Remember the other day when I shared that I am not good at waiting? A time in my life when that was particularly challenging for me was when we were trying to conceive a child. I loathed that wait, every month, especially all the months that ended in disappointment. I struggled with my faith during that time. I believed, absolutely and certainly, that I would have a baby. I didn't really understand the point of waiting. I was ready to be a mother. It was painful for me to learn that other people were expecting, especially when I knew they didn't really want a baby, or already had children. I was the epitome of impatient.
In the midst of all of my restlessness, I began to identify with Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel. She wanted a baby sooooo much. She had a husband who loved her with a "double portion" but she felt incomplete. She went to the temple and prayed. She poured her spirit as she prayed. I could definitely identify with that. She begged the Lord for a child and promised to give that baby back to God if He would just let her be a mother. The priest thought she was drunk, but when she explained that she was deeply grieved, Eli the priest blessed her and said, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” Hannah wasn't sad anymore. She could finally eat again. She went on back home and resumed her life.
And you know what? Hannah, whose womb had been closed, soon gave birth to Samuel, one of the most pivotal prophets in the Old Testament. And Hannah kept her promise. She returned to the temple and said to Eli, the same priest who had counseled her in her despair, "“Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.”
That story gave me a lot of comfort through my waiting. Sure enough, I found out in March of 2004 that I was expecting, and when Audrey arrived in October, my life was never the same. I'm still not very patient, but I've learned that pouring out my worries and anxieties to God does bring relief. The waiting is the hardest part.