The journey of infertility can often be a time of overwhelming heartache, disappointment and grief. Whatever feelings you may be experiencing, you need to remind yourself of several important truths.
It’s Okay to Hope
Because of God’s goodness, you are never without hope. Psalm 113:9 says, “He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.” You can’t know exactly how God will choose to work in your life, but you can know He is able. He can restore fertility when it seems impossible. Or He may help you grieve your inability to have biological children and then cultivate in you a desire to adopt and love a child in desperate need of a Christian home. Your ability to hope in God begins by releasing everything to Him in prayer. In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul wrote:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
It’s Okay to Grieve
Hoping to offer comfort, some may downplay infertility and even point to the things you can enjoy as a couple without kids. If you already have at least one child, some people may not understand why you would be so sad about secondary infertility, ending your hopes for more children.
Whatever your circumstances, it’s common to experience a great sense of loss in finding out you can’t have a child. Jesus told his followers that those who mourn are blessed and will be comforted (Matthew 5:4).
A husband may not entirely understand what a wife facing infertility is going through, especially as her emotions are affected by changing hormones. This can be a vulnerable time for any couple. It’s important to share your thoughts and feelings openly, not stuffing them or letting your grief get lost in distractions and busyness.
It’s Essential to Be in Community
It’s tempting to avoid talking about infertility and all the accompanying struggles. Couples may want to pull away from other families, unsure what they’ll think or say. As hard as it may be, however, you still need Christian community – a safe place where you can “share your burdens with one another” (Galatians 6:2). It’s in community that you also can find encouragement from others who have been where you are. That’s the context of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
GOING FURTHER – Resources
When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden: Encouragement for Couples Facing Infertility (by Dr. Sandra Glahn) focuses on emotional and spiritual struggles that accompany infertility as well as provides detailed information on associated medical issues and fertility treatments and alternatives.
Barren Among the Fruitful: Navigating Infertility with Hope, Wisdom and Patience (by Amanda Hope Haley) surrounds those women struggling with infertility or miscarriage with a sense of community while providing honest facts and leads women from confusion to understanding.
In Due Time (by Caroline Harries) is a 60-day daily devotional offering hope and encouragement for those struggling to conceive a child.