It’s been over a decade now.
A decade of wondering and hoping and praying that God will heal my body and allow it to conceive, carry, and deliver a child.
I’ve watched Him move on the behalf of others. I’ve heard the stories of miracles, of friends and relatives who went 7, 10, 15, even 20 years and then brought home a baby. “It’s still possible,” I would whisper to myself. “Even if the doctor’s reports aren’t favorable, God is capable of bringing life to that which is dead. I know He is.”
I believe, with everything I am, that God is big enough to give me a baby.
But does that mean He will?
And right here, with this question, I wrestle. I want to have faith, I pray for faith, but I’m also this practical what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of person. I know what God can do, but I can’t read His mind and know what He will do.
I know better than to try and manipulate Him, or believe that my infertility means He’s not pleased with me. But I do talk with Him a lot, asking for some sign one way or another. Some way to know if I should keep hoping and believing that He will bring healing, or just have a settled understanding that this is it and all the children I will ever have are already home.
God hasn’t said much on the subject of the babies I dream about. The conversations are mostly one-sided.
So the ache has just simmered inside me. This hope that blazes and dies according to cycles and dreams and every change in my body or environment.
It’s tiring. Exhausting, actually.
So last year I decided the problem must be how I was approaching the subject. I started a new conversation with God. I told Him straight out, “You know, right now the scariest thing in the world to me is hope.”
Turns out He has some things to say about hope.
It was like God just tucked me in beside Him and said quietly to my heart, “So, Tasha, are you really afraid of hope?”
This hope? Oh, my no. I’m not afraid to hope in the Word, in the salvation He’s offered me.
We sat there together. Me curled up with the Word on my lap, while my husband and our adopted children were moving around the house. “What about a baby?” my heart whispered to God. “Should I be hoping for that?”
He didn’t answer the question right away. But in the next week I came to the story.
Right in the book of Acts, there is this story about Paul and Silas. They are in Philippi, and they were beaten and imprisoned. They spent the night praising God and a miraculous earthquake rolls through and their chains fall off.
They were in jail, but then they were free, and the jailer is led to the Lord and God is moving and shaking the city—calling men and women to Himself. A church is formed and even after Paul leaves, the work continues.
And years later Paul writes them a letter. We still have it, nestled in our New Testament. Philippians.
Guess where he’s writing from?
Oh, yeah. The guy who was miraculously saved from prison before, is sitting in prison now.
Paul knew, from experience, that God was big enough to save him from prison, but he didn’t know if God would.
And yet, what does he say? Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say it, rejoice.
From prison. From living without God miraculously moving to free you.
From right here. Rejoice.
We know that Paul spent most of the rest of his life in prison, but we also know that he wrote most of our New Testament from there. God was doing big and excellent work in Paul and through Paul—even though it didn’t look like the freedom we would all naturally desire.
God is big enough to do any of the miraculous things we long for, but He’s also big enough to walk with us through dark and loss and hardship.
And as Paul explained, there is joy available. There is refreshment and hope and life to be found—even in the hard—because God is that big and that good.
I’m learning, friends. So slowly, but so steadily. I’m learning how to put my hope in the place it belongs, to trust my future to the God who is good.
It’s easy for all of us to get distracted with the wrong questions.
The God, will I ever? questions.
The God, will You ever? questions.
The questions that leave us feeling hopeless and tired.
Instead, may the questions change in our hearts. May we learn to rejoice in our present circumstances because we know that He is able to shake the foundations of the earth and free us—and if He is not doing so, it is for the furthering of the Kingdom.
I don’t know if God will ever give me a baby, but I do know that He is enough and I can live in hope and joy with or without, because He is that big and that good.
If you’re waiting for a baby, or a job, or a marriage, or freedom from illness or loss or sorrow—may your heart learn to put hope in the things that fill you and strengthen you. Things like the Word and the salvation that God has, so graciously, given us.
May we learn to say, with Paul, “I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel…”