“We live with hope in the Eternal. We wait for Him, for He is our Divine Help and Impenetrable Shield. Our hearts erupt with joy in Him because we trust His holy name. O Eternal, drench us with Your endless love, even now as we wait for You.”
-Psalm 33:20-22, The Voice translation
When we were walking through infertility, I battled with so many emotions and so many thoughts that I knew were not from Christ. This list is really long, and I’ve written several blog posts about all the emotions that accompanied infertility and fertility treatments (you can find those here.) But fear and jealousy were two biggies.
Many of you reading can probably relate all too well: jealousy over seeing pregnant women, women with young children, or women with lots of children; jealousy over pregnancy announcements, jealousy over baby shower pictures that made their way to your newsfeed on Facebook…
Fear that you may never be a mother, and that you husband may never be a father; fear that you might live your whole life with an unfulfilled yearning in your heart, and an unfulfilled calling on your life. God convicted me so greatly of both my fear and jealousy.
Even before our battle with infertility, I’d always had a tendency toward fear. Even as a little girl I was overly cautious. As I grew, that caution turned to worry, worry to anxiety, and anxiety to a fear that I had to pray against daily.
Even now that we have Bonnie, I battle with fear, and still have to pray against it daily. And even though the jealousy I used to feel upon seeing other moms has all but vanished, I still find myself struggling with fear and jealousy.
I’m fearful for our future. Andrew’s decision to pursue his doctorate degree was a huge leap of faith. We dove all in. And now that he has only a year left, we are beginning to network and plan and prepare as best as possible for life after school. We don’t know exactly what that will look like. But any way we look at it, it’s scary.
It’s scary to take on school debt, and take out business loans, and pour your heart and livelihood into a small healthcare practice in today’s economic and political climate. It’s scary to look over the next few years of our lives and see a sea of question marks, and undefined details.
It’s the same kind of fear I felt when we were walking our journey through infertility. No, it is not as heart-wrenching or emotional, but when I let it, it can become equally as consuming and overwhelming.
And as much as I cannot believe I’m admitting this, I find myself, for the first time ever, jealous of other women’s husbands: husbands who are able to provide financially, to provide stable, somewhat predictable lives for their families; husbands who are established and fulfilled in their careers. I believe that one day Andrew will be all of those things. But me, in my human impatience, with my silly timelines and wish lists, well, I’d of course prefer that the one day be right now. Oh, how I remember thinking those same thoughts when we were in the trenches of infertility: Why can’t it happen NOW?
God’s character is not mean, vindictive, careless, or spiteful. Rather, He is Love, Provision, Grace, Healing, and Hope. I can’t perfectly map out the future, and I don’t know what the next few years will look like for our family. But because I know God’s character, I know that God’s waiting, and our waiting, are purposeful and intentional. I know that He uses difficult seasons to cultivate our faith in His timing, and in His heart. I know that I’m not meant to have all the answers, when I want them, the way I want them.
I know that Satan can use seasons of hard waiting in our lives to allow fear and jealousy to eclipse faith and patience. But I also know that while we are waiting, God is working all things together for our good, and that when our focus is on His character, and when we focus on things above (Colossians 3:103) we open ourselves up to His goodness even in the most trying of seasons.
I love the way that The Message paraphrases Matthew 5:8: ” You’re blessed when you get your inside world- your heart and mind- put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.”
Then you can see God…
In infertility, in uncertainty, in sickness, in pain, in tough transitions, in loss, in the unknown, in the past, and in the future.
I’m also at A Sweet Aroma today as part of Brandy’s “Wonderfully Filled Wombs” series, and so honored to be a part of such a neat project! If you are trudging through infertility, I’d encourage you to spend some time going through stories of women who have been there and are now on the other side… some awesome reminders of the loving Heavenly Father that we serve!