Struggling with the Cross of Infertility
- Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I have spent many days sitting on park benches, in a mall corridor, or even in a church service watching mothers interact with their children of all ages. There are countless other times I have found myself staring aimlessly at pregnant women who would be ready to deliver at any moment. I have spoken to and counseled teens, young women, and older seasoned ones of all walks of life who have become pregnant without effort either outside the boundaries of marriage or in marriage but not desiring the child they have conceived. I have attended and even given baby showers for friends and co-workers and bought gifts for birthdays and graduations, yet in each case, though smiling on the outside, internally, I wondered, "Why?"
- Why have I not conceived?
- Why do I not have the privilege of experiencing the joys of motherhood?
- Why them and not me?
- Why is my desire so strong but remains unfulfilled?
- Why does it seem like I am not receiving all that God has promised?
- WHY me? WHY not? WHY?
In preparation for writing this article, I reflected upon some of the more tumultuous times I experienced – even of my own accord. As ridiculous as it may seem, in my mind I would somehow relate everything that went wrong in my world to this inability to reproduce. I would incorporate feelings of loss into every negative moment of my life and grieve as if I had just lost a loved one. I lived in a place of shame and disgrace and internally wondered if there was something wrong with me. "Was there something I did to cause this injustice?" "Did I contribute to my own demise?" "What do others think about me?" After being married for years and asked the honest question by innocent onlookers, "When are you guys gonna have kids?" I would shamefully keep my secret and religiously answer, "We are waiting on the Lord." But did I really believe that?
I vividly remember the day a specialist in a white coat with a dumb-founded look and no reasonable explanation said to me that I would never conceive and he did not know why. Eighteen months and a "major-major" surgery later, I did conceive – only I did not know it until after my twins were gone, which resulted in emergency major surgery number two. During these horrendous times, I was comforted by the Holy Spirit, family, friends, and the hope that if God defied the doctors’ reports once, He could definitely do it again.
In this my hope remains.
Although loved unconditionally by my husband, it was a battle to overcome my human nature and not give in to the emotional trauma of never-ending feelings of emptiness and defeat. Empty arms. Empty womb. Empty heart. I would fight mentally to control my thoughts which so easily tilted toward the facts (what the doctors said) and not the truth (what the Word says) about my situation. I began to notice how I would not enter into a place of true worship, which I had previously enjoyed, nor would I present all of myself to the Father in a posture of prayer, because I did not want Him to be disappointed in me for wavering in my faith. It was only when I arrived at a place of having done all that I could do, that I turned away from the path of despair, released my burden to the Lord, and stood firm on the Word of God.
When walking through a journey as difficult and heart-wrenching as wanting something so badly and having absolutely no control over if, or when, you will receive it (be it a business, a husband, healing – whatever "it" is), the only solution to this multitude of problems is God. We should not allow the enemy to plague us with fear and depression or doubt and unbelief. In God’s hands, He holds the answers and in His heart the capacity to bear the heaviness of the weight we try to carry alone. Our plight is to cast these cares upon Him and allow Him to mend our brokenness and give life to this deadened area in our soul. We must know and understand that God’s plans for us are good and not evil, for health, vitality, wholeness, and prosperity – and we must trust Him and believe it!
Having come to this resolve, I began to speak God’s Word over my life, my body and my children. Yes, my children. I spoke life into the deadness of my situation. I searched the scriptures and found hope in the hearts of women who were barren, yet their fulfillment had come. I learned from Hannah that if I were honest with the Lord about my desire and prayed and only believed, the promise would come. From the Shunamite woman, I gleaned the principle of speaking the word in faith and watching it be performed right before your eyes. Finally, in the lives of Elizabeth and Mary, I witnessed the power of agreement and regained my belief that miracles do still happen. Gratefully, I believed again!
From that belief I gained strength to research my options – there are always options. If you or someone you love is battling any infertility issue, understand that there are viable solutions including the advancement of medical technology such as surgical procedures, medications as well as adoption. Adoption is of the Lord and saves the lives of children around the world. You choose what is right and best for you and your family.
The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12 (NLT),
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true, there is life and joy.
If you are going through this type of situation, remember that God’s joy provides us with the strength to endure hard times and with peace which allows us to rest in His plans and trust His timing for our lives. Surround yourself with people of faith and step out of the ashes of gloom and despair, shame and confusion, to receive life and hope from the Lord. Make the exchange. Submit all of your desires to God’s will and wait patiently in faith on Him to provide the fulfillment of everything He has promised. Then watch all your dreams come true!
Cass and her husband Jeff serve as Associate Pastors of Living Way Church in Stockbridge, GA. She has a master’s degree in Psychology/Counseling and is licensed as a Christian Counselor in the State of Georgia. Cass is Women’s Ministry Director and speaks into the lives of women around the country. Jeff and Cass are still believing for the promise.
First published in The Mother’s Heart magazine, an encouraging publication for mothers with hearts in their homes. Visit their website at: www.The-Mothers-Heart.com.
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