While You Wait For Your Happy Mother’s Day

05-12-2014 10;59;46AM

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Mother’s Day 2014 has passed. Do you feel like a survivor, having endured another Mother’s Day? I remember how emotionally draining it was for me. Maybe that is why I haven’t even written about Mother’s Day but once.

My husband and I taught the newly married couples in our church for about five years and we loved it. We were childless, but at first our newly married couples were childless, too. After all, they were newly married! We had been teaching this class for a few years and one night at church (in 2002, I know because I journaled about this), I was helping in the nursery.  As usual, the topic of who the latest pregnant ladies were came up, and the three were ladies in my class.  Another worker said to me, “Boy, your class is really cranking out the babies.”  Then she declared,  “I think God is giving Greg and Joy big babies.” I remember answering, “Well, I guess He is giving us grandbabies, too.” That was probably a very tacky reply, but it seemed nicer than what I really wanted to say, which was, “If you’re trying to make me feel better, it’s not working.”

My husband didn’t take any offense in what she said or see it as negative; maybe it isn’t as personal for a man. I let her steal my joy, but I also hoped she meant well, and maybe at the time I was so concerned about not having what I wanted that I didn’t fully realize or appreciate how God was using me then. You see – there was truth in what that woman said to me. We didn’t have children, so we devoted our time and energy to that class, to those couples. We really loved them and wanted to see them grow in the Lord.

The pictures at the top of this blog post are a card and a note I received for Mother’s Day in 2004 and in 2005 from two very young moms in our Adult Bible Class. In the card, this precious lady thanked me for what we had done for them, including giving baby showers, writing notes, being a friend. She said even though I was not her mother, she looked to me as a spiritual mom. I received the note a year later from another precious lady who, along with her husband, had been saved at our church. Her words were full of compassion and maturity, and she said they had been praying for a year and a half that the Lord would give us a child. She also said I was truly like the mother she never had.

Those words are more precious to me now even though I was very touched by them the day I first received them. Looking back, God really did give us big babies. I am thankful God chose to use us in that capacity, and I trust our investment in those couples made a difference in their lives. I know it was not in vain. My encouragement to you is to realize and appreciate how God wants to use you right now – while you wait for your baby – whether you teach a class of newly married couples or 4-year old boys, help in the nursery, work a bus route, or find a teenaged girl who needs a mentor.  The Lord may use you to impact someone’s life as a spiritual mom or a mom they never had.

My wish is someday you will have a Happy Mother’s Day – from your “big babies” and from the baby you are waiting for.

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“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” Isaiah 64:4

Our Quest for a Baby: Is Adoption a Yes, No, or Wait?

We thought our final attempt at IUI with ovulation induction in early 2003 was our last chance for me to get pregnant.  And we yielded our desires if the Lord was now leading us to adopt.  In the spring of 2003, I started looking at some adoption websites and made some phone calls to a Christian adoption agency, an adoption attorney, and Indian Child Welfare to find out more information and to ask a few questions.  I’m not sure why, but I almost cried when I told one lady we were just starting to search this out.

Both of our fathers had shared their thoughts on adoption.  We had the blessing of our parents.  We were starting to get comfortable with the idea of adoption.  As Christians, we are adopted in Christ!

Three couples we knew had gone through an adoption attorney for their adoptions, and we decided to go forward with her; she said she had done about 1800 adoptions, and ours might possibly take 4-5 months as her waiting list was not long and she got a lot of calls from hospitals, etc.  It sounded a little scary to think we could have a baby that quickly, when being pregnant meant twice as long of a wait!  I thought it would be neat to see where our baby would come from.

We also contacted ICW and were told it could take 3-6 months to get set up, but in just over a month they were ready to set up an appointment for our home study!  It only took about 5 or 6 months after that contact with ICW that we started getting phone calls about private placements.  At one point, we had gotten calls 4 months in a row.  Each time I would wonder, could this be the one?  We would pray about each opportunity and didn’t feel peace.  We knew in our hearts with each one that we were not to pursue it, even though some I really thought could be the baby God had for us.  I thought the day we would have a baby was at least getting closer.

In addition to pursuing adoption, I also didn’t give up hope of getting pregnant and tried to go to a different doctor who helped me with progesterone and other alternatives.  One day she asked me about adoption and then how I would feel if I never had children.  I asked, “If I never conceived, never adopted, or both?”  She said, “Both.”  I remember saying matter-of-factly or confidently (in my God’s promise), “Oh, well, I know I will have children somehow because the Lord gave me Psalm 113:9, “He maketh the barren woman to keep house and to be a joyful mother of children.”  I teared up a little and she hugged me, inspired to help me even more.  I really hoped she would be able to help.

