The Delicate Art of Waiting
Written by our guest writer: Shermaine Wong
As my favourite Doctor has put it, we are all just waiting…
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come,
or a plane to go or the mail to come,
or the rain to go or the phone to ring,
or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
It’s no surprise to anyone at any age and at any stage of life that waiting for anything is difficult, draining and, surprisingly, delicate. It’s delicate in the way we choose to allow the process to take place and will determine our heart’s condition during and after.
Here’s my story on waiting for a child.
My husband and I have one child whom we conceived naturally after almost three years of trying. We were hoping for a narrower age gap as we were thinking of having more children while still relatively young.
It was one and a half years into trying for our second child that we decided to begin hormone treatments at a fertility clinic. It required a lot of money and involved a lot of needles. Three months in, we stopped because my body was not reacting well with Clomid (‘Clomid Crazies’ is a thing, apparently), a medication to increase oestrogen levels, and I was spiralling into depression. I could not cope.
Around the two year mark, we decided to take the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) route, which included a bunch of daily tablets and drinks for him and me, for another three months. It was futile.
Every month from the first year onward I questioned God. “Why did you give me this desire you seem to refuse to fulfil? Why make me go through this? You already know I love You and I want to live my life for You so what more do I need to prove?” As the months passed and my peers had their first child or their second (while their first was younger than mine), hopelessness and frustration crept closer. I had to delete Instagram and Facebook from my phone for a few months so I would not have to deal with seeing the happy announcements or the accidental conceptions (I mean those really hurt, I will be frank).
I would not be honest if I said I was 100% OK with God and this journey. I think I did my best in taking it in my stride whenever someone asked if I was planning for a second child. I would straight up say, “Yes! For a while now. Actually, it’s been a few years and it’s quite tiring, please pray for us.” And although it was never my intention, the other party is sometimes left with a sense of uneasiness for having heard such an earnest response.
I tried not to hold it against anyone telling me to “wait” and it will happen “in His time” because what if it doesn’t? Because sometimes it won’t (Ecclesiastes 3:1). It can be easy for resentment to build when we are not careful about the posture of our hearts as we wait. Instead of a hopeful expectation of what we want to happen “in His time”, a hopeful expectation of God’s ever present presence and involvement in all aspects of our lives – big or small – seems more appropriate (Matthew 10:29–31).
He loves us and has the best for us. As parents often tell their children, they know what is best for them – but it’s different from how we think we know what’s best for our children. God actually know-knows (Isaiah 55:9). I kept having to remind myself of this.
Some months were easier than most and some were filled with bewilderment and disbelief in yet another unsuccessful attempt at conceiving. It was a constant uphill battle filled with prayer and petition.
As I contended – sometimes not so prayerfully; more akin to a whining child – I was acutely aware of my heart and, by His grace and prompting, recognised the delicateness of this process. Without being careful, resentment, faithlessness, disobedience, and other things could have taken root. It was important that I guarded my heart and the perspectives I chose while in the waiting.
After three years, we are now expecting our second child. We thank God so much for this gift! My heart is nowhere near pure and perfect, but this experience has definitely taught me to place God’s will above mine. It is a key principle I have chosen to practice and will continue to teach my children in days to come.
This write-up is not a testimony about how God always gives us what we want, what we think we need or what we think He wants for us. It’s a testimony about a God who is good through and through, in the good times and bad, in our joys and sorrows, in our mountains and valleys and I will give thanks always (Psalm 107:1).
As we all wait for the desires of our hearts to be granted, the God of the Universe waits for us – He waits for an obedience, surrender, and love that is so pure it disregards the outcome of our prayers and puts our trust and hope in His sovereignty, wisdom, goodness and faithfulness.
May we wait upon Him in prayer and reverence, turning to His Word in our times of struggle and not rationalise with our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).