Originally published Tuesday, 17 September 2013.
The other day I started sharing about different times when the Lord has made me wait on him before he answered my prayers. I went through a few of the biggies and what God taught me through each of them. (Click here to read that initial post, in case you missed it.) The last that I mentioned was the prayer I had to have a child, a story I have not until now written much about here. But with our daughter right around the bend to being born, I thought it was time.
Here’s where we left off:
Then there was the time when my husband and I decided we wanted to have a child one whom we could raise up to know the Lord, who we could minister to and learn to sacrifice for and enter into a new kind of love for another person with. It had been a shared desired we’d both held from before we were even married—which was one of the things that attracted me to him so much in the first place.
So when we were first married, I had prayed that, when the time was right for us to start a family, the Lord would put it on my husband’s heart so that he would be the one who would bring it up, rather than me. Almost two years into our marriage, my husband (who had no idea of that prayer) told me he thought it was time. I was overjoyed at how God had answered the first part of my prayer. And so I fully expected that he would fulfill the second part (the child), as well.
But I didn’t expect that we’d have to wait for that.
I guess I figured that if God had called us to this and had ordained the time for us to begin trying, then it followed that it was in fact the right time and a pregnancy would ensue. But it didn’t.
For the first couple of months I remained positive. But then I had to start fighting off discouragement as it seemed like everyone else was getting pregnant, except me. In spite of the fact that we really desired this and had prayed about it and I wanted to be like Hannah, dedicating my child to the Lord.
About five months into the process, we began sharing our struggle with close friends in our church community, asking them to pray for us, as well. It was a prayer request that we would soon get used to sharing, over and over again, month after month.
And as we shared our desire for a child, dealing with the disappointment started to become easier. I still had many moments when I cried about it and wrestled through it, but my trust in the Lord was never shaken through it. I know his timing is best. And I had prayed that I didn’t want to have a child if it would mean they wouldn’t follow the Lord—that would be an even worse future to me than a childless one.
I began trying to see this time of waiting as an opportunity—one where I could spray paint at will and kick up my heels to read for hours on end, uninterrupted by cries or hungry mouths but my own. I also spent it reading about the call of motherhood and preparing my heart.
Because I still believed that God would fulfill my desire. I just didn’t know when.
Finally, a year after we’d first decided to start trying, I discovered that I really was content. Yes, the desire still was there, but it didn’t pull at my heart strings like it had before. I looked at the life that surrounded me and realized that it was wonderful as it was: I had an incredible husband, a stable home, a loving community, a great life full of joy and pleasure. Yes, a child would be a cherry on top of it all and enrich it even more. But I realized I could not bear to despise that which I already had for that which I did not have. What I had was good; not having a child did not make it any worse.
And of course you know what happened next. Later that month, it turns out, I became pregnant with our daughter, although I wouldn’t discover that for another five weeks.
God did prove faithful. God did finish what he started. God did not desert us, but walked us through this season so that when we emerged on the other end, our faith was strengthened and our hearts even fuller than they would have been if he’d answered those prayers right away. His plan—as it always is, we must remind ourselves time and time again—was the better one. And I can’t wait to enjoy the fruits of it here soon!
Carmen writes the blog, Life Blessons, which provides an intimate look into her life as a twentysomething woman as she details her experiences learning how to live out her faith, enjoy the simple things in life and be the woman God created to her to be. Along the way, she shares the blessings and lessons that are a part of this journey, the things she likes to call her "blessons."
Feel free to learn more at her blog, Life Blessons.
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