Whether or not you have kids, want kids, adopt kids, birth kids, or never plan to have any kids, a miscarriage deals quite a blow. I had three miscarriages in 2013, which I write about here. I’m not going to rehash my journey through that experience here because there is something more pressing on my heart. I am on the other side of that mountain now, by God’s grace, and I want to speak not only to those who have longingly endured unmet fulfillment for children or who experienced a miscarriage, but also to those who have not given up the longing, the praying, and the faith for a child.
I want to be clear. Please do not misunderstand me.
No one can guarantee you a child. There is not a Bible verse, a prophecy, or a promise out there that you can specifically claim for yourself on the assurance of children. Why some women easily conceive while others wait and wait, and perhaps never do conceive is a great mystery. Just ask Jacob’s wife, Rachel, whose longing was so fierce she pleaded with him, “Give me children, or I will die!” (see Genesis 29-30).
Maybe you have said, or at least thought, “I will die if I am not a mother.” (or, insert wife, grandmother, ______….)
After my third miscarriage, my husband and I were stubborn enough to try again. We could have called it quits. We already had two kids. That is two more than many have who longed for children longer than us, so why would we put ourselves through potential heartache yet again?
Because we were not ready to give up.
We had no guarantees. My fertility specialist had no power to make us parents again. He even said, “I am really not doing anything here, so don’t give me any credit.” We didn’t. We knew to Whom credit was due. However, the Lord did use that wonderful doctor to see me every week or so to check on baby Judson. My fertility doctor was more of an In utero videographer than anything.
Don’t get me wrong. Those nine months were scary. I had a hemorrhage during the first trimester, and because of the hemorrhage, we had to stop treatment for the syndrome that caused (we think) my previous miscarriages. It was all a ride of faith, let me tell you.
Some of you long for a baby this year. You skipped the resolutions. You’re cutting to the chase. If anything happens in 2016 let it come with a receiving blanket and a binky. The longing is scary, though. It was for me, anyway. You ask yourself questions like, “How long will I have to wait?” “Will I ever be able to have a baby?” “Can I endure another pregnancy test? The disappointment?” “Will I be happy if I can’t conceive?” I had to go to my fertility doctor every other day to have blood drawn so they could check my HCG levels, which if I arrived to the office before 10 a.m. I would receive my results that same day. The office opened at 8:00 a.m. I was there at 8:00 a.m. The longing didn’t leave me even in the nine months of pregnancy, because the pain was still fresh, and I had worked, prayed, and cried for so long (it felt long, anyway), for this baby I was carrying. It was all up to God.
It is all up to God.
For those who long for a baby this year, don’t dismiss the longing. Some may try to console you with “Plan Bs” when the only Plan B in your mind is “Plan Baby.” Your desire is not an accident or a mistake. But here’s the thing. You have to be willing to relinquish your plan to the Lord. And not just willing, but you must. When you do this God will give you the desires of your heart, which may or may not include a baby.
I got the baby. But there were other desires that I had in my life that were never met. God had other plans. He did grant me His desires in His own way and timing, though I never understood it at the time. There are some things we will never understand this side of heaven. We must find our completeness in Christ, though.
What do you feel you may die over if you do not get it?
It may not be a baby for you.
Maybe it is that house.
“God, give me________, or I will die!”
God wants to give you more than all you could ask or imagine, and He died to make that possible (see Ephesians 3:20). He gave us Himself, and when we have Him we have everything.
There is nothing wrong with the longing. There is something wrong, however, when the longing as Jim Elliot once said, “slay(s) the appetite for the living.”
Today’s moment is tomorrow’s memory. How we long matters. Years from now when we look back on our life, with the met and unmet desires, how will we remember our disposition and attitude through it all? Will we have any memories, other than the longing?
Take your longing to the Lord and leave it there. Let Him draft His plans for your life (*wink* *wink*-He already has them ready). Your job is to live them with joy! Yes, we can be joyful in the longing. God is working in my own heart with this, because there are still desires simmering in my heart, not baby desires, but other ones. We have to, as John Piper says, “fight for joy”- everyday.
Whatever you long for in 2016, I pray for God’s blessing to be upon you and for the affections of your heart to be stirred for more of Him. May it be so. And may you be filled with joy in your journey this year.