Finding Life After The Death Of A Dream

BY BENNETT ROLAN, BSF DIGITAL EDITOR

At a glance, Hoa Luu recognized the doctor’s office phone number. For a moment she paused, suppressing the familiar longing and excitement. But minutes into the call, she knew the truth. Her pregnancy results were negative once again. Hoa felt numb. How long could she endure the endless cycle procedures and tests? And what if she never had a baby? 

Surrender In Sadness

Married in her early 20’s, Hoa and her husband, David, pursued careers, traveled frequently and grew steadily in their faith. But as they considered starting a family, nothing happened. After countless doctors’ appointments, specialists and treatments, the prognosis stayed the same. Through years of disappointed hopes, Hoa was exhausted.

There was just extreme sadness. I was distraught over learning that I wasn’t pregnant. I could feel myself becoming bitter and angry, turning pregnancy into an idol,” Hoa shared. “What really helped me was talking to other women who were older, who didn’t have children. Knowing that I wasn’t alone was so helpful.” 

In the midst of her struggle between longing for a baby and leaning on the Lord, Hoa joined the staff at BSF Headquarters. There, she found wisdom in a much-needed friend. 

“When I wasn’t really looking for anyone, God dropped Gwen into my life,” she said.  

Hoa and her husband, David

Like Hoa, Gwen Cruzan struggled through the highs and lows of infertility. Some years older than Hoa, Gwen provided hope that joy in the Lord runs deeper than the death of a dream.

“I often think about 1 Timothy 6:6, ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain,’” Gwen said. “Sometimes we can become so focused on the things we want, that we don’t see the things we have. The Lord is the only one who could have provided that contentment. But I had to find a place of total surrender to His perfect will for my life. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but God’s will is perfect, with or without children.

Together, Hoa and Gwen have laughed, cried, prayed and hoped. They’ve built a deep friendship fueled by the need to remain fixed on the Lord in joy and sorrow.  

“Instead of focusing on anger or bitter regrets,” Hoa shared, “God opened my eyes to be content with what He has placed before me. I pray for excitement for whatever God has planned. And surely it’s better than what I could create on my own.” 

Sometimes we can become so focused on the things we want, that we don’t see the things we have.

For both women, the grief of infertility and the struggle for contentment is ongoing. Holidays like Mother’s Day or well-meaning comments can open wounds that God is still healing. 

“There are times when it’s more difficult than others. It is a little bit of a roller coaster when you see the nieces and nephews you helped to raise having children,” Gwen shared. “Asking God ‘Why?’ is natural. But we may never fully understand the intricacies of God’s plan, because it’s never about us. It is about Him and what He desires to do through us for His glory. I think if I had let my devastation keep me from being around children, I would have missed God’s blessing through relationships with young people in our church and children in the BSF school program. For me, contentment is something God has given over time.” 

A Commitment to Contentment

Though we may not struggle with infertility, we can relate to the deep disappointment of living in a fallen world. Our hopes for the future are often sidetracked and our carefully laid plans can fall apart in an instant. When we experience the death of a dream, the loss often threatens to pull our eyes from Christ.

Too often, we’re tempted to make our own path. We set our goals without pausing to reflect on God’s purpose in our disappointment or in the future He sets before us. God will lead some to adopt or care for a foster child, while others will prayerfully pursue medical solutions to solve infertility issues. Some couples will enjoy a life apart from children, seeking ways to serve as a family. Wherever He leads, God faithfully walks with His children, drawing us into deeper relationship with Him.

“You have to look internally at what is happening in your heart,” Hoa said. “Where is your desire? If your desire is for God, He will provide the contentment and guide those next steps.”  

In studying Genesis, Hoa’s compassion for Sarah was magnified as she read about a woman who struggled to believe God’s promise.  

Gwen and her husband, Russell

In Genesis 21, we see the contrast of God’s blessing through Isaac’s birth and the destructive results of Sarah’s earlier interference. Though waiting on God’s promises and welcoming His plan can be painful, Gwen and Hoa both testify that He alone satisfies our unfulfilled longings.

“Reflecting on our lesson in Genesis with the story of Sarah, Abraham and Hagar, I am comforted in knowing that our God is a God who sees us. He is the God that hears us, and He is the God who truly loves us best and knows what’s best for usHe has His perfect timing in blessing us, Gwen shared. “Look to the Lord to encourage your heart through His Word and His people. Continue to serve Him.   It’s easier to sit in God’s waiting room when you’re busy with your hands. Through Psalm 27:13-14can say: 

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.’” 

204 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. My daughter lost two baby boys. It was heartbreaking, but God blessed her with three beautiful healthy children. We grieved over the the lost of the two boys for years, but have since moved on and have accepted God’s plan and will for our lives. He knows what is best and we trust Him with all of our heart. Yes, we live in a fallen world and need to be grateful for the things we do have and not look at the things we don’t have. There will always be unanswered questions of “why?” We don’t ask that anymore. Your story reminds us of God’s grace and mercy and never to look back. We are learning to look forward for what God has for us. Enjoying today. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.

