By Sara Parker
In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week
I don’t remember many details from the day my husband and I met with a reproductive endocrinologist in 2005. I recall certain images: the doctor’s haphazard sketch of my uterus on a clean white sheet of paper, his reassuring smile as he described our 60% chance of success with in vitro-fertilization, the pale sheen on my husband’s face, the heavy dark clouds on that frigid winter day. I see my hand pumping gas a couple hours later, and then I see my keys in the car. Doors locked. I can feel the sting of bitter wind against hot tears.
Seven years have passed since that blustery day when I thought all hope of a family was gone, and today I have four children through adoption who fill my heart so much and test my patience so often that it’s easy to forget where I was emotionally on January 24, 2005.
I can tell you in all honesty that infertility was our biggest blessing. Without it, after all, we would not have our sweet children.
“All this also comes from the LORD Almighty, whose plan is wonderful, whose wisdom is magnificent.” --Isaiah 28:29
But something I often forget to say, something I tend to drop out of conversation when the topic comes up…is that the pain of infertility has not left me. If I could go back seven years ago and change everything, if I could miraculously transform the chemical pregnancy of October 2004 into a healthy pregnancy with a full-term baby, I would not.
I would never want to mess with His plan. Clearly, His was way better than mine.
“He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” –Ephesians 3:20
But when God says NO, or NOT RIGHT NOW, or even TRUST ME—I’VE GOT SOMETHING BETTER, there is pain involved. He is the God of the universe, yes. We know that. He created us, and He has His best in store for us. We know that, too.
But still we grieve—for a lost hope, the death of a dream.
Just as life continues after the death of a loved one, life continues after the diagnosis of infertility. You will experience new joys and unexpected blessings. You will meet new people, form new relationships. You will find contentment, happiness, fulfillment. But the loss will always remain. And the ache, occasionally, will resurface.
My trigger is a newborn baby, tucked close in his mother’s arms. The sight, so precious, fills my heart in one beat, and empties it in the next. I long for what I have never had. But yet my arms and heart have been filled to overflowing, and I am so thankful.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”--Jeremiah 29:11
Can I pray for you this week? I feel led to fast and pray on Friday for a couple of friends who are coping with infertility. I would be honored to pray for you, too—for peace, for direction, for the family your heart desires. That God will fill your heart and your arms to overflowing. Comment or e-mail me privately at email@example.com.
“My days have passed, my plans are shattered.
Yet the desires of my heart
Turn night into day;
In the face of the darkness light is near.”