The past few months have been hectic. Doctors’ appointments and building this blog have gotten in the way of the long stretches of time I used to spend reading. So when I first sat down to read Every Bitter Thing is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things by Sara Hagerty, I expected to spend a few days or weeks working through the book.
Well, about four hours and one large butt-print on the couch later, I had finished the whole thing.
And now I want to go back and read it again, slowly, to let everything sink in.
I knew this book would speak to me when I read the very first paragraph:
My life wears stretch marks from a child. A child I never conceived yet spent a decade birthing. A child who, in the swirl of my wounds, has healing for me still.
This book is not just about infertility and adoption, though they do play a large role. It’s also about marriage, depression, vulnerability, and figuring out how to hope. But I think this book would touch people who haven’t experienced infertility. Hagerty writes so beautifully that it would be easy to get swept up in her words even if the book was about milking cows (no disrespect to those of you who enjoy cow-milking books!).
Here she talks about being vulnerable:
I had asked for more of You, God, and that meant more of me exposed. I was fumbling to get my arms around the reality that my exposure – to Nate [her husband], to God, even to a friend on the other end of my phone – wasn’t to be feared. It was holy.
And on the “church triggers” I wrote about a few months ago:
They came on Sundays, in droves, it felt, to be reminded of a faithful God, but I entered those doors each week with the stinging sense that my request of that same faithful God hadn’t yet received a response. They were my reminders…my weekly encounter with envy…Being among those blessed only made me feel even more cursed.
Yet despite the gut-wrenchingly honest descriptions of her sorrow, she writes even more beautifully about hope and healing.
Because when I choose hope, when I choose to engage in that awkward intimacy of believing that He might say no while asking expectantly that He say yes, He gets the most beautiful part of me. Hope is my precious oil, mingling with tears to wash His feet. Hope, and vulnerability it brings, is what moves his heart. Hope, and how it draws me to Him, means that not one of those minutes curled up in pain was lost, not one of those minutes of closeness with Him is forgotten, not one of those negative pregnancy tests was wasted [emphasis mine].
…our greatest testimony isn’t found in those moments of victory over weakness or even in the moments of hope fulfilled. It is found in waiting, wanting, adoring. It is found in hunger.
If you want a book that will both challenge and encourage you, I highly recommend Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty.
View the trailer for the book below: