Hearts Wide Open

by Alice Matagora June 28, 2023
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 (NIV)

“What?!” I shook my head and stared at the test. One strong line and one very faint one.

“There’s no way … What?”

If there was anything five years, one positive pregnancy test and deep grief had taught me, it was not to get my hopes up so easily.

I tested again, this time unable to clearly make out a second line. Maybe it was there — maybe it wasn’t. I decided to go out and purchase a more sensitive pregnancy test, bringing my dog along for moral support.

When I got home, I took the third test and was unable to make out a second line. Later that night and the next day, I started to see the sure signs that I was not, in fact, pregnant.

The ache and pain of this disappointment were so devastating that I felt like they would crush my body and soul. My heart was broken.

It was painfully difficult for me to wrestle with the goodness of God in unexplained infertility. Why, God? If You knew it was going to be negative in the end, why give me a positive test? If You know each month I will end up with no baby, why drag out the disappointment?

Don’t You see how painful this is already?

Don’t You care?

At times, I felt that it would be easier to know pregnancy would never happen, to grieve the loss and move on, rather than keep hoping.

How could I keep my heart wide open and vulnerable to hope — and at the same time keep my heart wide open and vulnerable to devastating grief month after month? How could I keep doing so when I’d experienced more pain than joy? How could I not numb or harden my heart to protect it from disappointment?

Recalling God’s unwavering love, goodness, promise and presence with me and my husband — even in the deepest, dark valley of infertility — kept us holding on to nothing else but Him. He is the God who is able to throw the mountains into the sea (Psalm 46:2) and raise the dead to life (Matthew 28:6). He is the God who created the heavens and the earth and all that is in it (Genesis 1). He is El Roi, the God who sees, and is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18).

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).

We can also look to Jesus, the Son of God who was forsaken by the Father as He hung on the cross for the sins of the world (Matthew 27:46). Remembering that Jesus can identify with us in our own feelings of being forsaken gives us comfort that He understands our grief.

The cross helped my husband and me hold on to hope that our story wasn’t over yet, just as it wasn’t over for Jesus when He had yet to be raised to life in defeat of death itself. God was still at work to bring about the salvation of the world even as nothing seemed to be happening; Jesus’ body lay in the tomb, and all hope seemed lost. But Jesus’ death and resurrection give us courage to believe that God can redeem even our darkest moments.

At the end of the day, when all else fails, we put our hope not in the things of this world — in doctor appointments, fertility treatments, scheduling, testing and temperature taking — but in God alone. He alone is faithful, He alone is enough, and He alone is able to rewrite our stories of pain to be more beautiful than we could ever think of or imagine.

Lord, You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever. When I feel forsaken, help me remember the cross, and give me courage to return to hope in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


God wants to use you right where you are. Drawing on cutting-edge research and biblical wisdom, Alice Matagora invites you to enter Jesus’ plan to save the world, wherever you are, in her book How to Save the World: Disciplemaking Made Simple. She understands your anxieties (because she’s experienced them) and helps you to break down barriers, pointing you to the joy of engaged discipleship: knowing Christ, making Him known, and helping others do the same. Get your copy today!



You can also follow Alice Matagora on Instagram and Facebook.


Lamentations 3:21-25, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him” (ESV).

Where are you experiencing pain and loss from keeping your heart open to hope in this season of life?

How have you returned to hope in God in light of disappointment? Is there a passage of Scripture that encourages you? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2023 by Alice Matagora. All rights reserved.

What We Believe

If your life feels too overwhelming, click here for our care and counseling resources.

Join the Conversation