A big thank you to my amazing mother for sharing her heart in this guest post. I knew for most of my life that my parents longed for another baby. I remember the journey well, and I can honestly say that my entire family grew in the process. Thank you, Jesus, for refining each member of my family as we learned to seek You first in all things.

 


 

I was a young mother, marrying my husband at the tender age of 19 years old.  Our family was started immediately with a baby girl born 1 month after our first wedding anniversary, and a baby boy to join her 17 months later.  What more could I ask for?  Two perfect healthy children, relatively easy pregnancies, I was content.  My husband and I also had another daughter from his previous marriage that was 5 years old when we started our own little family.  Life was busy and full.

 

Praying for a Baby: A Story of Refinement | alyssajhoward.com

 

Money was tight, and living was difficult.  We were encouraged to do something “permanent” to avoid having more children than we could afford.  So we did.  And the pain began.  It didn’t take long for us to realize we had made the biggest mistake of our lives.  It wasn’t long before we were literally aching to have another child. I was only 21 years old when this all took place, awfully young to say I would never want to have another baby.  What were we thinking?  How could this happen?  My friends and family around me were still having children, and this only added to the pain.  We didn’t have the funds to have surgery to correct our bad decision, so we were desperate.

 

Alas, my hope had arrived!  I would seek God, and begin praying for a baby.  I had been a Christian all of my life, and I loved the Lord.  Surely He would come through for me.

So I set my heart and mind to seeking God in prayer and through the scriptures to find a way to receive this gift from Him.  I prayed, I sought Him, I prayed, I sought Him.   8 years passed.  And through that 8 years I continued to seek God and pray.  I made a decision to believe God for this miracle and to not give up.  And I didn’t.

 

About this time, our 10th wedding anniversary was rolling around, and we came into some unexpected funds.  Perhaps this was God’s provision.  My husband went in to have the permanent procedure reversed.  We were elated.  I was still young enough to have more children and this was our chance.  I started buying baby clothes, I began planning the nursery.  We were ready.

 

Our greatest disappointment came when the test results from the procedure were read to us over the phone by the surgeon.   The surgery was unsuccessful.  It didn’t take.  There was nothing more we could do.   I sat looking out the bedroom window, weeping gut wrenching tears, and I heard the verse in my heart “I am the resurrection and the life. Though he were dead, yet shall he live.”  Jesus spoke this at the tomb of Lazarus.  When it seemed all hope was gone, Jesus gave them hope.

So I encouraged my heart in the Lord and decided I would trust Him.  Famine or plenty, I would trust Him.  I would surrender to Him this desire of mine, I would enjoy my life and the blessings He had already poured into my life and yes, I would still pray for the baby. But something changed.  It wasn’t a daily petitioning of God, it wasn’t constantly searching the scriptures for some promise that God would give me what I asked of Him.

It was a trust in Him to do something beautiful in my life.  To seek HIM, not what I wanted from Him.

 

I just celebrated my 52nd birthday. My “miracle” baby never came, but I’m not the least bit bitter. What the Lord did in me through that 10-20 year period of desiring another child, seeking Him and surrendering to Him, was absolutely priceless.

 

Throughout my journey, I thought I was seeking Him for a baby, but what I found was HIM! I fell in love with Jesus as never before, and I fell in love with God’s word. I learned how to walk by faith even when EVERYTHING was against me. To hope when all hope was gone. I learned to pray earnestly, how to use the word of God in prayer, and how to stand against the enemy. I memorized Scripture, and God wrote it on my heart and in my mind.

What the Lord did in me during that difficult season of my life has SAVED my life, time and time again.  It helped me raise the two children that I had and to pray them through life’s difficulties.  It taught me what the word of God says in the book of Ephesians chapter 6, “and having done all….to stand.”  I learned how to stand, and it took me to a place in my relationship with God that I didn’t know was possible.

 

God didn’t send me the baby, but He gave me so much more.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  If our hasty decision to end our child bearing at such a young age was all for this, it was SO worth it.

 

I believe this can all be summed up in this dream the Lord gave me a couple of years ago:

In this dream I was sitting on a bench in a beautiful park, on a path, surrounded by tall beautiful trees. Jesus was sitting next to me. I nestled up to him and whispered, “Jesus, remember me. Remember me.”  (What you need to understand is that this was what I would commonly say to Him while I was hoping and praying for another child). In the dream Jesus leaned down and whispered in my ear, “remember me.”

 

And yes, I remember Jesus. The one who gave it all for me. The one who redeemed me with His own blood and made me His own. How grateful I am. And how grateful I am that God didn’t send me a baby. Yes, I’m grateful. For the spiritual character that was built in me during that long season could not have been wrought any other way. We grow through our pain, and we grow when we must trust the Lord even when we don’t understand and it seems unfair.

 

We grow when we choose to love through our pain and disappointment.

 

I threw many baby showers for friends during those years of yearning for another child.  But in God’s eyes, the blessing was really for me.  He knew what I needed to grow into who He wanted me to be.  And every time I loved in my pain, the Lord comforted my heart and I grew a little more.

 

Praying for a Baby: A Story of Refinement | alyssajhoward.com

 

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3 thoughts on “Praying for a Baby: A Story of Refinement”

  1. Beautiful story. Such a simplistic message, but one we forget so easily. In our darkest nights, we need not ask him to remember us, for he never forgets. It’s we who need to remember Him. Thank you!

  2. What a beautiful testimony. I faced 6 years of infertility that brought me closer than ever to the Lord. I will always have a heart for women who long for a child. God bless you!

  3. This is such a beautiful story. The pain is evident, but God’s grace is even more evident. He met your mom at the place of her deepest longing and filled her soul in a way that no earthly thing ever could. Beautiful! What a wonderful example she has set for you.

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