When I first found out I was pregnant (and by first, I mean between the second and third pregnancy tests) I blurted out to Jonathan in a fit of emotion and angst, “How can we tell anyone about this?”
My concern was two fold: first, I felt like we were announcing boldly and unapologetically, “Look at us. We’re being irresponsible!” How could we be seeking support from people and adding another mouth to the family? I was hearing all the critical words I had ever expressed about certain large families (I don’t count my own 3 as large) being rained down forty fold on my own head.
Secondly, I could think instantly of five of my friends who would LOVE to be surprised by a pregnancy, who weren’t in seminary trying to raise support and who, in my mind, should be having their turn about now. How could I tell them about this? How could I be this woman that people turn to with infertility questions and be pregnant with my third child? I felt like a fertile fraud and it was even worse that I was feeling sick and tired and overwhelmed. How could I tell these people that I wasn’t 100% delighted in this experience?
So obviously we did tell people, and the responses have been . . . well not at all what I feared. Not one person has said, “Oh no!” Not one person has said, “What, you don’t know what causes that yet?” Not one person has responded with anything but complete and total delight at the provision and healing of God. They realized what I failed to realize: this isn’t about me. It’s about what the Lord does in and through me.
My favorite response came from a friend and fellow summer Greek wife who said, “When I heard your good news, I just wanted to say, ‘Okay God, now you’re just showing off.”
And that fraud thing? Since announcing my pregnancy I’ve had three e-mails from women wanting to talk t me about the infertility from which I have been healed. They didn’t seem to think that a sudden pregnancy in my husband’s first year of seminary disqualified me from sharing what the Lord taught me when I was begging him for just one shot at being a mama. They didn’t see me as a big fraud, they saw me as the recipient of God’s mercy and that makes them hope for their own mercies from God.
I had forgotten something: God doesn’t work so that we can be comfortable and relaxed. God works so that others will rejoice in Him and trust that His promises will be fulfilled in their lives too. Instead of asking “How can we tell anyone about this.” I should have been asking, “How can we not tell anyone about this?!” How could we be so selfish as to keep such a blessing and a mercy to ourselves, knowing that there are people wanting to see God at work? How could I consider not being a standing stone to remind everyone, myself included, that God’s mercies are NEW EVERY MORNING! How could I keep silent, when the Lord of Hosts has done great things for me?
One of my favorite Matthew Henry quotes is from his commentary on Judges 13. I’ve quoted it here before, but a new part of it stood out to me today:
Many eminent persons were born of mothers that had been kept a great while in the want of the blessing of children, as Isaac, Joseph, Samuel, and John Baptist, that the mercy might be the more acceptable when it did come. “Sing, O barren! thou that didst not bear, Isa 54:1.” Note, Mercies long waited for often prove signal mercies, and it is made to appear that they were worth waiting for, and by them others may be encouraged to continue their hope in God’s mercy.
This is a mercy worth waiting for. I pray that it will turn people to continue their hope in God’s mercies and His provision.