Awhile back I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts called “Abiding Together” and the women were talking about different periods in their life when they had to “wait on the Lord.” As I sat on the couch, drinking a cup of coffee, I was really moved by their insights and stories. I’ve shared parts of my journey with infertility in past blogs, but this past 2 years of trying to conceive and discern God’s plan for my family has truly been a season of waiting for me. It’s so easy to feel like you’re just waiting on your own some days, as if you’re on an island all by yourself, when in reality we are being held tightly by our Father who is ever present with us. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that “God is in the waiting.” 

We all pass through seasons of waiting

We all go through different periods in life where we feel like we are waiting for something. Maybe we’re waiting to enter into our vocation, or waiting to get a phone call that we got the job we’ve been praying for or waiting for the doctor to give us a health diagnosis. These moments of waiting can be filled with so many different emotions depending on the circumstance-excitement, anxiety, anticipation, worry, uncertainty, joy, hope. Some days we may feel one emotion stronger than another and other days we may feel them all at once. Waiting is rarely easy, but it’s part of the spiritual life.

As I’ve shared in past blogs, I had surgery last October to help heal some of the underlying health problems that were causing my infertility. As I was laying in recovery, I learned that my surgery wasn’t successful and I would need a follow up procedure that would be more invasive. It was a lot to process at the time. After a few days passed, the news hit me hard and I just broke. I laid there crying, frustrated by the whole situation. The disappointment was heavy. After so much waiting, I knew in my heart that the waiting was not over. Jesus was clearly asking me to continue to wait.

It has been 8 months of waiting since my initial procedure and next month I am scheduled to have my follow up surgery. As it gets closer, I have been finding myself trying to sort through a mixture of emotions. Nervousness,  hope, uncertainty, relief (that it will, God-willing, be my last surgery to resolve my infertility). As I was praying this morning about all the emotions and thoughts that have been stirring up within me, I started pouring my heart out to the Lord. I told him how I feel completely vulnerable right now leading up to this surgery. Everything is completely out of my control; there is no guarantee that this surgery will lead to me conceiving. My heart still feels really raw from the last disappointment and from all the “waiting” that I’ve had to endure. I asked Jesus to enter into this vulnerable place in my heart and I prayed, “Please protect my heart Jesus.”

As soon as I prayed those words out loud, something broke in me and I started to sob. All of the pain, the uncertainty, the vulnerability of the last two years just poured out of my heart. After all this waiting, all this praying, all this hoping, would I find myself pregnant? I prayed that I would be able to have peace in accepting His will.

What is Jesus trying to teach me during this season of waiting?

As I reflected on this prayer, it really got me in touch with those questions that we all have as we go through seasons of waiting. In the deepest parts of our hearts we long to know-“Will everything turn out okay? Will this end how I want it to? At the end of the road, will all of this be worth it?” We want to know, “If I take a leap of faith, will you be there to catch me Lord? If I risk entering into this process and put my heart on the line, will you be with me on the journey? Jesus always answers, “Yes.” We might not know the outcome at the end of the waiting, and He might not be able to spare us disappointment along the way, but we do know that He will be there to hold us. 

I think about the courage of all those diagnosed with cancer who start the process of chemo and the endless treatments that accompany it. They enter into it without any idea what the final outcome will be. They wake up every day and they have to sit in the gap of the unknown. Waiting. Praying. Hoping. Trusting. I think of the brave young adults in our culture that are chasing after holiness and preparing themselves for their vocation. Instead of just settling for whatever is offered to them, they are trying to seek and discern God’s will for their lives. Sometimes this entails waiting, loneliness, doubt, and lots of sacrifice, but they continue to surrender their lives and their future to Christ.  And I know there are countless spouses like my husband and I, that are waiting and praying for God to bless them with children-whether that be biologically or through the gift of adoption.

In these vulnerable moments of waiting, trusting, and not knowing the outcome, Jesus teaches us valuable lessons about trust, surrender, and placing our hope in Him. If we didn’t have moments that required us to slow down and surrender to God’s timing in our lives, how would we grow in patience? How would we learn to live in the present moment? How would we become more dependent on God? Season’s of waiting always stir up a lot of emotions within me, and reveal places of my heart where I lack trust in God, or where I am placing my hope for happiness in something apart from Him. I know these seasons of waiting are SOOOO good for me to endure because I learn that I can do nothing else but completely abandon myself into the arms of Jesus and trust in the goodness of His plan.

Learning to surrender the outcomes we want isn’t easy. Investing ourselves into a process that might not end the way we want isn’t easy. Taking chances and opening our hearts up to what we long for isn’t easy. Nothing about waiting or trusting is easy. But we have to keep showing up, keep placing our hope and confidence in the Lord and accept the outcome-no matter how painful or disappointing it may be. When times are really difficult or we find ourselves growing impatient, we need to ask Jesus for the grace to move our gaze away from how difficult these moments are, and re-focus on the gift of His presence in our lives.

Even though we wait, we don’t stop living

This is a big one. It’s tempting during seasons of waiting to feel like our lives are on hold or that something is left unfulfilled or incomplete in our lives. I remember when I was single for 3 years, praying for my spouse and wondering when I would enter into my vocation. I realized early on that if I sat around and just allowed my desire to be married to consume me, I would be wasting precious time that the Lord was giving me to better myself, and prepare myself for what I longed for. I had to make a decision to not allow this season of waiting to paralyze me, but to move me forward and to re-focus my heart back on Jesus, and what He was doing in my life at the present moment. (Some days I was better at this than others).

I’ve thought back to that season in my life often, and I continue to see the fruits that the Lord has blessed me with during that time.  He taught me that my life can be fulfilling and beautiful and complete with Him alone. Sometimes our hearts still believe that we can’t be happy until that thing or person we are waiting for arrives. But that is the lie that Jesus wants to heal in our hearts. No matter how good or beautiful the person or thing we are waiting for is, it will never fulfill us the way Jesus can. As excited as I would be to have children, I know that my life is not incomplete without them. I know that my ultimate vocation, beyond the call of being a wife or mother, is my vocation to holiness. I am called to holiness. And as long as I am chasing after Jesus and striving for holiness, then I know He will handle the rest.

When I start to grow restless or forget that Jesus is enough for me, I remind myself of all that I have to be grateful for in my life. Yes, it has been painful to not be able to start my family yet, but I am also grateful for the time I have had to grow closer to my husband, to continue ministry work, and to invest in my relationships with my family. There are times when I know that I wouldn’t be able to give of myself in the ways I do if I had babies at home to take care of, so I know I am called to be grateful for this time and use it well. I refuse to stop living my life just because there is a desire in my heart that has not been met. Instead of repressing my desire for motherhood or being consumed by it, I choose the third option-I entrust my longing to Jesus and continue living my life.

He’s never failing

I was listening to the song called, “Take Courage” by Kristene DiMarco and the lyrics really moved me:

Slow down, take time
Breath in He said
He’d reveal what’s to come
The thoughts in His mind
Always higher than mine
He’ll reveal all to come

Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

Sing praise my soul
Find strength in joy
Let His Words lead you on
Do not forget
His great faithfulness
He’ll finish all He’s begun

So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

“Take courage my heart. Stay steadfast my soul. He’s in the waiting. He’s never failing.” No matter what our circumstances are, or how overwhelming the “waiting” may seem, we have to find our hope in Jesus. Each day we wake up, we get to make an offering of ourselves to the Lord, and grow deeper in surrender to what His vision for our lives will look like. If we are asked to wait, then let us wait in hope.

“I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage. Wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14

2019 Drewe DeJesus

Photo by Ricky Rew from Freely Photos