  2. VERY encouraging, Oh lord God help to be busy meditating as I wait upon you

  3. What a beautiful example of God’s goodness and the lasting faithfulness of these two ladies. Thanks for sharing your stories because they serve to encourage us and remind us that God’s plan are greater than our human plans. Though we may not understand them from this side of heaven, your testimonies serve to remind us that God is in control and directs us one step at a time. Thanks.

  4. Beautifully shared. We do need to wait on the Lord with a joyful heart. God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle as long as we call out to Him to guide us.

  5. I so enjoyed this post. I, too, am like Hoa and Gwen, but I suffered alone. I got married young (21). I remember crying so many tears over not having a child. Whether it was having my own or by adoption (I was denied because of health reasons; they were strict in those days). I would avoid going to church on Mother’s and Father’s Day because it hurt too bad. Then I came to terms with it when I had my hysterectomy in my late thirty’s. As my fellowship with the Lord matured, I did see other blessings. This BSF lesson has even helped bring me closer to the Lord and really understand that He is my first love!

  6. I was struggling with infertility the first year I enrolled in BSF and the Lord HEALED me and I conceived. Another class member was also struggling with infertility and when she knew I was pregnant, very graciously told me that she was happy for me. A few weeks later she became pregnant also!

  7. A very gift of a blog at the perfect time in my life. I just lost my husband of 37 years of marriage. My husband died even as we were making plans about our immediate future. I know about God s love and sovereignty,about God s character of Grace and favour. I know the goodness of God. Yet loosing my husband hurts deeply. Thank God for BSF. My husband and I served in bsf for many years. He died while still attending classes. That he accepted God as God in Christ gives me comfort and hope of healing in God s amazing ways. I must be contend even in hurting for God is in charge.

    • Miriam, your faith and heart for the Lord are so evident. Praying for you, dear sister.

    • Miriam,

      When I lost my beloved husband it was so devastating I did not want to go in without him. I asked the Lord to take me home. He told me it was a selfish request. My children needed me. He had more for me to do. I thought I could never smile or laugh again and one day it happened. I trusted GOD through it all – my broken heart, grief, abandonment, sadness, and shame. HE restored my soul! I now understand that out of death ALWAYS comes life. I have new life; it is fulfilling and blissful because of GOD’S presence and power in that emptiness I felt in that season. It is well with my soul. You can begin again?

  8. Beautiful Story. Thanks for sharing

  9. Thank you for sharing your stories, Hao and Gwen.

  10. Thank you for sharing. Infertility is such a common problem nowadays. I am one of them. The death of our dream is not an easy path. There was time we almost doubting God’s existence or did He loved us. But as we hang on to God and continue to wait upon Him. God is faithful. He opened the door for adoption for us. Something that we never thought of doing it.
    Fast forward… We will pick up our adopted son in 4 weeks. Praise God. Is not what we expected but it is beautiful and amazing. Everyone is so happy for us. We are so joyful as well. After all th me years of waiting. We can really say God is sovereign and He is faithful. Praise the Lord.
    Now we met so many friends that who also adopted. Is a beautiful circle of friends God blessed us.

  11. very touching testimony. May god forgive my uncontentment and the spirit of not being satisfied. May the Lord help me to see what He has given me and be grateful than always to long for what I do not have.
    I was happy when I read Psalm 27:13-14 and to see how Gwen and Russell have hope tp see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
    I will remember you Hoa and David, and Gwen and Russell in my prayers because I know and trust that God is at work even when we have not yet experienced a miracle.
    Thank you for your testimony, may God bless you and give you the desires of your heart(s).
    Deborah.

  12. My husband and I struggled with infertility for 9 years before finally adopting our beautiful daughter, who is now 31 and has a 3 year old son. Three and a half years after she was born, when I was 41 years old, I gave birth to her little brother! He was quite a surprise since I shouldn’t have been able to conceive. He is now 28 years old and I just found out that he and his wife have been trying to get pregnant for a year. She is having a much harder time with their struggles. I think he can be strong for her because he knows our story so well. I was in leadership in BSF during those long years of tests, procedures, failures, and heartbreaks. It was then that God slowly grew my faith in His Word. I now have rock solid faith in God’s Word and in His promises and it came from being in His Word every week and learning together with others about His faithfulness. I wish I had time to tell the whole story because God knew what He was doing from the beginning, but I can say that looking back I can see His plan was perfect.God bless any who are going through this difficult time. Stay in His Word every day and trust that his plan for your life is perfect. To God be the glory!

