Waiting for the Dream

Sermon by Lee McDerment / Title + application by me.*

It’s been 45 months since Joshua 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 ten years ago. By far the majority of my married friends the same age have at least one child, if not more. 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 regaling an inaugural crawl across the living room floor, a grumpy first taste of solid food, innumerable swaddled-up nap times, and a raucous bath. But other times I’m heartsick that it’s not us sharing these milestones.

I only know of two, maybe three couples in this season who are having difficulty getting pregnant, but I’m sure there’s more. 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 a solid year. Joshua 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 really long season of waiting was when I was single. Joshua was my first boyfriend, and I met him when I was 25. Now that seems so young, but back then, I felt like an old lady–in my mid-20s, never having dated, never having been kissed. But I KNEW getting married was something the Lord had spoken to me about. In my quiet-times over the years, He repeatedly told to me about the man He was going to bring me. I prayed a million prayers about my future husband–that he’d like his job, that he’d be generous, that he’d be sweet–all of which the Lord fulfilled in my Joshua Blankenship. And like back then, the Lord has spoken to me about our babies, three of them. I know their names; I know bits about their character; I know that one of them will be adopted. And beyond speaking to me, God has spoken to my mom and sister about them too. It’s not a matter of IF we’ll have children, but WHEN.

But that doesn’t always make the waiting easier. Each month that goes by is a new test of faith and patience. Sometimes I bawl my eyes out and question the promise, and other times I’m ambivalent, which feels worse than crying. On good days I remember that my parents tried for seven years before they had my older sister, Jenny, and Joshua’s parents tried for five years before they had his older sister, Jessica. We’re only at the four year mark, and remembering God’s faithfulness to my family increases my faith.

Last week, our friend, Lee, preached a sermon to the single adults at church. It was so encouraging and challenging, not only for the singles, but also to me in this season. I feel like so much of my life has been marked by waiting, and really, when you learn to wait well in one season, it should apply to every season. So I’ve rewritten my sermon notes here, in light of waiting and believing to have a family of our own. I hope it will encourage you.


“Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself 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 act” (Psalm 37:3-5).

Lies we believe about the waiting season:

1) God has forgotten me.
Do no want “motherhood” MORE than you want the person whom you will mother. Mothering/parenting is STEWARDSHIP, taking care of another human. Your baby is not your cute accessory. He/she is a whole person from the beginning, with a mind, will, and emotions, and destiny from God.

“There is therefore NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, emphasis added). It is always now. Your past, present, and future is always covered in the blood of Jesus.

2) God will do it all for you.
Are you a good gift for God to give your children yet? Is your character ready to be a parent? Have you been faithful with little before He gives you the opportunity to be faithful with a person? “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). You have the desire to be a parent? That’s an answered prayer! But maybe you don’t have the object of that desire yet (children).

Next steps to prepare for parenthood:

A) Get in the word!
Be disciplined. Have unhurried time with Jesus in the morning. Relationship & vision from the Lord prepare us for every season in our lives. God’s word has all the wisdom for you.

B) Get in shape!
Physical discipline is more about persevering through pain than having a great body. Taking a concrete step of faith PROVES you believe the Word of God. Make physical strength the pursuit of something greater than a beauty ideal.

C) Get out of debt!
Debt = spent future money.
It’s really disrespectful to spend someone else’s money without their permission. We can model the way God provides for His children by doing the same for ours. “After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children” (2 Corinthians 12:14b).

3) The One (the idealized child)
You cannot predict the personality of your child. Your idealized list of character traits** isn’t as good as God’s “more than you can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). If YOU can list the traits of this person, it stands to reason your list is wrong. Don’t blame your relationship/parenting issues (later) on The Lord or your child. Take responsibility for your actions.

FURTHER THOUGHTS

Fight for contentment now, for freedom & purity of heart
It builds confidence, gives you a clear conscience, makes you creative, etc. You need these things as a parent.

Consider Counseling
This could be one of the best gifts you give your children.

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 much more difficult time getting pregnant. Be romantic with your spouse. Encourage and support one another in all the seasons, especially the waiting ones. You need each other.

Make the most of the time
Travel. Make memories. Make a life. Let your life be marked by joy. Be an interesting person for the good of your children. 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.

Your priorities are:

    1. Jesus
    2. Spouse
    3. Children
    4. Work

When these get out of order, things get super messy.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid of terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). (This is what God spoke to Joshua, Himself and through Moses.)

*This blog post was edited and re-published as an article on the NewSpring Church Blog.

**The “bits about their character” I believe to be true about our future children are things the Lord has revealed to me in times of prayer, not an idealized list I made up on my own. And of course, I won’t really know until we meet these humans and grow in relationship with them. But for now, I trust and believe.