So, why does National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) even matter? If you’re part of the 1 in 8 couples affected by infertility like me and my husband, or 1 in 4 hurt by miscarriage and loss, then you understand why.
When the grief of infertility strikes, we can feel tempted to think God has broken His promise to love us. Why would He allow this heartache in our lives when He could easily fulfill our desires for a baby?
Even though I loved the Lord and prayed for His guidance, I didn’t truly seek wisdom; I wanted knowledge. I wasn’t believing in His goodness or sovereignty; I was banking on my own strength and determination to realize my dream of becoming a mom.
After that phone call, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t know where to go or what we should do—not even what I wanted to do, but what God wanted us to do, what we should do…
Was the doctor right? Should we get another opinion? Should we take a month off from treatment and tests?
Maybe you’ve had some of the same questions during your season of waiting: Is it too soon to try again? Is it ok to move forward at all? Should we pursue adoption? Where should we go? What should we do now?
How can we be wise here, in this season? What does wisdom look like for us now, today?
More than any other time in my walk with Christ, our decade of waiting (and everything in between) was both the most difficult and the richest. Wisdom isn't just knowing what to do or what not to do. As Jennie Allen said at the IF:Lead Conference last year, "We need to know more than just the rules.” We need to know the source of wisdom.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction,” Proverbs 1:7. Fearing God is not a feeling or a hunch. It is an action. We should be in awe of Him. From our reverence for his might, power, and omniscience should flow our desire for wisdom, a movement forward. We should want to know and be wise about what God has done and is doing. Our love for God should foster our desire for not just knowing of Him, or knowing about Him, but knowing Him, being wise in Him.
God is the source of all wisdom, or the proper understanding of how knowledge is applied—really, what we do with what we know. More than the facts and rules. We can consume facts, quotes, anecdotes from any and all sources, but these only add to our knowledge, what we know. Wisdom is made up of of learning, discretion and discernment. True wisdom is the know-how from and for God.
The Lord gave us choices, free will. From the beginning he allowed us to live freely. We have choices every day: how we act, listen, respond, step forward, wait or rest. Knowledge can help us with the boundaries and foundation, but wisdom allows us to begin to discern what action we should take, what decision we should make.
“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it into my fruit salad,” commented Ruth Chou Simons at IF:Lead. We can possess knowledge, even good, Scripture-based truth, but not have wisdom, not be able to apply it, not be able to discern, to make godly decisions, or give wise counsel. Proverbs 1:5 reminds us: “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” We should consistently pursue wisdom. Read your Bible. Have an accountability partner. Memorize portions of scripture. Ask questions. Pray persistently and earnestly. Seek counsel. Listen. Lay the foundation of truth. Stand in true wisdom. Especially now. We are vulnerable. In the pain, in the waiting, in the wondering, we must SEEK HIM. He is the source of all wisdom.
We cannot always find a clear answer to our exact situation in the Bible, but the more we know of Him, the Holy Spirit helps to guide us in the way we should go.
How do we become wise? The short answer is to grow in the knowledge of Jesus who is Wisdom itself. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says he became for us wisdom from God. He made a way for us to live rightly, and gave us tools to help us navigate this life: His Word, His body of believers, godly leaders, and the ability to come to God in prayer.
We’ll grow in wisdom as we read Scripture, seek counsel, serve together, and talk intimately with God. We also must accept that we cannot and will not understand certain things this side of heaven. We simply can’t. We must acknowledge there’s a mystery to God’s providence. He is worthy of our trust.
“We know not what to do, but our eyes are on you” 2 Chronicles 20:12.
Learning scripture, spending time with God, growing in knowledge are important parts of our spiritual life. We must continue to seek wisdom and grow in it too. Wisdom moves us toward holiness. That’s our goal isn’t it? To be made more like Christ? To be sharpened, sanctified every day, through each of our seasons? We must build and stand on a strong foundation of wisdom so we can step forward, walking with Him and toward the cross.
Hallie Wallace - Editor@waitinginhopeinfertility.com
Hallie Wallace is the Editor for Waiting in Hope Ministries and a local WiH support group in Tyler, Texas. After almost a decade post infertility, IVF and loss, she is humbled to be able to come alongside women who are walking where she has. Hallie is a lover of words and a self-proclaimed word nerd, but also an encourager. Most days you’ll find her dancing around with her two girls and cooking breakfast-for-dinner for her husband Jason.
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.
And maybe just when you thought you had grief in a manageable place...here come the holidays. And the wave crashes again. Especially Christmas. On paper, it’s the jolliest, merriest, and most festive holiday of the year. So what do you do?