The Gift of Waiting
We are smack dab in the middle of the most wonderful time of the year. Stores are decked in glossy red and green while speakers blare bright tunes of expectation. Homes once darkened now dance with twinkling lights, their windows aglow with warmth and promise. And, as believers, we cannot escape the image of a beatific, round-bellied virgin. Oh, the irony.
As an infertile person, one can feel like a cardboard cutout amidst all the activity, a black-and-white character frozen in a Technicolor landscape. It’s tough to sync our unanswered prayers with the jubilation swirling around us. We watch the world rush forward in celebration as we stay stuck, waiting for God to move. The question that plagues us during this joyful season: If God is all powerful—if he is, in fact, good—why do we continue to wait? Does our desire for a child not come from him? Have we done something to deserve this perdition?
Especially in a world of instant Netflix and next-day shipping and Starbucks Grande, Iced, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte with Soy Milk, we expect our tailored desires to be delivered straightaway. But what if waiting is the opposite of punishment, a sign that God has something extraordinary planned?
Isaiah 30:18 speaks of this “blessing of the wait”:
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! (NIV)
There it is in black and white. Those who wait for God to act will not simply be appeased, like a beggar scrabbling for loose change. The waiting ones will be fortunate, glad, favored, joyful, and—yes—blessed.
So when our vision as blessed wait-ers falters, how do we embrace our “standby” status as proof of God’s favor? Of his ultimate faithfulness?
First, pray with expectation, trusting that God’s answer of “wait” will one day be “This is what you’ve waited for!” Personally, I picture him with gift in hand, jumping up and down. Nothing thrills God more than unveiling his blessing.
Second, listen. Be open to God’s leading. His gift to you may be surprising or wrapped in unusual packaging. Maybe it didn’t even make your list. Still, it will be a perfect fit.
Third, seek discernment. The world is full of advice givers (including me!), but when it comes to TTC (Trying to Conceive), you must pursue wisdom from God alone. Infertility is an illness. There are some who wait on God for their miracle while others dive into a treatment plan with medication, IUI, ICSI, or IVF. Still others work toward adoption or contentment in living childfree. There is no sin or condemnation—no less faith—in any approach.
Do not let someone else’s counsel (even a well-meaning Christian’s) take the place of your relationship with—and personal guidance from—God. Even in our fact-driven world where everyone’s an expert, God’s ways our still mysterious and worked out in the faith of each individual.
Lastly, as you wait, remember these words from Romans 5: “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Our suffering and struggling— our waiting in this pregnant world—are not proof of God’s inaction or indifference. In truth, waiting does not diminish God’s blessing; it magnifies our gift.