Over the last three years I have come to hate the word “soon”. In prayers. In conversations. When asking God for something to be here “soon”. It is a word without purpose, commitment or passion. I have asked God for friends to meet their husbands, for loved ones to experience healing, for family members to find Jesus, for fellow infertility sufferers to have their positive pregnancy test and “soon” just doesn’t seem to nail it. I pray caught between a respect for God’s perfect timing and the understanding that it’s not a crime to ask for a time limit and a sense of urgency. God loves it when we ask Him for specifics!
Like many other women struggling with infertility and living in a time of “soon”, I have had moments of what may well seem like madness to others. I have needed to express an expectation of our baby’s arrival and see these moments as declarations of faith: a book on pregnancy bought despite the concerns of my husband; a baby outfit from my own infancy carefully wrapped in tissue paper and tucked away in our trunk with a handmade string of colourful animals placed alongside it; a hand-me-down cot and pram safely stored in the garage. Tangible, significant moments of a time that is coming whatever seems to be happening or not happening in the months in between. Early on in our decision to start a family we began to squirrel away savings from our wages to pay for the items we would need for our baby – babies. It’s funny how a few items bought and stored in a safe place can seem more reckless and costly than a sum of money tidily tucked away out of reach.
I’m not in denial. I know full well that daydreaming can become a form of psychological self-harm when one has been waiting for so long for a baby to be conceived. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. For a very long while now I have not allowed myself the freedom to consider the moment the pregnancy test turns positive, or the excitement of telling family we’re pregnant, or wondering what our baby will look, feel and smell like. My husband and I haven’t discussed baby names in months and we certainly haven’t been near a shop selling baby clothes, furniture or toys. I am more aware than ever that our behaviour is subconsciously dictated now by the familiarity of childlessness rather than a plausible expectation that I will be pregnant. I have been living in the shadow of an empty timeline which grows longer by the day and I have forgetten that it doesn’t have to trail never-endingly into the distance; that at some point it will come to an abrupt and life-changing end. It feels as though we have been sat in this waiting room for a very, very long time now.
Just lately though something deep within me has shifted – and in the language used by those closest to us. It is like we can sense the wait is nearly over and the season we’re living in is about to change. In the last couple of weeks I have sensed an accelaration in the heavenlies of this miracle finally coming forth for us and the reluctance with which I usually approach any daydreaming has started to seem unnecessary. “Soon” doesn’t feel like it is needed anymore.
I have found my prayers shifting as I seek God about my purpose beyond this current blog content and the day-to-day living layered with its undertone of infertility. I wonder what job I will have whilst pregnant and find myself considering a home with a bedroom for a nursery. I head back to the gym because it is time again to be labour-ready and I want to be in the best physical shape possible for carrying and birthing my child. I read another woman’s infertility blog and find solidarity in her similar preparations for a room for the baby she also believes is fast-approaching. I think God is up to something.
And then I found myself confessing this shy, private pondering to a friend because what she asked echoed exactly the thoughts I had already been having. I have watched this wonderul young woman of God preparing for the arrival of her baby girl in a few weeks’ time. I have held the beautiful items she has crocheted for her little one and found myself wanting to ask her to make something for us, for our child that is coming. Hesitancy has stopped me – caught between the fear of having to give it away if our baby never appears
and my pride at having to deal with incredulous and pitying looks in the asking. Sometimes I under-estimate the faith that others have for our family because in the end she offered before I even had the chance to ask. It seemed our spirits were on the same page. Time to put faith into action. As we looked through patterns and chatted about designs and colours I felt my confidence in this new season stirred up by Holy Spirit. We go through our days with quiet faith but I sense it is time to start speaking the expectation of the promise aloud and to get off the sofa and back out on the front porch in anticipation of its arrival.
Last week we were reminded by another friend of this beautiful, hopeful, truthful Psalm which she knows in her knower is for us. It certainly resonates deeply. Like me, may you never stop believing that your time of weeping will come to an end as you return home heavy-laden through the abundance of life God has planned for you. I believe harvest time is upon us.
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.
1 When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream!
2 We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
3 Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
4 Restore our fortunes, Lord,
as streams renew the desert.
5 Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
6 They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.