Michael and I have two particular married couple friends who have struggled for years with infertility. This year, one of the couples adopted a beautiful baby girl, and the other couple finally conceived and gave birth to a baby girl as well. Both of these couples have waited the majority of their marriage so far to meet their first child, and they have been through a lot. Both of these couples have absolute trust in God’s plans for their family. They don’t bat an eye when they tell you that waiting all those years to meet those two little girls was completely worth it.
I truly struggled during this last pregnancy with the idea of having another baby. Another one?! Five kids sounded so crazy, so how-am-I-gonna-do-this?! And my pregnancy was exhausting to boot. It was so tempting to wallow in feeling overwhelmed by the thought of having “all these kids.” It was tempting to totally forget to be grateful. For a while, it was easy to see the forest and forget the trees (to turn the expression around a bit).
I forgot that God would know the exact number of hairs on my new baby’s soft, fuzzy head. I forgot that there are many, many things that have to be just right from conception to birth to bring a healthy, perfectly-formed little person safely into my arms. I forgot that this baby was a person that was God’s idea first. I forgot that when all was said and done, the new person inside of me would be completely worth it.
A mutual priest friend once thanked a friend struggling with infertility for her and her husband’s “ministry of patience.” I would never dare to pin down how much God does through deep suffering like infertility. But I will share with you one way these couples’ struggles and joys this year ministered to me: I realized that I was using the wrong preposition. I wasn’t preparing for a new baby, but the new baby.
I realized that I wasn’t accepting a gift, but the gift God wanted to give me.
Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done unto me according to your Word.” -Luke 1:38
Thank you, my friends, for your ministry of patience. Your faith and your joy have taught me to trust God more in my own life, and they prepared me to welcome the new baby this fall with arms wide open, come-what-craziness-may. In the end, I know he’ll be completely worth it.:)