I was raised with a can-do spirit. It gives me incredible satisfaction to tackle something I’ve never tried before and discover I can do it. So, no surprise… that was my strategy for getting pregnant. I figured: it’s not rocket science, my parents did it on their honeymoon (and they weren’t even trying), and we’ll get it done in no time.
So, yeah… about that….
Our failure was disappointing, but not devastating. Devastation would come further down the road. After months of trying, then discovering I wasn’t even ovulating. After blood draws, ultrasounds, injections, surgeries, miscarriages, and more. Why did we have to go through so much pain to get to parenthood? Why did it have to hurt so much – for so long – before we reached a time of joy and gratitude?
The Bible says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Hmmmmm. Was that the case with me? Put it this way….
I have come to believe that, sometimes, God’s best for me is a “no.” “No” to my plan. “No” to my timetable. “No” to me being in control. In the moment, that message causes so much pain. It hurts my heart (don’t you love me, God?), my spirit (can I still trust you, God?), and my mind (this makes no sense, God!). If I’m honest, I’ll admit it also wounds my pride (I resent this, God).
All too often, I want to be in control and accomplish my plan on my timetable. Efficiently. Effectively. Apparently, effortlessly. I secretly want to say, “I did it!” Sometimes (despite the fact that I think I’m a great planner), God can see that my plan isn’t going to lead to His best for me. So, He says, “no” to my plan… and also, to my pride.
But, that’s not the end of the story. When God’s “yes” comes, I can see in hindsight how His “no” set the stage for something better. Something I could never have achieved without Him. And I am reminded that His “no” wasn’t punishment given in anger; it was full of grace.
Too often, infertile couples think of God as having the power to work with us, but refusing to. That’s aggravating (!), especially for Type A personalities. We want people on our team who are going to execute our plans, on our timetables – as in, “work with me, or get out of my way.”
But God’s not a subordinate with a performance appraisal pending. We can’t threaten to fire Him if He doesn’t meet our expectations. Sure, we can disengage and refuse to communicate with Him. But as soon as we reach a dead-end, we’ll discover that we need Him much more than He needs us.
Remember: God has the power – and the desire – to move us toward the dream of parenting. He planted the seed of hope in us for a reason! But first, there needs to be a change in us. A willingness to admit, “I can’t do it all; only You can, God.”
Those words of humility and trust are the best offering we can make. They honestly admit our limitations (which are no secret to God) and our need for help & real hope (which are our free gifts from God). The next time you hear, “no,” try seeing it as an indication that God is steering you toward His very best. You may not like the process, but trust me — you will love the outcome.
For more inspiration, resources and cause for hope, click this link now.