Last week, our family had “Gerth Day,” a made-up holiday celebrating when our daughter legally changed her last name to ours. That might sound strange but nothing about our story was what we had expected.
Lovelle came into our lives when she was twenty, after Mark and I had gone through almost a decade of infertility. I’d stared at pregnancy tests, cried in bathrooms, and sat in the waiting rooms of medical clinics far more than I ever thought I would.
Then one night, I watched a special on television about foster kids who age out of the system, who are told at eighteen, “Have a nice life.” I wondered who would cheer for them at their college graduation, walk them down the aisle, rock their babies, whom they would call when they lost a job or just had a bad day. “That’s not okay,” I said, “Not okay at all.”
Years went by and I was invited to a banquet at Saving Grace, a local place for girls who age out of the foster system or would otherwise be homeless. I met Lovelle, and over the next few months, there were lunches and conversations, shared hugs and misunderstandings, prayers and the awkward, holy dance of becoming family.
Later, Lovelle met a boy and wore a white dress as Mark walked her down the aisle. More time passed, and one day she called, emotion in her voice, “Mom, I’m pregnant.”
Our granddaughter, Eula, is now two years old. She calls me “Nana” and Mark “Poppi.” She loves cheese and her dog. She doesn’t walk, only runs, and laughs often for no reason at all. She’s a lot like her mama, brave and strong.
When Eula was a baby, I held her and walked the halls of Lovelle’s house. I whispered in her ears all the truths I wanted her to know. Eventually, I wrote her a book so she’d never forget, Today and Always This is True, God Loves You. The other day we sat on a turquoise bench, and I read it to her for the first time. When we finished she said, “Again!”
I feel that way about our family story too — that I can’t hear it enough, can’t tell it enough. And I’m sharing it with you because you might go through a waiting season. Perhaps it will be weeks, but it could be years, maybe a decade. Everyone else will get their prayers answered. Everyone else will move forward. But you’ll be in the same place.
I’ve been there, and it always felt to me that God’s timing must be off. Maybe He’d lost a page in His heavenly calendar. Maybe I was doing something wrong to make Him keep extending our infertility. Maybe He had more important things to think about than my little dreams.
But, get ready for this, Gerth Day is August 28th.
What day was Eula born? August 28th.
I stood by my daughter in a delivery room on the same date I had stood by her in a courthouse three years before. God was always on time. He was never late. He never forgot. He kept working out His plan, even when I didn’t understand.
Whatever is going on in your life, the same is true for you. God has not overlooked your desires. He isn’t holding back or holding off. That doesn’t mean it won’t be painful at times. It’s okay to shed tears, feel frustrated, and ask hard questions. Just know even in those moments, there is hope.
I can bear witness to this: God is the Author of all good things; He’s still writing your story.
Holley’s cuddly lift-the-flap children’s book will teach little ones about God’s unfailing love for them — not just for today, but for every day and the rest of their lives. With beautiful illustrations and fun-to-read rhymes, it’s perfect for baby showers, dedications, birthday or Christmas gifts, and bedtime reading. Click here to learn more or to order a copy or three for the mamas in your life!
God has not overlooked your desires. He isn’t holding back or holding off. -@holleygerth: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
What a beautiful story! Lovelle is an amazing person. I love her blog. You must be so proud of her! Congratulations on your granddaughter.
This is exactly what I needed to be reminded of today. I’m trying to wait patiently for a new job and I’ve felt overlooked by God many days. Thank you for giving me hope that He is still writing my story!
Hi, I am in the same boat. Trying to wait patiently for a job. I’ve gotten frustrated and wondered why I am getting overlooked. Reading this has encouraged me. I will be praying you find a job.
Nancy steele says
Thank you for your message. I am still waiting. Some days are easier than others. I do trust in God’s perfect timing but your word of encouragement helps.
Joey Rudder says
Thank you for this, Holley. I’m learning a big part of writing is waiting. I was in our backyard recently, talking to God and crying in frustration because the waiting to hear back, waiting to move forward, waiting to look elsewhere, and all the other moments of waiting, waiting, waiting can be so hard.
But like you wrote, “God is the Author of all good things; He’s still writing your story.” So I’ll continue to write and wait as He continues to…well, write my story!
