5 Questions About…Infertility

IMG_0002Happy 4th of July!  As you read this, chances are I’ll be with my friend Cathy Wood, watching the parade, or fireworks or laughing about how we both could have been great spies.  There is so much I admire about Cathy.  Her ability to forgive hard things.  Her indomitable positive spirit. Her kindness, and listening ear.  We’ve been in a couples small group for about 25 years and she’s also one of the “7” girls, so I’ve been privileged to walk through a lot of life with her!  All of us either know someone or are someone who has wrestled with a dream to have kids, but an inability to make it happen.  I always benefit from her wisdom, so I’m thankful she agreed to share today!

1. What has been your experience with infertility?
We struggled with infertility and trying to create a family over about a decade.  Although this time is in the rearview mirror of my life, I can readily recall the cycle of doctor appointments, shots, temperature taking and miscarriages…periods of great hope and equally great despair. Thankfully, by the grace of God He brought us thru it all.  He has graciously put our family together thru primary/secondary infertility, adoption and natural birth.

2. What was the hardest thing for you while you struggled with infertility?
I think for me the hardest thing was believing that God was trustworthy and that I could trust him with the outcome. I could pray “ah yes this is a light and momentary trouble” but my heart was breaking. My borders defining God needed to be blown wide open. What did it mean to follow him? My current view wasn’t holding up. I kept thinking that God wanted me to do that “one thing” and then I’d get pregnant. Not sure what that one thing was but I kept trying to guess.

I spent lots of time staring at what I thought was a road block with blinking lights, razor wire and a sign that said ”keep out”. I could see others beyond the gate with children but I couldn’t get there. A turn away from this road to another path was dark and unknown. I had no idea what it would mean or require. I DIDN’T WANT TO GO! The decision really became do I go alone or with God? Slowly and gently (as I am stubborn), God turned my heart towards Him and then the road He had for us.

3. You have had children now, but what would you say to women who maybe are never able to conceive?                                                                                                  “I am so sorry” feels like the only one for me because no feeble attempt by me could make sense this side of heaven. God needs to handle that one. My sincere hope for them would be that they come to know and believe that God loves them and has not lost sight of them.

4. What advice would you give to those who are walking alongside women experiencing infertility?                                                                                                   It is a privilege and holy ground to be let into a person’s life at any time but especially when it is a painful season. Being a safe place to share deep emotions and process is a gift to another. I think it’s a way God redeems our own experiences. Pray, trust God and show up. He’ll do the rest.

5. What did you learn about God and yourself during your season of infertility?
Ha!  Well I would love to say I never doubted… that I have the gift of unshakeable faith but I don’t want to be struck by lightning! I tend to be a bit more of a rebel. What I learned was that God is gracious and merciful. When I began to seek Him, stumble after him and look for Him in the everyday, not just answering this big prayer, I discovered He was there and had been there all the time with small surprises of Himself, the love of friends, reminders of His grace and answered prayer in his time.

Additional Resources Cathy found helpful:

Disappointment With God by Phillip Yancey

If you liked this post, you might also like The Spiritual Discipline of Plan B.

3 Comments

  1. This is such an encouraging post, it is so nice to hear from someone who has come out the ‘other side’ of infertility! Im really enjoying your blog 🙂

  2. Marcia Mattson

    July 6, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    My thoughts and realizations during my 10 years of trying to conceive a child were much like Cathy’s. Having a child was so deeply hard-wired into me. It seemed like it should have been God’s will, even after we were able to adopt our precious daughter from Korea. But after having to be so self-disciplined with everything I put into my mouth (I even had all silver fillings in my teeth replaced with porcelain!), everything I breathed (I even avoided bug spray two weeks of each summer month and we live in mosquito infested woods!), I was finally given such a merciful gift from God. I had decided I would give up trying to conceive when I turned 40, but as that day neared I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to stop trying. He gave me menopause at age 39!!! How precious is that?! How wonderful to be freed to live so much more in the present! I totally agree with Cathy that my prayer for all who have similar struggles is to know and believe that God truly loves them, that they can’t earn it, and that he is indeed with you every second. If I had been been able to have a baby but would have had to choose between the baby and everything I learned from the 10 years of trying, I would choose the wisdom gained, without a doubt. Thank you, Father, that you have a plan for us that is bigger than our emotions, that there is no shadow of turning in thee.

    • Oh Marcia, thank you so much for sharing your story! God loves us all as precious, beloved children, but the story He has for each of us is so different. What an encouraging reminder that His plans are sure and good, no matter what.

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