Trusting God in Infertility
Many people fear to trust God to plan their families. They are afraid of ending up with “too many” children all close in age. But, it is equally difficult to trust God when you want children and can’t conceive.
My husband and I are now entering our fifth infertile year following the birth of our daughter. Murren is a miracle. Seven months before she was conceived, I was diagnosed infertile. The wise fertility doctor counseled us that if we wanted to become pregnant, he could make that happen. “But,” he said “I feel confident that there is a reason your body is not conceiving on its own and I think it would be imprudent to force the issue.” He felt certain that my infertility was linked to my having cystic fibrosis. Under the circumstances, he couldn’t be sure that causing a pregnancy would be healthy for me or the baby. John and I prayed and felt we should not pursue fertility treatments. We had peace that God would do what He saw best.
It was hard. We wanted children so badly. We even started looking into adoption, but at that point in our lives, it wasn’t an option. Day after day, month after month, we left our fertility and parenthood in God’s loving hands.
We had been trying for a year when our daughter was conceived. We praised God and reveled in His grace to us and the blessing of this tiny life. During the wonder of her growth inside me, I was sure that all those problems with infertility had been healed and that I would never have to ache like that again. After she was born, life was delightful. She nursed and taught me so much. When my period returned the day before her first birthday, I was ecstatic. I just knew this meant that we would soon conceive again and our newlywed dreams of a large family would come to pass.
Soon, it was apparent that though my period had returned, my body was nowhere near fertility. Over the four years since then, we have sought help to get my body back on track. Each time the ob/gyns want to prescribe birth control, anti-depressants, or refer me for infertility treatments. Now, I have chosen a nurse-midwife and have told her that I am interested in helping my body to work correctly, but not in forcing a pregnancy. God, not man and medicine, is the Giver of Life, the Opener and Closer of wombs.
I pray every day that God will bless us with children. Murren prays that God will bring us babies so she can be a big sister. We love to see pregnant ladies and new babies, but it is always a painful reminder. Night after night I cry to God for life in my womb again.
Trusting God is never easy. It is hard to be out of control. It is hard to wait. It is hard to put my desires aside and embrace what God is giving me when it isn’t what I thought I wanted.
I try to remember to praise Him. There is a reason Hebrews 13:15 says, “Therefore let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” When I get my Above Rubies magazine or see the bios in the annual Above Rubies Texas Retreat directory, my first inclination is to flip through and see how many children each family has. I really have to fight to praise God for having just one. It is a sacrifice to praise Him for His goodness, while the cry of my heart continues.
I praise Him, not because I am happy about it, but because He is worthy of praise. I praise Him because I am a mother, as I always wanted to be. I praise Him because I know His ways are higher than mine. I praise Him because there is still hope. He has worked miracles before and has blessed us in amazing ways, and I know He can do it again.
Trusting God has also meant learning to enjoy being the mother of one. Sometimes it is hard to enjoy Murren because I am so busy grieving that she has no siblings. I know that I must enjoy my daughter and the special time of life that we have right now, just the three of us. I may end up with a houseful of children all of a sudden and wish I’d taken the time to enjoy the quiet and the one-on-one opportunities when they were available. Or, I may ultimately end up with only one precious child and I will have wasted her childhood on wishing.
I am slowly learning to “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey,” as the hymn says. I am learning to understand my purpose, not in view of whether I mother one child or five or ten, but in view of how I trust and obey my God in whatever life He gives me.
McKinney, Texas. USA
Holly Catheryn and John Allan are blessed with Murren Nohah. Holly maintains “From Patient to Parent” (www.geocities.com/MurrensNatureMama), a ministry of hope to other adults with cystic fibrosis who desire to build families.