Have you ever asked God why but received no answer?
It’s hard to wait for the miracle you’ve been waiting for. We are all waiting for something—a love life, a baby, payday Friday, physical healing, or reconciliation in the family. In short, life is all about waiting.
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, and penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
– Maya Angelou
When we were kids, we love to ask so many whys. Why is the sky blue? Why do I need to sleep? Why can’t I just play instead of studying? Why is God invisible? The list went on until we grew up and our whys changed. Why are my parents separated? Why can’t I go to the school I want? Why can’t I be with the girl I like? Why are we poor? Our parents used to answer all our questions no matter how silly they were. Along the way, we found some of the answers to our own questions. No matter how we try to figure out the logic behind a situation or fathom a phenomenon, there are things in life that remain a mystery, and only God knows the answer.
While reflecting on this topic, we cannot help but look back on our individual journeys. Growing up, I (Love) knew that my parents worked hard for us—their children. We were not rich but our parents provided all that we needed. We had our ups and downs, conflicts left and right but we managed to resolve them. I remember asking my mom one night as she prayed, “Mommy, what are you praying for?” She smiled and said, “I am praying for our family—for the four of you to have a bright future as we work hard for your needs.” Back then, I didn’t understand what my mother said. All I knew was to play with my dolls and study to get good grades as a gift for their sleepless nights at work.
Now that I’m married, I finally understand what my mother was praying for. Instead of praying for herself, she prayed for her children every day. I know she’s happy that she has witnessed the answers to her prayers after decades of intercession. My dad would always remind me, “Anak, tiyaga lang sa lahat lalo na sa pangarap mo. Mas mabuti na mauna ang hirap kaysa sa sarap. Walang matatapos kung walang sisimulan. Dasal at gawa lang.” Just like Saint Benedict’s ora et labora (prayer and work), those words are imprinted in my heart. Every time I feel discouraged, I say a prayer and remember all those lessons my parents taught me. They can no longer shelter me from life’s challenges, unlike before when they could answer every question I had, but they taught me how to seek the answers and solutions myself.
Our “why” symbolizes our purpose in life. It brings inspiration, and motivation, and gives us a reason to stay, keep keeping on, and remain committed. That’s why if you know your “why” in life, the “what” and “how” will follow. A coffee advertisement embodies this: “Para kanino ka bumabangon?”
When I (Dreus) was young, my “whys” were simple. Why do I have to do household chores? When it was my turn, I’d set the table with banana leaves as plates so I’d have nothing to wash. Another question I’d ask was, “Why can’t we buy anything we want?” But God always gives what is enough for us. “Why do we need to attend the youth prayer meeting?” My mom was passionate about bringing us to the Charismatic group. She would even hire a school service van to bring us and our friends. She would remind us, ”Magpasalamat tayo sa Diyos.” My whys were answered by the Lord.
But in the first four years of our marriage, we had a deep “why” in our heart. Despite all the efforts and prayers, we couldn’t get pregnant.
The Journey of Waiting
After our wedding, we went on our honeymoon and traveled here and abroad to relax. We prayed for a baby. But years passed and I (Love) had not conceived. We celebrated our birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases, holidays—just the two of us. We love each other’s company, but it has always been my dream to become a mother.
Every time we had a reunion or Christmas gathering or KBL (kasal, binyag, libing), people would ask if I was already on the way or why we weren’t pregnant yet. Honestly, I received more pressure from other people than my own family. I stopped going to gatherings because I heard some of the most hurtful comments and questions from relatives and brothers and sisters from the ministry. “O ano, meron na ba? Hala, sis, napag-iiwanan na kayo. Naunahan pa kayo ng iba. Teka, nagpa-checkup na ba kayo kung sino may problema?”
Every question hurt us even if those asking didn’t intend to. So if you know a couple who is waiting for the gift of a child, please stop asking them again and again if they’re already pregnant or if they’ve consulted a doctor. You may mean well but you don’t know exactly what they’re going through. The best thing you can do is pray for them instead of prying into their lives. Dreus and I were blessed with people who journeyed with us in prayer during those difficult times.
Whenever my (Dreus’s) mom or sister needed sanitary napkins, my brother and I immediately went to the nearest store to buy a pack. I wondered why the napkin had to be wrapped in newspaper. Should it not be exposed? Plus, the vendor teased us, “Napkin? Para sa iyo, iho? Kailangan mo?” Many times I was tempted to answer, “Opo, sandwich po!” But when you are praying to have a baby, buying sanitary napkins for your wife is not fun. I even prayed over that rack and asked God to bless us with a pregnancy so we wouldn’t need to buy napkins for nine months.
Our saddest year of waiting was 2017. Aside from our hurts during our battle with Mama’s sickness, I would come from our weekly Feast builders’ meeting and talk to Love week after a week about our unanswered prayers for a baby. Then she would cry and ask God, “Why isn’t there a baby for us yet? When will we become parents? How long do we have to wait?” When I wake up in the morning and hear her crying in the bathroom, that tells me she got her period again. And I felt that God remained silent. Ora et labora. Prayer and work. It was the best thing we learned about Benedictine values. Dreus would always hug me (Love) and cry with me. But the best thing he did was to go on praying and working with me. After months of bitterness, I decided to focus on my passion projects. I made productive use of my time in these projects. Slowly, we enjoyed our season of waiting while working—while living and loving the life we had. I stopped comparing the stage of our journey to other couples. More than the negative pregnancy results, having each other was more important. We were already a family! Our love grew more and our faith deepened. We learned to accept things we didn’t have control of and surrender everything to Him. But we worked on the things we had control of—like living a healthy lifestyle, having an attitude of gratitude and service, and visits to doctor. (P.S. Watching K-drama helped me a lot! )
Win in Waiting
Along the way, we realized that there is winning in waiting. Come to think of it, our whole life is all about waiting. Waiting for conception, waiting to give birth, waiting for a child to talk, to finish school, to work, to have a relationship, to get married, and for some, to enter the religious vocation, to retire, to be with God for eternity. In our everyday life, we wait in line, wait to be promoted, wait for a phone call, or wait for the food to be served. A year takes twelve months. A week takes seven days. A day takes twenty-four hours, and a minute takes sixty seconds. Everyone waits for someone or something, but we can win while waiting. It may be painful, but it doesn’t mean we lose. We can still wait joyfully and look forward to what we wait for. Also, remember to wait on the Lord. Though I felt He was silent, He was there. He had been journeying with us all this time.
