Google defines Infertility as the inability to conceive children or young. I find this to be a rather simple definition of a very complex condition. To those that infertility has never affected, this simple definition would be sufficient to describe it. However, if you ask anyone who has been personally affected by infertility, you will get a very different answer and description. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 18% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 are either unable to conceive or have difficulty getting pregnant. With that being said, someone in your inner circle may be suffering and you don’t even know it.
I was that person in the circle that struggled. I was the quiet one in the corner trying not to cry when someone announced a pregnancy. I was the one trying to avoid being invited to baby showers, but fighting the feeling of rejection when I wasn’t included. It really was a double edge sword that cut deep either way. I was the one crying every month when “my monthly friend” came to visit. I was the one that tried so hard not be angry at everyone else having kids with no effort what so ever. I wish I could say that I was genuinely happy for my loved ones as their families grew, but I was resentful. As my own heart broke over and over again, I began to build this wall around myself, I learned how to smile in front of everyone else while dying on the inside. Ultimately, I became bitter and disconnected.
Consider for just a moment that you are in the prime of your life and everything is moving along just as you had planned. You have married the perfect spouse, you both have great careers, you have purchased a home, you have done everything that you have dreamed of doing and now you are ready to become parents. This sounds like the typical scenario for most people as they progress through life; only for some this is where the “typical” journey takes an unexpected turn into unchartered and unwanted territory.
The intimacy that you once enjoyed has now become a job that is scheduled to maximize times of ovulation. Monthly doctors appointments and medical bills become a part of your budget. Instead of picking out cute baby clothes and furniture, you may be looking at taking out a loan for fertility treatments. Depending on the route of treatment that you take, pills and injections become a part of your daily life at home. Emotions run high, feelings of helplessness begin to sneak in and you find yourself feeling all alone in the world. You don’t know where to turn or who to talk to because no one in your inner circle understands what you are going through.
Sure your friends and family are sympathetic to your struggle, but they don’t really understand it. They don’t know what it’s like to feel completely worthless and broken. For me personally, I felt like less of a woman, I was so angry and frustrated. I just could not understand why I was unable to do the most natural thing in the world for women to do, conceive! I decided against any fertility medical procedures due to the cost of these treatments. However, I read every book there was, I sought medical advice and tried every solution suggested to me all without any success of conceiving a child.
As the years ticked by and everyone around me had babies and increased the size of their families, I grew more and more frustrated. I was angry with God and cried almost nightly because I just did not understand. What was wrong with me? What did I do that was so terrible that I didn’t deserve the children that my heart so desperately desired? I just didn’t get it, my world seemed so hopeless. Mother’s Day was a very emotional and dreaded day for me, baby showers were completely avoided and any time I was around babies, I distanced myself. My struggle with infertility began to affect more than just myself, it began to affect my relationship with others that I was once so close to. During 18 years of heartache, I endured divorce, lost friendships, miscarriage and two failed adoption attempts.
I was literally at my wits end and was really at a place of hopelessness.
It wasn’t until 2005 when I was invited to church by a co-worker that I began to understand that I needed help. Not help in the physical, but spiritually speaking I was dead and had no sense of hope. I spent most days crying behind closed doors, trying to make sense of the “why” behind my pain. Why God have you denied me the one and only thing that I have asked You for? Why God does everyone else around me deserve this gift but me? What did I ever do to deserve this pain and heartache? The more I asked these questions, the more bitter I became. I began to look for reasons in the natural, and began asking other questions. Was my infertility caused by things that were done to me as a child? Did the abuse I suffered as a scared 12 year old girl contribute to the pain that I am facing now? The bitterness then turned into anger at the person who could have possibly caused this inability for me to now be unable to conceive a child.
I am going to park right here and interject some wisdom that I didn’t have during this particular season of my life. In the natural we are always looking for someone or something to blame for our circumstances. When in reality, it isn’t up to any of us anyway. Yes, we have to be accountable for ourselves and our actions and we have to take responsibility for our choices, but there is always a much greater power in control. I say that to say this … I was putting all of my energy and effort into the wrong things. Yes, I was “crying out to God, why? why me?”, but I didn’t have a relationship of any kind to hear Him speak back to me. If I had of, then I would have found peace and comfort during my times of prayer; instead of more agonizing pain with my tears and cries of why in my moments of weakness.
What I have learned in the years since 2005, and still continue to learn today; is that I have to be willing to relinquish control of my life and circumstances and give them fully over to God. By doing this I have found peace in my journey of infertility. I have learned that God had much bigger plans for my life. Had I not walked through this pain and heartache I could not do what He has called me to do. While I still do not have biological children, I am a mom in the most beautiful way. I am forever grateful for God trusting me with this calling and this journey. Adoption was not my first choice, but it was God’s first choice for me and my life has been forever changed because of it.
I titled this particular entry “Faith Over Fertility”, because when I let my faith grow and mature, my “infertility” was no longer my focus. I began to focus on my own healing from within that allowed me to forgive some of the deepest hurts that I had. I gave myself the freedom to love others and allowed God to use me in ways that I wasn’t so sure about. He trusted me when I didn’t trust myself. He held my hand and my heart as He walked me through even more pain. This time though, I had peace in knowing that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
His purpose for me was to allow me to endure certain pains and heartaches so that I could help others find the same peace and healing that I now have. I am 1 in 4 women who have suffered from sexual assault and abuse. I am also 1 in 8 that suffered from infertility. You see I use the past tense “ed”, because I no longer suffer. I am victorious and have been given victory over what the devil meant for harm. I understand now the calling that I have on my life, but the enemy knew about it long before I did. You see he tried to take me out early as a warrior for God’s kingdom. However, what he didn’t anticipate was for me to connect with spiritual warriors that walked me out of that brokeness into a place of freedom and purpose.
So here I stand now completely free from the bondage that once held me in captivity to spread hope and healing to others who have suffered this same heartache. God has given me a purpose to reach out and bring others out of this same bondage. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I know the One that does. I can’t make the pain and heartache go away, but I know how to pray for peace and comfort. I know that my own hurts and heartaches have made me stronger in Christ and I will forever give Him all the honor, praise and glory for what He has brought me through.
Father God, I thank You for this calling and for the pain in my life that has given me purpose. I lift up every woman who has ever suffered from either of these pains and ask that You give them peace in the moment, let them feel Your presence as You wrap them in Your arms and pull them close. Allow them a moment to become completely broken so that they can look up and see You as their Lord and Savior. Help them to understand that You don’t allow any pain in our lives without it having a purpose and every tear we cry is followed by a testimony of Your goodness. Continue to give them strength to fight the good fight knowing that their help comes from You. I surrender all I am to You God, to use as You see fit to further Your kingdom. Thank You for trusting me with this pain that will be used for Your glory! In the Precious Name of Jesus I pray,