Blessings to you and your lovely family!! (And what a wonderful picture of you and your precious Eula! 🙂 )
Ellen Worster says
Oh man I needed this! I’ve been praying for my husband for years and I mean years!! Yesterday I said to God “Am I being foolish to live in this upheaval? Am I just naive? Did I really hear you many years ago say my husband would become the man you ordained him to be? I remember God saying it would happen but it would be difficult! “ Wow. Still praying but this is the second message on waiting. So I will carry on…waiting . Thank you for sharing!
Becky Beresford says
Oh my goodness, Holley… Your words are so life-giving. I often feel like God is late in my story, or *even worse* I did something that made me miss out on the beauty of His plan. But you are right! God is always working, especially when we don’t understand.
I’m so grateful for your heart and the redemption story Jesus has given you. We have such a hope-bringing God!
All of His best to you and your precious family,
Jasmine Ruigrok says
I feel like God is lining up so many reminders like this for me lately… urgently reminding me of this truth in the face of recent moments of struggle where the hopelessness and despair presses down upon me with a heavy hand. I can feel His heart for me urging me to hold on through your writing… Thankyou.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Sometimes God says no if not good for us the thing we really want. Sometimes he keeps us waiting until the right time to give it too us. As if he gave us what we wanted right away if was something that God knew was good for us. We be so wound up in the thing we wanted we might forget to say thank you too God. So when we have to wait for it and God know what we want is good for us. When we get it we will appreciate it more. Thank God for it say yes it was worth waiting for. But when we have to wait for it God tells us it is coming but we have to wait and trust him. It will come in his perfect timing we sometimes can get inpatient and say God why are you making me wait. But God say my Child when you get it and do the waiting you will appreciate it more. But if God says no. Don’t be disappointed that God said no that you can’t have what you wanted. In a few months down the line or a year down the line you will look back and say. I am so glad God said no too the thing I so badly wanted at the time. As now I am glad I did get it. It could be a house you look at in a certain area. God told you no that house is no right for you. Stay in the house you are in for another while. You said but God I like that house. But now looking back 6 months or year later you are glad you listened to God and stayed in house you are in and didn’t buy the house you thought was nice. As you had moved and you been so on happy and sorry now you moved. Same with a Job. God knows what he is doing. We have as his followers listen to his Holy Spirit. Do what he says. God will never guide us wrong. Look at today s reading and the way things turned out. They are beautiful Grandparents. They got to Adopt. Not from a young baby age. But God was good through out all of it. Even if they had to wait. Wait we sometimes are very bad at. I am too blame as well. Love today’s reading. Dawn Ferguson-Little xxxx
Mary Geisen says
What a beautiful testimony to the faithfulness and timeliness of God. I’m cheering you on from here that God knew the desires of your heart and wrote the most amazing story to show you how much He loves you. I also love the new book you wrote for your granddaughter. Sounds like the perfect book for me to get for my grandson.
Kathy Cheek ~ First Breath of Morning Devotional says
When hope seems the hardest to hang on to is when we need to hold on the tightest! God’s promise in Isaiah 40:31 is to renew our strength when we wait and hope in Him, and that strength is the fuel for our hope!
I love your story, and love seeing that sweet little granddaughter in your lap!
Thank you for this! Exactly what I need! I am still waiting for God to restore my ex husband & I’s marriage. I get frustrated & exhausted with the wait.
Thank you Holley for sharing your story of how God redeemed your dream of having a family through Lovell and her daughter! God is continuing your story and mine too! The waiting is hard, but the amazing gifts he is providing me while I wait for the job God will provide for me have made it more bearable! Blessings to you as you move forward to what God has next for you!
karyn j. says
i LOVED this and i LOVE gerth day! thank you for your honesty and transparency. in this season of life i’m learning that things may look one way on the outside, but that is not always the way it really is. you just never know what someone is going through. we all make assumptions, but truth is-we just don’t know. i’m also learning that God is wonderfully mysterious! as i grow in Him and in the knowledge of Him, im realizing that He is just working everything out for my good. i am not always the most patient person, but He is changing all that. i still have a ways to go, but He’s brought me so far in the last few months. knowing Him and feeling close to Him is the most amazing feeling in the world and i don’t want it to end. He’s taught me about His peace, His promises, and that He will ALWAYS be with me. at 36 things don’t look the way i thought they would, but i know that what’s in store for me will be His doing and He is taking His time to perfect and properly prepare me for what’s in store. waiting is the hard part, but it i know it will be worth the wait! thank you Lord in advance!
