Wait: The Other 4-Letter Word

This is a guest post by my friend, Jeni.  I’ve known Jeni since 7th grade (!), and although I haven’t seen her in many years, I recently reconnected with her via Instagram.  I was loving her encouraging Instagram posts, so I asked her to share with us today.  I know you will be encouraged by her story, too.

wait-infertility

There are those who are soothed by a plan, who crave a visual journey laid out in goals and benchmarks and are extra excited if that plan fits onto an Excel spreadsheet.

I am not one of those people…except when it came to getting pregnant.

My goals were simple: 1) Get my Master’s in Speech Pathology, 2) Marry by 23, 3) Have a family at 25. (I don’t know why those were my numbers, but a young twenty-something thought they sounded good.) The first two goals would prove to be as easy as waking up in the morning compared to the seemingly insurmountable dream of having my own child.

I was told right away by professionals that my husband and I would not have a child without intervention and IVF was on the table after our first meeting. We ended up pursuing a completely different route before eventually conceiving (Yup, it happened. Take that “professionals”!)

But this isn’t about that first doctor meeting or how we conceived. This is about the journey in between… because while man had declared one thing over my body, I knew God had declared another.   

This is what I would cling to for the one, two, three, four years in between.

I was in my social circle’s prime-time for baby-making- that season when people make comments like, “Something must be in the water because everyone’s getting pregnant!” (except me). The first pregnancy announcement was not so bad as we had just started trying ourselves. But by the time that person’s baby shower rolled around just seven months later I was a hot mess in a pretty dress. That was the first (and last) time I left a baby shower and hid in the bathroom sobbing quietly. It was the last time because I didn’t attend most showers for at least another three years. The goal of having a child had infiltrated my ability to enjoy regular events in life. I wasn’t proud of that; I was hurting.

Somewhere in those four years I decided to get serious about prayer. I was physically doing everything within my power to have a baby, but the longing had long turned into a painful gnawing that never left.

Have you ever asked God for a word to focus on for the year? For those years my word was “faith.” That was the least fun word I could have received because it basically translated, “Hold on! It’s not happening yet. Wait.” Ahhh, wait.

Through lots of tears, lots of questions, and a bit of isolation I discovered a few things about waiting and the mindset I carried in that season. I had a change of perspective and an eventual emotional breakthrough that led me to peace with the process.

Although I knew I would someday be a mom, I had turned my future baby into my present idol. Ouch. Talk about swallowing a pill sideways. But it was undeniable. I was eating, exercising, sleeping, LIVING to get pregnant. It was easy to focus on His promise and neglect His command to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And while God loves to give us promises and always makes good on them, chasing a promise is a poor substitute for chasing God.

Just because I felt God had promised me a child didn’t mean I had the authority to override His timing on delivery. Again, ouch. Since I believed He was God of all, I had to respect Him as the God of timing as well. Did I mention this wasn’t comfortable?

To think I was waiting on a baby was incorrect and futile; to learn I was waiting on God was life-breathing and freeing because I knew He was faithful. I had to stop bowing to the Almighty Pee Stick and get back to bowing to Him.

Waiting was not a passive state. It was not running my physical body through the ringer and praying that ClearBlue would declare me “Pregnant” all the while feeling emotionally, mentally and spiritually defeated. There was an intentionality that needed to be switched on in my spirit.

My word “wait” evolved into “persistent, determined, expectant.” Waiting was no longer an anchor; it was my ammunition. I determined to live each day letting His promise be at rest in me because I chose to keep my eyes fixed on Him rather than my timeline or my ovulation cycle.

When we wait well it’s an act of worship. I turned up the heat on my worship time, prayer time, fellowship time…and while I can’t say that was the magic bullet that allowed me to conceive it sure did restore my joy.

I wish I learned to wait well sooner because it allowed me to enjoy life through that journey. The lessons from that season are sacred to me still. Out of all the rigamarole I went through to get pregnant, exercising my faith muscle really was the most important thing that I did.

Many thanks to Jeni for sharing her story and encouraging us.  If you’d like to connect with her, you can find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Image courtesy of UnSplash. Creative Commons Zero License.

