These words came out of her mouth because they were first oozing out of her broken and shattered heart. Maybe you haven’t said those words, but maybe you have said a few others, such as:
“Everyone else is having a baby, and I never will.”
“My body is too broken. This is hopeless.”
“God is never going to heal me.”
“I tested this morning, and it was negative. I will never become pregnant.”
“Having a child will never happen for us.”
“I am going to test in “x amount” of days, but I already know it will be negative.”
“Even if everything is perfect this cycle, I know it won’t work out. It never does.”
I know I will need to do another IUI and probably another after that. I don’t see myself ever conceiving.”
“I am just not meant to be a mother.”
“We will continue with a few IUI’s and then start the IVF process.” (as if already planning on each IUI to fail)
And I get it. I understand the frustrating thoughts and feelings that come from struggling to conceive. You can’t help but feel hopeless and defeated after yet another negative pregnancy test. You can’t help but doubt it will ever happen when the doctors have given you such little chance. And you can’t help but express it. But can I kindly say, without trying to sound too rude (because I know it will), “Can you please be quiet and shut your pie hole?”
I know! I know! I sound harsh. But before you stop reading or unfollow me, hear me out. Because my advice? It’s all in love. You see, over the last several months, I have been cautious with the words I speak. And it is not because the taste of “toe jam” is nasty after I have inserted my foot. Nor is it because of the awkward silence I receive when I have offended someone with my comments. But it’s simply because I recently stumbled upon a story in the Bible. It’s a story I have read a million times over, but this time, it spoke differently to me. Because as I began to read it, I began to see how God placed His arm around the shoulder and His hand over the mouth of a well-known priest named Zechariah after he spoke words of doubt that God would give him and his old and barren wife a child after many years of wishing, hoping, and praying for a child to call their own. Are you not familiar with the story? Forgot the details? Keep on reading…I promise not to make it boring.
Thousands of years ago, when infertility clinics and reproductive endocrinologists were not just miles away, but thousands of years away, Zechariah and his wife Elisabeth were left helpless month after month, year after year, when she couldn’t conceive a child. But after years of praying and without much hope due to their old age and reproductive organs shutting down, an angel approached Zechariah and informed him that after decades of crying and pleading, seeking and begging, their prayers had been heard, and his wife would conceive at “the appointed time.”
You would think after years of Zechariah dreaming of bouncing a baby on his knee, he would have shouted WHOO HOOO, right? But nope! Instead of giving the angel a high-five or whipping out his phone to update his Facebook status with “We’re PREGNANT,” Zechariah, while looking at his wrinkled hands and scratching the top of his bald head, doubted the angel by asking, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years!” (Luke 1:18)
My translation: “Are you serious?! Now?! Tell me how this is going to happen! It’s too late, and we are too old! Have you seen my medical chart?”
To Zechariah, his age, his intellect, and his experiences of past failures to conceive spoke louder than God’s ability to do the impossible.
Immediately after Zechariah spoke words of doubt that God would perform the impossible, God closed his mouth–God ‘shut his pie hole’ –until after the child was born. Why? Was it punishment for ‘talking back’ to the angel? You know, God’s version of the time out corner, or maybe God wanted to flex His muscles to prove His power? The story doesn’t explain why, but I know there are over 3,000 scriptures concerning our words, mouth, tongue, lips, and what we say and speak in the Bible. Do you think God is trying to tell us something…?
Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”
Proverbs 12:21 says, “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”
Based upon these two scriptures alone, it is safe to assume there is tremendous power in our words. Therefore, could God have needed to shut Zechariah’s ‘pie hole’ to ensure his doubtful words wouldn’t cause death or calamity to His plans of bringing forth this child?
Maybe God needed to ‘shut his pie hole’ because the promise wasn’t coming “tomorrow.” Remember God never told him when the child would come. He only told him the child would come at the “appointed time,” and just like any other normal person, as time goes by and the promise is not fulfilled in the time frame we think it should be, our doubts start to get bigger and our fears start to take over. We start thinking irrational thoughts that eventually turn into our words, which end up causing us to perform irrational actions that could thwart God’s perfect plans (remember in Genesis when Sarah told Abraham to sleep with her maidservant to get the child promised to her?). I know this is what happens because I have been there. It has been 21 months since I heard from God regarding the promise of Josiah. There have been days when my circumstances have spoken louder than God’s word, and, on those days, my thoughts, words, and actions did not align with my faith in God.
It’s hard not to speak thoughts of fear and doubt in moments of stress and frustration. But that’s when we need to exercise our self-discipline and ‘shut our pie hole.’ Do you want the slightest possibility of your careless words to be the reason distress and disaster come into your life, which is what Proverbs 12:21 suggest?
Zechariah didn’t speak anything that wasn’t factual. He was old. His wife was past the age of menopause and barren, but his focus on the natural hindered him from believing and speaking the truth that anything was possible with God. Facts change but God’s truth remains.
I don’t know if any of these reasons are why God chose to ‘shut his pie hole,’ but it’s enough for me to be cautious regarding the words I speak when talking about my circumstances to others or my faith in God. It’s also enough for me to tell you to ‘shut your pie hole’ because I desperately want to see your ultrasound photos and pregnancy announcements in my email inbox and on my newsfeed. I want to read about your baby shower and how Aunt Sally gave the cutest outfit with matching headbands and bows (or bow ties). I want you to ‘shut your pie hole’ because I want to see your story change, just as much as I want my story to change…
Maybe you think this is “hogwash,” and your words do not matter. But what if they do? Most of us have tried any and every piece of advice to boost our chances of conceiving. We have eaten pineapple cores after IVF. Contoured our bodies in such a way to keep our legs up in the air for 20 minutes after intercourse, and we have even gone to extremes by injecting ourselves multiple times during the day with hormones made in a laboratory somewhere. I have even drunk a full glass of snotty okra water every morning for weeks. So, what would it hurt to change your words?
I made myself a pacifier and attached the verse Proverbs 12:21 on one side as a reminder to not speak words that could bring the opposite of what I am hoping for. On the other side, I have written positive confessions regarding my current circumstance of infertility. Maybe you need to make yourself a pacifier as a reminder to ‘shut your pie hole’?
I would love to connect with you, so if you liked this post, pass it on. Then come find Waiting for Baby Bird on the public Facebook page or join me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!
If you are looking for a faith-based infertility community of other women who “get it,” then head over to the *PRIVATE* Waiting for Baby Bird Support group for hope + encouragement. There you will find opportunities to ask for prayer, watch *LIVE* encouragement videos from me, author of “Waiting for Baby Bird,” enter into exclusive giveaways, as well as be able to share your heart with others on the same path, and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Find us here!