“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…. ” [Philippians 4:12]
How many people experiencing infertility can make that claim: “content in any and every situation”? When the end of a two week wait comes suddenly… still content? When there are no eggs to harvest, or when IVF doesn’t work – again… still content? When everyone – everywhere! – seems to be getting pregnant. When it’s time to attend another baby shower, and once again, it’s someone else’s. When money’s running low and emotions are running high… still content? Really?
Okay… what’s the secret?
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” [Philippians 4:13]. What does that mean? How does this verse give help and hope to couples struggling through infertility? How can we lay claim to this strength? And how might it transform our infertility experience?
Mike discovered the answer when he and his wife lost their baby at 20 weeks. He described his experience in Pregnant with Hope. “I remember standing out in the hallway feeling very dizzy. One of the nurses got a chair for me. I didn’t think I was going to recover. But somehow, a feeling of calm came over me and I heard a voice in my head saying, ‘Go to Kirsten.’ One moment I was dizzy… but then one second later, I was clear-headed and able to function. I tell you, that’ll make you believe in divine grace.”
That divine grace is available to everyone; there are only two requirements. First, we must acknowledge our need for help. The voice of pride tells us to be self-reliant, but as Mike said, “When a nurse grabs you and puts you in a chair, it’s because she doesn’t think you can stand. I was spiraling out of control.” In that moment, there was no energy for pride or pretense. Mike was literally knocked off his feet by their loss. His spirit cried out as his body failed him, and God answered.
The second requirement is simply that we recognize who is helping us, and trust the source. “We had so many God-works-in-mysterious-ways moments,” Mike remembered. “Like, I had a ‘eureka’ moment realizing I could love a girl from China as my daughter, and I felt calm. Or another time, Kirsten began spotting and someone said to me, ‘Everything’s fine,’ and it was like a prophet telling me. I was inspired by God.”
Was Mike content in every situation, as the Bible verse says is possible? Not even close. “Those were the worst two years of my life,” he said. “It took every bit of emotional strength to get through it.”
Does that mean the verse isn’t true? No. “I have learned the secret of contentment…” means “experience has taught me.” Mike learned through his experience that peace can be found amidst anguish, calm can be experienced despite uncertainty, and faith can be renewed by messages God sends to those He loves.
The hardest parts of the journey are what led to Mike’s confidence in the promise, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” The secret of contentment? Mike’s learned: God-reliance.
Trust him… You’ll see.
Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com