Day three: A Dozen Reasons
It’s been years since that dangerously spontaneous trip to Florida. At this point, picture me, still blonde, a bit older, and a bit less naive. I was busy. Always busy. Busy at work, busy at home. Sometimes, I’m ashamed to say, too busy for God.
I came back to the Midwest, from my impromptu trip to Pensacola, and the hard experiences of life had erased a lot of my innocence and that childlike faith. Time had marched on, and hard experiences had stomped all over my heart.
My grandfather had passed away, and for a long while I felt a loneliness that sapped my once unfaltering determination. I had bad relationships, struggled financially, and battled coping with bipolar disorder and self- medication with alcohol. I have won every single one of these battles, but not without the invisible scars they’ve left behind.
At this point in life, I’m stable. I’m with the love of my life, the very man that I was scared to love when I was twenty and on the run to Florida (God is so amazing), and we are happy together. We are good together.
There’s just one issue, and it’s a problem that hurts us both. We’ve been trying to conceive for quite a few years now, and though the doctors can find nothing wrong, we were classified and sorted into a group labeled “unexplained infertility”.
Do you know the most horrible thing about this category? Other than the fact that you feel like a complete and total failure every month when you get your period? When you are labeled as unexplained, you can’t work on a concrete solution. You play guessing games, and you cry a lot. You blame yourself, you blame the world, you blame every bad thing you’ve ever done to your body. You try everything. You research everything. You try every supplement, every “tip” you are given, and practically everything you have ever read courtesy of Mr. Google. You pay out of pocket for every test and every procedure, because infertility care is not commonly covered under many health insurance plans. It gets frustrating, expensive, and it is heartbreaking.
Still, after everything, all the money, all the trying, all the hoping, and all the praying, you fail. It’s a failure that comes every month, like clockwork, and sometimes you cry some more.
Until one day, you find yourself alone, on your back porch, praying and pouring your heart out to God. Between bouts of angry ranting, and desperate pleading, you tell God the truth.
At least, that is how this story went down for me.
I told God how I felt. Sad, desperately sad. Confused, because He hadn’t answered my prayer. Jealous at the fact that I was at that time, working with no less than seven pregnant women (I’m not kidding), who had no trouble conceiving. Talk about being a very visual, walking, talking statistic (it is estimated that one in eight couples have difficulty conceiving).
I told God how much I was hurting. I told God everything. The pain. The worry. The jealousy I was ashamed of, the money I couldn’t really afford to be spending to receive no specific answers. I told Him about the unspoken tension between my husband and myself, and how both of us never seemed to be able to talk about this failure to conceive. It was the proverbial elephant in the room, and I think we were afraid to speak our fears aloud, lest they come true. I talked to God for at least an hour, sitting on my back porch, as if He was sitting right there with me, which I know He was. I talked until I had told Him everything, and I finished with simply saying, “Lord, I need to feel your love for me.”
My tears had long dried, and I felt an enormous weight lifted off of me, and I went back inside and went about the rest of my evening. My conversation tucked away in the back of my mind, not forgotten, but the worries no longer looking over me like a bully trying to steal my lunch money and my confidence. The bully was now no longer in sight. I felt protected.
I went about my business, and the next day I went to work. It was a Saturday morning, and at the time I was working at a local restaurant that was extremely popular, and crazy busy. We were on an hour wait, and I was hustling and bustling all over the place. My tips were piling up, which I loved, and the day was flying by, which was great, because soon I would be home with my husband.
I suppose this is why I didn’t notice the stranger at first. The man who was watching me work.
When I finally did, I was in the bakery. A little room in the center of the restaurant, surrounded by glass walls so that people could stare in at all the yummy baked goods that were being prepared for them. The only opening between the bakery and the rest of the restaurant was a little half door, and this is where I noticed a young man looking at me. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, and at first paid him no mind. I was a waitress, and sometimes people recognize us that we do not remember right away, and every waitress has had to deal with flirtation at some point on the job.
I immediately dismissed flirtation, as he was very young, too young for me. I’m not saying that I am unattractive, but even out of the corner of my eye, I felt this was not the case. I tried to ignore him, as I hastily cut pie to serve to one of my tables. He continued to look in at me.
Finally, as I was placing pies back into a cooler, I was standing by the little half door, just inches from him. I decided to look at him, thinking he would either say something, or go on about his business.
So I looked at him, and any apprehension I felt from his staring quickly dissolved. He was young, and had a beautiful, kind face. A loving face. I felt that he was looking at me with love, and not anything romantic. Just pure, sweet, wholesome love.
He spoke. “Can I ask you a question?”
I nodded yes.
“Do you believe in God?” He asked me.
Again I nodded, and I felt as if he was maybe looking for something, someone, and wasn’t sure if I was the one. His face was so quizzical.
“Are you hurting?” He asked me, and I felt his eyes searching me, almost as if he was looking for an injury of some sort.
I hesitated. I looked into his eyes. Then everything came tumbling out. I told him I was hurting. I told him about my husband and I not being able to conceive. I told this complete stranger everything, amidst other servers walking in and out, customers walking by, the busy atmosphere around us, the slices of pie I had cut, all else forgotten.
After I told him all this, a light went off in his eyes. I felt as if he had found what he was looking for, and that it was me. Me. A waitress at a busy little restaurant, in a small town in Missouri. Me. A nobody, really.
The next few minutes were unreal. He told me that he had a message for me. He told me that God loved me, and that this was very important for him to say. He then asked if we could pray.
Again I nodded. We held hands over the little half door that separated us, and we bowed are heads. He then prayed one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard, his words smooth and flowing. He prayed that my husband and I would conceive a son and he began to name people from the Bible. He spoke of Hannah, Sarah, Rebekah, Elizabeth. All women that I knew that had difficulty conceiving. He spoke so confidently, and prayed so sincerely, I had tears streaming down my face.
Then he was finished. We said Amen. I just opened the door and hugged him, and said thank you. He smiled. I think it was the most beautiful smile I have ever seen, and I don’t say that lightly, because my husband has an amazing smile. Then he left.
I watched him, as he walked out the front door, alone. After a moment, real life seemed to crash in on me, and again, I was back to working, quickly. Another waitress stopped me, she had overheard everything. She grabbed my hand and said simply, “Wow.”
Wow. Those words were perfect. What had just happened? We asked everybody if they had waited on this young man, nobody had. Wow.
Where did he come from? Why did he pick me to pray over? Where did he go? These are still unanswered questions.
Unless, you think about my prayer from the day before. I had told God everything. About being unable to conceive, and I had told him I just wanted to feel loved by Him. And, what did the young man say? God loves you.
I believe God sent him. I believe that prayer was special. I believe that prayer will be answered, though it has been two years now, and I am still waiting, but I am waiting expectantly, waiting with confidence, because God answers prayers, in His way, and in His timing. Our only job is to believe.
Follow me on Instagram @humblegirl1111 or on Facebook at Nay Towell. I love sharing hope and scripture.
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”