I wrote the second part of this post before we found out we were pregnant. I rewrote it multiple times, saved at least 20 different drafts of it, and I just couldn’t bring myself to post it. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t, because the month I was thinking about posting it is the month we found out we were pregnant. I want to share it with you all now to encourage those of you still on that longer-than-you-expected road to baby. I know those tears, I know that ache in the pit of your stomach, and I know how it feels to wonder if God will ever answer your prayers. Keep going. God told me no so that he could give me the most perfectly-timed yes – in a time and way I did not expect. And it’s cliche-sounding, but it’s true. His timing is always perfect.
There’s a slight ache in the pit of my stomach as I type and contemplate sharing this post. It’s not the norm for my typically happy-go-lucky personality, and my fear is that it will invoke pity or unnecessary advice (no offense lol). BUT I think there is something powerful about the way God uses our vulnerability. It’s raw and painful and real, but it can be exactly what someone else needs to hear to let them know they’re not alone. My hope is that this post finds and encourages someone else who is waiting on God to say yes. You’re not alone, but more importantly – God is still faithful.
I very specifically, very Biblically, and very desperately asked the Lord for something last year. And God told me no.
I asked daily for months. I dove into my Bible, I came before the Lord time and time again, and for what felt like forever, I asked for a baby. My hopes were so high, and my plans were so great! We were going to get pregnant right away – I just knew it. We don’t smoke. We don’t drink. We go to church. So naturally, I’m right at the front of the line to be granted my request from God, right?!
God told me no.
I begged him to let me get pregnant before we went on a vacation with our families. I had all the symptoms, even missed a cycle (TMI, sorry), and I was positive there was a baby growing inside me. We were going to tell our parents on the beach right around sunset. It was a PERFECT plan.
God told me no.
Then I told God I would settle for the next month. Surely he just wanted us to be able to tell the whole crew together at our annual family pictures. Brilliant! So I prayed more and more, and I waited for the good news to come.
God told me no.
Months went by, and my plans fell through over and over again when every month passed with another no. I thought maybe God just wanted us to really enjoy Christmas this year, so I would definitely have to be pregnant by Christmas. My prayers were less frequent by now. I tried not to get my hopes up, but when I wasn’t pregnant yet again, my heart sank.
As a planner, I was furious. My dreams for the year were shattered; my plans felt ruined. Facebook and Instagram flooded us with pregnancy announcements, with pictures of beautiful babies and toddlers and expecting mamas, and the hurt was so deep some days that I left work to go home and sob on the floor. My other job brought me dozens of adorable babies to photograph, and while I was 100% overjoyed for the families I was photographing, I would still find myself leaving some shoots feeling empty and worn. It was ROUGH, friends.
Near the start of the year, my heart turned bitter for a few dark days – days full of weeping and asking God what I’d done wrong. It seemed everyone around me was getting pregnant without even trying, and yet I remained empty. My desire was to raise children in the Lord – shouldn’t God be jumping on that request in a world this dark?!
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves.” -Psalm 68:19-20
What a compassionate Lord we serve – a God who is willing to bear our burdens. He has watched every tear fall from my face, heard every desperate prayer Andrew and I have prayed, and He has held our hearts through the darkest of days. He is still good. He still has a plan for our family. He is faithful. My heart has often been tempted to turn bitter, but I recall his faithfulness in our lives over and over again. He is SO GOOD.
And I have to remember other times God said no to his children. He said no when Job asked God to take his life. He said no when Paul asked for a thorn in his flesh to be removed. He said no when Jesus asked for a painful cup to be taken away from him.
God’s plans are so much bigger and greater than ours, and as much as it frustrates my planning heart some days, it’s also freeing to know he’s in control and I’m not. If my plans are awesome (and they totally are), how much better will his be!
When God says no, it can only mean there is a greater, more exciting and fulfilling YES coming.
On the other side of this post, I stare at my belly (which is still tiny at 14 weeks pregnant and currently just looks like I’ve had one too many slices of pizza) and I marvel at the miraculous ways God works. On the day I found out I was pregnant, the verse at the top of my planner was James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father.” The week following was Luke 1:45, “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.” God is so. faithful. Hold on for that perfect “yes” that’s coming. ❤️