While at Walmart last week I turned down the canned food aisle and up ahead I saw a woman pushing her cart with an adorable baby sitting in the front seat of the buggy. I didn’t give it a second thought until our three-year-old foster princess asked me her second favorite question…“Why she got a baby?” And just like the other 156 times she has asked me this question while seeing another woman with a baby, I didn’t have an answer to give her. None of the ones I have ever come up with sit well with me. So, I just shrugged my shoulders and continued looking for the canned beans. I could tell as she turned her head to the side and scrunched up her eyebrows that she wasn’t satisfied with my answer. Thankfully she didn’t push the question. Instead she just followed it up with another question–“Whatcha doin?”
Fast forward to this morning. I woke up, grabbed my cup of coffee and opened up my Facebook account. There I was welcomed by not one, but two pregnancy announcements in my newsfeed. Instantly my heart ached. My soul felt forgotten. I rarely have feelings of anger or bitterness towards other couples who are blessed, but this time, it hurt. It made me stop dead in my tracks and my world got put on “pause” for just a moment. And this morning while the “pause” button was pushed, I asked God the same question my foster princess asked me, “Why she got a baby?”
And afterwards, I felt like her too. Because I felt as though I, too, was sitting in the shopping cart getting the same silence and shrug. I was confused. Even slightly annoyed. But while waiting for an answer, I realized this wasn’t the first time I have felt His silence or seen His shrug after asking “why.” So, without pushing the question any further, I turned my head to the side did what my foster princess had also done to me and asked Him, “Whatcha doin?” Whatcha doin while I wait? Whatcha doin to turn my mess into something good? Whatcha doin to fill my womb and ease my pain.
Asking the question, “Why she got a baby?” has echoed through every century. In the Bible, Hannah asked it. Rebekah struggled with it. Rachel cried over it. David’s first wife, Michal, likely uttered it in bitter frustration. Elizabeth probably agonized about it. And I would venture to say that 1 in 8 couples have acknowledged their frustration over the agonizing process of “natural selection” that seems to heap fertility on some and deny it to others.
I realize I could join the crowd by sitting down in my chair and stew over who gets pregnant and who can’t, but that would only wreak havoc on my soul. It would only send me over sanity’s edge as I pondered on questions such as why does God allow this suffering? Why haven’t we? Why did they? Why not us? Why didn’t IVF work? Why PCOS? Why do teenagers get pregnant so easily in the backseat of the car? Why, why, why? I could try to analyze it all, but what good would it do? Would knowing the answer to all of the “why’s?” make it easier on me? Would having the answers make me a better person? The answer is ultimately no and I believe that is why God remains silent each time I ask. Answering the “why” wouldn’t change anything, but answering the “Whatcha doin?” would. And so it was once I realized this, and once the question was asked, that’s when the silence shattered and God started talking.
His response was this:
What am I doing? I’m so glad you asked! I am working. I am working on deepening our relationship through this struggle. I am working to show you that I can be trusted. I am working to show you the limits of your faith, patience, and perseverance so that it can be stretched and strengthened for the events I can see up ahead. I am working by preparing your heart to be more grateful for your own miracles and empathetic towards others waiting for theirs. I am working to renew your mind and mature you to be wiser. I am working to enable you to use the gift of encouragement that I have placed inside of you. I am working to set the scene and convert your experiences into a compelling testimony that will honor and glorify Me. I am using this time until you have a baby in your arms, to mold you, shape you, train you, and test you. That’s what I’m doing; and if you want my very best, simply trust in Me. Put your hope in Me. And wait. Wait with joy. And wait with patience until I have done a complete work in you.
I am thankful God shrugs His shoulders and gives me the silent treatment when I ask, “Why?” He knows the answer to “why she got a baby?” wouldn’t make any difference to how I feel. In fact, it probably would make me feel worse. But, to hear the answers to “whatcha doin?” sparks more life inside of me and gives me even more hope than ever before. It allows me to see more of the blessings I am receiving as I travel on this roller coaster ride. I know that together, He and I, we will get through this and I will have so much more than just a baby in the end. Because I will have His best.
Sweet sister, God is always at work in each of our lives and situations whether we know it or not and whether we want it or not. He does not relish in our sufferings, but He will use them for our development. Therefore, as hard it is, try not to see your struggle as an interruption to life, but as a preparation for the best life He wants to give you. No one said that life’s journey would be easy or painless. But if you ask God, “Whatcha doin?” along the way, He will show you that while you wait, He works. While you trust in Him, He will use your mess for something good. And after you have endured and reached the end, you will have His best.
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