I don’t like waiting. Waiting for something important feels, for me, like a racing heart and a pit in my stomach and like my small voice echoing in a canyon: I AM ALONE. In the season in which I waited to get pregnant with Brian, I agonized and strived and pleaded with God. Two years of infertility, tests, and drugs were wearing on my mind and my spirit. I couldn’t imagine what my life would look like if I were never a Mom, and it scared me. There was nothing faithful about my attitude, and my focus was really on myself more so than the new life I hoped to bring to the world. So, I made promises to God, negotiated terms which I thought were more than favorable, and pretty much stomped my feet and cried like a baby on infertility drugs. Yes, it was as ugly an image as that seems.
I knew that God was leading me in that time to place my trust in Him, but He knows that’s never been my strong suit. I felt myself getting angrier and more desperate as the months wore on. Call after call to a doctor’s office, appointment after appointment, pregnancy test after pregnancy test. Come to think of it, the whole season was a test of sorts and I was objectively failing. And like a teacher who realizes His student’s limits, God had mercy on me, broken as I was. One day the call ended not with a kind nurse’s voice telling me, “not this time, honey” but with “honey, it’s positive.”
I was at work in a bank on a snowy, stormy day in March. Everyone had been sent home early due to the weather but I lagged behind to make my monthly phone call. When I heard the news, I put down the receiver in disbelief and said, out loud to an empty office: oh my God. I said a frantic litany of ‘thank-yous’ as I collected my things and, shaking, drove home in my tiny car through a blustery storm. As I look back, I see that mine wasn’t the response of a loved child of God for a mercy granted; it was the hysterical sound of someone who was grasping and clinging for something that might, any minute, be taken away.
The rest is a blur; a call to my husband, a drive to my parents’ house, my Dad’s concern and worry that we were driving in that unbelievable weather, then the news and my mother’s tears and long hug. The waiting was over. A new life had begun.
Apart from my son’s life, which is amazing and a blessing, that day began a new life and identity for me as a mother and my God, I loved it. I used the time with my kids the best I could, and though I was by no means perfect, I tried really hard and I soaked up our time together like crusty bread soaks up custard for French toast. It was the sweetest time of life.
Now I find myself in a season of waiting once again. Almost twenty years later, and I still find the same scared little girl’s response inside my spirit. Now, I am far too old for temper tantrums, and I feel God training me to look objectively at this season. What is it that He is trying to teach me? Dependence, humility, gratitude, trust? Ugh, none of these have ever been my strong suit. But God has given me a vision for this next bit of life and I mostly believe it but I’m here on this ledge and my voice has that small, echoey quality that does not sound so much like faith, but fear. I’m sitting on a branch in a breeze and feel a quiet encouragement all around me to close my eyes, strengthen my spine, breathe, and trust. I hear this reminder in podcasts and songs and read it in scriptures and devotionals that come my way. I feel it in church and in the wise words of friends who have no idea at the time that they are speaking needed truth to me. They are saying, “Be still”. They are corroborating my vision, unprompted. I see signs in nature and everywhere there is Psalm 37:4- Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. It’s a time of putting things in the right order. I am swallowing down the impulse to take the reins and instead trying to walk the humble road that God seems to be putting in front of me, day by day. If I am going to birth this next part of life, I feel strongly that I will have to get my soul ready. This kind of passivity is terrifying and it can make me feel restless. But I am determined that, this time, when I birth my new life, my thank you will sound like the assured gratitude of a much loved child. I don’t want to be frantic, but quiet and trusting, drawing from the knowledge that this plan has been in the works for some time, coming to me over these past years inch by inch, relationship by relationship. This way of thinking requires a grace which I do not often possess and a certainty that sometimes seems a long way off. But thankfully, God provides. Let’s just say I am counting on it.