Last week, our family had “Gerth Day,” a made-up holiday celebrating when our daughter legally changed her last name to ours. That might sound strange but nothing about our story was what we had expected.
Lovelle came into our lives when she was twenty, after Mark and I had gone through almost a decade of infertility. I’d stared at pregnancy tests, cried in bathrooms, and sat in the waiting rooms of medical clinics far more than I ever thought I would.
Then one night, I watched a special on television about foster kids who age out of the system, who are told at eighteen, “Have a nice life.” I wondered who would cheer for them at their college graduation, walk them down the aisle, rock their babies, whom they would call when they lost a job or just had a bad day. “That’s not okay,” I said, “Not okay at all.”
Years went by and I was invited to a banquet at Saving Grace, a local place for girls who age out of the foster system or would otherwise be homeless. I met Lovelle, and over the next few months, there were lunches and conversations, shared hugs and misunderstandings, prayers and the awkward, holy dance of becoming family.
Later, Lovelle met a boy and wore a white dress as Mark walked her down the aisle. More time passed, and one day she called, emotion in her voice, “Mom, I’m pregnant.”
Our granddaughter, Eula, is now two years old. She calls me “Nana” and Mark “Poppi.” She loves cheese and her dog. She doesn’t walk, only runs, and laughs often for no reason at all. She’s a lot like her mama, brave and strong.
When Eula was a baby, I held her and walked the halls of Lovelle’s house. I whispered in her ears all the truths I wanted her to know. Eventually, I wrote her a book so she’d never forget, Today and Always This is True, God Loves You. The other day we sat on a turquoise bench, and I read it to her for the first time. When we finished she said, “Again!”
I feel that way about our family story too — that I can’t hear it enough, can’t tell it enough. And I’m sharing it with you because you might go through a waiting season. Perhaps it will be weeks, but it could be years, maybe a decade. Everyone else will get their prayers answered. Everyone else will move forward. But you’ll be in the same place.
I’ve been there, and it always felt to me that God’s timing must be off. Maybe He’d lost a page in His heavenly calendar. Maybe I was doing something wrong to make Him keep extending our infertility. Maybe He had more important things to think about than my little dreams.
But, get ready for this, Gerth Day is August 28th.
What day was Eula born? August 28th.
I stood by my daughter in a delivery room on the same date I had stood by her in a courthouse three years before. God was always on time. He was never late. He never forgot. He kept working out His plan, even when I didn’t understand.
Whatever is going on in your life, the same is true for you. God has not overlooked your desires. He isn’t holding back or holding off. That doesn’t mean it won’t be painful at times. It’s okay to shed tears, feel frustrated, and ask hard questions. Just know even in those moments, there is hope.
I can bear witness to this: God is the Author of all good things; He’s still writing your story.
Holley’s cuddly lift-the-flap children’s book will teach little ones about God’s unfailing love for them — not just for today, but for every day and the rest of their lives. With beautiful illustrations and fun-to-read rhymes, it’s perfect for baby showers, dedications, birthday or Christmas gifts, and bedtime reading. Click here to learn more or to order a copy or three for the mamas in your life!
God has not overlooked your desires. He isn’t holding back or holding off. -@holleygerth: Click To Tweet