God’s perfect timing
God’s timing is perfect. But we all know that it’s hard to believe all the time. I think it’s hard because He uses trials and tribulations as part of the faith building process.
In College, all of my peers “knew” that I would be among the first of us to get married and have lots of children. Ironically, they were wrong. After years of heartbreaks and bad decisions about relationships, I got to the point where I pretty much gave up. It was only when I gave up on meeting the “ideal” woman that God sent Flora (my wife) to me. My entire post-childhood life, I had put relationships on a pedestal. It was only when that idol was torn down, that God revealed His will to me.
But one trial led to the next. We wanted a child right away. We earnestly prayed for one. In the first year of our marriage we thought that God had delivered. Flora had missed her monthly cycle by about a week. I remember childishly putting my ear to her belly and asking “hello, how are you doing in there?” I told my Sr. Pastor (in Vancouver back then) a couple of weeks later that we were pregnant. Sadly, a few weeks after that, she bled.
Fast forward 2 years later. I was in my last semester at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and we were praying about where to go after I graduate. We were living in my sister’s basement. Flora was taking care of my 5 year old Nephew and Nieces (1 and 3) from Monday to Thursday 6 am to 9pm (my sister worked hospital shift hours at Mass General, and my brother in law left and came home at the same time she did). My brother in law was paying for my tuition and most of our living expenses in exchange for Flora taking care of their children. Even though she was not rich, my wife working as a nanny paid for my tuition (at one of the best (and most expensive) Seminaries in North America!). We had grown attached to the kids (especially the youngest). Taking care of them was difficult but a lot of fun… However, In the midst of the ups and downs, we were sad overall, because we did not have any children that were truly our own. For 2 years, Flora went through most of the hardships of rearing babies and toddlers, with barely any of the benefits.
At the start of our time in Boston, we went to the fertility clinic at Mass General Hospital. After a couple of cycles of IUI (a mid-level treatment), the infertility specialists at Mass General Hospital told us we needed a more aggressive type of treatment (IVF, the highest level of treatment they offered), but that Flora did not qualify as a candidate because she did not respond to fertility medication, she had premature ovarian failure.
At that point in our marriage, we started to argue about the dumbest things, but we both knew it stemmed from the discontent of not being able to have children. We were at the point of despair. We realized how difficult and painful the journey through infertility is. Our hope was crushed.
Fast forward almost 2 more years. We were settled down at FKBC, but Flora was getting “homelandsick” (yes, I made up that word, but MANY Koreans experience it…). We started to look at options to try to have children again. We thought “why not kill 2 birds with one stone?”. We did not have much in the bank, but due to my brother in law’s generosity, we had 100K+ airmiles, which was enough for both me and Flora to get round trip tickets to Korea!
Flora left for Korea in September. She visited the clinic shortly after she arrived in Korea. We were both worried about whether or not she would be a candidate for treatment, so when we got the news that she was eligible, we were excited. But we were also wary so we did not tell very many people. I had leave for Korea a bit suddenly because I had to be at the clinic during the “window of opportunity”. We went to the clinic together on November 13th. For IVF, there is something called “the two week wait” (“TWW”, Google it). The TWW was very painful. I had to make a trip to Cambodia, and Flora got a high fever. During the trip, I got very sick too. When I got back to Korea (a few days before the two week wait was over) we were fearful once again. Having a high fever during the two week wait is a very bad thing, the timing for us get sick was terrible. At the end of the TWW, we went to the clinic again. They did a blood test and a day later we got the results. It was a BFP! (Big Fat Positive). Flora is now 12 weeks pregnant (as of the first week of February). Praise the LORD!
The trip home from Korea was exhausting, but joyful. We were still a bit cautious about telling anyone though, the pain of the last four years was still heavy on our hearts. It honestly was quite awkward when people came up to me and told me “congratulations!” or things like that… We are truly very thankful for all the prayers and support! But I had fear in my heart about miscarriage. It’s one of those situations where the news was almost too good to be true. Actually, the news is too good to be true by our worldly standards. God Himself is the giver of life. Every child that is conceived, regardless of fertility issues or not, is a miracle and a gift from God. His Grace is truly Amazing.
Please pray for a healthy full term baby.
It’s still a struggle though. What does the future hold? How are things going to be provided for? We don’t know for sure, but that’s why it’s called faith. Even though life sometimes does not take the path you think it should, please be encouraged that God’s plan is perfect. Our unforeseen circumstances and the poor decisions we make cannot derail God’s plan for our lives. We need to be faithful because He is faithful, his timing is perfect.