“I Have Something to Say” is live again this week! Today you’re hearing from Stephanie with letter talking about relying on God when our plans for motherhood don’t go as we thought they would:
To the one still waiting:
Pregnancy and new life was once a hard and touchy subject for me. I have pictured myself being a mom since my earliest memories as a child. When my husband and I started trying to get pregnant I was shocked when we didn’t conceive right away. My mother never had trouble getting pregnant, my aunt had 6 girls and my grandmother had 5 kids. According to family history everything pointed to my dream being fulfilled fast and easy. It was all I had ever dreamed of being after all. If it was the desire of my heart and God was a good and loving God then He would give me my heart’s desire right? Months turned to years and more questions came without any answers.
I was one of the first of my friends to get married but soon friends and family who married after us began getting pregnant and starting their families. I know it’s an immature notion but at the time that felt unfair. Immature as it was it was a real feeling and one that would challenge and shape me. For quite some time there was only bitterness in regards to pregnancy but God challenged me in that season. He asked me clearly, “If the answer is no, will you still love me?” I wrestled a lot with that question but of course ultimately my answer was yes. God was still good and He was still faithful and I still lived a very blessed and highly favored life.
I asked God to begin to change my heart. I fought to break down the altar I had built that held pregnancy and having biological children looming high above me- causing everything in my life to be waiting on this one life event. I asked God to protect my heart and to nurture it while I grieved my disappointment. I prayed over and over that God would give me joy for every new mom and every woman who became pregnant that I was in relationship with. I mean, I had to start somewhere. Asking to be happy for ALL the women might have proved to be too much (lol). I can’t say that I was over the moon with every pregnancy announcement. Some made my heart feel numb. Some brought tears or anger. Some didn’t seem to bother me. But God truly did give me so much grace. I continually ran to him with my emotions. “It’s me and you God.” I would say.
There was a season in which we had just had an early term miscarriage, one of the three we have faced, and my sister, two of my sister in laws, about 7 women in our church and even more in my extended circle of friends were all pregnant at once! Talk about a hard. It felt like God was just rubbing it in my face at some point. I felt like the last one picked for dodgeball. The odd one out. Incapable of doing what a woman’s body should be able to do. Carry and sustain life. But of course God wasn’t doing that. Because that’s not who He is.
It was particularly hard for me to accept encouragement from people who had been waiting but now were walking in seasons of motherhood because I felt like their wait was over. That they weren’t in the ‘not yet’ still and couldn’t truly relate to how I was feeling. Not anymore. I can only imagine how many relationships I wrote off before they began with the walls I built around my heart.
I have recently seen a geneticist and have been given several diagnoses, many of them being things that could be passed along to biological children. They are also things that have caused me to have chronic pain ever since I can remember. My recent health discoveries have opened my eyes to see that what felt like one of the cruelest no’s, at the time, was one of the most gracious and abundant no’s I would ever get. God was protecting my heart in more ways than I ever could have imagined.
I want to encourage you if you are still waiting or if your journey motherhood has looked different than you planned. You may have some great days and some bad days. On any day it’s ok to hurt. For many of us there’s a deep longing in our hearts for motherhood that can’t be explained with words. It can only be felt. When we feel that we’ve been denied that privilege it makes us question everything. Ourselves, our capabilities, the nature of God. It’s OK to not be sure how you feel about it. It’s OK if that feeling changes. It’s OK to not go to every baby shower. It’s OK to mourn a little bit while others are rejoicing.
I don’t have the answers for you as to why. Why some people struggle so much and then some people get surprised by pregnancy. But what I can promise you is that God has not forgotten about you. I can promise you that he is working behind the scenes. I can promise you that you are not alone. God hasn’t caused your pain but He won’t waste a single second of it. I pray for each of you that are in this season of ‘not yet’ that God will wrap you in His love like only He can. That you will hear Him saying, “I haven’t forgotten. I’m still listening. I can hear you. I can see you. I’m close.”
Stephanie White is a work from home mom who works for her family’s company. Her and her husband of 7 years pastor a church in Suffolk, VA. They brought their son, Raj, home from India in March of this year and he continues to surprise them with his joy and growth. Stephanie hopes to raise kind children who celebrate diversity and bring out the best in others. Some of her biggest goals in life are to stay teachable and humble and to use her life experiences to relate to others, reminding them they are not alone.
P.S. If you’ve missed any of the other guest posts in this series so far, you can find them below: