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Am I a Failure?
Like so many others, my husband and I felt the sting of trying and seemingly failing to conceive a child.
About three years into our marriage, we decided we were ready to start a family. Naturally, we believed pure willpower and the act of not preventing was enough to accomplish this. So that very month, when it didn’t happen, we were terribly disappointed.
I took it much harder than my husband did. Let me rephrase. I took it on as my own personal failure. Month after month reared its ugly head, as my period proclaimed the message that I was not pregnant. I was certain I was barren. I began to believe, that somehow, rational or not, I was less of a woman for not “accomplishing the task” of pregnancy. When it seems like everyone around me was getting pregnant and having babies, I was left feeling incomplete.
People would tell us “Once you stop trying, you’ll get pregnant.” To this day, I still don’t know how to mentally or emotionally stop trying. God instilled an innate desire to bear children within a woman. Needless to say, I was not good at following this advice. Being pregnant was all I wanted. It was all I could think about.
God’s Will and Timing are Perfect
Somehow the adage rang true for us. After three years of trying, my husband and I figured it probably wasn’t going to happen. Maybe a child wasn’t a part of God’s plan for us. We decided to buy a couch set. I was pregnant within the month. I’m a firm believer that God’s will and His timing are absolutely perfect. I know we were blessed in the fact that we were able to conceive naturally. Many other couples struggle for years more than we did. They go through costly treatments and procedures trying to conceive and the disappointment is all the more heart crushing after each failed attempt.
The timing of my pregnancy was definitely God’s timing. A month previous, our marriage was bending and on the verge of breaking. I had resentment towards my husband for many things, and I had to daily take it to my Abba Father in prayer. When I prayed, I said, “God, my husband is enough…for the rest of my life, he is enough.” You see, our family was started when we were married in 2010. We were a complete family then and will still be once we are empty-nesters (a looooong time from now). God had made us one and complete in Him. Even without children, my husband was enough. To take it further, even without my husband, God was enough, but He had blessed me with “the husband of my youth” and I had been taking him for granted.
Take Nothing For Granted
What I have realized looking back and talking with others – especially those who seem to be able to plan each child to their exact specifications – is that I seemed to appreciate my pregnancy journey so much more than I would have, had we conceived earlier in our marriage. Instead of it being something we had just expected would happen when we were ready, it became a gift that we had prayed earnestly for. God had granted our request and blessed us with a child. My pregnancy will forever be a time in our lives that we cherish.
Cherishing My Life
I honestly have never felt more beautiful than when I was pregnant. I felt like a woman. All the months of feeling barren had left me wanting, and with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy, which was a lie straight from the enemy. Now my body was being purposed in the ultimate way – to nurture a little life. God’s design is amazing. The intricacies of a baby’s development will leave one in awe. (In fact, in this modern age, science is “proving” what the Bible has told us all a long: Life begins at conception!) So despite the morning sickness; the aches and pains as my body changed and stretched; the hormonal, seemingly out-of-body experiences (seriously, there’s nothing like those hormones); and the difficult task of natural labor; I truly enjoyed pregnancy. (I highly recommend the keeping of a pregnancy journal. It is so neat to look back over after your baby is born or even later in your pregnancy. You’ll be surprised what you forget!)
As for my husband, he was thrilled. Our marriage, which was on the mend previous to my becoming pregnant, really blossomed as we shared the experience of preparing for our child, listening to his heartbeat, and seeing and feeling him move. I cherished my husband. During labor I appreciated the support and coaching from my husband rather than cursing him for his contribution. (There was no yelling, “YOU did this to me!” in the delivery room. Haha!) I thanked God for this wonderful gift of life growing inside me. It was a beautiful journey that was the segue into the wonderful (and scary!) current adventure that is motherhood.
To any readers who may be feeling the struggle of trying to conceive, take heart. My best advise is to lift your struggle up in prayer. As a married woman, you are a complete family with your husband. Cherish and love one another. Trust God and His will.
Continue in the habit of prayer no matter what your situation.
Once you do become pregnant, your need for God’s wisdom and grace will increase exponentially, and then again once your child is born, grows, and needs your guidance.
Remember, it is God that opens the womb. See 1 Samuel, Chapter 1 for the story of Hannah, who longed and prayed for her child, Samuel.
“It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:20 NASB
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