No matter how long you’ve been struggling with being childless, I’m sure by now you are very familiar with waiting. Waiting for a new cycle to begin… waiting for the pregnancy test to show its results… waiting for the specialist appointment… waiting for the specialized test results…. Waiting can bring out the worst in a person, but it can also cause the greatest spiritual growth when you have hope in the plans God has for you.
It was in our fourth year of trying to get pregnant that I began to experience a spiritual awakening. The change that began in me came about because of prayer. For four long years, I had begged and pleaded and bargained with God for a child. I tried to prove to Him that I was worthy of this gift. I promised to be a good mother and to raise my children to know Christ as Saviour. I played every card I could. God listened but it had not been the time to answer. And then a conviction in my spirit of how I was approaching the throne of the Almighty overtook me. I was convicted by words uttered by Christ Himself in Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Not my will, but yours be done. Ouch. My prayers did not reflect my desire to have God’s will done in my life. I was solely pursuing my will. I assumed that my desire to have a child through pregnancy would be God’s will for me as well. But because of this overwhelming conviction, I began to alter the way I prayed. I prayed that if my will was not His, that God would change my will to reflect His. It was not instantaneous. It took time but I noticed a significant change in the way I looked at my pain. And amazingly, my pain began to diminish! My desire to have a child remained but I was not overtaken by this desire as I once had been.
Ray and I received a phone call from the fertility specialist that our test results were available so we made an appointment for the week before my 29th birthday. We were sure that we would need assistance of some kind to get pregnant so we began to pray for God to open or close doors to show us what treatments He desired us to pursue. We were not even sure we wanted to attempt a pregnancy anymore! Early on in our relationship, Ray and I had expressed a desire to have adopted children as well as biological children but, with the possible removal of the option of biological children, we were becoming more and more aware that our journey to parenthood might just be through adoption.
There are many fertility treatments that can end with a viable pregnancy and Ray and I felt a strong conviction to do anything but one: IVF (in vetro fertilization). I’m not taking an overall negative position against IVF; it simply wasn’t an option we wanted to pursue. With negative side effects that I experienced from fertility drugs in the past and the extremely difficult time I endured with the failed fallopian tube dye test, it was the lone treatment that felt like we would be trying too hard to make a pregnancy happen. Ultimately, we had to look at our desires and ask ourselves, “Do we want a pregnancy or a child?” Typically one ends with the other but I think a person who has suffered through years of infertility knows there is a difference.
With a prayerful heart and a sense of peace that I had been missing for so long, we awaited our specialist appointment knowing that the answers we received would clearly direct which path we would travel to grow our family.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” Romans 11:33-34