Part 1: Infertility
It’s taken me over a year to sit down and write this, but I couldn’t let this weekend go by without sharing our story, in honor of Our Lady of Fatima and Mother’s Day!
In September of 2021, God fulfilled a promise that was given to us by Our Lady of Fatima, but the full story begins about 2 years before that.
It took my husband and I a lot longer to conceive than we had hoped. And while a 2 year cross of infertility is small compared to what some couples are carrying, I wouldn’t wish one minute of infertility on anyone. The ache that exists in your heart while you’re longing for a child is something that is hard to comprehend unless you’ve felt it for yourself.
Infertility is such a unique cross.
It’s like living in a state of constant contradiction. Half of your heart is desperately begging God to answer your prayer, while the other half is trying to be happy with what you have and to trust in his timing. Learning to live between the two is exhausting.
It presses down on the deepest desire in every woman’s heart- the desire to do what he so intentionally created us as women to do.
It can leave you questioning everything you thought about yourself and the way your future will play out.
It can steal every once of your joy, making pregnancy announcements and baby shower invitations feel like a stab to the heart.
It is pain like no other.
If you are carrying this cross, please know that you are not alone. You are not broken or any less of the woman that God created you to be. He sees the weight that you are carrying. He sees your pain, and he has not forgotten about you.
It’s hard to understand why God allows such pain in our lives. But after months of disappointment, I realized that if I fixated too long on the why, I would miss the how- how he was going to use this cross for my good.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I held on to this promise for dear life. Infertility must be included in the “all things."
Only now, looking back, can I see the how.
One of the beautiful things to come out of that season was this business. Starting a side business while working full-time was challenging enough, but had I also been a new mom? Not a chance. And now that my son is here, I can fully enjoy the life he was preparing for me in the waiting, with a job that is both flexible and fulfilling.
But the most beautiful thing to come out of our cross of infertility, was this-
my relationship with God became stronger and my trust in him became deeper than ever before.
Infertility stopped me in my tracks and made me surrender to the Lord in a way that I would have never done on my own. You see, up until then, I had pretty much attained everything I had set out to achieve. I graduated from college in four years and got into my first choice of grad schools. I graduated with my masters two years later, got married as planned, and got a job doing exactly what I wanted to do.
I made plans, executed the plans and everything just kind of fell into place...
Then we were ready to plan our family, and for the first time in a long time, my own abilities were useless. It didn’t matter how hard I worked. It didn’t matter how many surgeries I had, PCOS supplements I took, fertility monitors I bought. If God said it wasn’t time, then it wasn’t time. And I had to surrender to his will like never before.
You don’t know what real surrender to God looks like until surrendering is your only option.
Some days were harder than others, and I can't say that I handled all of the hard days with grace, but I did realize a few things along the way:
Infertility was not stopping God’s plan for my life. Infertility was God’s plan for my life, or rather that season of my life. It was part of my path to holiness, my path to heaven. And while I don't know the other crosses that may lie ahead, I do know that if they come, it's because he has allowed them to.
Nothing can happen to me that is outside of the Lord's knowing. No matter how painful and desolate this world may seem, God has not abandoned us.
The Lord wants the best for me, which might mean delaying good things for a time when they would better suit me. He will not let me settle for temporary and partial happiness.
It takes an immense amount of humility to acknowledge that God knows what's best for us, but it is the prerequisite to fully surrendering to his will.
There is purpose to every season, and he is more than willing to show us that purpose, when the time is right.
Part 2 coming tomorrow.