What to do when you're waiting for the dream

Mandy Blankenship

It's been 46 months since my husband and I started trying to make a family of our own. That's almost four years. Much longer than I thought it would take to get pregnant. 

I graduated high school 15 years ago, and college almost 10 years ago. The majority of my married friends have at least one child. I am bombarded every day with images of their delightful-looking babies and toddlers on Facebook and Instagram. Sometimes I rejoice at the pictures and videos celebrating an inaugural crawl across the floor, a grumpy first taste of food, and innumerable swaddled-up nap times. But other times I'm heartsick that it's not us sharing these milestones.

It can be downright depressing discussing the finer points of hysterosalpingograms, Clomid, in vitro fertilization, or other medical tests and intervention. I've been tracking my cycle religiously for over a year. My husband has been tested and is perfectly healthy. Biologically, nothing should prevent us from getting pregnant. But here we are, 33 and 34-years-old, waiting.

The last time I walked through a long season of waiting I was single. I knew the Lord had promised me a husband, but until I was 25, I'd never dated and never been kissed. God fulfilled every prayer I'd ever prayed when He finally brought my husband to me. Now the Lord has spoken to me about our children – three of them. I know their names. I know bits about their character. I know one of them will be adopted. God told my mom and sister about them as well, and He's given several friends prophetic dreams. It's not a matter of if we'll have children, but when. 

Believing doesn't always make the waiting easier.

But believing doesn't always make the waiting easier. Each month that passes is a new test of faith and patience. Sometimes I bawl my eyes out and question God's promise. Other times I'm ambivalent, which feels worse than crying. On good days I remember our parents, who tried for five and seven years, respectively, before they had children. Remembering God's faithfulness to my family increases my faith.

During “The Hunger Games,” Lee McDerment preached a message on waiting. Although Lee was speaking to single adults, his message encouraged and challenged me, too.

God has not forgotten you. Trust in Him, and take your next steps.

"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this" (Psalm 37:3-5).

9 Ways to Make the Most of Waiting and Prepare for What's to Come

  1. Have the right priorities: Jesus first, then your spouse, then children, and lastly work. Do not want "motherhood" more than you want the person whom you will mother. Parenting is stewardship, taking care of another human being. He/she is a whole person from the beginning, with a mind, will, emotions, and destiny from God.
  2. Take responsibility for your actions. Don't blame your relationship or parenting issues on the Lord or your child. If you can be trusted with very little, you can also be trusted with much (Luke 16:10). Ask yourself: Is my character ready to be a parent? Am I a good gift for God to give my children right now? 
  3. Read the Bible. Have unhurried time with Jesus in the morning. Relationship with and vision from the Lord prepare us for every season in our lives.
  4. Get in shape. Physical discipline is more about persevering through pain than having a great body. Make physical strength the pursuit of something greater than a beauty ideal. Taking a concrete step of faith proves you believe the promises of God.
  5. Get out of debt. Debt = spent future money. We can model the way God provides for His children by doing the same for ours (2 Corinthians 12:14b).
  6. Fight for contentment now. It builds confidence, gives you a clear conscience, and makes you creative. You need these things as a parent. 
  7. Consider counseling. Becoming emotionally healthy is one of the best gifts you can give your family. 
  8. Don't be afraid to have sex. Sex in marriage isn't just about making babies, but becoming one with your spouse. If you make sex be about getting pregnant, you'll stress, strive, take the joy out of it, and have a more difficult time getting pregnant. Be romantic with your spouse. Encourage and support one another. You need each other.
  9. Make the most of the time. Travel. Make memories. Let your life be marked by joy. Be an interesting person. Children can't be your whole life because they will leave someday to start lives of their own. It's your responsibility to raise up children who will be capable people, fulfilling their God-given calling and contributing to society. Model for them how to live like this.

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