The Farmer Doesn’t Know How: Seeds of Growth in the Waiting

“You’re pregnant!…Now don’t move for two weeks so you stay that way.” My doctor said this to me moments after transferring our embryo into my womb (Thank you, God, for science!). The next two weeks I had the very important job of doing nothing so that that embryo would have a chance to implant. Bedrest was a big test of my faith. I knew there was something microscopic inside me beginning to grow, but I couldn’t see it or feel it. My only job was to wait… and wait and wait, hoping that that tiny embryo would attach to me and become our child.

I was reminded of when Jesus described the Kingdom of God “as though someone scatters seed on the ground, then sleeps and wakes night and day. The seed sprouts and grows, but the farmer doesn’t know how” (Mark 4:26-27).

Those two weeks of bedrest were a microcosm of my experience of the last four years of infertility. Waiting exposed my unhelpful need to know how: how long will it take, how will it happen, how much will it hurt, how will I manage it all? Often I turned to Google or Reddit for answers…they never satisfied. Nobody but God knew how our story would go, and that was often hard to accept.

But in the waiting, God was growing seeds of maturity in me. God grew trust and confidence in my body. After every unsuccessful attempt at pregnancy, God helped me to speak lovingly to my body and to say “this is not your fault.” When people, with good intentions, suggested I wouldn’t be able to handle a pregnancy because I have Fibromyalgia, a fiercely courageous voice within me was able to say back, “you are wrong. I am strong.”

One of the biggest seeds of maturity that Jesus has been growing in me, is the lesson of what to do with the question “how?” When I start to go down that path of asking unanswerable questions, Jesus stops me and says, “Kelly, you don’t need to know how or why. What you need is comfort.” Comfort is is hard to receive, and harder to ask for. This season of waiting has been a time for me to learn how to experience Jesus’ comfort in my mind, body, and marriage in deep and rich ways.

In InterVarsity we have a tradition of sharing testimonies of God’s faithfulness by saying, “My name is…and I want to give glory to God!” And everyone responds, “Amen!” So…my name is Kelly and I want to give glory to God! That embryo did attach and Mike and I are expecting a baby girl this September. We are overjoyed! And I also give glory to God for what he has been growing within me (and within Mike) as we have waited. We will never know the how, but we know God’s comfort, and we will cling to that in this next season of our lives.

What “how” questions are you asking these days? How might you turn to Jesus for comfort even as those questions remain unanswered?

Published by K.Aalseth

Kelly J. Aalseth is the Coordinator for Leadership Development for InterVarsity in Greater Los Angeles. She is an author, coach, preacher, and trainer.

2 thoughts on “The Farmer Doesn’t Know How: Seeds of Growth in the Waiting

  1. Dear Kelly, What a great testimony of God’s faithfulness and how both you and your daughter are growing! It is so counterintuitive in our culture to wait. I’m grateful your body and your daughter are helping you on this journey. John would love hearing how you have grown in listening to your body in this season! Amazing the fruit of BSF! I love how your story draws out of you good questions for others to ponder. Thanking God with you for his goodness and grace in your life! Sandy

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