Waiting

Posted in Marriage Monday with 12 comments

I have had to wait for many things in life, but some are much different than others. For example, waiting in line for the restroom, which is terrible when you really need to go, is annoying but bearable. Waiting for Christmas or a birthday as a child (and maybe still today…) felt like torture, but is always resolved at an exact time. Waiting for that final grade in grad school nearly killed me, but here I stand with a new piece of paper hanging in our office, so it worked out.

All of these things are hard to wait for, but for the most part, they all had final results. They all had outcomes I could predict and know were achievable. All are somewhat controllable (I can’t move Christmas or my birthday, but I could move up the celebration, couldn’t I?). But sometimes we have to wait for things in life that are not so easy.

Sometimes waiting can be downright painful.

I know many people have faced this in some form or fashion. Some more serious than others. But what we currently are facing is something almost all married couples have to wait for.

A child.

Getting pregnant, while exciting, brings a feeling of helplessness I have never felt before. While you can do your part to “make a baby” it’s totally in the Lord’s hands. According to the CDC website, 10% of women will have trouble getting pregnant and/or staying pregnant. While this seems like a small number, it’s amazing how terrifying that number can be.

I shared about our miscarriage three months ago, which made our wait that much harder. As we pass the 6-month point with a waste basket full of negative pregnancy tests, our prayers get a little more desperate and our hearts a little more heavy.

But.

There’s always a but, and this one is a good one.

But, while we feel helpless, we are not hopeless. While we sometimes worry, we know Who is in control. And while we can’t wait for the day we can celebrate and hold a child in our arms, we know that God’s timing is ultimately the best.

Unless you and your spouse choose not to have children, every couple has, is, or will go through this process. And while for many it is quick, even that first month can be a challenging wait. Add on the months, add on the struggle.

But I wanted to give you hope in what I have learned. I know 6 months is a very short time compared to many, and to those of you who have had a much longer wait, my heart and prayers go out, but for those of you considering children or going through this process, I hope what I have learned may help you in some way.

God is still there.
Sometimes this seems hard, huh? You know He is in your mind, but in your heart, it hurts. How could He make you wait so long? Why isn’t He listening?  I can’t tell you why God’s timing is the way that it is… except that I know it is good and that it has a purpose. But in the midst of our waiting and in the midst of that frustration, He is there. He still cares and He’s still listening to our desperate prayers. Make this a time of connecting with Him rather than running away, because allowing Him to comfort you will be the best relief you can receive.

John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Sex is not just to make babies.
As silly as it sounds, when trying for a child, sex becomes a means to an end instead of blessing of an experience with your spouse. It is easy to roll over to have sex when you know you are ovulating, but on a “regular” day? Forget it. But God created sex for both purposes. It’s ok to try for a baby and to specifically aim for ovulation days. He did say “Be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28)” after all. But don’t let that be the only time in the month that you seek out your husband or wife. Many marriages have significant struggles when that first bundle of joy comes around. Allow this time to strengthen your marriage and not destroy it. Sex can be a great way to go about that.

1 Corinthians 7:2-5 ~ But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Your husband matters too.
Ladies, I’m singling you out here. Our guys most definitely want to be dads (if not, please talk about that) but for us it is usually a little different. When our maternal instincts kick in, we are ready and have being a mom on the brain. It is easy to get into already wondering if you will have a boy or girl, picking out names, thinking of nursery themes, and getting teary over infant outfits at Target (I swear they are going to kill me one day), but your husband, your best friend, is still there too. Include him and tell him what you are excited about and what you are worried about. Tell him what is happening with your body and allow him to be a part of the process. Don’t overwhelm him, but also do not leave him in the dust with what’s going on.  This has been new to both of us but especially for Matt as I have researched a lot, talked to other women, and talked to my doctor. Sometimes I’ll mention a pregnancy related term and he’ll look at me like I just grew a horn out of my forehead. Take the time to let him be involved and make sure to give him just as much attention as you are giving to the hope of your future child.

Ephesians 5:22 – Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

Fear not.
Writing this one makes me cringe a little. Sometimes I’ll tell God: “It’s just so HARD to be anxious for nothing!!” I’m glad He can deal with me… ;) But really, it is what He has told us and in that we can take courage. He is on our side, He knows what’s best, He knows the names of our future children and the futures that lie before Him. I know that raising children and giving them to God may be even harder than waiting for them, so I will take this opportunity to thank Him for preparing us. Anxiety only makes things worse. It does not allow your body to function properly, it raises your stress level, and it hurts your relationship with God as you do not surrender to Him. Trust me, I am preaching to myself BIG TIME with this one, but His command was for our own good. Ask Him for help, He’ll be there.

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
This is a quote by Theodore Roosevelt and it is one of my favorites because while simple, it speaks a whole lot of truth in a whole lot of areas of life. With pregnancy in particular, it is easy to look at others and their journey and think “Hey, that’s not happening to me!” Often it’s when a friend gets pregnant first. We, of course, are thrilled for them, but it sets a longing pain in your heart when you can’t share the same news in return. Remember, God’s timing is different for everyone, and your child has a specific day to be born just as theirs does. He does not love them more, they have had their own journey, and their child is a blessing. When we compare, jealousy can occur and while that’s normal in this circumstance, it’s not ok to let it fester. Allowing jealousy to fester over another’s joyous occasion is not worth losing friends over. Celebrate them so they can also celebrate you soon!

1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Overall, do not lose hope, my friends. I have written verses on my mirror, worn necklaces with special words, and recited scripture to remind myself of this very thing. God has a plan, He will not let us down. Trust in Him and know that He is good. And thank you to those that have been praying for us. We feel so lifted and can’t wait for the day we are able to announce our Bitty Baby B. ;)

Romans 5:5 – And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.


