“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” –John 16:21
How long had it been since the first word was planted? The first inkling of what God was going to do in and through you? How many months of wondering what it would look like and when you would start to see doors open? How long have you been hoping against hope? Or pushing hope down into the dark recesses of your soul because you were weary of it? How long ago did God first make you pregnant with a vision?
It seemed like an eternity for me. God spoke such amazing things, and I felt them come alive in me. I felt myself come alive with the very words He spoke. Yes, God! This is what you made me for! I thrust all stability in the eyes of the world away and clung to Him. Take me there to the place where you are, God!
There were times I saw His hand unmistakably at work in me or my circumstances. Times I knew He was for me and not against me. But there were also times I wondered at His methods, wondered about His goodness. Wondered about His timing. There were nights I cried until I was sick, prayed until there was literally nothing else to say. Then I stopped praying because I was overwhelmed with my own turmoil. I fought against hope, choosing to crush it rather than embrace it. Despising the very mention of His promises because I was literally sick of hearing. Hope deferred had done a number on me.
Then, August 17, 2014, God spoke to me through Song of Solomon 2:12 and said very plainly, “the season of singing has come.” Did I dare believe it? Could my hope live again? Yes! Hope is so resilient. I dared believe. Then came the worst time of travailing I have ever known. The pain and agony, the numbness, the apathy, the bitterness, the fierceness in my heart … I can’t explain it more, because there aren’t words to describe the pain of the following days, weeks and months. I was tortured in my thoughts, in such distress in my heart. I struggled in every possible way, and wondered time and again how God was still using me in this time of utter desperation. But during this time, I finished a book and saw doors opened that were never open to me before. Ministry sprung up in areas so dry and unfruitful before. And I underwent a spiritual development I would not have known in a less trying time. God birthed things in my life during one of the hardest seasons I’ve ever endured. It was not the season of singing. It was the season of travailing.
However, the season of singing has come. God has birthed something in my life, and although even afterward, I went through some major depression, I am singing today. I am singing because I have seen God fulfill His promise. I have seen Him prove Himself faithful. I have seen Him open doors no man could open. I have seen Him put me right where He said He would put me. And I look at the rest of the things God spoke to me that haven’t come yet, and I am filled with fresh, passionate hope because of the things He has done.
Listen to me, you. Listen to me, because I know your eyes are full of tears and your heart is full of anger because you are struggling to believe. You are struggling to hold on. You are ready to throw in the towel and go at it on your own. Now is the time to press in! Now is the time to persevere. Right now is the testing of your faith that will produce. You are being refined and God will not fail you. Stay the course! Be obedient! Hope on! Our God is good! Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Believe in the darkness, because this too shall pass. You will come into those things God spoke to you. Just trust Him. Do not waver in your faith. God will bring it to fruition. He is faithful.