Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Haggerty (book review)

I can't remember why I wanted to read "Every Bitter Thing is Sweet" by Sara Haggerty, but I'm glad I did. I wasn't that in love with it when it started. I wasn't taken in by her sorrowful account of infertility; maybe because I have a friend whose story is so similar and familiar to me.

I completely understand that infertility is a hard pill to swallow and foreign to someone like me. I have tried my very hardest to be comforting and patient and gentle with my friend and so I put forth the same while reading this book. I ended up really falling in love with the struggles of the Haggertys. That sounds strange but so often in books, we don't see the struggles, and so we feel like our lives are wrong if we struggle. Yet here is this author telling us of her struggles to love her husband, to fill a void of an empty womb, to mother these children not knitted in her womb but fully in her heart. I came to love that openness and appreciate her being so vulnerable with her words.

image via BookLook
I will say this sparked such a fire in my heart. For many years my husband and I have talked of adoption; I believe  since prior to our wedding even. Yet it's been put off by the raising of the biological children we have (or are in the midst of having). But after I was through with this book, I told my husband that we need to adopt. In the past this has been a difficult thing for us to discuss because it's not like adoption is cheap! Yet this time he was all chill about it. I think that means something special.

Then I will quote one spot in the book that really touched my mother-heart.

"...motherhood's greatest fulfillment is not when children become vibrant God-followers who change the world for Him. Though this goal is certainly high on my list, I would be left bereft in the day-to-day reality of parenting if my eyes were on this alone. If this is my highest goal, then what am I to do when anger floods her limbs and his heart seems stuck, when I'm waiting and praying but not yet seeing fruit? If my chief end as a mother is anything less than knowing Him and carrying His glory in my life, I will walk through these years empty."

This really hit me because I've always said that was my goal, to have my children love the Lord. And yet, Haggerty is so right in this. I must know Him and carry His glory in MY life. I cannot make my children love the Lord; in fact, I have friends who love the Lord very much and raised their children to do so, too, and yet they do not. Did they fail as mothers? No because they were raising very human children with free wills, just as I am. I cannot make that choice for my children. I can point them in the right direction and the best way I can do that is to live it myself.

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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