Step 1: Having faith that God has plans for me
I remember the turning point. It was sometime near our second wedding anniversary it really hit me that we wanted kids. Before that it was a little more non-committal. But this time, I was serious like I-would-get-upset serious.
That night I remember crying about how sometimes it felt like God had forgotten about me. My poor husband was trying to comfort me and say that people can become a mum at 40, but stubborn me said no I want to be a young mum before I turn 30. I don’t fully remember the details of the conversation that night anymore but I remember a thought that calmed me: You will have a child one day. That night our conversation took a turn towards – How do I know it’s God speaking? How do I know it’s not my own desires speaking louder? How do I discern his voice over the noise?
It happened that this coincided closely with an April 2018 run of #30daysofbiblelettering. I had somehow decided that this was the (one and only) run that I would commit to doing every verse. Verse after verse, I was writing about faith. Was God trying to speak to me? I wasn’t sure then. I remember one morning my quiet time revolves around Elizabeth and how God eventually gave her a child. Again, was God trying to speak to me? Maybe… though I thought it could have been a coincidence since I had only started being more diligent about reading The Word daily.
I remember one day I felt that I should see one of my patients. He was a young man in an isolation room, and his wife would loop pre-recorded sermons and worship songs in his room. That day when I went in, it was a sermon and I wasn’t focusing so I heard nothing. But one line stood out strangely clear – “Sarai had a child because she had faith.” Now that sounds like a clear word from God, but I continued to be scared of believing.
I started reading a book, Discerning the Will I’d God by Benny Ho. I have to admit that two years later I don’t really remember exactly what I read but in gist it said not to look for signs (e.g. the bird flew across the sky so this must be what God wants for me) but to make sure it aligns with God’s Word, and to see if it aligns with Godly counsel.
Told my mum about the predicament we were in: and being the woman of God that she is, she said no worries, we pray. Definite, confident. On Mother’s Day that same year, I shared this with my mum-in-law who then revealed that recently she had been prompted to pray over her grandchildren (in confidence that she would have grandchildren, and not to pray to have them). She also shared that my husband’s grandfather had been dreaming of babies. We then thought maybe that was a sign he might get to meet his great grandchild. (We would have loved if grandpa Tony did meet our child, but he merely knew she was on the way and didn’t make it. We don’t know why but we trust God has his reasons and timing).
By now I had accepted that this was God’s way of reassuring me that we would have a child. When, I don’t know.
Step 2: Surrender – Your Will before mine
Knowing that God had reassured me hadn’t stopped me from insisting that I wanted to have a child before I turned 30. I proceeded to ask God if we could have him/her before we were 1000 days married, or if there was a magic number… blablabla.
Time and time again, through a book (Waiting for Wonder) and my good husband, I was told I had to surrender all these and leave it to a God and his timing. I spent a Long time convincing myself: “ya I’m fine with not having kids. I’ll just travel the world and enjoy ourselves as a couple. That’s fine with me.” As time went by it was revealed to me that the condition of my heart was rebellion and I was just challenging God. I had to die to my own timelines and trust God. This, took years for me to truly be at peace with not having children and moving on with my life from just waiting for something to happen.
I also had to give up potential opportunities at work. I remember feeling like I missed out on them even though I knew it didn’t align with the fact that I wanted a child. One evening God said “don’t get caught up with earthly desires that would distract you from the promises I have for you.” I had to die to my own desires, and accept that this was part of God’s plan for someone else, not me. I was even bold enough to challenge God and say “if nothing has happened by the time my friend has had the opportunity, I would be very upset.” Even though I was somewhat disobedient, I thank God for his graciousness that he didn’t teach me a lesson then.
Step 3: Discovering God’s Love for Me and Everyone.
I gradually discovered that the reason why I found it so hard to have faith that he would answer prayers and trust his plan was that fundamentally, I was finding it hard to understand that God loves me. As a Christian from young, I knew it cognitively, but I realized that didn’t believe it. I had to learn that if I were to be granted a child or not, it is because God loves me and wants the best for me. If I was not having the child now, and had to wait, it is because God loves me and wants the best for me. It was a hard truth to swallow, but it also made me properly evaluate my Christian faith and how I might have been too comfortably assuming.
I also learnt to see that God wouldn’t let me conceive and go on maternity at a time that would cause a great manpower crunch because he loves the people around me.
Where has that gotten me?
Fast forward to today, I’ve learnt to have faith in God. Faith that my unborn baby was alive in my womb in between scans even till labour, even faith that I have enough milk to feed her when I breastfeed her. I’ve learnt to surrender. We had to give up a trip to the US (initially planned for Jan) because I would’ve been too heavily pregnant to be allowed on flight. But if you talk about perfect timing, this spared us from being stuck in another country with COVID.
Last but not least, I also continue to have revelations about how God loves me when I look at my daughter. Although I do get upset at her from time to time, I love her anyway. I want the best for her and would probably lay down my life for her if I had to.