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12 Comments

  1. Laura

    Wow, I had NO idea you had a miscarriage. So sorry to hear that! Although I don’t know exactly how you are feeling, i can say, that when mike & I first were married, we thought we wanted a baby right away. We tried for a few months and nothing happened…and then we went through a lot of difficult things job wise, money, etc….so even though I couldn’t see it at the time, i’m so glad we did not conceive at that exact time we we wanted…if would have been SO hard….and as much stress as I was under,I don’t even know that I could have had healthy pregnancy or even carried to term….don’t put pressure on yourselves, don’t stress (easier said than done) enjoy this time while its just the two of you, bc they will be few and far between with kiddos….while having kids is a great blessing….its definatly hard and stressful at times (aka the “terrible 2 & 3’s), everything changes. Lol. Enjoy yourselves, try to put it in the back of your mind….and when you least expect it or plan it , it will happen! I’ll be praying for you guys!

    Reply
  2. Melissa

    Thank you so much for this encouragement. I was brought to tears as I read it, because it all hit home pretty hard, but it was exactly what I needed to hear. I’m going to bookmark this post to read again and again, as I need it. Thank you, and blessings to you as you wait!

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      Melissa, thank you so much for your comment! Words like these are what keep me writing. Not because you are in pain, but because God could use me in some way to help. I am praying for you and am glad that this post is what you needed to here. Praying for you! We will meet our little ones soon. :)

      Reply
  3. Cindy at Affaircare

    Melissa~

    I say this with absolute and complete confidence…you can even quote me on this. God will bring into your life the children HE intends for you to have in your life, when HE intends for you to have them. I have had the pleasure of having one full-term pregnancy delivered naturally, one daughter who arrived 2 months early and due to the miracle of modern science she was delivered c-section and is now an Amazon, a later-in-the-pregnancy miscarriage, a pregnancy-that-was-not-viable miscarriage, and I am the step mom of five other children who very muchso needed a mother in their life. God told Sarah point blank and to her face that He was going to give her a son, and she laughed at Him! She was old and her husband was almost 100 and “dried up” she said. AND in her 90’s she had a son, the apple of her eye. Hannah prayed to the Lord diligently for a child while year after year her friends and the women around her had children…she despaired. She wept! And God gave her Samuel when HE needed Samuel to be there for His nation and people. So trust me, your longing for a child does not go unheard. Your age or ability to have children…your husband’s age even… will not slow down God in the least when He decides to bring the children into your life whom HE wants to have in your life. If God has decided to bring a child into your life, nothing you do can stop Him or make Him move faster. And if He has not decided to bring children into your life, then you can rest easy and have peace that you are within His will.

    ~Cindy

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      Amen, Cindy! Thank you for sharing your story with Melissa and all of us. I know God will bless us if we believe and help us even in our unbelief. Your story is testament to that! Appreciate you!

      Reply
  4. Michal Renee'

    I was truly touched by your post because I have a strong feeling that when the time comes for my husband and I to start trying for kids it will probably be a lengthy amount of time. My mom had a miscarriage early on in her first pregnancy and then had to try for 7 YEARS before I finally came along. I also have some health issues that may or may not present a problem when we start trying. However, I know that my faith in God and the test of time that my mom endured is a strong message to me. You are in my prayers and God bless you and your husband!

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      Michal (love your name, beautiful!), thank you so much for your comment. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome when I was a teenager and it was a fear of mine that I’d have trouble getting pregnant from then on. What I’ve learned over the last 10 or so years since I was diagnosed is that God is bigger than any medical term and any fear that I have. While your mom struggled with infertility, I encourage you to stand firm and know that God may have a completely different plan for you than He had for her. I’m praying for YOU, sister and believing for miracles! Thank you for your prayers and I hope that you will continue to visit me here! :)

      Reply
  5. Sarah @ Simply a Patchwork Life

    Hi!

    I came across your blog through the Alabastar Jar link-up. I clicked on your link because it’s where I am right now, too, and actually posted again about it this very day.

    I have had two miscarriages since Christmas – one at 12 weeks (a blighted ovum) and the second at around 4 weeks (mercifully). It’s been hard to say the least, and the waiting on all parts, very stretching.

    The biggest comfort I have gained, after many struggles with doubts and fears that, in His soveriegnty, God is not good, is that my womb is not my own. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. Not just because He is my Maker, but because I was bought with a price so my body is not my own (1 Cor.6). I know there is actually nothing I can do, except the obvious, to make it happen unless the day for it to be has come.

    I really hope and pray for you, dear sister, in your own struggles. I haven’t yet read your post on your miscarriage, but will do so after this. I just wanted to say that I am with you and really know how it feels.

    Desiring Virtue is doing an amazing series at the moment for women who fear pregnancy – she’s amazing, theologically brilliant, and experienced.

    Much love in Christ,

    Sarah

    Reply
    • erinmbaxter

      Sarah, thanks for your comment! I believe you meant to say that God is good in His sovereignty and I fully agree with that! It is hard to surrender everything, including our wombs and our fertility to Him, but they are, in fact, His in the first place! I’m excited for the plan He has for both of us and for the children that will soon be in our arms because of Him. Thanks for reaching out, I will definitely check out your blog and Desiring Virtue and hope that you will keep returning and commenting! Much love! ~Erin

      Reply
  6. Pearl

    “Make this a time of connecting with Him rather than running away, because allowing Him to comfort you will be the best relief you can receive.” This statement is so powerful and true. I have you and your husband in prayer, Erin.

    Reply