When I was 14, I knew two things for certain: one, that I would be a wife, and two, I would be a mother.
I never could make up my mind on a career (still can't)... Singer? Archaeologist? World explorer? But to be a wife and mom were desires within in me ever since I was a child. As I grew older and grew with God, I prayed that He would confirm those things to me, and He did. I prayed for my husband on a regular basis. Not "God give me a husband" prayers, but prayers for him as an individual (whoever he was). I know he was out there and no one could convince me otherwise. I had several youth pastors, college group leaders, and friends try to convince me that maybe God had given me "the gift of singleness" and that I needed to be okay with that and even prepared for it ... But I always knew better. It went directly against what God had spoken to me personally.
In the few years before I met my husband, I started to pray a new prayer. "God, give me a desire for whatever and whoever it is that you have for me".
Over time, my vision of who I was praying for became very specific. A green-eyed guitar player. I remember the day that I met him clearly. I was sitting in a church classroom for a mission trip meeting when he walked in. I instantly noticed him and thought to myself, "Do not get distracted by some guy... this trip is about my relationship with God and serving others ... He has green eyes ... crap, he has green eyes..." Then another team member spoke to him. "Hey man, you bringing your guitar to Peru?"
Cue the jaw-drop. A green-eyed guitar player is on the team. Now, because I'n the over-analytical and guarded sort, I avoided him like the plague for some time. Eventually, though, it became very clear to me that this was I man I had been praying for.
Flash forward through a wedding and several years and we're ready to start a family. Women in my family tend to be "Fertile-Myrtles", so I'm thinking we'll be pregnant in just a few months. Easy.
Then months pass...
and more months pass...
and before we know it, we are officially dealing with infertility.
This was one of the most painful seasons in my life - month after month of hope followed by crushing disappointment. Not many people knew we were trying to start a family and struggling. Many asked prying questions and even asked "What's wrong with you? Why don't you have kids yet?"
"What's wrong with you?" was the very question I asked myself over and over. We did some testing and my husband's results came back fine ... something had to be wrong on my end.
Again, I knew that I knew that God had a child for us... so why one negative test after another? Some friends tried to encourage me with stories of what their cousin or friend did to get pregnant, telling me that I just needed to relax, or suggesting that we could always adopt. (Please, if you know someone dealing with infertility, refrain form those comments. Even with the best of intentions, they aren't very helpful.)
Many also encouraged me to keep believing that God was able ... and that was just it. I knew He was able. I knew He was bigger than a doctor's report. I believed it with every fiber of my being. That's why it was so painful that it wasn't happening. I had received a promise. I knew He was able to give us a child. So why wasn't He? I felt like God was holding out on me. I wondered if I had misheard God and maybe we weren't meant to have our own children, but again He confirmed his promise to me and even spoke to me that we would conceive naturally. At the time, I thought it was indigestion.
Finally, I took another pregnancy test - fully expecting another negative - and got the shock of my life. My husband was across the ocean on a mission trip and I was shaking so hard I could barely hold still enough to take of picture of the test. I managed to video chat with him very briefly to tell him the news before I had to leave for work and pretend it was just another normal day. I drove to work that morning thanking God with tears in my eyes. "Great is Thy Faithfulness" came to mind, and I sang alone in my car.
I've sung that song almost every day ever since. I sang it to my son in the womb, and as a newborn it was one of the few things that could calm his crying. Now we sing it to him every night as part of his bedtime routine, and we are constantly reminded of how faithful God really is.
His promises are true. They often don't come the way we expect them, and they almost never come when we want them, but they are true. He is who He says He is and that means that we must be who He says we are. If you are still waiting on God's promises, wait intentionally. Seek to lean and to hear what He has for you during that time of waiting. God isn't rejecting you. He's refining you.
Linked up at A Little R&R