“The Lord will send us a child eventually… maybe just not this month. Maybe a baby will come when the season changes,” are thoughts routinely expressed by daughters of God all over the world, who have been called, for whatever reason, to wait for the blessings of motherhood. And in a church that believes strongly in children and eternal families, this delay can be quite painful and finding faith can be hard.
Jhun and Chancel were married in the Manila Philippines Temple on May 25, 2013. Most of the couples who were married that year are now experiencing the joys of parenthood. While they, after much prayer, fasting, doctor visits, herbal supplements, alternative therapies, and countless “no’s” to the question, “is a baby on the way yet?” are still childless.
“We’ve tried everything. We have spent a lot of money on fertility check-ups and treatments. We’ve spent a lot of hours reading medical blogs on fertility. We’ve tossed unhealthy foods from our fridge and cupboards. We’ve tried every possible treatment. It’s like a roller coaster ride. Some days, my hopes are high because the doctors are very positive and some days are just full of the isolating hopelessness of infertility,” Chancel shared.
For Chancel, who’s turning 29 in November, it is difficult and scary, especially because studies say that fertility declines, as women get older. She also feels an overwhelming pressure from other people when they ask whether a baby is on the way. “I know they are just excited for me to have a baby, but that question gives me a very lonely feeling,” she shared.
Finding faith in the story of Sarah, Abraham’s wife
God promised Abraham that He would bless him and Sarah with a child. Abraham was ninety-nine years old and Sarah was ninety. They were both old so they doubted the Lord, but Sarah conceived a son and they named him Isaac.
The story of Sarah inspires her because it shows that God fulfills His promises no matter how impossible the circumstances are. “I have been promised in my patriarchal blessing that I will bear children and I am holding on to that promise. I know that He will not fail me. I know that He will give me that blessing, whether in this life or the next,” she added.
The faith not to have children
If someone wants to have children, why would she say that she has the faith not to have children? It is confusing and contradicting but Chancel has a very profound explanation. “I yearn for the blessing to have children but I know that God has His own timing. Having the faith not to have children means submitting all my desires to God and accepting His will. Having this faith helps me to understand that not having a child at this moment in my life has a purpose, which purpose I know not, but it is known unto the Lord.”
As Chancel submits her will to God, she also submits all her fears, discouragements and disappointments to the Savior Jesus Christ and lets the healing power of the Atonement fill her heart with hope and love. She shared, “Not having kids leaves a hole in my life that I can’t fill, but the Atonement of Jesus Christ helps me to feel whole.”
Are you happy?
“YES,” she shared without much contemplation. “Happiness is a choice everyone can make everyday. I don’t want to have the ‘I will be happy when…’ mindset because that would limit my happiness. I have many reasons to rejoice—I have a supportive husband and family, and I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me. That’s enough for me,” she shared. She also counts her blessings every day, which helps her see that God is in the details of her everyday life.
Chancel also understands that she is here on earth to grow and learn. “I know that I am here because Heavenly Father wants me to progress. When I decided to look past what’s lacking in my life, I started to see the many possibilities to grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Seeing myself a little better every day makes me happy. Happiness is a matter of mindset and perspective,” she added.
Bearing children is not the ultimate definition of motherhood
Chancel is a professional teacher. She teaches 3rd grade in a public school. She is grateful for her profession because it’s an opportunity to teach children. She considers this opportunity to inspire many kids, as God’s way of telling her that she doesn’t need to have kids to become a mom. “Embracing the responsibility to teach and nurture kids is embracing motherhood. God has been so good to me in giving me this profession,” she shared.
To all the wives who are childless
Chancel knows that childless wives have different circumstances but she knows that they have the same sorrows and heartaches. To them, she says, “It is okay to have gloomy days. It is okay to cry. But do not dwell on the crying. There are brighter days ahead. God knows our desires and He hears our prayers. Some might say that God doesn’t trust us enough to bear His spirit children but that is not true. God trusts us as much as He trusts those women who have kids. We must trust His will and His timing. Keep the faith and be believing.”
Surely, waiting for a blessing that we righteously desire can break our hearts sometimes and make us shrink. But when we wait upon the Lord’s timing, we know that we are not waiting in vain.