“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life”.
Each of us are dealt cards the moment we are born that depict our life’s circumstances, experiences, highs and lows. Sometimes when things aren’t going our way, it’s easy to ask “God, why? Why these cards? Why was I the one picked to carry these burdens?” I know I myself have asked this several times throughout my life, particularly while going through infertility.
I’ll never forget a few years back when I was sitting in a Panera’s eating lunch with a friend and pouring my heart out to her about my desperation for a baby when after a few minutes she kindly interrupted me and said “Laura, you are letting this take over your life. If God doesn’t bless you with a biological child you WILL be okay. You have to be willing to accept it if that’s not His plan for you.” “Ouch!”, I thought. Here I was having recently suffered what was then my fifth miscarriage and all I was looking for was a safe place to vent but yet I found myself being lectured. I was upset. I was hurt by her comment but now looking back I see that this friend of mine was right. She was wanting to be a safe place for me and she actually did know how I was feeling because she herself had gone through infertility and the adoption process a couple years prior. She did want to give me room to grieve but she wasn’t willing to sit back and just watch me spiral.
From the outside looking in, it had become evident to her just how engrossed I had become in trying to “fix” my situation and reshape my life to fit the mold I had always imagined it to be. It had always been my plan that by five years of marriage we would at least have one baby under our belt, or maybe even two. But, it just wasn’t happening for us and I started to go from sad to mad. My view of life in general became so skewed and I had developed tunnel vision that was so fixed on my pain and what I didn’t have that what I did have became blurred. Truly at that time in my life, infertility took up my every waking moment and thought. When I wasn’t googling fertility tips, I found myself envying others, comparing myself to others and crying out to God asking “why me?”
Did I have a right to be upset and anxious about my situation? Absolutely, I did. I am human after all and I’ll be the first to tell you that infertility is without a doubt one of the most crushing experiences I have ever had to walk through. But allowing myself to spiral and wallow in sadness and self pity was doing me way more harm than good and my friend saw that. My relationship with God and my husband had become strained, my job I once loved became a burden and my enthusiasm for life had been squashed. Now, looking back I can see that God wasn’t answering my prayers with a “no” like I thought He was but with a “not yet”. He was working in my heart and molding me into the mom my children needed me to be. But at the time all I wanted to do was stomp my feet and huff and puff because it wasn’t happening when I had planned. I can honestly tell you that because I chose to spend so much time focusing on the fact that I didn’t have a baby, I stopped appreciating the already existing blessings in my life. I missed out on so much because I had stopped living in the present. Instead I was living in a hypothetical day dream of what I wanted my life to be.
I eventually did receive my rainbow baby. But do you want to know when? It was after I declared out loud to myself, my husband and to God that I was done trying to control this situation and I was choosing to be at peace that if our last fertility attempt didn’t work we would adopt and stop trying. I wholeheartedly told the Lord with open hands “I will accept it if your answer is no, even if I don’t understand it and even if it leaves my heart shattered. I want your will for my life and not my own. May your will be done.”
I declared these words out loud on a sunny, Sunday afternoon drive with my husband and it was the following Thursday that I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The moment I read my lab results off the computer the country song “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” by the Band Perry came on and I know that in that moment God was telling me it was time for the void in my heart to be filled. It says in Proverbs that “a hope deferred makes the heart sick. But a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” I knew in that moment that by surrendering to Him my plans for my life and choosing to accept whatever He had for me, I was then made ready to receive His blessing. That blessing came in the form of a little 6 pound 8 ounce baby girl who’s due date just so happened to fall on Mother’s Day 2014. Was that just a coincidence? No, I don’t think so. I think God knew what He was doing all along.
As hard as it was, I see now that God used my infertility for His glory and as a way to shape me into the woman I am today. God taught me that beauty and blessings are found in our surrender to Him. When we pray and ask God for something He will always answer us with one of three answers: “yes”, “no” or “not yet”. I’m so thankful to say that my prayer for biological children was eventually answered but if God had chosen to tell me “no” instead of “not yet” I know He would have carried me through and had a reason for it. I know that as heartbroken as I would be, life would still have kept going and I would have found joy and purpose in another way.
So if you find yourself in the waiting game, holding on to every waking moment just waiting for your prayers to be answered then I want to encourage you to stop. Stop holding on so tightly to what you think you need in your life and start changing your prayer to “not my will Lord but yours.” When you do, profound miracles and blessings will be bestowed upon you. Some of these blessings may be just the very things we prayed for and some may be something or someone we didn’t know we needed. But you will never know if you keep trying to dictate your plans to God. Pray with open hands and then keep on living. Don’t shut out the blessings right in front of you as you are waiting for a new one to be born. Learn to let go and let God and watch how He moves. Learn to surrender your hopes and dreams to Him and watch the beautiful things God has planned for your life unfold!