I don’t like waiting. Traffic jams, grocery store checkout lines, airport layovers—basically anything that hinders my progress from point A to point B, I could do without. And I know I’m not alone. Most people hate waiting. It’s why Disney created the Fast Pass.
But you know what the kicker is? God does some of his best work in the waiting.
I know this firsthand.
Six years ago, I held a phone to my ear and paced my bedroom floor while my OB/GYN explained a series of lab results. After several months of trying for a second baby, I had finally consented to undergo some tests. Now I wondered if it was better not to know.
“You’re a bit of a mystery.” Not exactly what a gal wants to hear from her doctor. “Next steps would be to come see me at the fertility clinic.”
The fertility clinic.
That dreaded “F” bomb.
I never imagined it would apply to me.
Even if you’re not struggling to conceive, we all know someone who is—or someone who defied the medical skeptics and is now raising beautiful impossible children. Fertility issues touch every woman either directly or indirectly, within your own family or community or close circle of friends. And we all have a responsibility to face it.
Because the Bible says so.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. . . . Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:12, 15).
I’m not going to tell you how my season of secondary infertility taught me to trust God in ways I didn’t need to before, although that is absolutely true.
And I’m not going to go into details about how waiting on God can grant a deeper blessing than immediate gratification could ever hope to create. It really can.
Today I just want to admit that infertility sucked.
Yes, I said the S word.
As in, it sucked the joy out of me. It drained my energy and my marriage and the tears from my eyes. It blinded me to the present blessings of raising a happy toddler—because I was convinced she needed a sibling in order to be complete.
I know now that she didn’t, really. But that’s what a fertility struggle does. It consumes you from the inside out and casts shadows on your perspective until you can’t see or think clearly.
If you are that woman, the one who carries the daily heartache of longing for a child—whether it’s your first child or your next—can you please believe that God knows what he’s doing? I get that it’s hard. Infertility makes no sense to us. Yet your prayers are never wasted. God always knows something we don’t know.
And if that woman is your friend, you have a role to play. Don’t try to solve her problems or give her a pep talk (kind of like I just did). She is on a journey, and the Lord has placed her there. You cannot “perspective” another woman’s pain away. She must come to conclusions herself, in her own time, according to God’s plan for her life. Your job is to walk alongside her. Not to try to accelerate the race or bump her off the path of sorrow. God does amazing work in sorrow. Let him have his way.
Just love her. Listen to her. Pray for her. Cry with her. Step into her life for a while. Compassion in action will point her to Jesus more than any words you can spill from your well-meaning tongue.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
I’m grateful to the women who walked through my waiting with me. If God had given me a fast pass to pregnancy, I would’ve missed out on some sweet encouragement from friends, among other priceless lessons learned. They were a bright spot on dark and weepy days. And in the end, when God chose to bless me with another child, those friends were the ones whose congratulations meant the most—because they gave all the glory to God.
My blessing is now a spitfire five-year-old who loves to run and jump and say “butt” as often as I’ll allow. Thankfully that’s the naughtiest word she knows. And when my husband and I took our girls to Disney World, you’d better believe I made them stand in line to see Tinker Bell and Rapunzel and Pocahontas. No Fast Passes allowed.
Because good things happen in the waiting. And we had each other to lean on—every step of the way.