Cautiously Optimistic or Abounding in Hope?

Maybe this is the month. Maybe this is the time. We have taken all the hormone medicines we can. We have perfectly planned the days that are in our fertile window. Maybe we even had a procedure and endured all the pokes and prods. Hoping. Waiting. Nervous. Fearful. It feels like the longest two weeks in our lives. Then we get the call or take the test. Negative. Again.

Where do we go from there?

I just endured yet another waiting game like this one, but this time was a little bit different. Once I learned that I had PCOS, I all of a sudden found myself being more skeptical. I usually like to call myself a realist. When friends and family would try in the best way they knew how to encourage me and tell me “you will be there one day,” “I can’t wait to do this at your shower,” “you just need to be patient,” “it will all happen in God’s timing,” etc… I would try to hedge my bet and agree with them but say “well maybe it just won’t happen for me.” Yet, realistically I’m not promised a baby or any type of certain future anyway. However realistic I was being deep down I was scared and I wouldn’t let myself hope with them. I even told a friend one month that she would have to believe for me because I just couldn’t. It seems like there has always been this tinge of doubt in the back of my mind throughout this journey. I’ve experienced so many No’s in infertility, how can this time be different? It will never happen for me. These are the thoughts I normally embrace during the two week wait.

Cautiously optimistic (at best). Can you relate?

Right before this last two week wait, I started feeling more hopeful and content with the wait. But I would push those feelings down because my realist self kept telling me this would be like any other time. I told one of my friends about this battle and she wisely told me that I didn’t need to protect my heart from the Lord. Wow.

That is exactly what I’ve been doing every month that I try to hope but then expect nothing or expect the worse, I am choosing to protect my heart from the Lord.

What am I most afraid of? I’m afraid of expecting too much from God and then being disappointed when He doesn’t deliver like I wanted; of feeling like God let me down or He didn’t hear my prayer; of letting it push me away from God by getting mad at him. That’s how I’ve handled “No” in my past… It’s hopeful on the surface but deep down it’s completely filled with doubt.

What about you? Why do you find it hard to be hopeful each month?

I think if you search deep inside, you will find it’s a fear of finding out God isn’t who you thought He was. Of feeling alone and let down. Of heartbreak. Of vulnerability. These are not feelings we want to deal with so we push them away.. But I do have hope for you! Keep reading because God has done a big 180 in my heart…

When I realized I was protecting myself from God by doubting, I realized how silly that was. That same day I read James 1:6-7. It says “But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” Don’t we feel like waves tossed in the ocean during infertility? I know for me it’s an emotional roller coaster.

But God is saying in this verse that if you don’t truly believe that He can do that thing you ask for, then he will not give you anything. I had been asking for a baby each month but secretly doubting if it would really happen. I didn’t want to say it would happen and then have to tell everyone it didn’t. As if God’s reputation is at stake because of me. Ha! But what He was preparing me for this time was to see that He actually IS everything he says EVEN when he says no. Will I open my eyes to see it?

So I felt like God was telling me to go all in this round. To fully believe Him when I prayed. To fully believe Him when I talked to others. I even took a dresser from my sister in law for a future baby’s room (not gonna lie that took bold faith for me). I was content and truly hopeful for the first time in our journey. I believed that it would be yes this time and that God would pick up the pieces if it was a no. During this time, I even got to pray over my fertility nurse that is also going through infertility! I can tell you that if I had come in with my typical bad attitude that conversation would have never happened.

Then 2 weeks later, I got the call that my results were negative. I wasn’t pregnant. Now in the past, this would have just made me mad and I would have gone into stubborn mode and felt lied to or defeated. BUT none of those feelings came to the surface. I was heart broken. So I cried for a while and was sad. If you have watched the chats you know I HATE crying. I don’t do it often. But I was totally broken. Not angry or upset. My friends prayed that day that I would feel God’s nearness and not dwell on what I still didn’t have.

So I took a drive and the song that came on was “With the Broken Hearted” by Lindsey McCaul. These words sounded like they were directly from God’s mouth to my hurting heart:

“When you lose what means the most and it leaves you all alone.

