Believe it or not, I used to be a band nerd. Yup…cute lil ol’ me. Huge band nerd. And even though I’m small, I played the bass drum (which pretty much took up my entire body) and the snare drum. Okay…so that’s not all that nerdy, but I played cymbals my first year. And if that wasn’t enough to classify me as a bit of a nerd, I was really bad at ALL of it. Seriously! I was actually asked on multiple occasions to just pretend that I was playing because I was so off beat I’d mess up the rest of the band. Crazy that one off-beat drummer could mess up an entire band.
Anyway…there was all this pressure on the drum team to be the “heartbeat of the band.” We were expected to be in position before the rest of the band and often had to stand “at the ready” before anyone else. We also had this motto in place: “Hurry up and wait.” The idea was that as a drum line we had to be ready constantly, even when doing nothing. “Hurry up. Get where you need to be. Wait until I tell you to move again.”
It’s actually a little bit amazing how often that has been a motto for my life. “Do this, do that, then wait” or in the case of infertility – wait, wait, wait, then wait a little bit longer. Of course, in the midst of “the wait” there has been plenty of try this and try that along the way.
If you’ve been waiting for a baby for very long, then I’m sure you’ve had this same huge range of emotions that I’ve had. Feeling hopeful at times and hopeless at others, happy for friends that are having babies and a twinge of sadness at yet another baby shower that isn’t yours, the questions of why that person and not me, and the peace, at least once in a while, of “it could still happen.” And, oh the questions that people ask from the deeply personal and intrusive (Are you having sex often enough? Try every day and use different positions.) to the well-meaning yet unhelpful unsolicited advice (Have you thought about IVF? What about adoption? Maybe this just isn’t God’s plan for your life.). And, I get it. People really do want to help. They just don’t necessarily know how if they haven’t been there themselves.
The latest statistics say that it’s somewhere around 1 in 8 couples that struggle with infertility, but honestly, I think the numbers could be quite a bit higher. I know since we’ve been more vocal about our own struggle, its a little mind-blowing how many people say that they also are having difficulties or that they’ve had them in the past. It’s a big problem.
And, it’s one that a couple often feels alone in. Most couples will struggle with infertility for several years before they openly admit it to others. And then, when they admit it, they get all those weird questions and advice from others. The waiting for a healthy baby can just be a horribly painful place for many couples.
A little over a year ago, I felt that God had given me a scripture that I want to share with you because I believe its a good one for all, not just a word for me. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord. Be strong, take heart, and wait on the Lord.”
The word “wait” is used two different times and in each instance there is a slightly different meaning. The first “wait” is similar to waiting tables (which oddly enough I was also incredibly bad at. So bad, that I’d actually be better off getting a job in a drum line than being a waiter if I ever need extra cash.). This version of the word wait means to serve and to work – do the things that you are supposed to do. And then, that second version of the word means to “be still, chill out, be expectant of what’s to come.” Now, please hear me. This is not a promise from God that whatever you ask for you’ll get. This is simply a truism. While you do the things that you need to do, God can give you the strength and the courage to wait on Him to move in your life.
I can’t possibly know what you’re supposed to do in your waiting situation. For us, our latest task or thing to do is to invite other people in through prayer. So we have our team of prayer warriors that go to God on our behalf. The best thing about this set of people is that they provide some encouragement and smiles without asking those weird intrusive questions. They’re wise enough to know that we’re smart enough to do all the task part without their help. They allow themselves to be invited into our world. They pray, occasionally send words of encouragement or scripture, and every once in a while even introduce us to other “success stories” of actual people who struggled and now have their baby. This group actually allows us to wait while we wait and they just encourage us from the sidelines.
I know its tough to invite people into your struggle, but I encourage you to use wisdom and let in those people that you can trust. Smile at them and avoid the weird questions. Answer with the standard “we’re doing everything we can on our ends, now we’re just waiting for God to do something on his end.” But most of all, if at all possible, lean on the prayers of others. Know that God is still God and that he cares so much for you. While you wait on your hopes to be fulfilled, wait also on God. Serve him. Love him. And wait on him.
One last verse about waiting for you: “But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isa. 40:31.
Be blessed today, friend and be strengthened in the hope and peace of God.
Praying for you,