Hope Through Infertility: Waiting Is Worth It
by Kelley Ramsey & Jenn Hesse
“The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:25–26
You’ve likely seen the popular onesie proclaiming, “Worth the Wait.” Maybe you have one and are awaiting the cherished day when you can put your newborn in it to announce his or her birth.
It’s beautiful to witness these celebratory shout-outs of what God has done. What an inspiration to see that someone’s waiting and pain brought joy.
Perhaps you have this or another item like it that helps you get through every round of testing, treatment or adoption interviews—a beacon of light in your waiting, reminding you to keep going. It’s good for us to be hopeful and look forward to the day the waiting will be over—when you, too, can look into the eyes of your child, wrapped in your special item, and say, “I’ve been waiting for you.”
While sweet, these moments tend to focus only on the outcome. Without realizing it, our hope is placed in the results. I believe there is more in your waiting season than the end.
In the process of waiting, we can learn much about ourselves. If we allow it, these seasons can grow and purposefully change us. Our waiting can be worth it regardless of the end.
The Motivation of Desperation
The burden of waiting causes us to become desperate for relief. Our eyes turn upward and outward as we become aware of our inability to resolve or end our waiting. The following psalms remind us where we find our safe place:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
“I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” (Psalm 91:2)
The Bible is full of stories of God’s people waiting. Over and over again, we see God use waiting to draw His people to Himself. For instance, the Israelites wandered in the desert waiting for their promised land, and David fled from King Saul while he waited to be king. However, although the people in these examples were given God’s direct promise of what was to come for them, we have no clear promise about future events in our lives. I often struggled with this and questioned God, “Why do they get to know, and I don’t?”
But God reminded me that even though the Lord had told them what was to come, they still didn’t easily trust, obey and follow during their delays. As a result, they, too, became discontent in their waiting. Therefore, even if we knew why or when our waiting would end, it wouldn’t necessarily make it any easier or smoother.
Let’s also consider Jonah, who was swallowed by a big fish (we often say it was a whale), and three days later, God made the fish spit him out. Though Jonah’s story is complex, I believe he wasn’t in the belly of that fish just for a good Sunday school lesson. Instead, the dark three days Jonah was inside the pit of death refined and drew him back to God. In Jonah 2, we see Jonah’s heart changed by understanding his need for God. He cried out to God in his waiting and returned to God’s guidance.
Jonah had to be in the fish. God placed him there out of mercy. It was in the darkness of the fish that Jonah became desperate.
Waiting awakens us to recognize our need for God. It’s here when we find ourselves out of control or outside our abilities, or attempting to change the situation. Then, like Jonah, we desperately need God to intervene and rescue us.
Even more than a divine intervention miracle or an answer to our pleas, we find in our waiting that our hearts are pulled toward Jesus. In turn, we become less focused on what God can do for us. We long for His power to show up, to be near and hold us tightly through the waiting. We see that in these moments of our lives, the Lord God is all we have.
Our seasons of delayed waiting stretch us to our breaking point, where we have no one else and can’t carry on. We collapse at the Lord’s feet, desperate for Him to relieve our sorrows and sustain us in our ongoing disappointments. As humans, we are frail and need someone to cling to as the painful days go by. We realize we aren’t able to fix or change our situation. Yet God is sovereign and can.
The Value of Waiting
The cute onesie we one day hope to see our little one wear is fun. God knows I have a crib full of cute little items for the baby we pray will join our family through adoption. I know God can do this, and I pray He does for you and me. But even so, our waiting can be necessary and good for each of us.
Throughout the Bible, God used waiting seasons to soften the hearts of His people. He taught the Israelites to depend on Him while they wandered the desert for forty years. He prepared David to be king during his years of hiding from Saul. And we saw what He did with Jonah, who had a change of heart after sitting for three days in the belly of a giant fish. Just as God’s people learned over and over again, we can believe that our Creator has a purpose in our waiting seasons. He is our rescuer, the only God who saves.
The real issue becomes what you choose to believe during this season. Is God using your waiting to make it worthy? Or is the baby at the end the only way this season will have any worth and value to you?
It is never too late to invest in your waiting season. Choose the better alternative: waiting in hope for the Lord. In your waiting, you can find true purpose. Sometimes it feels like a waste when you’re going days, months and years without a child, but the waiting can reward us with a greater dependence on the Lord.
Inside the whale moments of life, we become desperate for God, which draws us to Him. May we not waste this waiting time.
To learn more about Waiting in Hope Infertility Support Ministries, visit www.waitinginhopeinfertility.com
Kelley Ramsey is the founder and visionary of Waiting in Hope Ministries. She has lived the story of infertility while journeying with thousands of women and couples in the past 10 years. Kelley and her husband, Justin, have two boys and live in The Woodlands, Texas.
Jenn Hesse serves as content director of Waiting in Hope Ministries. She and her husband, Colin, endured years of infertility treatments. During her journey, Jenn co-founded an infertility and infant loss support group at her church. Jenn lives with her husband and three sons in Willamette Valley, Oregon.