When it hurts to realize you have to learn to let it go.

There is light around the corner!

There is hope around the bend!

Just be brave enough to follow it until you find the end.

‘Cause even when His favor feels the farthest,

I know God is always with the brokenhearted.”

Then minutes later a friend called me that doesn’t usually call to talk :) She asked me about something and then said that God had put me on her heart for a while and she just felt like she needed to call and ask how I was. I told her now wasn’t a good time (I was in between cries and didn’t want her to know that!). She understood and said that for some reason before she called she was in tears thinking about me. She thought it was weird but she was just broken for me and felt like God urged her to call me right then. Wow! I still have chill bumps writing this.

I was so overwhelmed in that moment because I knew the Holy Spirit was physically grieving WITH me. He prompted her to call me so I could experience Him. So we cried together for a moment. It was so beautiful and I felt God as near as if He was sitting in the passenger seat right next to me.

The next morning my devotional happened to say “Sometimes it’s the cracks of brokenness that reveal the beauty of Christ inside.” Again, God seeing me in my brokenness! He hadn’t ignored my prayer. He had so much more in store for me than just getting a yes because I hoped this time. I can honestly say that I was so thankful for the No this month. Because I experienced God in such a deeper and more intimate way than I ever have. And surely deeper than if he would have said Yes this time.

Where is the glory for Him within my doubting? Really. I mean if He did say yes this time, and I shouted it to everyone, they may be like “Whew, finally.” Versus the alternative.

I wrote in my journal at the beginning of my two week wait this time “How much more beautiful to trust and believe and still be able to trust God even if it’s a No”.

How many people in the world see true joy and contentment in someone who is not getting what they want? It's rare, right? That, my friends, is because it can only come from the mighty working of the Holy Spirit. I'm not saying He doesn't do that same work with a Yes, but I know for me, I need that No.

“May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing (through the experience of your faith) that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing with hope.” Romans 15:13 (ESV)

This has been my new verse to cling to during this season of hope. I have seen that my hope is not dependent on getting what I asked for. I thought that was why God called me to hope last time… to deliver what I was believing He could do. By hoping so deeply this time, my heart was broken more deeply - into a billion pieces. BUT I can say that this time after, although heartbroken, honestly, my heart has healed SO much faster. He truly did put the pieces back together way better than I could on my own. God alone is the source of my hope - not a pregnancy test - because He is the same no matter what news we hear. It is well with my soul. God had brought that song to mind only a few days prior to my two week wait, and I think it’s during these seasons of No’s that this song finally makes sense. Through it all, when my eyes are on Jesus, then I can truly say that whatever happens is well with my soul. I’m living it out this month!

You may feel broken now (or even be fearful of becoming broken by hoping this month), but He will put the pieces back together to make you into an even more beautiful jar of clay for Him if you get a No again. A vessel that will bring Him more glory and help you experience your faith like the verse above talked about. He doesn’t only promise to fill you up but to make you overflowing! Hoping for and getting a baby will not do that. Hoping for a baby and getting a deeper relationship with God will! You can experience this kind of hope only by the power of His Holy Spirit that is near, that bottles all of your tears, that knows deepest sorrow. Rev. 5:5 “...Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.” I don’t know about you but it brings me a lot of comfort knowing that the one who knows me most intimately and is the source of my hope has also been promised victory. Forever!

And who’s to say that this time isn’t when he will say yes?! We do not know why he plans our life the way he does. But I encourage you today to hope from right where you are.

GO ALL IN... believing God has the power to do what you are asking.

Trust Him. I promise there is no safer place.

(5x7) Custom Hand-lettering print, created by Hailee Davis

(5x7) Custom Hand-lettering print, created by Hailee Davis

Callee Maglothin - Waiting in Hope Chats host/teacher, WiH writer

We are honored to have her sharing her #waitinginhopestory "during the pain" as she currently waits.

-Waiting in HOPE- Cautiously Optimistic or Abounding in Hope?