Thinking of a time of waiting could not be easier.  The Light has been on a dimmer switch for the past year and a half.  In spite of our deep desires and vibrant hopes, my husband and I have been unable to conceive a child.  Month after month, we have been face to face with the same disappointment.  It is stunning.  Both very healthy, we’d expected to become pregnant easily.


With no idea what might be wrong, we waited.  And waited.  I knew I was being asked to trust the Lord, but I simply didn’t understand.  Did God not want us to have children?  Were we being challenged to elect adoption?  There is so much that is beautiful about that path, but we couldn’t ignore the longing to meet a little person who would be a reflection of us.  Doubts about God’s faith in us as parents turned into an ongoing wrestling match between the part of my soul that doubted and feared, and the part that has always returned to faith and trust.


It dragged on.  Six months became nine, became twelve, became fifteen.  Hours of research, regular acupuncture, herbal medicines, doctor visits, and lab work were not part of the plan, but became our reality.  My hope slowly drained from some invisible channel in my soul.  One Sunday this fall, I opened my Bible to the Psalms during open worship.  I revisited Psalm 40, which was one of my early companions.  In it, I found a wealth of encouragement.


I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God…

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false Gods…

Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done.

The things you planned for us no one can recount to you;

were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.

Psalm 40


This was exactly where I needed to be.  These simple reminders likely would have irritated me had they been offered from anyone (“Wait patiently.” “You know you need to trust God.”  Yes, I know!  I’ve been trying!)  Fortunately, these verses surfaced as an encouragement from the Light.  I was sustained.


Ten days later, we had an appointment with a different fertility specialist.  She was incredible – a grace-filled blend of sensitivity and forthright advising.  She affirmed us and offered a working diagnosis that could be addressed with routine surgery.  We smiled at each other through the tears in our eyes.  I hadn’t been fully aware of how much my faith had been depleted, but as we left her office, I suddenly realized that, for the first time in many months, I believed I would become a mom.


I had surgery just before Thanksgiving.  It went well.  Afterwards, we found ourselves with more questions for our doctor.  We are eagerly waiting for our post-op appointment.  After that, we will reenter the cycle of hoping and waiting each month.  I will do my best to wait patiently, with gratitude for the beautiful life I am blessed to lead, with trust that God’s heart is for us, and in anticipation of the day when we will bring home our son or daughter.

—Amanda McDermott