We surrendered to God the timing for the answer to our prayer, but we religiously continued with our monthly checkup, healthy lifestyle, positive mindset, and passion projects. We continued to serve in the ministry and we know our extended family in The Feast was praying for us. August 2018 came and I (Dreus) remembered praying to God, through the intercession of Mama Mary and Padre Pio, to make our September a very special one. We continued with our usual routine—pray, work, and surrender. In late September, Love missed her period. Day 1. Day 2. Day 3. No period. But on Day 9, she thought she got her period and the bleeding lasted for four days. Six days after her supposed period stopped, she had some spotting.
Worship While Waiting
Fear overcame Love when she got the spotting. She thought that maybe she had uterine polyps again. A similar thing happened to her in 2015 and she had a minor procedure to remove them. I prayed, “Lord, give us a miracle!” I noticed that Love had extreme mood swings the past weeks. She even got mad at me about a simple errand. She clearly was not her usual self. After years of making more healthy food choices, she was suddenly craving for pasta, pizza, fried chicken, and fried potatoes. Then she thought she was anemic. She was checking her eyes in the mirror and told me, “Anemic yata ako. Look at the color of the flesh below my eyes.” Is being anemic a possible sign of pregnancy? Yes. Mood swings, check. Food cravings, check. Anemia, check. Spotting, check. I concluded it was time for a pregnancy test.
We knew the drill so we didn’t need to read the instructions for the test. But the kit we got that day was different from our previous ones. After doing the test, she left the testing stick with me. She went to our room to fix the bed. After a few minutes, I went to her and asked, “Two lines dapat, ano?” She was upset with me because she thought I botched up the test and might have caused it to malfunction. I was like, “Paano mag-malfunction ito, eh wiwi mo lang kailangan dito?” But there it was! I was thrilled and laughing! And Love? She was crying with tears of joy! Two lines! We couldn’t believe it.
We held on to our faith and God fulfilled His promise. He answered our prayer after four and a half years of silence. The Doubting Thomas in Love kicked in. So she asked me to buy another test pack just to be sure. The result was the same. We were finally pregnant!
We immediately went to see our doctor. Even though Love got her period, she still took the test. We showed the kit to our doctor. She cried and hugged both of us. We were so touched when the doctor told us how she prayed for us to have a child because she knows how blessed that child will be to have us as parents. We had our ultrasound and were so excited to hear our baby’s heartbeat at five weeks old. But we found out that Love had subchorionic hemorrhage so she was required to be on bed rest. To be honest, we were scared when we heard the word hemorrhage, but our doctor assured us that this did not interfere with our baby’s sac. There was no need to worry. Love just needed to rest and be healthy.
It’s easy to praise the Lord, to worship Him, and to love Him when things are well in your life. But when things go wrong and there is no answer to our question, we should praise Him all the more. Why? Because God is bigger than us. He is bigger than our plans. We may not understand it now but we will—soon. Trust Him.
When someone asks us about how to get pregnant, we always say that we are not experts. We’ve received pieces of advice before— the best time of day to schedule baby making, supplements, vitamins, food to eat, food to avoid, different positions, fertility doctor to consult, checkups, and more. We got so much advice from many people and we realized that what they shared was their own journey. Our advice is for you to go on your own journey. Pray and talk about it as a couple. Up to what extent are you both willing to go? There are lots of helpful tips on health and lifestyle. But do not compare your experience with others. We found our way when we let go and prayed to God. He had the perfect timing and we followed Him.
To our fellow couples who are praying and waiting for their little one to come, we continue to intercede for you. God is not done yet. The “miracle Giver” has the power to make you a “miracle bearer” because you are living miracles from the very beginning. But please know that even without a child, you and your spouse are already a family.
When we acknowledge our weakness, we magnify God’s greatness. When we don’t have the answers, we learn to say that it’s OK. And when we see others who are asking why, we can show our love for them through prayer. God is the only one who can really answer all our questions in His perfect time.
We are all miracle bearers. We’re not just talking about waiting for a baby. We are bearers of love, forgiveness, and God’s Word. We all have different miracles that we pray for. Let’s keep worshipping Him even through our tears and woundedness. Even if you don’t want to get up in the morning to do the things you used to do, even if you feel defeated—keep trusting Him. Know that we are in this journey together and we pray for each other.
Lord, we intercede for everyone who is asking for a miracle. We know that as we pray for one another, we are sending love. We place our hope, faith, and trust in You, and hold on to Your mercy and grace. May You give us the best version of what we pray for. Have Your way with us. Be our God. Surprise us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
( Joshua 1:9)
*This excerpt is taken from Love Connect by Dreus and Love Cosio, available in paperback and e-book copy at http://www.feastbooks.ph!