Today, on Josiah Day, I sat outside his room.
Am I pregnant? No.
Am I pregnant with hope?
Some days I am. Some days it’s a struggle.
Today, it’s a struggle.
(Whew. Deep breath.)
It’s been over 8 years since I heard in my spirit that I would have a son and to name him Josiah. I’ll never forget that day. It was a Sunday afternoon, we were on our way home from church, and had my head turned toward the window. My husband was driving and I didn’t want him to see me cry. But it was there, while facing the window, that I began praying; asking for direction. In all honesty, I call it praying but it was more like spinning my wheels trying to plan how we could conceive again due to our most recent fertility treatment cycle resulting in a miscarriage. But, for the sake of sounding holy, we will call it praying. Regardless, at that moment I had a thought to stop further fertility treatments. I knew immediately it wasn’t of my own thinking because this wasn’t something I was willing to do. Therefore, as fear gripped me, another thought came flooding in. It was this tender whisper to my heart that said I would have a son and then the name Josiah popped into my head. Before anyone thinks I am crazy, I want you to know that I thought I was crazy too. Because during that time I didn’t have a relationship with God like I do now. Sure, I was born and raised in the church, but my quiet time was few and far between. I only did my Jesus Calling devotional if Good Morning America was boring; basically, I worked my devotional time around my schedule…not my schedule around my devotional time. So, who is God to speak to me? Who am I that I could hear His voice? And what kind of name was Josiah anyway? No offense to anyone who has a child by that name or a husband or uncle, it just wasn’t on my list of top 10 or even 100 baby names.
Therefore, I did want anyone who overuses the search engine Google would do (and if you suffer from infertility then you have probably overused it a time or two…insert smirk) and I immediately looked up the meaning of the name Josiah. I had decided that if it meant anything insignificant such as “keeper of the home” or “bigfoot,” then I would chalk up this whisper spoken to my heart as nothing more than my crazy-hormontional-self talking. But as I anxiously awaited, the results began appearing, and I learned the name Josiah means ‘Jehovah healed.’
Not keeper of the home.
Immediately, I began weeping because I realized at that moment God didn’t just want to give me baby; He wanted more for me; His best. And His best included healing. I believe His best for you also includes healing. No matter what you are going through or how bleak the present may seem, God wants to restore you. He wants to touch not just your spirit, but soul and body. That is his heart. That is his nature according to 3 John 1:2. Of course, I knew this in my head, because I had read and heard it before, but it was on that Sunday afternoon that I started to believe it in my heart. I walked away from that computer screen with a fire of faith burning so deep within me it couldn’t be put out. I also had a hope that couldn’t be stolen. But how many of you know that anytime your hope is renewed the enemy will always try to steal it. He doesn’t want you to get your hopes up because miracles follow hope.
This happened to me.
Just days after the whisper to my heart, another whisper came to my ear. This one from my doctor informing me that our chances of conception, even with medical treatments were not favorable. In fact, he said my eggs were the quality of an elderly woman and if by some 3% chance one of them did hop into a wheelchair and wheel itself down the fallopian tube, the odds are even less it would result in a viable pregnancy. (Those weren’t his exact words, but my interpretation.) Yet despite what he said it was, and what it seemed to be, I still held onto my hope. Because after he finished giving his stats and sympathy eyes, I stood up, shook His hand, thanked him for his time, then walked out of there like a boss. I knew I would bebop back in there within three short months waving an ultrasound picture in the air.
But 3 months go by…6 months go by…12 months go by…and no ultrasound picture to bebop back into his office with. That’s when the “never” and the “can’t” and the “won’t” started to ease into my thoughts and ooze out of my vocabulary. I’m never going to be healed. I’m never going to ovulate. I’m never going to be a mother. Or, I can’t get pregnant. I won’t get pregnant. I can’t and I won’t and I’ll never. And it’s normal. It’s human nature. Even great faith has weak moments. Because it’s easy to have hope against all hope in the beginning, but when the promise doesn’t come in the time frame you had envisioned, when your dreams are always shattered, and your plans constantly thwarted, it’s hard to keep hoping.
By 2013, shortly after one year from hearing the promise and still with an empty womb and my faith wavering, I cried out to God for something more. Something new. It was a Friday night and while on my way to an all-women’s church service I begged him for reassurance, but I didn’t want a scripture. I also told Him that I didn’t want a song to come on the radio at just the right time. Those had worked in the past, but it wouldn’t work this time. Instead, I needed a burning bush…something obvious and if it wasn’t too much to ask, perhaps even a billboard sign that read:
“Elisha! You will have a son and you are to name him Josiah!”
