My name is Joy Lim and I’m a pediatrician and a Sunday School teacher. That means that I’m with children every single working day of my life and on the days I don’t work, I volunteer to be with children in Sunday school.
Needless to say, I just like them. I like them whether their cheeks are chubby or thin, whether they’re quiet or talkative, mellow or active.
So even when I was young, I naturally looked forward to getting married and having children of our own. All the more when I fell in love with a man whom I saw to be fond of children also. I saw him talk and play and joke around with them and so I thought to myself, “Oh my when we get married, and we have children, we’re going to be great parents!”
So when we got married, I wasn’t really affected when I didn’t get pregnant right away. I was still in my hospital residency and rationalized that it was because I was stressed and always tired. But at the back of my mind, I also knew that that couldn’t be the only reason. As a doctor, I knew that after one year with my husband and I was still not pregnant, something must be wrong.
We started going to doctors. I had access to medical expertise, of course. After just a few tests, results were out. Jcip was ok. I was not. I had a problem with my ovulation. Easy enough. Just take some pills and it will be ok. So I did. It did not work. So we did some more tests and some more procedures and some more tablets and some medicines. Every month we would hope that all of those would work. We’ll wait for a missed period. Then when a menstrual period happens, that means no pregnancy and we would start another cycle of medicines and procedures. For months we did that, praying and hoping to have a child of our own. Adoption was of course a wonderful and amazing option but it was not for us.
We were a couple but we also had our own individual journeys with this. For me, every monthly period would start me crying. I dreaded Mother’s Day celebrations in church because year after year they would ask moms to stand and I still wasn’t one of them. And because my friends and I were about the same age, they were also young wives and they would get pregnant. Every pregnancy announcement would make me sad, not because I wasn’t happy for my friends, I was sad because I was sad for myself. Jcip the ever supportive husband would try his best to help me but there’s just a void that only God can deal with.
I knew God and had a relationship with Him but I wasn’t always soft and yielding. There were times when I would go to my room, get a lots of paper and then I would write and write dumping all my emotions. “Lord, You said children are a reward, what do want me to do to get that reward? Some of my friends are already complaining about having too many children, why can’t I have even one?”
My prayers were honest and bold because I knew that if there was someone I could be honest and bold with, it was God.
And after I let all my emotions out, the God who could take all my rants and all my expressions of desperation, ever so-lovingly blessed me with that unexplainable peace that only He can give. I would read Romans 11:33, “Oh the depth of the riches and knowledge and wisdom of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and inscrutable His ways!”
He is worthy to be trusted. So with teary eyes, a broken heart and an empty womb, God would help me worship Him and it was good. He taught me that He was the one who knows the big picture of this life of infertility.
And so I praise Him.
Jcip and I have been happily married for more than 25 years now and over the years, God has helped us become wiser about this.And even if that dream of having our own children will not be fulfilled anymore, we are grateful.
We have a sovereign God and He is worthy of our trust.