before too long, girls were calling me asking for more cups because
they were too little to hold all the stones. I kept mine in my kitchen and
often found it spilling over. This tangible object taught me and the girls so
much about God’s faithfulness to us. When I would have a hard day or wonder
when He would pull through, I would look at the cup and be reminded that He has
been faithful before and He will only be faithful again.

How funny would it be if our yards were filled with these
altars of stone and dirt?! I don’t think my neighbors would appreciate it! Just
because we don’t build altars these days, does not give us the permission to
forget all God has done. Sometimes we
have to remember the depth of our despair to recognize the heights He overcame.

This is exactly why I don’t want to forget the years of praying
and crying for a baby. Hopefully soon, when I do hold my baby, he or she will
be somewhat a living representation of that particular Ebenezer in my life. I
hope when people see our baby, along with incredible cuteness, they will
instantly remember God’s faithfulness and goodness. I hope that this baby will
not only be an answer to our prayers, but to yours too. So that you will know
of God’s faithfulness in our life, and be reminded that He will do the same in
yours.  I have had so many people email
or call me sharing their story of infertility, adoption, or waiting in general.
I love it! I don’t ever want to forget what God has brought us through so I can have
compassion and love on hearts that are walking through the fire.

1Corinthians 1:3-7 says this, “Blessed be
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of
all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that
we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort
with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share
abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in
comfort too.[a] If we are afflicted, it
is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your
comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings
that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know
that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.”

Build for yourself an altar or Ebenezer reminding you of God’s
protection and promises, whether it’s in your yard 🙂
or in your kitchen. So when
hard times arise or a friend needs “comfort in affliction” you will be sure to
hold fast to His promises because “he who promised is faithful.”