MARIA PEREZ says
WELL IM 57 I THOUGHT AT THIS AGE MY LIFE WOULD BE SPRINKLES, & ICE CREAM . NOT THE CASE, IM WAITING FOR MY CHILDREN TO COME TO CHRIST & COME BACK TO ME, BUT I WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, ITS TOUGH BUT THROUGH THE THE PAIN WE GET STRONGER IN FAITH BLESSINGS TO ALL WHO ARE IN “WAIT”.
Holley, I never get tired of hearing y’all’s family story! I share it with so many friends! I love how God’s timing is always perfect and He always blesses us with better than what we could have imagined. Praise! I love the Gerth Meyers crew like crazy!!!
Thank you Jesus for these truths! I love you and thank you for continuing to write my story!
Thank you Holley! This is just what I needed to hear! God bless you ❤️
Betsy de Cruz says
I got chills reading this! How good our God is. I agree with you that it is not okay for kids to age out of foster care and be “on their own at 18,” but you have done something about it. Giving thanks for you.
J M says
This story touched my heart and brought me to tears. I have been waiting for years to find the man who will be my husband. I have never been married and no children. I know people who are on their second marriages. I often wonder when it will happen for me.
Beth Williams says
Keep on praying, waiting & hoping. God will send you the man He is preparing for you. I prayed for a long time also. I was 38 (turned 39 that March) when I finally married. That was 15 years ago. In the meantime I volunteered some & kept on living my life. Asking God today to send someone your way.
JM wants to get married. I ask that you send the right man to her. Someone Godly who will love & cherish her for the Christian woman she is. Bless her with patience & hope as she waits on your perfect timing.
Thank you for sharing this really private and personal story because it really gives me hope! My husband and I tried for years to have a child of our own and thought we’d adopt after. Little did I know that I’d spend years getting pregnant and having miscarriages and that then we’d get divorced (which we are in the process of right now). We were never able to have a child of our own and I’ve stared and many pregnancy test, been elated to be pregnant and then sad to lose another baby over and over again. I can’t help but think it’s one of the things that helped bring our marriage to an end. I always thought we’d still have a family through adoption but soon I will no longer even have a husband. Not sure what God’s plan is for me any more as far as having a husband and family of my own but your story gives me hope that although I have no idea what the plan is, maybe some day I will have children and grandchildren and maybe even a second husband. One of the reasons I had wanted to adopt is to adopt an older child so they wouldn’t be on their own in the world at 18 because I know only too well what that is like.
Holley Gerth says
Thanks so much for being here and reading, (in)courage friends! I’m grateful we can believe and wait and celebrate together!
Beth Williams says
Love hearing your story. It proves two things: 1) God’s timing is perfect. 2) His ways are higher than ours. Who would have thought to adopt an 18 year old just because she would age out of foster care. Who knew that soon you would have a son-in-law & a grand daughter. God is so full of surprises. My little dream is for my husband. I would love for him to find a “different” job (CT Tech). He works weekends (3 12 hr days) with just one other tech to help with ALL the patients. The constant pushing heavy stretchers, pulling people over onto the table, etc. can take a toll on his body. Wishing he could find an outpatient CT position. Praying for God’s wisdom in this decision.
Everlyne Oluoch says
Your post is an encouragement to me thank you for the reminder that as a Christian we pray and we are supposed to wait on God to fulfill his promises. I have walked this journey of waiting and sometimes I get tired, I cry and get really worried of tomorrow. Your post a sure reminder that in his own good time he answers prayers and that his time is perfect never too late
This brought tears to my eyes. Since I have been a teenager, I have wanted children. Not for the right reasons then and certainly with no understanding of how to raise a child, I still desired a child with all of me.
My situation is difficult. I have no children. I am 51. I know God can perform miracles, but, as I stated, my situation is difficult.
I would love to adopt. I would love to have the moments you expressed so lovingly. God knows what is in my heart!
I will celebrate those people in my life that consider me mom. I should not forget the special sweet loving ‘children’ that I do have and cherish.
I am waiting though. I pray that God will bless me with one child that is truly my own.
Thank you for sharing your heart <3