Infertility & Finding What We Need

Too often, the resources available to infertile couples segment the infertility experience into categories:  practical/medical, philosophical/spiritual, and personal/individual.  Despite the fact that all these component pieces are parts of the experience, no one seems able to present a comprehensive picture:  here’s what it will be like, and here’s how you get through it.  Not the “experts,” not the church, not family or friends.

As a result, we’re forced to compartmentalize our search for understanding, gathering whatever information we can from whatever source seems appropriate.  Most of us respond by talking to every authority, researching every possibility, investigating every option, exploring every theory, considering every alternative, looking for every possible answer… all while trying to meet the needs of our bodies, minds and spirits, and trying to be good partners to our spouses, and trying to keep from losing our minds.

It’s exhausting, stressful work.  But the alternative, we fear, is to miss a critical piece of information that could have been THE answer.  The one piece of the puzzle that could have made the whole picture clear to us, gotten us through this, and moved us closer to our dream of becoming parents.  So, we gather every scrap of information that could possibly be relevant, evaluate and synthesize it all, and try to figure out how it applies to our particular story.

It’s the only way to get through this… isn’t it?

Thankfully, no.  It’s actually possible to identify an area of overlap where  all these categories intersect, and where the most meaningful questions are answered.  It is where our infertility struggles encounter God’s promises in a powerful, life-changing way.

How – and where – do we find that area of overlap?  Not by looking where we’ve been looking.  As Albert Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  If we want to change our experience, we will need to change what we’ve been doing.  We will need to stop chasing information as if that, alone, could transform our experience.  It can’t, nor can it guarantee control.  And that’s what we’ve really been chasing.

Without realizing it, we’ve been pursuing a mirage – a vision of ourselves as sufficiently informed to have control over this situation.  No matter how hard or fast we chase after this image of ourselves, we will never catch it.  It is an illusion.  Our inability to do the impossible is the source of our frustration and hopelessness.

Instead, we need to follow the advice, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him” [Psalm 62:5]. 

How do we follow that advice?  What does that mean we do?  The answer is found where God’s promises  speak to our struggles.  When we find those places, and claim His promises, we  can  find rest and hope that are not dependent on our circumstances.

We find rest in God when we stop chasing control, come to a stand-still, and shift attention from the obsessive quest for answers to His trustworthy omniscience.  He, alone, knows how to make all things possible.  He, alone, knows how to produce a miracle that defies all odds and confounds all experts.  He, alone, knows how this story will end and why this journey will have been a blessing-in-disguise.

How does that relate to finding hope?  It transcends what we can know or understand.  It makes room for what we cannot explain or control.  It invites the miraculous into our story – and that possibility is great cause for hope.  It is bigger, better, and more powerful than any information we can find or any moment we might want to control.

What we need is not more information, but a hope that will not disappoint us. That is the very thing God promises to give us [Romans 5:5].  Claim His promise, lean into it, and find what you really need.

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Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com

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2 Comments

Filed under Control, Peace

2 responses to “Infertility & Finding What We Need

  1. Ames

    Your blog is a God-send.

    My question is to what point is a search for information appropriate? For example, when dealing with severe male factor infertility while working with an RE who specializes in diminished ovarian reserve, it’s up to me to discover and request the appropriate tests for my husband, is it not? I am not searching for information in an obsessive desire to gain control. We need the right diagnosis before we pursue any other treatment. Don’t we?

    I appreciate where you are coming from, but I also wonder if it is misleading to some to imply that we must leave everything — even practical considerations for which we have human responsibility — up to God. Even fertile couples have to be certain to have sex on the right day if they want to conceive. There are no more immaculate conceptions that I know of.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this, as this issue troubles me. “Leave it all up to God” can be taken too far, as when a Christian Scientist suffering from appendicitis refuses surgery.

  2. lisa

    Thank you for this powerful reminder that we are not in control. No matter how much we think the information will comfort us, it always disappoints. It’s positively freeing to truly let go of this quest for information and instead receive the rest of God. Hard to do, but worth it.

    Your blog has been such an encouragement to me these last few weeks. Thank you for speaking life-giving truth!

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