Disappointed. Passed over. Denied by God.
Deceptive emotions swarmed my mind during my wait for motherhood. Feeling wounded from a gift withheld, my attention to the world at large shrunk along with my opinion of God. I walled off myself from others for protection, shutting out their insensitivity as well as their needs. All I could think about was what I didn’t have.
My pain. My longing. My broken heart.
It took someone outside the wall to reach over and throw me a lifeline. What saved me wasn’t better self-awareness, new hobbies or creative outlets, or even a baby.
God revived me by lifting my eyes from myself, up and out to those around me.
A woman at an adoption seminar tossed me the rope when she described how she started an infertility and adoption support group at her church. In that moment I realized a greater purpose for my infertility than my own suffering – I could comfort others as God had comforted me in this longing.
I saw hope.
As my story of motherhood continued to unfold, I began to understand more of God’s purpose in withholding pregnancy. I saw His redemption at work around me.
He moved my fellow infertility sufferers from deep anguish to bursting joy.
He helped family and friends who had made unintentionally hurtful comments grow in empathy.
He enabled my husband to faithfully open his arms and hold me close as I shook with sobs every time a fertility treatment failed.
My defensive wall eroded slowly, revealing a broader view of suffering. Though I doubted, God was faithful to reveal this plan He’d designed for my infertility.
Since He gave me my sons through adoption and biological pregnancy, He has remained faithful to show me my children don’t exist for me. He brought them His way, in His time, for His purposes. I’m grateful He entrusted them to me as gifts that belong to Him.
For those who are still waiting, as much as I pray that God will answer your prayers for a child, I also pray that He’ll lift your eyes to see what He’s doing right now, in the midst of your wait.
I know that everything inside you is aching for a miracle. I’ve felt the disappointment, shame, and seeming abandonment by God. I remember how hard it is to look past your tears. Dear sister, I’ve been there, and I can tell you this with certainty:
Your infertility isn’t about you, just as mine wasn’t about me.
My infertility was about a sisterhood and community of those who know the perpetual cycle of dashed hopes and together grew as they leaned on the comfort of a Savior who understands our sorrows better than we feel them.
It was about friends and family weeping with us over a disastrous IVF cycle, and rejoicing with us when we brought our son home and became parents overnight.
It was about my husband, developing extreme patience with me, and me learning to give him space to grieve his way.
It was about doing the hard work called marriage in the rugged ground of infertility, and watching the Lord cause our marriage to grow and blossom through rough terrain.
It was about my oldest son’s birth mother, who was given the opportunity to love sacrificially and gained us as her grateful extended family.
It was about the doctor who gave me the result of my pregnancy test, and who heard me say: “Only God could do this.”
More than anything else, my infertility was about the Creator, the Giver of life. My weakness in being unable to conceive and faltering faith in the midst of it could never compare with His power to create beauty from ashes. At the cross, He used the greatest tragedy to enact the greatest good possible for us. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
We can trust God and look to Jesus for hope as we endure infertility.
It’s all about Him.
Jenn Hesse - Content Developer - Jenn@waitinginhopeinfertility.com
Jenn Hesse is a writer/content developer at Waiting in Hope. She leads a local infertility and infant loss support group called Graceful Wait and has a passion for equipping women to know Christ through His Word. When she’s not teasing her husband or chasing after her two sons, she writes at her blog jennhesse.com and other websites. Connect and follow, @jennmhesse.