Infertility—just seeing that word can make people uncomfortable. Hearing it spoken out loud can stop you in your tracks. Infertility can be traced back to biblical times. Sarai was barren until she was past the childbearing age. (Gen. 21) Hannah longed for a child for many years. (1 Sam. 1) Though there are many examples of infertility in the Bible, it seems to be a taboo subject. But when you are the one faced with the reality of infertility, it isn’t a taboo anymore.
I was always concerned that I wouldn’t be able to have children because of my family history. My mom was told she couldn’t conceive, but God gave her a miracle child. My aunt was never able to have a biological child. Another aunt had one child but never could have another.
Infertility became reality for me in June of 2019. When I was young, I didn’t worry about it. But five years into my marriage, my husband and I were ready to start a family. Three months went by—nothing; sixth months later—nothing. One year went by and still nothing. And this pattern continued. Each time I had a negative test, a piece of my heart broke. Friends were having babies and I was happy for them but heartbroken for myself.
Each month God speaks to me and reminds me that everything happens in His time. I have written the words, “Everything Is in His Time” and posted it on my mirror so that when I look at myself it’s a daily reminder. However, as time goes by, I become more and more frustrated. I will admit I have been upset with God on more than one occasion during this process. On the third round of a doctor prescribed medicated cycle, I again had another negative test. I was devastated. I was ready to give up. I wept at the thought of never having a biological child. And then God reminded me, “Even with a negative test, I am still good.” God is still good. I still struggle. Some days more than others. I’m still not pregnant. But God is STILL good.
“The Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made” (Ps. 145:9, ESV). In my relationship with Christ, I have learned that He will never leave me. Even in my darkest days, He is sitting with me, crying with me, and giving me strength to get through the day.
If you are struggling with infertility, here are some things I have learned during my journey:
- Surround yourself with people who will love and pray for you. Maybe you aren’t ready to share with everyone quite yet, so find a small group of friends who won’t overwhelm you with advice, friends who will simply listen and then pray.
- Give yourself permission to feel your emotions. It might be helpful to name them and share them with someone. Allow yourself time to feel them, but don’t get stuck in them.
- Eat well and exercise. (I’m preaching to myself.) Feeding our bodies the right foods and exercising will help. There are a lot of scientific reasons behind these facts. Making healthier choices will boost your mood, and exercise can keep your mind occupied at least for a time. I love to take my dog for a walk. My husband and I go Geocaching, an outdoor recreational activity using navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches.” Both of those activities have been beneficial.
- Find people who will support you in your journey. Doctors, therapists, pastors, and some friends can support you and your spouse to find answers. (Remember your husband is also on this difficult journey). If you aren’t getting the support you need, find new people.
- Pray and read the Word of God. When God doesn’t seem to be listening or you don’t know how to pray, remember the Holy Spirit will intercede on your behalf (Rom. 8:26). Immersing yourself in scripture and prayer will help prepare you for the most difficult days. Often when we go through trials it can feel like God has withdrawn His presence from us. But scripture tells us that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. (Psalms 34:18) He cares about what breaks your heart and wants to comfort you.
- Infertility can easily become all consuming. But remember you are a child of God. Infertility is not your identity. First and foremost, you are a child of God, beautifully and wonderfully made. Your worth is not determined by the results of a pregnancy test.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Rom. 12:12, ESV). God calls us to have joy in the hope we find in Him. He calls us to be patient in tribulation, and to be constant in our prayers. Don’t give up. Remind yourself often that God is still good. There is hope found in Him. He will comfort you on those difficult days.