Testimonies abound everywhere as proof of God’s faithfulness. The essence of sharing these testimonies is to strengthen our faith, ignite hope and create a reminder in the deepest places of our hearts that God is never late. Writing from a male perspective, my friend Gospel Amaugo has graciously written their testimony to encourage us, so here it goes… please read and share with someone too! Blessings.
My wife and I got married more than 6 years ago. We knew that ordinarily, there would be challenges to encounter in marriage, which is common in most marriages. The issue of how to meet our financial goals, ministry assignment, career development, adjustment to each other and integrating into the extended family, etc, are common areas that could be challenging for a young couple. Consequently, we expected that having children would be based on our plans and timing but our experience proved otherwise. We waited for 5 years to no avail. Naturally, it is expected that when a man and a woman are married, they are to have their first child within the next one year but when that does not happen, friends and family members could be agitated or worried about what could be responsible. Hence, the first step we took after many episodes of unprotected sex without conception was to seek medical advice. We went through a thorough medical examination and we were informed that there was nothing wrong with us. In a sense, that was a relief knowing that from a medical standpoint, the chances of conception were high. However, it was a bit complicated after about 3 years without any child. It became worrisome as we could not figure out the root cause of the problem. Meanwhile, living in the UK gave us the opportunity to access more effective healthcare service; thus we felt probably, the doctor that examined us in Nigeria was not as accurate in his analysis as he should be. Consequently, we had to go for another medical examination in the UK; nevertheless, the outcome was similar to the initial medical report. When you look at the issue from a cultural and a spiritual perspective of an average African, a woman’s inability to conceive is being interpreted as a problem associated with past wayward lifestyle, curses or as a result of witchcraft activities.
This mindset could be one of the reasons couples who are faced with issues around delay in childbirth or infertility are stigmatised in the society especially in developing countries. Thus, I could understand the emotional and psychological pressure that family members including extended family members go through as a result of this kind of situation. The situation could be well managed if the pressure was just external and not from the husband or the wife. Unfortunately, most times, internal pressure comes from the husband who might see the wife as the reason for his predicament even if that is not the case. This has led some men into adultery, polygamy, divorce and remarriage. One of the reasons I did not for once play the blame game was my understanding of the source of children and their place in marriage. I believe that the primary purpose of marriage is not childbirth; marriage is a platform, which God gave to man to help him tap into the benefits of synergy as he partners with his wife towards the fulfilment of God’s assignment for him. Furthermore, children are part of the benefits of marriage. Having and raising godly children is in fulfilment of the divine responsibility of replicating God’s image and likeness. This means that any failure to raise one’s children in a godly way and in the fear of God is a failure in fulfilling that divine obligation. Thus, when the biological children were not forthcoming, we were sold out to God and focused on our divine assignment which includes raising spiritual children for God than being worried about children.
However, when the pressure became very compelling; for instance, when we heard of some amazing testimonies of people whom we were married long before we did and some of them have two or three children, yet we did not have answers to why our case was different. Friends and family began to make reference to some of these testimonies and why we need to do everything possible to break the jinx. We could have withdrawn from people but we did not allow the pressure colour our perspective to life and our relationships. If we received an express word from God that children were not our lot, we would have been settled with that knowing that He has our best interest at heart. However, in 2012, while we were in the process of deciding what next to do medically; God gave us a clear word.
One afternoon as my wife and I were about to take a nap, I had a trance where two hands carried a fair and handsome boy to us and led him in-between my wife and I. At the same time, I heard a voice say to me, “I have given you a son and you shall call his name Emmanuel”. The message was sound and clear; it brought comfort and faith to us. However, it took another 2 years before that word came to pass. There were suggestions for IVF and adoption, but we were convinced that God did not want to share his glory with any man or perform this miracle through any other means that would make any individual question the integrity of what He promised. It became a trial of faith. The challenging thing about God’s promise when there is no specification as regards ‘how’ and ‘when’ it would be fulfilled is that one is vulnerable to human error in the bid to decipher the process and the timing of its fulfilment. That was the problem Abraham and Sarah had when God promised them a son, which led to the error of having Ishmael. However, when God clarified how and when the promise would be fulfilled, waiting became less burdensome for Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 15-18).
The other thing about indefinite waiting is that you get to a point where you don’t care anymore. For instance, you could end up not keeping record of the woman’s cycle. Imagine preparing for sex within a certain time in a month and you have done that for more than 60 months without success, the tendency to be nonchalant is likely to be high. However, faith in God’s word helps you never to give up. Before my wife became pregnant, I was the only one keeping record of her cycle, so I knew that the likely date for her menstrual flow to commence had passed. I did not want to alert her but I was hoping that something positive would happen.
Though in the past, we had occasions when her menstrual cycle was delayed for a few days, which ignited hope that she was pregnant but after the pregnancy tests, they were negative. Those moments were very disappointing; thus I did not want her expectation to be dashed this time. So after about 4 days without any changes, I convinced her to buy the test kit. It was so funny how the whole process of buying the kit and testing for pregnancy happened. We were curious and we were scared at the same time. We were curious to know if it has happened and scared that the result might turn out negative. I assured her that the best thing to do was to try the test and it was better that it came out negative at the end than going through the emotion that comes with uncertainty. It was funny how reluctant she was in knowing the result since I was left alone to check the outcome. When I said to her that it was positive, she did not believe me. “Honey, please be serious”, she said. At that time, I was wondering if I did the correct thing or maybe I misinterpreted the result. I had to double-check the strip to be sure which one signified positive. When we finally confirmed the result, my wife and I were emotionally hysterical; she was crying while I was praying in tongues.
It was just like a dream even though we had prayed and believed God for it. The next day, we went to the hospital to see a doctor who confirmed that she was pregnant. The gestation period was smooth and the delivery was awesome as well. Baby Emmanuel was born according to the word of the Lord. Sometimes, people ask me where he got his complexion from but I was not surprised because he is exactly the picture of the baby that was delivered to us in 2012.
One thing I have learnt from the whole experience is that God is faithful to keep his promise no matter how long it takes; and for anyone who is waiting on God for a child, all you need is a word from God and not the report of the doctors or the people around you. In honesty, it is not going to be an easy process, but if you hold on to his word without letting your situation mar your marriage or your relationship with God, you will surely experience the miracle of childbirth.
Gospel Amaugo is a marriage and relationship expert with core focus on sexual health awareness, love and relationships. He is the President of Relationship Builders Int’l Foundation and has authored 7 books including Sex Lies, Help! I’m in Love, Lovers Forever and Strength for your Marriage. You can keep in touch with him through Twitter: @gospellamy, Facebook: Gospella Amaugo, BBM: 74D02358 and Website: www.relationshipbf.com,