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Little Guy’s name means “Gift from God”. Today our gift turns 8! I’ve shared once before about waiting for Little Guy because it’s an intensely personal story and I am an ineloquent writer…but let me try again.

In 2003, my husband and I decided to have a baby. We had been married 7 years and there were many times over those 7 years that I wondered if we would ever both be at that place. Before trying to conceive, I asked God “to close my womb” if it was not the right thing for us, or not the right time for us. I wanted God’s will to be done in my life. I don’t know what prompted me to pray this way…but God answered, and as the months passed into years, the disappointment, the obsession, the sense of failure, and all my questions grew. I struggled with shame, guilt and an overwhelming sense of “failure”. It seemed there were pregnant women everywhere I went. I dreamed about babies. I remember having a dream so vivid, that when I woke up I could still feel a baby in my arms. Other areas in my life started to fall apart as well. I felt like I was in a dark hole with no escape. I was drowning and there didn’t seem to be anyone close by, not even God. I cried, I begged, and I raged. I tried to ignore God; sometimes I simply sat with Him because I had no more words. There were days when it hurt just to breathe. I still wanted His will and I acknowledged that even in my current anguish, He could be sparing me more suffering if He answered my prayer and it was not His best for me.

In 1 Timothy 1:19 Paul wrote to Timothy “I give you this instruction…so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.” I knew had to choose – keep swimming by looking to God and living faithfully, or let my faith be shipwrecked. If I let my faith be shipwrecked, where else would I go?

Eventually we were referred to a fertility specialist who ran some tests. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive within 12 months. It is estimated that 1 in 6 couples will experience infertility. I already knew there was no physical reason we couldn’t have a baby. We elected to try the least invasive treatment, but if it didn’t help in 3 months, it wasn’t going to work. During that second month, I re-read the story of Hannah. Tthat Friday morning, I prayed and I sobbed (as I had done before more times that I can count), but when I finished, I felt for the first time in a long time that I could take a deep breath. God was rescuing me from the pit – I wasn’t going to drown. I felt hope, peace, and joy. God had another plan for me, a better plan for me. I could truly say that I had surrendered to Him. I thought I had surrendered before, but this was different. I was free.

The next day, I told Hubby that I was willing to stop trying for a baby if nothing happened after this treatment. And I asked him to be patient with me because I would need time to grieve the loss of this dream. 5 days after that conversation, I found out I was pregnant. God blessed me in 2 ways. Yes, he gave me Little Guy. But more importantly He gave me Himself. Yes, my circumstances changed, but more importantly God changed me in a profound way.

But God has shown me that the dream to be fruitful can represent a deeper desire to to invest ourselves in something that matters. God does not allow surrendered hearts to continue to long for things He will not ultimately grant in one way or another. Until we have surrendered our hopes and dreams, we have little way of knowing what would fulfill us.

I had a hard time getting pregnant after Little Guy, and when I did, I had a miscarriage. I was devastated by that loss and the loss of that dream. I’m middle-aged – I won’t be bearing any more children. But I am trusting God to fill that desire for more “family”. Isaiah 54: 1-4 says “Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby. Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth! You’re ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women.” God says so! Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family”. (The Message*) There are still opportunities in my family, my church, and my community to bear “spiritual offspring”. I love that God thinks outside the box!

Happy Birthday Little Guy. You are such a blessing! You give me so much to celebrate every day!

*Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group