Long shot, right? I thought so too. But God knows what you need. He knows when your faith is gasping for air, and perhaps that is why you are reading this today. Your faith is gasping and you need your own billboard sign. You need your own reason to hope again. I pray you will find it. Because that night I found my fresh wind.
It all began as I stood on the front row of the sanctuary. The message was over and as I stood there waiting for our dismissal with the heaviness of disappointment in my heart, I held out my hands in “pretend worship.” I say pretend because at that point in the evening I just wanted to go home, put on my jammies, and watch the rest of 20/20. I had hoped the speaker would have said something that would have breathed life into my dying dreams but she didn’t. And so there, while standing near the front row as others came forward for ministry time, it happened.
A woman whom I had never met before came and put her hands on my stomach and began praying. Immediately my eyes flew open: “Who is touching me?!” But as she began praying, I closed my eyes and thought, “I’ll go with it.” But it was when she began to pray for God to fulfill my heart’s desire and take away my burdens that tears slowly began to fall. But as she was just getting started and speaking so forcibly, she stopped. My eyes flew open and I almost said, “Don’t stop! You are doing good” when she looked at me and said with such confidence, “You will have a son!” Immediately her eyes grew the size of silver dollars as she covered her mouth before apologizing. She began to studder and explain that she didn’t know where those words came from, and if she misspoke, she was very sorry. She went on to say that she wasn’t even sure if I wanted children…but before she uttered another word I fell to the ground, sobbing, and said, “It’s okay! You were my burning bush.” She didn’t know I was going through infertility. There wasn’t a blog, therefore she didn’t know about the promise between me and God. Only my mom, husband, and cat knew about it.
It’s been over seven years since my burning bush moment and as I mentioned earlier, over eight years since the promise was first spoken. There still hasn’t been an ultrasound picture to show off or a gender reveal party to plan. If anything, my hormones have gotten worse and my ol’ lady eggs have gotten older. Most people in my situation would have given up by now, and I guess this is why I am writing today. It’s therapeutic; it helps me sort out my thoughts and emotions. Both of which are in a jumble. Because the truth is, I do wonder.
I wonder if I heard wrong…if she heard wrong…or if I have done something or said something to keep the promise from being fulfilled. In all honestly, I don’t know. But what I do know is that God always keeps His promises. Therefore, I know that regardless of if I have said or done something, He can and will still fulfill. I just have to keep looking to him, and asking Him if I need to go left or move right. Do I need to seek treatments once more or perhaps pursue another route? Also in these intense moments, I try to remind myself that even if I did something to stop the promise, He redeems. Even Sarah in the Old Testament messed up by thinking she needed to be the one to take matters into her own hands by having her husband sleep with her maidservant. It wasn’t how the long-awaited son was to come. And yet, despite going in the direction, God still kept His word on His promise. But then comes my next question as I sat here staring into his room, what if I heard wrong and this room and my story is a joke? I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m okay with that. My story and faith have caught the attention of thousands and therefore have helped hundreds if not more, hold onto their own promises despite their situation. Many of them have birthed their promise because of my boldness to share my story. This is why I can confidently sit outside of his room today and say, it’s okay if there is no Josiah and therefore look like a fool. My foolishness has helped others.
It’s been over 30 minutes since I ended that last sentence and I don’t know how to wrap this up, other than to just tell you the truth: I am scared. I am scared to be wrong. Yet, at the same time, I’m still holding onto hope that I am right. How long will I keep this “Josiah was promised to me” declaration? Proclaiming the promise? I guess until the Lord calls me home. I don’t ever want to let time be the thief of my faith. Instead, I want to always remember that He works outside of the way we view time…and instead He works in purpose. This means that if I believe those words, and I do, then my child, sweet Josiah, has a specific purpose on this earth, and with that comes a specific time to be born. I thought it would be within the year of hearing the promise, and I wonder if Abraham thought so too. But he had to wait 25 years. As I sat here today, staring into his room that has been prepared for his long-awaited arrival, I’ve decided that I’m also prepared to wait even longer too. In fact, I am prepared to believe for Josiah to go from my heart, to my womb, and into my arms for as long as it takes. The other truth is, I don’t have any reason to believe I heard God right. I don’t have any proof, but I want to go down recorded as a person of great faith just like those heroes of faith written about in Hebrews. Someone who believed against all odds, and hoped against all reason to have hope.
Is it easy? No. But as I said earlier, even great faith has weak moments.
I’ve had mine today.
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45
To learn more about Josiah Day:
If you are looking for a faith-based infertility community of other women who just “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,” as well as be able to share your heart with others on the same path, enter into exclusive giveaways, and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Find us here!