So what do you do when the dreams you had planned for your life are dashed? What do you do when the life you envisioned for yourself does not come to fruition? For me, part of my disappointment has been secondary infertility. This means that I have one child, conceived without any problem, but for some reason the second time around my body has not cooperated. It is like the factory shut down and my body stopped doing a very natural thing women were created to do- have children.
My husband and I wanted more children, siblings for our son who is now four. We wanted kids close in age, so when our son Jesse, was nine months old we hoped it would not be long before he had a brother or sister. I think the first year I was in denial that there was a problem. I mean the women in my family have never had any issues in being able to conceive. I come from hearty stock, I thought. Then as the months passed by, turning into years I began to wonder what was wrong with me? It was about this time when I became particularly hard on myself that I started receiving advice and comments in how to “solve” my problem. Gain some weight, don’t drink coffee (are they nuts?!), take more vitamins, sleep more, “it will happen eventually”.
Sometimes our bodies just do not work the way we want them to and it is insanely frustrating. So, two years into trying for baby #2 my husband and I went to a fertility specialist. Apparently I’m fine and he’s fine and there is no known reason as to why we should not be able to have more children. Don’t you just love when doctors tell you that? I think I might be able to take it better if I had a reason or something to answer my question, ‘why?’
To top it off I see friends and family expanding their tribe and I am hurt that the Lord has seemingly passed me by. I do not understand and I have so many questions. Just to clarify, I am thrilled to pieces God gave me my son. Sometimes I just look at his face and I am in awe that I get to be his mom. I want to be particularly sensitive to the precious couples that battle primary infertility. My heart goes out to the woman or man who is hurting or angry. I cannot completely understand your grief, but I do get it on some level. I can sympathize with you and cry with you.
Any couple experiencing infertility whether it is primary or secondary, usually journeys through it silently. Even though this issue consumes a lot of your time, money, thoughts, and emotions you do not talk about it. Maybe it is the subject of the trial- making babies, or maybe you feel like a failure (you shouldn’t). Perhaps your heart is so tender you feel you might cry at the mention of a baby. Sometimes you just want someone to “get it”, that your heart breaks into a million pieces every time you hear another pregnancy announcement or receive a baby shower invitation. It is not that you are not happy for those folks it is just hard to swallow sometimes. Let me state that because God creates life, all of life is beautiful and resentment should not have a permanent place in your heart.
I have no doubt whatsoever Who is in control over the womb. I have seen some women struggle with primary infertility and have fertility treatments work. Later on, those same women have “surprise” pregnancies, ‘miracle blessing babies’ I call them. Other times treatments fail to respond. How we respond to those disappointments is crucial to our faith.
I heard a sermon recently by a guest speaker who said, “Jesus is worthy of worship at all times by all peoples.” He was speaking on missions, but if Christians really believe that Jesus is worthy of our worship at all times, even in the hard moments, then this should be our response. I never really considered that Jesus has lovingly placed secondary infertility in my life for His purpose. I know Romans 8:28 and quote it for other things and to other people, but infertility? The hard answer is yes.
Fellow sufferers, God can make beautiful things from your sorrow. He can take your desire for a baby and lead you down a path for your life otherwise impossible without this “roadblock”. Jesus is infinitely better than my hopes and dreams that I had planned. His plans are generally different than mine anyway because He can see the whole picture. I only see what is right in front of me, another failed month with fertility treatment, and another negative pregnancy test. God will keep you too. He will hold your hand as you journey through this season. Trust in God’s goodness and sovereignty in those moments of sadness and frustration. He has not passed you by. The Lord may be using for you even greater things you cannot even fathom. That may include children someday. Truly, our loving and wise Father has purposed this for you to deepen your faith. Spiritual growth is richer and greater than getting what we want when we want it.
The compassionate Lord saw Hannah’s tears and heard her prayers. He set His purpose for a miraculous pregnancy through Sarah. He sought out Hagar when she was turned away from Abraham’s home, with Ishmael, in her most desperate hour. God used Esther to save a nation. He redeemed Ruth, a Moabitess. Almighty God permitted divine conception for both Elizabeth and Mary! He is a God who sees our tears and hurts. He hears our prayers. He knows our desires. He weaves His power throughout history for His glory and honor. There is purpose in your story.
So, what now? How will you respond to infertility? Friends, others are watching how you respond. They may not know the details of your situation, but hardship has a way of seeping into every aspect of our life, affecting daily living. Whether you realize it or not they are seeing if you live by faith. Maybe it is an unsaved co-worker or a new sister in Christ and they need to see you worship Jesus even when everything does not go your way. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (NIV). So even though I may not always feel like it and it can be really hard to do so, I choose to trust the Lord with this day. I choose to bow down and worship my beautiful Savior in the face of infertility.
Grace upon grace,
For added support and encouragement for infertility, miscarriage, or child loss a site I have found helpful is http://www.sarahs-laughter.com.