Meanwhile in early 2004, we got another call about a possible adoption.  The adoption attorney called to say a birth mother was expecting twins.  I was starting to get excited, hoping that might be the one (two!).  After not hearing from her for a couple weeks, I tried calling a couple of times.  Finally, she returned my call and asked what she could do for me.  As if she didn’t know, I was calling about the twins!  She didn’t offer an explanation but said that it didn’t pan out and she would keep looking for us.  When I got off the phone, I tried telling my tears, “God is always greater.”

I didn’t ask for the hurt, but I wrote in my journal I wanted to remember how this feels.  It made me think of others who were waiting, not just women experiencing infertility, but others who were tired of waiting for deliverance, in particular, a friend of mine who had cancer.    

God’s Delays Are Not Denials

A recurring theme in Streams in the Desert is “God’s delays are not denials.”  As you can tell with as many references as I have made to Streams, the devotional helped me lean on the Lord and His promises.  One of my favorite devotions is July 4th.  This beautiful illustration made me smile to think my baby was in the Delayed Blessings Office.  Anticipation!  I will share it here, verbatim, in case you do not yet have your own copy of Streams.

Streams in the Desert, July 4th

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time…though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”  Habakkuk 2:3

In the charming little booklet, Expectation Corner, Adam Slowman was led into the Lord’s treasure houses, and among many other wonders there revealed to him was the “Delayed Blessings Office,” where God kept certain things, prayed for, until the wise time came to send them.

It takes a long time for some pensioners to learn that delays are not denials.  Ah, there are secrets of love and wisdom in the “Delayed Blessings Department,” which are little dreamt of!  Men would pluck their mercies green when the Lord would have them ripe.  “Therefore will the Lord WAIT, that He may be gracious unto you” (Isaiah 30:18).  He is watching in the hard places and will not allow one trial too many; He will let the dross be consumed, and then He will come gloriously to your help.

Do not grieve Him by doubting His love.  Nay, lift up your head, and begin to praise Him even now for the deliverance which is on the way to you, and you will be abundantly rewarded for the delay which has tried your faith.

When Will It Be My Turn?

What is quite possibly the hardest part of the journey of infertility?  Waiting.

Waiting for my turn – I remember having nursery duty one night at church and glancing at the list of expectant mothers.  It looked long.  I counted.  13.  Thirteen names on the expectant mothers’ list but not my name.  I shook my head and sighed, “Lord, when will it be my turn?”

Waiting one more month – Early on, it was waiting one more month to see if I would get pregnant that month; that is until the answer would be “no” with the start of my period.  Many times when we were doing tests or treatments, more often than not, I seemed to develop a cyst, so we had to wait one more month for it to resolve.  One of my close friends said people probably tell you it’s just one more month, but it’s still hard to wait.

Streams in the Desert, March 22nd says, “The hardest ingredient in suffering is often time.  A sorrow drags its weary way through long, monotonous years, and day after day returns with the same dull routine of hopeless agony, the heart loses its strength, and without the grace of God, is sure to sink into the very sullenness of despair.  Let us be more careful to learn all the lessons in the school of sorrow than we are anxious for the hour of deliverance.  There is a ‘need-be’ for every lesson, and when we are ready, our deliverance will surely come, and we shall find that we could not have stood in our place of higher service without the very things that were taught us in the ordeal.  Don’t steal tomorrow out of God’s hands.  Give God time to speak to you and reveal His will.  He is never too late; learn to wait.  Learn to wait His time.”

Is God Waiting On You?

The journey of infertility revolves around a lot of waiting, waiting, and more waiting.  We can grow impatient.  We want to hurry up and get on with the rest of our plans.  We beg the Lord to answer our prayers – now!  But as J.R. Miller tells us in Streams in the Desert, January 26th, “God often waits for us.  While we miss much good through not waiting for God, we also miss much through over-waiting.  There are times when our strength is to sit still, but there are also times we need to go forward with a firm step.  There are many divine promises which are conditioned upon the beginning of some action on our part.”  This is faith in action.

We can over-wait by just sitting back and doing nothing.  I often thought that option would be easier on me!  When I started worrying about the cost of fertility treatments and not knowing if I could go through much more of this emotionally, I just wanted to wait and wish for something to happen.  God could have unexpectedly opened my womb, and I did pray for that, however, Jill Baughan recommends in her book, A Hope Deferred, that the infertile couple do something.  Have a plan.  Do you want to adopt?  Find out all you can about adoption.  Is it your desire not just to have a baby but also to experience pregnancy?  Make a list of your options considering the cause of your infertility, your age, your emotional reserves, and the size of your savings account.

Don’t sit at a crossroad.  Baughan quoted Merle Bombardieri stating, “the worst thing a couple can do is float into a ‘non-decision,’ where they evolve into child-free living, not by choosing it, but by letting it choose them; or by making a non-decision to agonize, setting no goals.”  If you choose not to decide, then you are deciding not to choose.  God wants us to move forward.  He may lead in different paths, but He doesn’t intend for us to give up.  Pray, seek spiritual counsel, and exercise your faith by moving forward.  God is waiting to bless.