Oh, Child of Mine,
How could we have known that six years after I wiped that tear off your daddy’s cheek as we were exchanging our vows, that we would be soaking each other’s shoulders in tears shed over our barrenness?
I wish I knew if God was trying to tell me a flat-out-NO or just please-wait-patiently. If I knew it was a NO, I’d be able to deal with that grief and stop wondering, month after month. If I knew it was wait (and I knew the when…), I could totally wait. All I know is that I am waiting. And I will just keep waiting. Even though I feel like collapsing, giving up, and throwing in the towel.
We certainly didn’t go into marriage thinking, “I am assuming it will a challenge to get pregnant.” Nope. We figured, “When we want to get pregnant, we’ll just get pregnant.” And yet we are that couple we never even imagined the possibility of becoming. Infertile. Struggling to conceive. Incapable of reproducing, the most primal of human abilities.
And then we do our first round of fertility treatment. I take the pills. Get the injection. Have ultrasounds. Go through IUI. And we just assume, “There’s no reason this shouldn’t work. We’re making the effort. The pieces to the puzzle are all present and accounted for. This is totally going to work.” (Heck! The doctor even told me I had beautiful ovaries. That’s gotta count for something!)
HOW DID THIS NOT WORK? I hate to admit it, but my gut keeps shouting, “IT’S NOT FAIR” So immature, I know. But that’s the truth.
I kept hearing the phrase “hope does not disappoint” from some passage of Scripture I’d once memorized, and yet the words seemed ludicrous in my current state. I had hope. I am beyond disappointed. What gives, God?
So I went digging and found the 2011 NIV and the ESV both replace the word “disappoint” with “put us to shame” – terminology which makes a whole lot more sense.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
And through it all, we won’t be put to shame…we can not be put to shame because we are filled to overflowing with the love of God in Christ, covered with the presence of the Holy Spirit. We are not unworthy. We are not deserving of ridicule. We are not crushed beyond repair.