Waiting During Times of Expectation
"First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage..." I followed this nursery rhyme in it's exact order. First, I fell in love with the man of my dreams, then we got married. Problem is, we're still waiting on the latter part; the baby in the baby carriage. I thought it would be so much easier than it's been! Between doctor appointments, testing, trying...and trying some more, I was convinced that the baby would've been in the baby carriage a long time ago. And it's even more difficult to accept, in the words of the doctors, that 'everything appears to be normal'.
What does that mean exactly, when all you want is the very thing you can't seem to produce?
I believe the hardest thing to do is to wait for something for which you are expecting. That time and space between expectation and manifestation can be gruesome!
It's like everywhere I turned, I was either babysitting a friend's baby or shopping to attend a baby shower. Babies, babies, babies all around me...but none coming out of me!
I remember the story of Hannah and Penninah in the Bible. Both women were married to Elkanah. However, one woman's womb was open, while the other's was closed. Like many other women, Hannah simply wanted to give the man she absolutely loved a son. But physically she was incapable of providing this.
Penninah of course did not make this any easier for Hannah. The Bible says Penninah taunted her. She didn't just tease her, but she bullied her; attacking her self-worth and destroying any sense of pride Hannah had left.
It's one thing to not want children, but it's another thing to want something you may never have. Not wanting to and not being able to are very different realities. And even though infertility is a common problem for women, it doesn't get any easier to accept.
I have known women who honestly believed, their sole purpose in life was to be a mother...but are burdened by the heaviness of infertility. I know a few who have been trying for years upon years, whom I believed would make excellent caregivers. But again, they stand awaiting the promise.
And then there are those, who become pregnant so quickly and so easily. On one hand I'm super happy for them! Believe you me, I am...But on the other hand, I'm secretly wishing it was me.
I realized, if I wasn't careful of my words and my attitude, I could easily get caught up into a trap of bitterness.
Instead of celebrating life, I could be upholding a snare of resentment.
Feeling incapable and having others drag your self-esteem through the mud intentionally or unintentionally, can drive a person to the point of giving up on life.
At an all time low, Hannah desperately cried out to her God.
"And she was in bitterness of soul, and she prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish (1 Sam 1:10)."
Honesty. That's all...God is interested in an honest heart.
An honest heart is a vulnerable heart. An honest heart is a heart God will never abhor (Psalm 51:17).
When we are honest with God about the good, the bad and the ugliness that overwhelms us, it opens us up to receive the healing God has for us!
When Hannah unloaded the pain in her heart, God began to minister to her.
"...as she continued praying before the Lord...Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard (1 Sam 12-13)."
There is nothing anyone could say or do to calm an anxious heart or an overwhelmed spirit but the soothing whispers of our Heavenly Father.
God healed Hannah's brokenness, and restored within her a right attitude of heart and mind.
In this season of my life, Hannah's story truly resonates with me, because it reminds me that God is with me even in my most sorrowful moments. When I find it difficult to wait, I am reminded of the importance of tuning into His sweet whispers- it will settle my thoughts and steady my anxious heart.
Even though in the end, we learn that God granted Hannah the desires of her heart (1 Sam 1:20), we must recognize that everyone that carries the burden of infertility may not bare a child. However, what we do know is that God gives us the grace to endure the process. Hannah, meaning "gracious", came to a place of acceptance long before she realized her prayers had been answered. God will give you the grace to accept your situation regardless of the outcome. Because in the end, everything works out for your good!
"And we know, that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord..."