There are many seasons in life. This post is about just one season in my life, long ago when I was eagerly and then desperately waiting for babies. It is dedicated to the young people who are now in the same place I was then.
I was married, and we both wanted children. Our lives were busy with grad school, internships, jobs, postgraduate school and a slew of apartments and long-distance moves. We moved five times during our first six years of married life, none of the moves were in either of our home states.
Working while finishing a degree (me); teaching while finishing a dissertation (him), came with the territory. When we settled into the first professional job and our first home we turned our eyes toward the arrival of little ones. But they didn’t arrive.
My mother had miscarried before any of my brothers were born. It was especially rough on her because there were no doctors to be had; they were in short supply because of WWII. But that wasn’t what happened to me. I couldn’t get pregnant. My hopes kept being dashed and over the years I began to despair that the blessing I always assumed would easily be ours might elude us.
I have friends and family who adopted or who have stepchildren. In my own life, I have seen prayers answered, yet there were times during those years when I doubted. Eventually, I concluded, that I needed to wrap my head around the fact that I might never have children.
Sometimes when we are in the thick of painful lessons, we are incapable of understanding the big picture. When we think that God isn’t answering our prayer, it may just be that the time is not right. Thankfully, I have friends and family who remind me when I can’t see or have forgotten.
Eventually, I did succeed giving up the hope that I would have babies. I’m writing about it not because my story is unique, but because I know how painful it is to want children and not be able to have them. All of us have unique stories, and I hope that if you find this speaking to you that you find some help in it.
As so often happens in life, blessings occur when we are least expecting them. That is what happened to me. Ten years after I got married we discovered that I was pregnant. I was thirty-four years old. What an amazingly wonderful discovery
The little one was due the last Sunday in March. The due date came and went. A week passed. During the second week, the doctor checked to make sure all was still okay. The baby’s quarters were getting a little cramped, but all was still okay. The doctor set a date to induce labor, in case I hadn’t yet given birth, two weeks and one day after my original due date.
Even though I had given up praying for a baby and given up all hope that I would ever conceive, I know that our baby was an answer to prayers. I believe in connecting the dots: so let me say that not only were my prayers answered but God underlined the answer with an exclamation point in case I was too dull-witted to understand.
Our baby arrived on the day that God intended. While waiting for her arrival, my hospital room windows were open and I heard church bells ringing all through my South Carolina town – ringing to celebrate the feast day of the Living God! Our girl, who kept us waiting two weeks, was born on the highest feast day of the Christian Church – Easter Sunday! The day that we celebrate Christ’s victory over death and the grave with his Resurrection.
The days of mourning were done. Crying and sadness were turned into joy and thanksgiving. The Lord of Life had answered our prayers.
For his anger endureth but a moment;
in his favour is life:
weeping may endure for a night,
but joy cometh in the morning.