He’s Got Me Right Where He Wants Me

As you probably know by now, I wrote a book.  The reason I was able to write this book is because Chef and I can’t have children.

I was emailing back and forth with someone who had read the book, and she said something like, “I really like your book.  I just wish you didn’t have to have the experience that led you to write it.”

And I replied, “You know, I think God has us exactly where he wants us.”

About a week ago, my friend Thelma wrote a post about the emotions that come with being infertile, even when you think you’ve made peace with being infertile.  You can read her thoughts here.  It was really interesting for me to read her post because the very day she posted it, I had been having the very same feelings.  Well, not so much about the donuts, but about everything else.

Chef and I, like Thelma and Len, consider ourselves happy and content where we are, which is a family of two people.  (I’d like to insert here a pet peeve I have: When couples decide to start trying to have a baby, they always say they are “starting a family.”  Well, Chef and I are a family.  Just because there are only two of us, and just because we don’t have children, does not mean we are not a family.  Okay, I’m done with my rant.)

Some days are still hard, even though I can state truthfully that 99% of the time, I’m completely content with where we are.  But some days, I think “If we had children, we wouldn’t have to do X.”  Or “If we had children, we’d be able to do Y.”  And just last Friday as I watched Chef’s soccer game alongside the other players’ wives, I thought that if we had children, maybe I wouldn’t feel so out of place in what felt very much like The Mommy Club.

At the same time, I am convinced that God has us exactly where he wants us.

Chef and I have a teenager living with us while she finishes her senior year of high school.  It’s a long story about how this all came about, but the bottom line is that if we had children, we would not be able to minister to her in this way.  In fact, while we were praying about whether to invite her to live in our home, Esther 4:14 kept coming to mind, which reads, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” The phrase “for such a time as this” just kept continually rolling through my head.  And I think that God was telling me that one reason we have not been able to have children is so that we could step into this ministry opportunity.  It’s not always easy or fun to live with an emotional teenager whom we did not raise from birth, but it is where we are supposed to be right now.  I’m certain that if we had children, we would not even have entertained the thought of her living with us.

This is not the path I would have chosen.  But it doesn’t seem very often that God chooses the things we would have chosen.

Perhaps after this time of ministry is over, God will miraculously allow me to get pregnant.  (I very seriously doubt that.)  But whether he does cause that to happen or not, I’m happy knowing that God has us on a particular path for a particular reason, even if I don’t know that reason now.

I look forward to Heaven when I can see the whole picture.

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New Book: Hope for the Barren Heart

It’s not something we talk about much, but Chef and I can’t have children.

Our medical diagnosis is such that standard infertility medications and procedures won’t work for us.  There is one option to try, but it’s pricey, and of course it’s not guaranteed to work.  We tried adoption, but it’s a difficult and expensive option, and we had some experiences that closed that door indefinitely, if not permanently.

Right now, we’re pretty happy with where we are.  I recently told Chef that I think we have a pretty great life.  I love the spontaneity we’re able to have since we don’t have little ones in tow.  I like being able to sleep in on weekends and eat popcorn for dinner if I want to.   I like not having to plan my life around nap times and meal times.

But infertility does certainly hurt.  When you’re infertile, you can’t do something that seems completely easy and natural to most people — have a baby.  That can be really, really hard.  It can be hard to see completely irresponsible teenagers getting pregnant when you and your spouse, who are responsible adults, can’t.  It can be hard to have siblings or friends — especially friends who got married around the same time you did, or after — grow their families year by year.  It can be hard when each month, a visit to the bathroom proves that once again, you’re not pregnant.  It can be hard to have people give you stupid advice (“Just relax and it will happen!”) or make stupid jokes (“Are you sure you’re doing it right?”) or say things they somehow think will be helpful but aren’t (“Oh, you’re young.  You have plenty of time.”)  It can be hard to read “Ask and you will receive” (Luke 11:9) when you’ve been asking but you’re not receiving what you’re asking for.  It can be hard to feel like God has abandoned you.

Several years ago, some friends and I were working through our feelings on infertility.  We determined that we all needed better relationships with God in order to make it through what we were facing.  We took turns writing devotions for each other, and we joked that we should put them into a book.

Well, I finally did.  I took the devotions I had written and added more.  Hope for the Barren Heart is a devotional intended for the infertile Christian woman.  Here is a link:  Hope for the Barren Heart

If you are infertile, or if you know someone who is (and since infertility affects about 12% of the population, you probably do), I’d be honored if you’d take a look at the link, and maybe buy a book.