“Faith is confidence of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen.” Hebrews 11:1
Our story began before the creation of the world. The part we would play in God’s story was determined long before we drew breath. And, a big part of that story revolves around infertility. We have tried to conceive or adopt for nearly 11 years. We have pursued, and then stepped back… praying for God’s perfect plan to unfold all the while.
Until last fall, there seemed to be no answer. It seemed as though this was an area that would always lie barren and unplowed in our lives. There was always an understanding deep in my heart - that it would be HARD… very HARD to bear children. And, in line with that was a whisper of “Not yet, dear one.” And, so - I would pray the only prayer I knew to ease the pain. “Lord, take this desire from me… until the time has fully come.”
I was approached by so many people last fall. Each asked very direct questions of me. Why have you never tried IVF? Why have you not pursued adoption beyond the one failed attempt? What are the reasons behind your inability to conceive? And there were others… very close friends that I hurt because of my pain. They were the persistent ones, the ones that never gave up on the truth that we would realize parenthood one day.
The hardest thing about infertility is not wrapping your own mind around the probability that you will never conceive; it is the friends that never reach that conclusion as well. And, I told two of my closest friends in the world that very thing. I also told my sister, my parents. And they relinquished the fight. But - God raised up others to stand in their place.
Another friend, closer than a sister could ever be, announced that they were putting the expansion of their family on hold until such time that God answered the same prayer for us. Another gifted me with he most beautiful baby rattle; it had been hand-crafted by a woman in Peru and given to her for her first child. She passed this heirloom on to me - sharing that she had been praying fervently for us to have children. The baby rattle was an expression of that overflow of love for us.
There were also sermons and personal devotions and radio programs that pertained to this very struggle. During one in particular - a name was spoken that I had never heard before… and it was as though God whispered, this will be your daughter’s name. Try as I may, I could not shake it. The gut knowledge that I had always had was fading… and a new truth was taking its place. A whisper from the Spirit living within me began bathing me with the hope that the time had finally come. I would be a mother.
And, so - our greatest journey began. After 6 weeks of testing and 4 miraculous answers to prayer - we were given the green light to go ahead with our first round of IVF. (In Vitro Fertilization ) I responded beautifully to all the medications, and two babies were implanted in my uterus. And, I have never leaned so much into my heavenly father for strength.
Just before implantation, I was walking the parking lot of the reproductive lab; exercise eases my anxious heart - and I was attempting to do just that. And, so I walked prayerfully in circles. Again, I pleaded with God to hear our cries; to not turn a deaf ear any longer to our desire to be parents. He had been opening so many doors thus far.
I prayed for a clear sign that we were moving forward with His blessing. No sooner did the words cross my lips, than I walked up to a car with a license plate designed specifically for me. It only said one thing: FAITH now. Hebrews 11:1.
My curiosity piqued as the response came so quickly upon the heels of my request. Walking to Gilbert, I asked him to pull the verse up on his phone. “Faith is confidence of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen.” Tears spilled from my eyes at the verse I’ve heard so many times before. But - this time; there could not have been a word more aptly spoken.
There are 10 days to go… before we have a definitive answer from the doctor. But - my heart tells me that I can be confident of God’s great love for us. It tells me that I am on God’s heart. It tells me that He is attentive to my cries. It tells me that the time has finally come for this dream to be realized. And - Oh! How much more precious will this gift be for the waiting!
My prayers run deep, and they consume my thoughts almost the entire day through. This faith, that is the foundation for my confidence and strength through such turbulent times… is such a thing of beauty. I cannot imagine walking through these valleys without the Holy Spirit as my constant companion. He is my courage… my ever-present hope in times of uncertainty.
I would not choose 11 years of infertility - to be certain. But, God has grown such a faith in me through this time. I am not young or small or inexperienced. On the contrary, He has matured my faith and readied me for battle. He has exposed so much through the pain of unrealized hopes and dreams. And, I am much more ready to be used of God, than I would have been having not walked this road.
I am trusting in His unfailing love, and His ability alone to accomplish this miracle within me.
Prayer: May we be ever mindful of You, and our dependency on you Jesus! You make beautiful things out of the ashes of our lives, Jesus. You are my only hope.
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