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Desperation, Hope, and Faithfulness

This article was cowritten with Nicole’s husband, Daniel.

I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2 NIV)

Job had a faith unlike many written about in the Bible. He knew that all things come from the Lord and that the Lord should always be given honor and respect, even when the Adversary was permitted to steal away his children, property, and health. His so-called friends tried, rather naively, to give him counsel and show him what he was doing wrong, but Job remained constant. After a long time, God spoke to him and his friends, setting the situation straight, not with big answers that reveal the keys to the universe, but with the reminder that God is God, and only God knows what God’s intentions are. We are fortunate if we are permitted even so much as a glimpse of God’s plans for us or anyone!

For several years, we have been trying to become parents. We have listened to advice from friends and relatives alike to keep track of Nicole’s waking temperature, make sure Daniel is wearing the correct underwear, abstain from liquor, cut down on coffee, go gluten free, take more vacations, just forget about having children. Adopt, and you’ll get pregnant in no time! Out of our frustration and desperation, we turned to doctors, who for a long time continued to tell us that nothing was really wrong with us.

After our second unsuccessful In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) this year, we were finally advised that Nicole should take one more test. We won’t bore you with the details, but our persistent belief that something was wrong and that we were missing a detail not yet known paid off, and the key was finally revealed. Our timing has been OFF. For more than 5 years, Nicole may have never been able to get pregnant — not because of anything we were doing wrong, but because a small part inside of her wasn’t scheduling things correctly.

We will never know completely how Job felt when he lost so much, but we (Daniel and Nicole) have an idea that he was driven to a point of incredible despair. When God finally spoke to him, he had lost so much hope that all he wanted was to hope for hope. That is where we were driven this year.

Scripture offers many encouragements in desperate situations. Two that jump out are, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5) and “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28). The biggest test, however, is putting aside the unbearably difficult surroundings and the internal turmoil in order to continue to trust Him and keep trying to move forward. God seldom offers a timeline for His promises or answers to prayer (with the exception of a few well-known prophecies), and waiting without tangible results is, to say the least, extremely taxing. Temptations of all kinds abound in our lives, and it would be so easy to slip just once, lose sight of God, and fall into a dark place.

Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.” As hard as the waiting has been, this has proven true for us. Out of prayer, humility, and outright fear, we have found ways to cast aside some old bad habits and focus first on our positives rather than our negatives, as we have tried to see and follow God’s direction for us. We bent in many ways, but still clinging to the distant hope, we did not break. We always believed God led us down the IVF path because He intended it to work for us. With the revelation of Nicole’s issue came the possibility that another IVF attempt could be timed differently to compensate.

Now we have seen firsthand that God does work good in all things, even if the good seems invisible at times. This last IVF attempt, informed by the previous ones and all our pain and struggles before that, was the answer to our prayer, and now we are expecting a baby at the end of June!

Nicole can be reached by email here.

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