• Nadine Bell

God’s Delays are not God’s Denials by Nadine Bell 

When I got married at the tender age of twenty, Ashley made it clear that he only wanted us to have one child––for no specific reason other than that he felt one child would be enough. I never wanted to have a school bus full of kids, but I knew I certainly did not want to have only one child.


Two years into our marriage I fell pregnant with our daughter, Starla, and we could not have been happier when she was born. She was a beautiful doll of a baby. A true bonny child with blond hair, blue eyes, and so, so easy. I didn’t think I could love another child as much as I loved her. When she turned one, I remember longing for another baby. However, knowing how Ashley felt about having more than one child, I started making it into a matter of prayer. My confidence has always been in God’s faithfulness to answer my prayers. God’s reply is always, Yes, No or Wait.


So, I would walk around the Greyville race course in Durban and pray that God would soften my husband’s heart and let me have another child. Well God did just that, and within two weeks of Ash saying to me, “We can have another baby if you want.” I fell pregnant, and nine months later our beautiful daughter, Bianca, was born. She had big brown eyes with “Shirley Temple” curls. I didn’t realise the capacity a mother has for loving every child so deeply. Having two girls was an absolute joy and I secretly felt sorry for mothers who only had boys. I wanted them to share in the joy of the experience of having girls. I was thrilled and felt completely blessed with my girls. But before long, there was a longing again and I just knew that there was a baby left in me. The only difference this time was that I longed for a son. Yet Ashley had made it perfectly clear that we had made our contribution to society. He loved his girls and felt complete with his family.


When my girls were five and three respectively, the longing and desire to have a son became stronger by each passing day. I would often share this desire with Ashley, but it fell on deaf ears. So I did what I did before, I began to pray. I love that God knows and sees the bigger picture for our ives.


After a few years, I remember Ashley turning to me in the car, on a trip to the South Coast, and said, “there is one thing missing in your life and that’s a boy.” Needless to say I didn’t waste time in bringing my dream to fruition. One month went by, six months, and then one year but still nothing. After five years, I visited my gynaecologist only to hear that it was unlikely that I would be able to fall pregnant again. I was told that my uterus was tilted and he tried to convince me that it was because of my age, and fertility levels would be on the decline.


One Sunday, during a church service, a young lady came to me and said God had two words for me “boy child.” She was almost embarrassed that it was such simple words, but I re- assured her that it meant a lot to me. The following week, having just led worship from the keys, an elderly lady in the congregation approached me and said that as she looked at me behind the piano, the word “birth” was written all over me. I quickly told her that we were going to plant a church and that this must be in relation to what she saw. Her response surprised me as she felt God say that I was not to rule out physical birth. 


As excited as I was about these promises from God, time marched on and my sons arrival seemed to have been delayed.


After eight years of waiting and my girls were getting older, I decided to lay the desire for a son down. Listening to myself beg God for a son made me feel and sound ungrateful for already having two beautiful daughters who had arrived without any pregnancy struggles. I felt that, perhaps, I was being selfish by longing for a third when friends of mine had been struggling for years to fall pregnant with their first child. There were a lot of tears but I really felt I needed to stop stressing and rest in and on God’s promises.


Ten years on from my initial prayer, we found ourselves holidaying in Cape Town. Ashley, being an active surfer and knowing where all the good surf spots were, would spend the day traveling around the mountain with me as passenger. Needless to say, I started feeling rather ill. I called my oldest daughter, Starla, and told her how terrible I was feeling and how I wished Ashley would stop his daily surf safaris. She suggested that I take a pregnancy test. I still smiled and thought, “here’s my daughter on her matric vacation in Plettenberg Bay, offering her mother a diagnosis.” Nonetheless, I listened to her and after taking a test, I found myself to be POSITIVELY PREGNANT. I walked over to Ashley while waving the proof and confidently said, “This is my boy child that God promised me.”


As the weeks went by, my Gynae asked me if I wanted to know what I was having. Smiling with self-assurance I replied, “No need, Doctor, I know it’s a boy!


My daughters were eighteen and sixteen years old and this gift from God was going to be raised by "mothers". God’s timing was absolutely perfect when Jordan entered our lives and completed our family. The first year of his birth I kept telling myself “there’s a boy in the house.” I still thank God for the incredible blessing Jordan is to us as a family. The time delay did not mean God was denying me, it meant that God was preparing me.


The medical report might not have looked good but my story describes another report. Maybe you have experienced a disappointment or living in a space of waiting and your dream appears to be fading, or even impossible. Perhaps you too have been having talks with God and reminding Him of your heart’s desires. God can make things happen that you could never make happen because nothing is impossible with Him. He has already placed abundance in your future and lined up doors to open that you could never have opened yourself. 


I encourage you to go with child-like faith and ask God for BIG things.