When I finally became pregnant through IVF, we shared the glorious news with our immediate family members but cautiously waited until after my first ultrasound to tell a few close friends. After all, I had gotten pregnant with the previous IVF cycle, but it did not continue.
Once I finished my first trimester, we determined the day had arrived for my husband to make the announcement at church. The customary way to announce that one’s wife was pregnant was for the husband to request prayer at men’s prayer meeting for the expectant women of the church. That Sunday was five years ago, but we remember it like it was yesterday.
Although I have shared some of my experiences with infertility and waiting and how it naturally affected me as a woman, I don’t exactly know how my husband handled it as a man. I can’t imagine how many prayer meetings he sat through Sunday after Sunday, year after year, listening as men would stand and ask prayer for their expectant wives, perhaps wondering if one day he would ever get to make that prayer request. Even though my husband was (and still is) my rock and had more faith (which in turn increased mine), I know it was difficult at times for him, too. I can’t fully comprehend how big a day this was for him.
That morning, he told me he would quote I Samuel 1:19b, “And the Lord remembered her (Hannah).” In verse 11, Hannah made a vow and asked the Lord to look on her affliction, remember her, not forget her, and to give her a son. God was mindful of Hannah and her condition, and at His appointed time, he remembered her and opened her womb.
The word “remember(ed)” in Samuel 1:11 and 19 is “zakar”, which means to be mindful, to recount, to make to be remembered, think on.
God gave us a promise many years before this special day. Even though we had to wait, we could look at His promise and confirm our faith. We experienced many disappointments along the way. Some obstacles even seemed difficult to overcome, but God showed His promise would prevail. The longer we waited, the more doubtful it appeared to others – and even occasionally a doubt in my own heart – that we would actually have a baby, but the Lord continued to encourage us in His Word, in song, and through people.
And then one day, the Lord remembered! We also remember.