• Mandy

joy in waiting: Kelly and JP's story



Hi! My name is Kelly! I’m so happy and honored to be a guest writer for my girl Mandy today! Mandy and I met when we both lived in Atlanta and we instantly hit it off as friends. We like to say we’re twins because:

  • We both swam in college.

  • We love a good dance party.

  • We love to eat sweets.

  • We (try to) always have a joyful outlook on life.

  • We love Jesus.

Those are just a few things we have in common…oh and not to mention, my favorite thing about Mandy is that I played the role of matchmaker with her now husband! But that’s a story for another day. To say I love her and her heart would be an understatement.


Today we’re going to talk about waiting. Waiting can be the pits, huh? If we’re being honest, we’re all waiting on something; a spouse, a baby, a job, a parent to come back into our lives, a grade after the test or simply waiting in line at Starbucks for a coffee.


Waiting, I believe, is an opportunity for growth. We can take steps back in our faith, or we can choose to walk with Jesus as we wait - trust me when I say, I think the latter is a better way to walk the wait; and I think you’ll agree. Waiting can be life-giving and God-ordained. He will often use our wait to lure us closer to him and allow us to walk in his freedom with a peace that truly surpasses all our understanding; and it is so worth it.


My husband (he’s the absolute BEST and most fun to do life with) and I will celebrate 5 years of marriage this June. Isn’t it funny how when you date, people ask when you’ll get married; when you’re married, people ask when you’ll have kids; when you have your first kid, they’ll ask when the next one is coming? All innocent questions, but some that can make the heart ache. This is where our story comes in.


We got married on June 22, 2013, and decided we were ready to start a family December of 2014. Infertility (something nobody signs up for, amen?), which is often referred to as “the silent disease,” has taken up a lot of the last 3+ years for us; countless waiting rooms, multiple surgeries, a few diagnosis’s, and too many doctors to name. This particular “wait” has grown both me and my husband in ways to which we can now say we are so thankful for. While we have been far from perfect, it has grown both of us in our relationship with Jesus, our marriage, and changed our perspective on how we view life in general.


Waiting is a gift. Yes, a GIFT. If we never had to wait for anything, how would we grow and how would we know the feeling of gratefulness? When this wait has passed, I want to be able to say God was proud of me; his precious daughter, and say I survived because I fully believed he saw every tear and heard every prayer. Because that’s what a good and perfect Father does.


Waiting is hard. Like really, really, really hard. We’ve seen people in our lives have 1, and sometimes 2 babies while we’ve been trying for one of our own. Isn’t it hard to see others get your dream? And isn’t it hard to read the post about the engagement and/or the baby announcement? Let’s all be honest and just answer that with a big fat YES.


Satan also really tries to get to us in our wait. He’s tried to whisper to me, “you’re not good enough” and “you’ll never be able to give your husband the family he yearns for.” BUT GOD.  Those are lies we must not even entertain or let in. Is it possible to find joy in the wait, shake off Satan, seek God and celebrate others while in our own wait? We can also answer that with a big YES.


Everyone’s story is different; especially when it comes to how we wait and what we’re waiting for. I’ve learned everyone’s infertility journey is also different. Some can’t attend the baby shower, some can’t handle getting the news from a family member or friend that they’re pregnant, and some can’t even fathom being at the birth. I’ve learned that in order for me to continue on this journey in the most God-honoring way, I have to celebrate others. Now, thankfully and by the grace of God, this comes pretty natural for me. And not to mention, I want to have my people celebrate with me when our time comes! So, this is a command that I must love others (John 13:34) and celebrate alongside them!


Have there been hard times? Absolutely. Is it hard when someone we know calls us to tell us they’re pregnant? Yes. We are human - and honest ones at that. But I love the idea of throwing a shower for my people who are pregnant. It helps me demonstrate Christ’s love because he loves my friends and family MORE than I do. Isn’t that crazy?


Essentially, in order for us to love and celebrate well, we have to look at others the way Christ looks at them. Does that mean some days are still just plain hard and it’s hard to love, celebrate and be joyful? Yes. Give yourself the time and space to grieve whatever it is you are waiting on that has yet to be fulfilled. Give yourself what I like to call “grace gifts” and permission to say “no” to the engagement party, the baby shower or the wedding shower. Protect your heart and ask God what that looks like for you specifically. It’s different for everyone.


Waiting can be isolating, but God did not intend for us to do anything alone in this life. It wasn’t until I started sharing our journey and living a little more boldly that I truly found out I wasn’t alone. My husband and I have set up a crib and bought a glider as a tangible (and maybe a little crazy?!) way for us to live out our faith and believe we will have a baby. God wants us to be bold and steadfast, and boldness only tells him we fully trust him and his plan.

That little room now serves as our prayer room. It has been such a gift to us and we’ve loved sharing the “why” behind this decision with others. Infertility has changed both of us; for the better. Don’t miss what God wants to do in you and for you during a season of waiting.


So, as you wait, what are you doing to breathe Christ’s love onto others and into yourself? Are you to the place where if what you’re waiting for never comes to fruition you can say, “Jesus is enough?” Not only that, but also believing God isn’t withholding anything from you? These are hard ideas to tackle. But I promise if you get to that place, it is so worth it and there’s so much freedom in living as if we already have all we need on this earth. In the meantime, take a step back and take inventory of what is helpful vs. what is hurtful to your heart. And then listen to that. He’ll show you and he will LOVE you through the wait. Share your story and let others in.


Will you take the next step to reach out to someone who can pray for and with you while you wait? And then will you seek to find the JOY in the wait? You’ll be so glad you did.


“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31


Reflections:

  • Are you currently in a wait? Prayerfully find someone who you can share your story with and invite them on the journey with you.

  • Do you know someone who is in the wait? Never underestimate how far a text or a phone call to say “thinking about you - love you” can go. Who can you reach out to today?

  • Have you invited God into your wait? How can you boldly proclaim your trust in him? He already knows what or who you’re waiting on. Invite him in.

#palmsofjoy