There comes a time when fertility and faith collide: particularly when fertility is actually ‘infertility’. For Christians, this brings many new dynamics to their faith.
First, one must reconcile, perhaps for the first time in her adult life, why God does not grant her the one thing her heart most desires. We hear how children are a blessing and how blessed we are to have a quiver full of them, and yet somehow we are ‘unworthy’ of such blessings. And certainly if God holds all life in His hands, it is God Himself who must find us ‘unworthy’ or He surely would have stepped in by now. So many new questions of faith arise that go far beyond simply wanting children. Why would God, in spite of our faith, withhold from us His greatest blessings?
Second, at what point do you ‘trust God’ and when do you seek help? Again, we know that God holds all life in His hands. We know that He can open and close wombs. Is it still faith if we seek outside help? Are we trusting God when we move from one treatment to the next treatment, each progressively more intense and each progressively seeming to take God further and further out of the picture? How do we determine if God is prompting us to continue our current path because that is the one He will use to build our family or if He is prompting us to pursue another option? Unlike Abraham and Sarah, we have not been given the promise of life from our loins – how do we even know if God will build our family at all?
And third, for those of us who have suffered miscarriage and loss – how do we begin to trust God with our family again? It can seem so obvious to us that He does not listen to our prayers, that He must be ignoring our cries for protection of these little lives that He gives and so quickly takes away. How are we to praise and trust a God who torments us by allowing us to love child after child that returns to Him before they have barely begun to grow, or take a breath, or walk in this world?
Yes, fertility and faith collide just as much today as they did in the Bible and none of us want to be ‘that woman’ who must reconcile the two of them month after agonizing month. I do not claim to know the answers to these questions nor will I conjecture about God’s plan for any particular person, including myself. When people would tell me that God has a plan and a baby must not be in that plan for us right now, it would only serve to infuriate me more. No, the purpose of this blog is not to offer platitudes and feel good phrases that will miraculously shift our focus and cause us to walk flawlessly in faith until we see God’s full plan for our families. Instead, it is to share our journey, where God has taken us, where He is leading us, and maybe along the way to encourage another woman of faith to hold on just a little bit longer. Because while we do not always want to hear it, and may not always believe it in our heads, we know in our hearts that He does indeed have a plan. We have to believe it – it is, after all, something He states quite clearly…
“‘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