Your Children WILL Be…
When God disagrees with the Experts
My wife, Laura, and I made the mistake of assuming that falling pregnant was easy. We had read that we should allow up to 3 months for “the pill” to fully leave her body, meaning all I had to do was, well, you know… my thaaaang, and 9 months later, we’d be proud parents. Yeah, well… Little did we know that we’d be told it wouldn’t happen at all.
Two years later, we sat opposite a rather sombre-looking doctor as she tactfully told us, with percentages and other stats, how I had several things wrong with me. One of them I knew about – a testicular problem I was born with. Little did I know that not only was my… plane flying with just one engine (if you’ll excuse the metaphor), but the other was coughing and sputtering, and not doing much that was useful. In case I got carried away with the metaphor, a more clinical explanation was that I had virtually useless sperm. You’d be forgiven for thinking that a few million was a pretty good number, and that, surely I’d have at least one ideal candidate located somewhere amongst the clueless, directionless crowd. I lacked both quantity and quality.
Maybe you know what this is like. Being told that adoption is the best way for you to become a parent doesn’t help. Adoption is amazing and totally necessary for numerous obvious reasons; but telling a man that he is unable to do the one thing he thought was pretty simple – and had been trying to avoid doing for years – is, I imagine, like raising a baby chicken to think he is an eagle. As Christians, we knew that we should’ve been able to simply trust God, knowing that He could do the things we thought were impossible, but it’s always easier to believe that and tell people that when it’s not you who needs the miracle. We left feeling beyond despondent, and it took us a while to try to get on with our lives.
As Christians, we knew that we should’ve been able to simply trust God… but it’s always easier to believe… when it’s not you who needs the miracle.
Laura decided to go “back to school” and enrolled in a course with the goal of eventually becoming an osteopath. We were in no major hurry. We got a cat, and he was pretty much our baby; so much so that when he was killed, we suffered greatly. I changed careers and taught English as a foreign/second language, but quickly realised that there was no money to be made, even for basic living – if basic meant regular work to support Laura through university. Our circumstances got quite desperate financially, and I had to leave teaching and take on an office job. Little did I know that I would soon be offered a promotion beyond my expertise, be able to travel to countries I’d never previously visited, and earn much better pay – which would become very much needed in the coming months…
I was probably being an idiot… which seems to be just when God likes to speak to some people about important, life-altering stuff.
It was now nearly 5 years since we’d started “trying for a baby”. We’d talked the talk, and told people that we trusted God; that he could help us to have a baby. For us, though, His help would likely be through IVF. We had somehow come to not truly believe that God would fix me. We knew He could, but had mixed up feelings and convictions about anything more than that. One night, Laura and I had just had a silly argument; I say “silly” but I’m sure I must’ve had totally valid reasons to be annoyed. You know how it is – we men are just so wise and right all the time. Ish. Okay, fine! I was probably being an idiot… which seems to be just when God likes to speak to some people about important, life-altering stuff.
I went to the bathroom to sulk convince myself I had been right (probably not), when I had a very clear impression to grab my Bible and turn some pages. I didn’t know where to, yet. I thought, “Please, not Jeremiah 29 vs. 11. I’ve heard it quoted enough. I’m just not feeling it.” Maybe I’m alone in this, but I sometimes find that, like an overplayed song, when people quote a verse like it’s the new craze, it’s only a matter of time before it doesn’t seem so amazing anymore.
Anyway, if you’ve ever felt God speaking to you via an impression or thought, I “felt” that I should turn to Psalm 128. I started reading, and liked how it started off. Blessings and prosperity sounded nice. I could do with some of that. Verse 3 was when, if this had been a movie trailer for a comedy, the music would’ve stopped for a one-liner. Except it was more like a punch in the stomach rather than a joke. Here’s what it says in the New International Version:
“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.”
“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.”Psalm 128 vs. 3
In my spirit, it was like a declaration had just been made. It was as if God had chosen this moment to tell me that He’d done something, and He was just letting me know what was around the corner. As a courtesy (God is good with stuff like that). If I was hearing what I thought I was hearing, we would soon have at least one child. Maybe even twins (based on the plural in the verse). I didn’t tell Laura immediately because, well, you just don’t go and tell someone you’ve had a pointless argument with that you think God told you something pretty important.
A few weeks later, after experiencing some consistent stomach pains, Laura went to see the doctor, and was told to buy a pregnancy test. She called me at work to tell me, and rather than think, “Hey! This is what God was trying to tell me!”, I said, “Be sure to get the cheapest one possible, will you?”
At home that evening, Laura called me to the bathroom where, unbeknownst to me because my brain is just that rubbish with remembering certain information, she had peed on a magic stick. The result? Pregnant. But of course, after years of being told it wouldn’t happen, it’d take a while to get my head around this development. So, the next day, I decided that skimping on cheap, possibly faulty pregnancy tests was not the way forward. I suggested, in no uncertain terms, that only the finest, unreasonably priced kit was good enough for Laura. Three tests later and another doctor’s appointment, and it was confirmed: definitely pregnant! I was told to “accept the fact”. “You’ll forgive me for struggling,” I said. “It’s just that your colleagues have done so well at convincing us to accept other facts over the years.”
Three tests later and another doctor’s appointment, and it was confirmed: definitely pregnant!
We couldn’t wait to tell all of our family and friends, and then scheduled a scan because we weren’t sure just how pregnant Laura was because we just weren’t counting fun stuff like cycles and the last day of her period. Two days before Christmas 2011, we “met” our daughter – then only about 2 centimetres in length – resembling a bean. Not surprisingly, she became Baby Bean to us until the day she was born, when we named her Amélie Joy.
It’s not my intention to give you the whole of our life story here, although it may seem that way. Rather, I wanted to encourage you with the following:
- Whether or not you believe in Him, God is in the business of working miracles. Multiple times and multiple types
- God can see a much, much, much bigger picture than we can. His timing is perfect, and His attention to detail is phenomenal
- God is good, and He is a Father, and fathers (parents) love to surprise and provide for their children
- Even if your faith is small or inconsistent, God remains faithful and consistent
Today, we have 2 Miracle Daughters, with each pregnancy being miraculous and having its own amazing story. The lessons we have learnt in trusting God for provision along the way, and to help us be good parents, have been tough, exciting and fun.
We are currently writing our first book together – which this post gets its name from (Your Children Will Be: When God Disagrees with the Experts). If it isn’t obvious, the title is taken from the verse that God used to
sucker-punch bless me that night in 2011. If you would like to be updated about either of those, please either sign up or use the Contact page to get in touch with us and let us know. And of course, you can find us on Facebook, too.
In the meantime, please be encouraged with this: if God can bless us (normal people with the usual faults and tendencies to sin that people have) with not just one – but two – Miracle Babies, as well as other miracles in-between, He can do it for you. In fact, let me be so bold as to say: He wants to do it for you!