Abby’s Infertility Story

This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

I’m super-excited to bring you this interview with Abby.  She blogs over at Waiting for Our “Baby Mine.”  I love her heart for spreading awareness and her photos that show it’s possible to keep a sense of humor during IVF.  I know you’ll enjoy this interview as much as I did.  (Note: Abby mentions her successful IVF cycle and her pregnancy.  Please be aware of this if you’re not in a good place to read about that right now).


infertility story

Q. Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Abby. First and foremost, I’m a Christian trying to live my life in pursuit of a heavenly home. I’m a wife to Thomas—a calm, caring fireman who is my absolute best friend and helpmeet. I’m a cat lady- a fur mom to four crazy sister cats. I work in special education and love to write. My family means the world to me, especially my niece and two nephews. I love all things Disney and even married my husband at Disney World!

Q. How long have you been trying to conceive and what issues are you facing?

My TTC road is complicated because it was a long road that lead to the point of even being able to try to conceive. My journey began when I was 19 years old, when I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis after months of going undiagnosed and being treated with narcotics for the pain. Once I was diagnosed, I had four minimally invasive surgeries within 3 1/2 years to try and keep the endometriosis under control. No matter what I tried, surgery was the only thing that could relieve my pain—and even that only lasted 9-10 months.

After my fourth surgery, three months after I had married Thomas, we were told that we immediately needed to have children or it was time for a hysterectomy. Because we both figured this was coming due to scar tissue build up and because we both have always desired to be parents, we accepted the reality that we were facing and started to try and start our family.

Three months into trying, we knew something wasn’t right. At month four, we called my reproductive endocrinologist and decided together that we needed to be proactive because otherwise, I’d be needing surgery in six months, yet again.

infertility story

We began fertility treatments in January of 2017. We went through two regularly medicated IUIs, but I had no reaction to Clomid whatsoever. We did two IUIs with injections, and I became pregnant from the fourth attempt, in May 2017. However, four days after finding out I was pregnant, I miscarried our May baby. We took a month off to let my body recover and began the initial tests to see if we were candidates for IVF.   Continue reading “Abby’s Infertility Story”

Triggers: And I Don’t Mean HCG Shots

This morning we went to a different church in order to support a friend on staff there.

The pastor came onstage after the worship music ended. He started talking about how children are a special part of the church family. He asked the congregation to stand as the children were dismissed to Sunday School and to read aloud special blessing for them. The blessing emphasized that children are welcome in the church, their specialness, and the church is happy they are there.

My husband leaned over and whispered to me, “Can you imagine how painful this would’ve been for us 3 years ago?

Before I even realized what was happening, my eyes filled with tears. I’m pretty sure I swore under my breath (which I rarely do— especially in church!!!) and pushed my husband out of the way as I practically ran outside. A kind lady tried to stop me and ask if I was okay, but all I could do was say, “I’m fine, thanks,” and keep running.

I ended up walking around the block 3 times to calm down.

Most of you know that I had a daughter after my 3rd round of IVF. Her birth healed me of so much of the pain and sadness that I struggled with when it came to church and kids. I knew I was still a little sensitive to it, but until today I didn’t realize how much it still affects me.

Here’s the thing: There’s nothing wrong with welcoming children in church and saying a blessing for them. In fact, it’s a beautiful and good thing. After all, Jesus Himself talked about the importance of welcoming and caring for children and even gave them a special blessing, too.

“People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them”. – Mark 10:13-16

I definitely think the church needs to be more aware and sensitive to infertility in their congregation. Some churches have a tendency to glorify family and parenthood and exclude people without children. But, I don’t think it’s appropriate to expect or ask the church to stop acknowledging or celebrating children. The Bible reminds us to weep with those who weep AND celebrate with those who celebrate (Romans 12:15).

So how should we respond when we find ourselves in a triggering situation like the one I was in this morning? I honestly don’t know. Maybe it depends on where each of us are in our walk with the Lord and where we are in our infertility story. Sometimes I might need to remove myself from the situation and compose myself, like I did this morning. But sometimes I might need to take a deep breath, maybe say a prayer for strength, and put on my big girl panties.

How do you all handle triggering situations like this? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Looking for more encouragement during infertility?  Check out my book, 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility.