For couples who struggle to conceive Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day can be some of the hardest days of the year. As soon as you check Facebook you are assailed with reminders of the day which then reminds you of the fact that you are not a parent. Church services are full of reminders of the day, and of course you yourself have parents to celebrate with or remember fondly. So as I face today with the subject of fatherhood unavoidable, how do I cope?
I cope by remembering my heavenly Father and how He Fathers me. I can’t explain why we got pregnant from IVF only to have that joy snatched from us three days later. But as I reflect on what happened and what God was up to I realise something. When I was five years old I had the operation that ultimately resulted in my low sperm count. Since that point I have been destined to find out that it would be difficult for me to be a biological father. So what is a loving God to do? Watch uncaringly as I find out that information? Sit unmoved as I go through the IVF process? Remain silent as I cry out for answers as to why? Or does this loving God gently guide me into a place where I can rest in Him. Does He withhold the worst of the situation until my faith was in a place where it wouldn’t be damaged by the hard times but strengthened by it? Does God prove His provision to me in a number of amazing ways before it seems that He isn’t providing? Does God lead my heart to the place where I can say with Job:
‘“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”’ (Job 1:21)
I am convinced that God ‘held back’ the heartache of miscarriage from Anna and I until we were in a place where we could cope. Yes it was still painful, it hurt and still does, but had that happened any earlier in my walk with God then I am not sure I would have faith enough to be blogging now, let alone calling myself a Christian. I don’t have all the answers, but I am happy to wait for them, because as Josh Garrels sings: ‘Farther along we’ll know all about it, farther along we’ll understand why, so cheer up my brothers and live and the sunshine, we’ll understand this, oh by and by.’