Expectant waiting: Advent for the infertile

I did not grow up with any knowledge of the liturgical calendar. In fact, I am embarrassed to admit that I never even heard about the season of advent until very later in life. During our struggle with infertility I learned about advent as a time of expectant waiting.

Expectant waiting.

Yeah, I get that.

Infertility knows expectant waiting. It is almost the professional title of someone experiencing infertility.

“Hi, I’m Carly, an expectant waiter.”


Waiting for two pink lines.

Waiting for an ultrasound.

Waiting for a diagnosis.

Waiting for an adoption.

Waiting for healing.

Waiting for the miscarriage.

Waiting for the smog of the grief of loss to be lifted.

The weight of the wait. The pressure building like an insta-pot but without the quick cooking turnaround.

And then in Advent we find not just an end to the wait but a story woven throughout it.

Our heavy weight replaced with the buoyant relief offered by hope, peace, joy and love.

At the end of the wait, in the middle of the darkness, A star of sparkling hope shines to help encourage our weary hearts to keep our faith in something greater. Lighting the way to something better than we could ask or imagine.

At the end of the light we find a new beginning. An answer to a longing we could not even put into words. No matter what wait we were in, what end we were searching to find, we finally encounter a love that drives out the fear that we may never get that for which we were yearning. Barren is not our story. Grief is not our final song. Infertile is replaced with a different promise of abundance, despite any lies we have believed while in the dark.

We meet a baby.

We meet Hope.

We meet Joy.

We meet Peace.

We meet Emmanuel.

 God, kneeling down to the broken-hearted, offering himself on earth to be with us.

We meet God splashing a picture of the kingdom of heaven on earth and handing us a paintbrush to join in filling in the bleak sterile scene around us with the vibrant colors hope, joy, and love.