In this post: What a decade of infertility taught me about waiting well (and why we all need it now during Covid-19), an update on my family story, a life coaching tool, and a free download — Hope Your Heart Needs: 5 Encouraging Reminders of How God Cares for You
My granddaughter Eula holds her Mama’s iPhone, racing around the backyard. I see flashes of yellow dandelions, the polka dots on her shirt, the blue sky above. She points out her favorites, “Bird! Wagon! Dommi (the dog)!” When she finally pauses to catch her breath and actually looks at the camera, I find myself in a moment of wonder. How did I end up in this moment?
I’ve asked this question in other ways during the recent Covid-19 crisis—staring at empty shelves in the grocery store, watching scary headlines on the news, trying to fix my computer camera for video meetings. Asking it then came from frustration and confusion. But that’s not what I’m feeling now. Right now, even in this difficult time, I feel a burst of joy.
I think back to a decade of infertility for Mark and I, a lifetime of difficulty for our daughter Lovelle, and how God brought us all together to be a family when she was twenty.
I think of Lovelle’s wedding day when she wore a white dress and danced with Mark.
I think of being in the room when she gave birth, holding her hand and telling her again and again, “You are strong. You are brave. You can do this.”
I think of the first time I held Eula, how she looked at me with her wide, curious eyes—the same ones staring through a screen at me now.
Almost seven years have gone by since we met Lovelle and it feels as if we’ve always been a family. I rarely even think about all those years of infertility. But right now the whole world is in a season of waiting and uncertainty, and I’m finding it feels strangely familiar.
During my infertility, I struggled with thinking God’s timing must be off or that maybe circumstances in my life had somehow slipped out of His control. Maybe I wasn’t good enough for Him to answer my prayers. I cried in the bathroom, shouted in frustration, found it hard to pray sometimes. Where was God? Why wasn’t He doing what I wanted—and doing it now?
August 28th is the day we legally changed Lovelle’s last name to ours. We call it “Gerth Day” and celebrate it every year like a birthday. And what day was Eula born? August 28th – Gerth Day. When I held her for the first time I knew deep in my soul that God’s timing had never been off, He had always been in control, He had better plans than all my demands.
I don’t believe God caused my infertility. I don’t believe God caused Covid-19. But I do believe that He is always working out His good plans for our lives, that there is so much more going on than what we can see with our eyes, that hope is a powerful thing and the desires of our heart will not go unmet—even if the answers to them look totally different than what we expect.
We are all waiting right now. We can’t determine what will happen next. But we can have hope because our story is not over.
Eula likes to say, “Nana, focus!” which always makes me laugh. Today I am focusing. In this moment I’m choosing to focus not on fear but gratitude, not uncertainty but love, not what the future may hold but my granddaughter holding a phone—and the God who still holds all of us in His hands.
Cheering You On,
Life Coaching Tool: Sometimes looking backward can help us keep moving forward. Pause to remember or write down a time when you were waiting for something that you have now. How did you see God working? What got you through that time that can help you now too?
If Mother’s Day is difficult this year for you or someone you love because of infertility, loss, or Covid-19, I have a free download to give you hope. Click here to enter your email address and I’ll send you a 5-day sampler of devotionals from Hope Your Heart Needs: 52 Encouraging Reminders of How God Cares for You.
This week’s More than Small Talk podcast episode is Unexpectedly Fiercehearted. We answer the question, “What’s a time you wanted to give up but didn’t?” to help you overcome your challenges today too.