It’s been over five years since Steve and I decided it was time to start our family. Five long years of doctor’s offices, medications, tests, surgery to remove endometriosis, and waiting. So much waiting. Last year or maybe even the year before, our church spent some time talking about God’s promises. One of the things we could do was write a promise or a word from the Lord that we’d received on a 3×5 card, which were then taped all over the walls of the atrium. The title to this blog post was what I wrote down.
Because over those five long years, that was what both Steve and I heard. Wait, just wait. I love you.
We struggled. At times, it was hard to believe God really loved us when something we both wanted so badly (and came so easily for most people!) just wasn’t happening. It was hard to believe He really wanted to give us the desire of our hearts. It was hard to believe He even cared. I tried bargaining: “Okay, God, if I get involved in all these ministries and committees, you’ll come through, right?” (Bad idea. Seriously, you can’t bargain with God. You’ll burn yourself out and get really annoyed with Him.) We considered adoption, but we never felt like that was our path. So we kept waiting.
Heck, one of the main reasons I took up running was to give my mind something to focus on, and to relieve the stress of infertility appointments/treatments.
Last summer, we made the decision to pursue in-vitro fertilization in the spring of 2014. We also came to a place of peace, where we told the Lord that if He wanted us to remain childless, we would accept that. I still remember the tears as I voiced that commitment out loud. Even after living with infertility for so long, the pain never abated.
I was training for a marathon (the ultimate mind-getter-offer). Even though we had decided to do in-vitro in the spring, we were still trying on our own to get pregnant. I had essentially given up hope of that happening, but common sense dictated that we still keep trying. On September 27, I ran an 18-miler from our house in Marion, looped around IWU, on to Taylor in Upland. Like all my long runs, I was bushed afterwards, but this time I frankly felt concerned about tacking on an additional eight miles after just one more month of training. I was tired.
Also, I was five days late in my cycle, so that was messing with my mind. But Steve and I had previously had so many false hopes after being late a day or two here and there that we weren’t going to take pregnancy tests until I was at least a week late. The next day, I went shopping and picked up a couple brands of tests to take the next day, on Sunday. I was putting away groceries, and Steve said, “Why don’t you just go take one now?”
I figured, what the heck, might as well. Then I’ll know that I’m just a little late and can get on with life. Anyone who has tried to get pregnant – not just infertile couples – knows that day-by-day, mentally exhausting anxiety around the time when cycles are supposed to start. I’d taken lots of tests in the past, and never gotten a positive.
HEY, THAT WOULD BE TWO BLUE LINES!
I came out of the bathroom in shock. I think my first words were, “What is this?? What does this mean??”
A second test taken a little while later confirmed it. We were going to have a baby. Steve had never given up hope.
Wait. Rest in Me. And have hope.
Not that I felt that God owed us this child, or that I felt like He had to do this for me to trust Him. I just feel an immense sense of love from Him. I don’t know why our wait had to be so long. I don’t know why we got pregnant and other couples we know in our same boat have not. I just know that God IS sovereign. He DOES love us. And He DOES see every tear that falls.
That was six months ago. Our tiny one is growing. She’s kicking and thrashing around like it’s going out of style. We’re working on getting her room ready. I daydream about who she will become, if she has Steve’s sense of humor, and if she’ll like curry. I worry about sleep deprivation. I read up on how to run with a jogging stroller and a dog at the same time.
At 4:00 in the morning, when I lie awake with aching joints and a baby who seems intent on flailing about my uterus with glee, I think of those five years of waiting. And I’m grateful for every moment.