These words are part of a collection of writings from the final months of our ten-year-long journey of delayed fertility. In them, I’m pulling back the privacy-curtain and taking you inside the pages of my prayer journals to give insight to those who have not experienced infertility, and hope to those neck-deep in the lonely-midst of it.
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I lay down and slept. Every night. For over nine years. And then, I awoke, His mercies new every morning. Because God Himself, in His gracious love, sustained me.
I turned to look at the Hebrew sustain-word. Camak. To place or lay something upon anything, so that it may rest upon, and be supported by it. To lay the hand on anything, so as to lean upon the hand; to rest upon anything.
I lay down. On God Himself. I thought, turning the words over in my head. And He lays His hand over me. The same way He did with Moses in Exodus 33. Back when the man whom God had used to part the sea so that an entire generation of people could cross over on dry land was suddenly doubting everything.
“I know you by name,” God reassured him.
“Please, show me Your glory,” Moses pleaded.
And God tucked Moses into the cleft of the rock, covered him with His holy hand, and answered his pleading prayer.
I turned back to Psalm 3:5 and re-wrote the same words, trying to make sense of the morning mystery God was, in His faithfulness, revealing.
I lay down on God, and He lays His hand over me. And He sustains me. He props me up and holds me up so that I cannot and will not fall because He will not put me in a position where the weight of my waiting-faith in the expectation of His glory will not stand up.
I backed up to Jeremiah 33 and the morning verse that started this entire conversation. I went back to verse three on Blue Letter Bible, and looked again at the lexicon for the phrase “I will answer thee.” My eyes spied a familiar word in light of my right-then, all-consuming, “please, give me a baby” heart cry. Buried down deep in the third definition for ‘anah lay a two-word explanation: the phrase was a pregnant construction. In some strange way, I took that pregnant word to be a “this is where I have you” trail marker for my morning.
The phrase means that there is more implied than what is said. So, when God said “Call to Me, and I will answer you,” He doesn’t just mean He will answer anyone in anything – He means He will be bountiful to him, in addition to bestowing the thing for which is being asked.
The lexicon then referenced a verse in Psalm 65. I opened my Bible to the proper page and began to pray the words in my journal.
LORD, You established the mountains by Your strength, being clothed with power. And when I was without strength, Jesus died on the cross in due time. And He rose from the dead by Your power, in due time. LORD, please … let now be the time. Let now be my time. Let this finally be the time for me to be a mother. Please, God. It is nothing for you.
As I finished writing those “it is nothing for You” words, the morning wind blew again, flipping Bible pages with it. They landed about ten psalms back, where God carried on our sustaining conversation with one single verse highlighted on the page:
“Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22)
I began to dig.
The sustain-word used in Psalm 55 is different than the one in Psalm 3. This one means “to take in, to take hold, to contain.” It’s used to describe a vessel. And then, there is a reference to 1 Kings 8:27 – right in the middle of Solomon’s prayer when he was dedicating the newly constructed temple.
“Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You,” he prayed. And I prayed the same. Oh LORD, I wrote, still covered over with chills after reading the words on the wind-blown pages. Heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. Yet your Spirit is here. With me. Literally flipping the pages, pointing out Your truth for me this morning.
I closed my Bible, tucked the ribbon into its place in my journal, picked up my things, and went inside. Full of strength for another waiting-day. For the LORD sustained me.