I know how you feel. Alone. Grieved. Desperate. Angry.
I’ve been there. Sometimes, I still go there. My husband and I have experienced infertility for over 10 years, and even after adopting, that same sense of loss and grief can resurface from time to time.
Maybe you’re struggling through infertility now. Maybe you have experienced a miscarriage. Maybe you have birthed children, but no longer can. Maybe you have a friend who is infertile (and if you are reading this, what a great friend you are!)
Wherever you are in the journey, it can be difficult.
Most couples experiencing infertility don’t talk about it. We think we are alone. And we think other people won’t understand, or won’t know what to say. We may struggle when someone else gets pregnant. We may have a hard time celebrating at someone else’s baby shower. We may struggle with our spouse because of the stress infertility and trying to conceive puts on our marriage. We may question what is wrong with us; if children are a blessing from the Lord, why are we cursed?
Why do I tell you these struggles?
So that you know you aren’t alone. One in eight couples experience infertility. It affects men as well as women. And while you may find tremendous heartache, suffering, and desperation in the middle of it, we have to share what we’re going through to help others.
Here are three ways I have found to cope with infertility:
- A support system
Whether it is other couples that have or are walking through infertility or an online support resource like Hannah’s Prayer (www.hannah.org), join with others that can help you navigate the ups and downs. Talking about my journey, and asking others to hold me accountable during my struggle, have been a tremendous help.
Seek God about His plan for your family. Let Him lead you, and listen to His guidance. His plan for your family may be different from His plan for another couple. In the beginning, we pursued fertility treatments, at the same time we were foster parents, at the same time we applied for an international adoption. One-by-one, through prayer and fasting, God opened and closed doors for us and led us to adopt through foster care.
- Leaning on God’s Word
- Proverbs 3:5 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.”
- 1 John 5:14-15 – “And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for.”
- Philippians 4:6 – “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”
- Psalm 34:18 – “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
We struggle. But we can’t live in the struggle. God is so faithful. We aren’t defined by what we don’t have; we are defined by what we DO have – HIM. And in Him, we have HOPE.
Be encouraged. God hasn’t forgotten about you. He knows what He’s doing.