Thursday, September 18, 2008

Infertility Part I: The Blessings of Infertility

I've been hesitant to use the word. It feels so final, and so hopeless. But it's been just shy of 3 years of trying, so even without an official diagnosis, it doesn't seem too much of a stretch to start coming to terms with the word. As I do, I'm trying to focus on getting everything I can spiritually out this, and am recognizing that there have been blessings that have come from it.

It has made me completely aware that I am not in control, and my life is not my own. God is calling the shots in my life, and he always has been, even when I thought I was directing things and making my own way. My life is in God's hands and I have given it over to him; he can use it in whatever way he desires.

I'm such a planner and have regularly plotted out my life and what I'll do when. While I might have thought in passing "God willing," I still really believed many times that things would just work out the way I wanted. Why wouldn't they? It wasn't like I was planning anything ungodly.

Now I just want to laugh at myself with all of my timetables and plans. I am not in control. And I thank God that I now realize that so clearly. I try daily to pray that God use my life to bring himself glory, and that I will release any lingering claim I think I have on myself and my own situation.

I wish I could say that I would have learned this lesson without infertility, but I think to some degree it would have always taken something like this to get me to the understand it so intimately.

I remind myself daily that God is sovereign and this is His will. I know my health problems are nothing to him, and he could easily heal me or enable me to conceive and bear a child without healing if it was His will for us.

I do not know what His future plans for us involve, but I know that we are in His hands and where He wants us. Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane has taken on new significance to me now - Father, not as I will, but as you will. If it is his decree that we never have children, that's ok.

This has forced me to cling to God daily for strength. I've been so materially blessed that I often don't have the same kind of pressing need to pray for daily sustenance as do Christians in other lands, but I do have to pray daily for strength to continue on, and for faith when mine wavers, and I thank God for his grace and mercy. I am grateful that I have learned this moment-by-moment sort of faith.

I wish I could say that I don't struggle with this, but I can't. Some days I have to repeat these things to myself again and again. Some moments I find myself simply praying "your will God, your will" as I remind myself that my life is his, to do with as he pleases.

Parts two, three, and four of the series will follow over the next weeks.


GiBee said...

This is a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly!

Kate said...

I found it really hard to begin to use the word infertility to describe us too - even with a diagnosis. There's something about naming it that feels like a big step, like confirmation that something's not as it should be, and by naming it, it's like you have to properly face all the losses that come with infertility, however those manifest themselves for you.

To come to a place of peace with it - and see the blessings that emerge - takes real integrity. I returned to Gethsemane a lot throughout the process too - and no doubt will continue to do so in the future.

Thank you for sharing part of your journey. Your honesty about your faith in this post has really touched me today.

andrea_jennine said...

Here through your comment on GiBee's post; I haven't read much of your blog yet, but just wanted to say "Hi" from a fellow Jesus-, book- and food-loving infertile!

Renee said...

Thank you all - I've been trying to get this post up for a few weeks but kept hesitating, so I really appreciate the positive feedback.

Kay said...

Happened upon your blog and it hit a nerve with me, sorry for breaking in.

For a decade long I was told we'd never have children the natural way. Eventually we learned to live with the idea and then were totally shocked when after 10 years, I was standing in my bathroom with a positive test. Completely out of the blue.

Even though we may not be in control, God does work in mysterious ways.