I imagine going through infertility treatment is very much like going through any other major medical care. While the end-goal here is not to find a life-saving cure for yourself, the similarity lies in that finding a cure still equals life…not for you, but for the potential of life for your future child. You as the patient are bound by the condition of your physical body, the prescribed medical treatment plan, and the will of God/the universe/karma/chaos. –Whatever you chalk it up to, it feels as though powers outside of your control hold your fate.
As evidenced by the title, this post is about leaning into faith in God during an infertility crisis. I know not everyone shares my Christian faith or follows this doctrine, but I personally believe my Savior is in control. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have our faith tested and certainly a negative medical diagnosis can bring even the most devout follower to doubt. After going through a three-year struggle to become pregnant, here are some personal truths I’ve realized after making it to the light at the end of the tunnel.
God’s ideas were better than mine: It never quite comforted me when a fellow Christ follower would advise, “It may not be the Lord’s will right now” or “God does things in His own time.” While this was disheartening to hear, I forced myself to take comfort in knowing that His plans for me & my family are greater than I could imagine. — After all, how limiting it would be if the extent of our life’s richness was limited to our simple human mind’s own vision! The Bible says, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)
Prayer can give life to His plans: I don’t think we as Christians give enough credit to the power of our prayers, especially during a health crisis when it can feel like our hands are tied. There is life-affirming power in the words we speak and there is weight in the fervent prayer of children to their Father. What’s more, there are instances in the Bible when man’s communication with God appears to persuade Him onto an alternate course of action, i.e. Moses asking to spare the Israelites (Exodus 32:9-14), Abraham speaking on behalf of Sodom (Genesis 18:22-33) and Hezekiah pleading for his own life (2 Kings 20:1-7). While He is sovereign, omnipotent, unchanging and doesn’t bargain, I do believe prayer was an integral factor in my path to pregnancy.
Cling to the Lord’s promises: After receiving the frustrating diagnosis of ‘unexplained infertility,’ the fear of the unknown drew me closer to God, my rock. Somehow, in my heart of hearts, I knew that He wanted me to have children and I held steadfast onto that intuition. I wholeheartedly believe our Lord wants us to receive the desires of our hearts…especially when that desire is to build a family. In the end, I think the strongest notion –my saving grace throughout treatment– was the promise conveyed in Luke 11:9 (NLT): “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”