Saturday, April 25, 2015

Infertility Journey: You Are Not Alone

A flood of emotions have run through me as this week, National Infertility Awareness Week, comes to a close.  It wasn't that long ago that my husband and I were on the Infertility Journey ourselves.  The journey itself is draining, emotionally, physically, and financially.    Imagine yearning for something your entire life, knowing in your heart that you will become pregnant one day, only to be told that your body isn't capable of creating life.  Sitting through multiple doctor's appointments each week, requesting off work, being poked and prodded regularly, and spending every dime you have to hear the words "you can't conceive naturally".  The journey itself is very lonely.  But I am declaring to those migrating through infertility, "You are not alone". 

God tells us in Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." 

Infertility is an isolating disease, impacting 1 in 8 couples.  You sit in the waiting room with several other couples, making eye contact, wondering what their diagnosis is, and yet while you're all experiencing the same struggle you feel completely alone.  However, we are not alone in Christ, there is no need to fear infertility.  Each time you walk in that waiting room, Jesus is walking next to you.  He's holding your hand while you get blood taken and have ultrasound after ultrasound.  He's embracing you when you discover you aren't pregnant again or miscarry, and through Him you find the strength to continue going to the doctors and seek treatment.  He is whispering to you, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you" (Isaiah 43:2).

Your hope to carry a child comes from God.  I remember finding indescribable comfort in Psalm 62:5, "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him".

About half way through our journey, I remember doubting my dream to be pregnant and thinking "maybe this isn't God's calling on my life, maybe I'm not supposed to carry a child, maybe I'm not even supposed to be a mom."  Then one day, I prayed asking "God I have this yearning, this desire in my heart to have a child.  I want to carry a baby, but Lord I don't know if this is my own selfish desire or if it is Your calling on my life.  Heavenly Father, I am bringing my desire to you, and I am asking you to remove this desire if it is not Your will.  If I am not to conceive or carry a baby, I ask that you remove this desire from my heart and give me peace."  Can I tell you, after I prayed that prayer the desire in my heart only became stronger!  God was reaffirming, "Yes!  My calling on your life is that you will carry a child.  Trust in Me." 

God reminded me then to "Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:3-4).  

Trusting in God is what brought us through so many painful appointments and consultations.  Our story is so different, as is everyone's infertility journey.  For us, we decided to walk away from treatment, stop "trying" and just lean on God.  In just four months we were pregnant, but miscarried; the next month we were pregnant, but miscarried.  At that point the doctor wanted to have a consultation and I remember him saying "Well, you couldn't get pregnant for years and now you've gotten pregnant twice.  We need to figure this out."  I looked at him and boldly told him, "We don't need to figure it out, God is working."  You see, I don't believe that God gave me two babies and took them away, no God does not intentionally hurt us that way, but I do believe he had been healing me (I had Stage 4 Endometriosis).  

After each of those miscarriages I thanked God and I began repeating Psalm 52:9, "I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good.  I will praise you in the presence of your saint." 

That is not to say that we didn't mourn those miscarriages, but instead of focusing on the loss we decided to focus on the gain (getting pregnant).  Only through the strength and peace of God were we able to be thankful. We are reassured in John 16:33, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world."

In January 2013, we discovered that our miscarriages had lead to a blocked fallopian tube; one more obstacle to overcome.  "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast" (1 Peter 5:10).  

We didn't seek treatment to unblock my fallopian tube, we sought God.  We prayed, we believed, we quoted scripture, and we took action through tithing.  Spring of 2013 we found ourselves experiencing an incredible amount of peace; a God-given peace.  I wrote several verses on my bathroom mirror and around my office at work.  Matthew 21:22, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" was a go-to verse for me.  We had been praying for four years to be blessed with a child, but had we been believing?  I mean truly, 100%, without a doubt, believing that we would become pregnant?  I don't think we were.  I think there was a little self-doubt for me, each month, when I knew in a few short days I either would or wouldn't be pregnant.  I had doubt, I didn't fully believe.  But when we made the decision to fully trust God, putting all of our faith in Him, that doubt was removed.  In April 2014 we welcomed a healthy, full-term baby boy and in November we will be welcoming another precious child.  Only through Christ Jesus is this even possible.

So I'm asking you: remove the doubt, forget what the doctors have said, rebel against the earthly answers and shout out to God.  He is sitting patiently, waiting for you to call on His name and believe that He will fulfill the desires of your heart. 

I am praying for each and every one of you who is on the infertility journey.  You are not alone.  

Here are some more verses we leaned on during our journey:
Psalm 33:20 "We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield."

Psalm 39:7 "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you."

2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

Galatians 6:9 "And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

In Christ,