Waiting Take a Village Too

The announcement usually comes during prayer time. A young husband and wife exchange a knowing glance and then share the news: they’re pregnant! After bursting with congratulations, their small group leaps into planning a baby shower, organizing a meal train, and praying for the little one on the way.

Most churches know how to support couples who are expecting. We recognize the challenges of this joyful, exhausting season and rally to serve them. Who better to be their village than the body of Christ?

But not every family in church can get pregnant or carry a baby to term. Many couples struggle with infertility and miscarriage. These are heartbreaking trials that weigh heavily on a couple’s health, marriage, finances, and relationship with the Lord.

No Christian should walk through infertility or miscarriage alone. Just as the church lifts up parents-to-be, we’re called to help carry the burdens of our brothers and sisters who are waiting for children. They need a village too.

Read full article at The Gospel Coalition.

Image courtesy Meredith Spencer on Unsplash.

The Worth in Our Waiting

In all my countless trips to the grocery store, I’ve never chosen the checkout lane with the longer line. I’m sure you do the same on your Target runs. When you’re dashing from errand to errand, the last thing you want is to get stuck in the aisle with the shopping cart jam.

Most of us avoid waiting as much as possible. It’s not hard to understand why. At best, waiting is inefficient. More time means less convenience. So we pay extra for two-day shipping, cook casseroles in an Instant Pot, and ask Siri for directions instead of googling them ourselves.

At worst, waiting feels unbearable. If you’re waiting on a diagnosis for your sick child, for your husband to return from active duty, or to find out if your friend survived a car accident, a delay can make your heart sick.

I’m well-acquainted with the heartache that comes with waiting to become a mom. During my infertility struggles, I cried out to God with questions—mainly “Why?” and “How long, Lord?” Yet instead of giving me reasons or sharing his timeline, God led me to his Word. There I found language for my grief, especially in the Psalms and other passages expressing lament. 

Read full blog post at Journeywomen.

Image courtesy Cristian Tarzi on Unsplash.

How Hope Makes a Path in the Pit

The sun sank below the dusty window ledge. I didn’t bother getting up off the couch to turn on the lights. All I wanted was to stay curled up in my husband’s arms, our toy poodle nestled against my neck. For hours, our little family sat there, grieving in the dark.

Going through a failed round of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) crushed me. After months of trying other fertility treatments, my husband and I reluctantly decided to do IVF as a last-ditch effort at pregnancy.

Knowing the procedure had a 50/50 chance of success, I wasn’t planning to rush out and buy a ton of baby clothes. I had prepared for the test to come back negative. I had not prepared to get a call from the doctor saying, “We didn’t get any embryos.”

No embryos. No baby. No hope.

This is where I hit rock bottom.

Though I had been a Christian for a long time, infertility led me to doubt God. He had the power to give me a baby but chose not to.

Exasperated, I asked him, “Why are you doing this, Lord? Have you forgotten me? Do you even care?”

Read full sponsored blog post at annvoskamp.com.

Image courtesy Joshua Sortino on Unsplash.

Seeking God More Than Answers

Words swam before my eyes in a blur of medical jargon. My husband, Colin, and I were skimming paperwork in the fertility clinic waiting room. We had already been through several years of tests and treatments –– all of which failed. Now our doctor was recommending we try in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Everything within me wanted to sign the forms and jump into the process right away. At the same time, I knew Colin and I would need to discuss the ethical concerns, work out the logistics, and confirm if we could even afford it. With so much riding on the decision, I slumped to my knees and prayed desperately, “God, please give us wisdom.”

All of us experience moments like this. It could be a new job, a different housing arrangement, a romantic relationship, or a ministry opportunity. When we’re forced to make a decision, we often turn into knowledge seekers. We feel an overwhelming need to accumulate as much information as possible so we can make the best or “right” choice.

As Christians, we tend to label our need to know as a desire for wisdom. And that can be true. However, sometimes we ask God to give us the right thing for the wrong reasons.

Read full article at Upliftd.

Image courtesy Bethany Laird on Unsplash.

Adoption Isn’t a Way to Get Pregnant

The moment the nurse placed him in my arms, I knew we belonged to each other. All the tears and frustrations of the past several years pooled into a fountain of joy. Now I understood why God has us wait for a baby: So we could have this baby.

After my husband and I struggled with infertility, the Lord blew us away with His kindness and matched us with a loving birthmother. Through her brave choice, He gave us a son.

People were happy for us. They threw us showers, brought meals, and eagerly cuddled our son. Yet amid the celebration, we heard comments hinting at something better to come. A wink here, a nudged elbow there, the crack of a smile implying special intuition. I cringed every time someone uttered the words:

“Now that you’ve adopted, you’ll get pregnant. It happens all the time.”

No. No, it doesn’t happen all the time.

Read full post at Christian Adoption Consultants.

Note: Post originally appeared at my friend Kelly’s blog, Something Beautiful Here.

Image courtesy Derek Thomson on Unsplash.

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