  13. Thank you so much for a thoughtful and very thought provoking story. It blessed me, not to hear that “everything worked out as we had planned”, but that everything worked out in spite of our plans”.

    I don’t want to cheapen my note by merely saying “God is good / God is perfect” — that would belittle the hurt and the pain these young women endured. Yet, there is a goodness in their stories that can’t be denied.

    Thank you so much for sharing ❤️.

  14. Wonderful story. This encourages me to focus on God in my infertility. I have waited for a promotion at my work place for more than 5 years now. Each year comes and goes with empty promises from my supervisors. I have prayed and patiently waited on God albeit a few times of questioning. With the 2019 Covid pandemic and now this story I repent for focusing on what I don’t have instead of focus on what I have. I have a job that pays my mortgage and meets my basic needs. Instead of idolizing my need for promotion I will wait on the Lord and praise Him for what He has already provided.

  15. Thank you for sharing this message and reminder of contentment and patience and loss. I am encouraged by your testimony, for it gives me hope.
    May God Bless You.

  16. Thank you for sharing ❤️

  17. What a beautiful beautiful blog

  18. Thanks for this sharing. In March this 2021year I’ll be six years old in BSF’s fraternity of believers. And I hope to continue in seeking God in all ways possible. Unfortunately hustle and bustle of today’s life are embedded in daily living and the technology age leaves a lots to be desirable Nonetheless I trust God will make way,where there seem to be no way.To God be glory forevermore. Amen.

  19. Such a beautiful story Hoa. I was blessed to have children, but my amazing husband was taken home to heaven when he was just 63. The death of our dreams to retire, travel and spend all our time together were gone. Your testimony has touched my heart in a way that I can relate. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you!

  20. It is easier to wait on the Lord when you stay in His word & work! I have found this true during this strange year! I pray things come back around! I know he is still walking with me but I cry out to him to stay with us!

  21. Thank you for sharing your testimony….and reminding” Godliness with contentment is the biggest gain”…we all have various areas of unfulfilled dreams but the truth is we or I need to die to my dreams and His ways alone be perfected…great thought for the day.

  22. WOW> did that hit home. took me a while to get to it. With me it is a29 year marriage that turned out to be a great disappointment. Tim 6.6 has been an anchor scripture to me. Knowing that God’s grace is sufficient has been a great help. but reading the stories of others who have had to deal with unfulfilled dreams like David and Hoa reminds me I’m not alone, God’s with me, and I have brothers and sisters in the faith I can identify with.

  23. Thank you for sharing your story on being contentment. I really enjoyed it. I know that I need to be more contented with things that I have and enjoy what I do have. The Lord bless you.

  24. Bennett,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story and the honest testimonies of Hoa and Gwen.
    The scripture references are such a great reminder of the unconditional love given by our Father God, in ALL circumstances.

    Patience is such a tough characteristic to hold onto in our earthly lives. Yet, God reassures us through the holy spirit of His presence.
    Waiting is a challenge when we try it on our own.

    When our eyes are drawn away from the Father, it creates peace and joy knowing He never takes His eyes off of us. Perfect vision.

    I appreciate your BLOG.❤

  25. Thank you for this story of extreme disappointment, of loss, and of God’s tender care. This is a testimony not often spoken by women like us, who would have loved to have experienced this true blessing God gives. Our God knows how and when to put salve on the open wound in our hearts and then He alone dries our eyes and (in my case) gives us what we need so badly, motherhood. Adoption is such a blessing for not only myself, but in the life/lives of God’s little ones who desperately need love and a home. My husband and I adopted two brothers and they became my life in Christ. Do you know what happened? My youngest son succumbed to Leukemia and passed away when he was 14, after 8 years of heart wrenching struggle in our home. But I GIVE GOD THE GLORY FOR WHAT HE ALLOWS! Ups and downs in life are inevitable, But God NEVER leaves us NOR forsakes us! I love Him and he has given me another beautiful son who is now a father, a husband and provider. TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR THE THINGS HE HAS DONE!!!

  26. Thank you Hoa & David, for the courage to share your story. It has deeply touched me and was timely. As I like others below, miscarried the only child I conceived. It was years ago and though I was saved, I was a secular Christian and didn’t have an intimate relationship with God. Many years later, I turned my life over to Him completely, walking away from a long term, immoral relationship with a man with children. Once desperately wanting a husband of faith & children of my own, Christ has led me to a place of great contentment in Him and Him alone. He is the love I had been looking for. And, even though still very painful to go through Mother’s Day and Christmas, watching my siblings w/families, I can no count myself the most blessed, I am the one who is eternally blessed. It was a long tearful road, but like David’s words say, “I remain (ed) confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” And, I have.

  27. Gwen and Hoa, thank you for sharing your life experiences. May the Lord fulfil the desires of your heart in His time. What a timely reminder to stay focused on God through difficult circumstances. Its never easy but our God is faithful

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