When faith is a battle

Are you SURE you’re pregnant?” the ultrasound technician asked my wife. We should have been 6 weeks in and there should have been a heartbeat. There was only a “2 to 3 week gestational sack.” We had heard similar words before and I’m sure you could easily read the disappointment on our faces. After two fine sons we had lost two babies, each in the first trimester, and here we were facing the same thing again. They wanted to schedule us back the following week, but we were going on a week-long retreat with our church, so we signed up for the Monday after. We left there feeling empty and deflated, while heading to a retreat where we should have been expectant for what God could do. I was at a low point in my faith, disappointed by the losses and just like the father in Mark 9:24 NKJV, I wanted to cry out. “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!”

During the retreat we met a couple from Zimbabwe. Our first night there, she had a dream about a child in the womb, struggling to be born. At one point in the dream God’s hand turned the child. It was born and “it was a great joy.” Without knowing much about our story they asked if they could pray for us. From that point on my wife began chose to hope again, although I continued to struggle to believe. “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”

Hebrews 11:1 NKJV continued to ring in my ears, almost as an accusation instead of an encouragement, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.”  How could such a simple statement seem so complicated and hard to understand? We continued to pray and I continued to “try” to believe.

We returned to our doctor’s office the day after we got home.  It was easy to tell that the same technician wasn’t excited about doing our ultrasound again. Yet, she sat bolt upright as she looked at the little monitor and exclaimed, “You ARE pregnant AND it’s perfect!” Through tears of joy we watched a little 8 week old heart beat strongly.

He has been “a great joy”. He’s married now and hoping to have children of his own. Whenever I pray and find myself struggling with those quiet doubts of unbelief, I remember how God heard our cry and answered my prayer, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”