A faithful presence of love in the absences of our city.

Bitter Laughter


After all of this, God? I can hear Abram and Sarai saying to God as He promises them that they will be the father and mother of many nations in their old age, after having waited years, struggling with infertility and desire for a child. Sarah is eavesdropping on God and Abram’s conversation from the tent, and hears God tell Abram that Sarah shall have his son in one year’s time. She laughs in disbelief of the Lord.

I am so familiar with this type of laughter, and I identify deeply with it. The kind of laughter that hints at constant heartache, hysteria, and frustration, so much to a point that all you have left to do is laugh. Where were you all of this time, God? Why have you waited by as I have suffered? 

Every time I hear a sermon or podcast teaching on the story of Abram and Sarai and the promised birth of Isaac, I am always very emotional and it’s always one of those “this is getting real real” moments for me, because part of my story is infertility and several pregnancy losses. Desiring something so good as to parent a child, something that God refers to as a heritage from Him, and then seemingly having your wishes and dreams rejected is a really, really tough pill to swallow.

Grief is so complex. J.K Rowling describes it as “caring so much that you feel as if you’ll bleed to death with the pain of it”. Without the hope of God, grief has the capability to swallow us whole. As a Christian dealing with seemingly consistent loss, of both my dreams and my babies, God can feel far away. There are times when I struggle to lean into Jesus with my grief, and it can warp me into a bitter, resentful human who expects from God instead of being thankful for His plan for my flourishing.

I feel like as Sarah laughs in bitterness when God promises her a son, I could say to her “I feel you girl.” When you deal with something so fierce for so long, it is almost as if you can’t possibly believe anything good can happen to you again. You melt into a cynic who mocks miracles, much like myself sometimes. 

God’s timing and urgency are different from our own, considering He exists outside of earthly time. While we are down here shaking our fists and yelling at God to hurry up, in His delicate care and perfect orchestration for our lives, He gently tells us “Hold on, I’ll be back next year, and you will have a Son.”, and He changes our bitter laughter into amazed transformation.

~ Carly Haynes