We tried for 18 months to get pregnant with our first child. At 17 months we found an answer, got pregnant (more quickly than doctors expected) and thought we were closing the door on that road of infertility. We thought the problem was fixed and we wouldn’t struggle anymore. I loved my pregnancy and birth and fully intended for there to be several more babies to follow. Little did we know at that time what a miracle that one conception was. After we realized that we didn’t really fix the problem, I started asking the Lord for a “right place at the right time” situation where we could adopt a baby from someone where we had a personal connection. He graciously granted that within a year or so. So yes, I have two children. And yes, I want more.
The second part of the story that has been interwoven with our infertility and adoption journey is one of my husband’s struggle with anxiety, depression and chronic pain. Because it’s only partly my story to tell, suffice it to say that we have had some very dark, lonely, disconnected seasons in our marriage. And the ones that aren’t dark, lonely and disconnected are far from carefree, easy or predictable. Let me clarify that I’m not saying there is not goodness aside from or even in the midst of this. My husband hates the effects of anxiety, depression and his pain much more than I do. Yet even in his struggle he has a heart of goodness toward us and brings loyalty, diligence, humor, perseverance and a very strong sense of responsibility as he cares for his family. But a depressed and anxious person in the family affects everyone else in the house on a daily basis. Anxiety and chronic pain rob joy from social plans, family vacations, work travel, game nights, sex, parenting, and even favorite hobbies of the anxious one.
So during these years of infertility, anxiety and depression, I’ve waited. I’ve waited for God to give more babies and healing, and I’ve waited for The Lord to take the yearning away. I’ve waited for my husband to feel well for more than a few days at a time. I’ve waited for a long time.
There was a point where I believe He told me no, there would be no more babies. It was time for me to move on. I grieved as I passed my baby paraphernalia on in stages… my maternity clothes… my crib bumpers… the infant car seat… the bouncy seat. I bawled and heaved as I passed on the bouncy seat. My favorite of all my baby things had to go as a matter of obedience. I was waiting for that which He did not have for me, and someone else needed my baby things.
I don’t wait on the Lord anymore, because in my head and in my life lessons, this waiting was connected to an expected change in circumstance. I was waiting patiently for God to give me that miracle he gave to Hannah in 1 Samuel. I was waiting for the Lord to offer the healing He offered in John to so many who needed it. I was waiting on God to do something.
I’m not waiting on that anymore.
I’m not “not waiting” because I have lost hope, because I am bitter or because I don’t believe He can bring healing or pregnancy. I believe fully that He can do either. I’m just not expectant. I am settled, trusting that He knows what’s best for me. He knows what is best for my husband, and He knows what’s best for our family. He knows He will shape me while I long for that which He will not grant and learn to deny myself as I proactively love this man who can’t always see past his own anxiety and pain.
My Creator knows that His “no” will make me more like Him, and ultimately, that is all I wait on anymore. I wait on God to make me more like Him.