I promised in my last post that I would write about David as the first in my “They Were Called” series. And I will. But right now I need to take a slight detour. I started studying David and am a little overwhelmed by the amount of reading I need to do. And I am hosting a Christmas party on Friday. I hope I can post about David next week.
Now on to the detour:
Today we celebrated a Christmas brunch with the ladies in leadership for my Bible study. We’re studying Hebrews, and this week’s lesson mentions Abraham and how patient he had to be while waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise that he would be a father of many. So our homework asked how long we’d ever had to wait for something for which we had earnestly prayed.
Of course, the first thing that came to mind is our continuing daily prayer for complete healing and for a healthy pregnancy that leads to a healthy baby. We’ve been actively, earnestly praying that prayer since we started trying to conceive about 15 months ago. We’ve been hoping to be parents, as a couple, for nearly 5 years of married life, and we have been talking about being parents for close to 8. I’ve been planning and expecting to fulfill my calling to be a mother for most of my life, and I would say explicitly for at least the past 10 years. I know that is not a long time. Fifteen months of actively trying and daily praying is especially short compared to the 25 years (I think that’s right) Abraham and Sarah waited for their son. (In my defense, I don’t expect to live nearly as long as Abraham and Sarah; Abraham died at 175 and Sarah lived to be 127.) But it is still painful. It is still something we are waiting for. And, unlike Abraham, we wait without having received from God any promise that we ever will have children.
Another thing I’ve been praying for in the past few months is a person I could meet with in person and talk to about infertility treatments and all the pain and grief and the many challenges that go along with infertility. I love having a blogging community, but I was missing the personal contact that only face-to-face encounters can provide. Of course, we have been really picky in who we have informed about our infertility. How would I find anyone if I wasn’t willing to open up?
And God is so great. Today he brought someone to me.
D is in my Bible study leadership group. Today this is what she shared (paraphrased):
I was up this morning at 4:00 because I couldn’t sleep. And I turned to look through and go over my Bible study questions. And when I got to this question [the how long have you waited question], I felt as though God was telling me I needed to share something. We normally don’t share that we really struggled to get pregnant. . . .
After three years of TTC, she and her husband were fortunate to be able to participate in a study for a new drug. They ended up becoming pregnant in the last month of the study with their son. He is now 19. They had wanted to have many children. A year after their son was born, they started TTC again, ultimately with IVF. It didn’t work for them. And she said she has always struggled on the one hand with why they only had one child while also being so grateful to have one child. She said it is especially difficult now as their son is away at school and really leaving the nest.
When the meeting and the brunch were over, I sought her out, away from everyone else. And I told her what we are going through and how I had prayed for her. And I cannot tell you how much her hug meant to me. We both wiped away tears as we talked about how difficult it is to walk this road. She talked about how no one understands what we’re going through unless they’ve been there or are there. I know she’s right.
And I realized something. I have the great fortune of going through infertility in an Internet age with a great blogging community (thank you all for writing!) and people I am connected with who can understand what we’re going through. People who can lift us up in prayer and who we lift up in prayer. Real people who need this community as much as I do.
She didn’t have that.
I hope I can be community for her–albeit a little late–as I know she will be for me.
Praise God for 4 a.m. meetings and answers to prayer. Praise God.