Monthly Archives: March 2010

Redeeming Infertility

What does it mean when something is terrible or tragic, but God redeems it?  What happens, and what does it change?

Almost thirty years ago, Bobbi married a man who quickly became abusive.  “He made me think our problems were because I couldn’t have a baby,” she said.  She had two false pregnancies, but could not seem to conceive.  She was building up the courage to leave him when she discovered she was pregnant.  She didn’t tell her him because she didn’t want to give him another reason to follow her when she fled.

The night before she left – taking only what she could carry, and leaving the only town she’d ever known – she miscarried.

Twenty-eight years passed, and “I went through a lot of depression,” she said.  She made a life for herself taking care of other people’s children.  She never remarried, and never told a soul she’d almost had a child of her own.  For decades, she suppressed the grief of losing the child she’d wanted so badly.  She stuffed all her emotions, denying her spirit’s cries for comfort, concentrating instead on being free of a man she’d thought she loved – who showed his love by threatening and intimidating her.  But, “I got to a point where I didn’t want to try anymore.”

Then, someone gave her a copy of Pregnant with Hope.

“I read it fast, and then I read it again slow.  I cried and cried.  All these feelings came pouring out of me – like God wanted them to finally come out of hiding.  It answered a lot of questions of mine about going through trauma and wanting that baby.  I thought about how God had taken that child so my husband couldn’t hurt him, or me.  I started talking to God, and I realized He’s listening.  He’s there for me.”

Bobbi shared her story with me yesterday.  She explained, “I needed something to help me understand – but I never did find it.  There was nobody to talk to.  It helped me so much to read the book and know that other people struggle, too.”

The Bible tells us that everything matters to God.  The fact that horrible things, and hurtful people, and heartbreaking events come into our lives does not change the character of God.  He remains full of love, compassion, mercy and grace.  And, He redeems what is lost.  For Bobbi, that meant peace.  Twenty-eight years after she went into hiding, taking the secrets of her past with her, God called her back into the light.  “That book helped me get closer to God,” she said.  “I told Him, ‘you really do know how to talk to me about things.’”

The definition of redeem is, “to make good, restore, buy back, keep a promise, or exchange for something valuable.”  When God redeems an awful chapter in our lives, He does all these things.  He makes good His promise to help us, to restore our hope, to buy back our freedom from fear, to keep the promise of His faithfulness, and to exchange our suffering for joy.

He can redeem anything.  He did it for Bobbi, and He will do it for you.

Trust Him, wait and see.

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Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com

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Infertility and the Reasons to “Wait for It”

The most consistently challenging aspect of infertility is not physical.  It’s psychological.  It’s the day-to-day, moment-to-moment struggle to maintain equilibrium in the face of unanswered questions.  Why us?  Why me?  Why not?  Why them?  When, God?  Ever?!  How?  Fear fuels these questions while anxiety generates adrenaline and jealousy stirs up poisonous resentment.  The toxic result churns through our minds, hearts and spirits – again and again and again.

How can we find peace with so many questions?

Centuries ago, a prophet asked, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?”  God responded, “…I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”  The prophet begged:  tell me you will send help and hope.  God assured him, “Though it tarries, wait for it.  Because it will surely come” [Habakkuk 1:2, 1:5, 2:3].

How can that exchange help couples find peace in the midst of infertility?  Three ways:

It gives us a strategy.  Knowing that if we call for help, “I [God] am going to do something…,” helps us see our best option: claim that promise.  We already know we can’t control our circumstances, and we struggle to control our thoughts and emotions.  But, we can claim the promise that help is coming, and that gives cause for hope.  Why?  The Bible makes clear, God watches over His word in order to perform it.  When we claim it, we call on His faithfulness to be true to His promise.

It gives us a focal point.  God makes clear that there is an appointed time (known only to Him) when questions will be answered.  Cries for help will cease because tangible, visible, long-awaited help will come.  It is hard to wait patiently because we don’t know when that moment will be.  But God promises, “…it will surely come.”  So, we can choose to trust Him, looking toward that moment in time with hope and confidence.

It gives us God’s instruction. God says, “… wait for it.”  Those three words tell us how to make the transition from fearful to faithful:

1. Be patient – “Wait for it” means believe there is a purpose, and trust God’s perfect timing.  When we are uncertain, our tendency is often to assume the worst.  But if God intends to do something so wonderful “you would not believe it, even if you were told,” then there is a good reason for waiting.  The right egg?  The best sperm?  A new procedure?  A different birth mother?  Be patient; wait for it. 

2. Be still – “Wait for it” means be still enough to sense God’s presence, to sense help coming, and to rest in the knowledge “I am going to do something.”  When we are anxious, our tendency is to go faster – as if speed and urgency could bring us to closure sooner.  They can’t.  In fact, the more frantically we race around, the harder it is for us to be still.  But without stillness, there can be no peace.  Be still; wait for it.

3. Be expectant – “Wait for it” means anticipate God’s goodness, and expect Him to bring you His very best.  When we have to wait, our tendency is to worry that time will run out and we won’t receive the  blessing we desperately want.  God says, “Though it tarries…,” trust me, it’s coming.  My timing is perfect and my desire is to bless you.  Anticipate my goodness.  Be expectant; wait for it.

The path to peace has been laid out for us, and God is faithful.  If you are feeling anxious, “wait for it… [and] it will surely come.”

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Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com

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Moses’ Story and the “I Will” of Infertility

Infertility doesn’t strike most couples as a great calling.  In fact, just the opposite.  It is a tremendous burden, an enormous obstacle, a prolonged season of undeserved suffering.  Everything bad and nothing good.  But what if that’s not how God sees it?  Does that matter?  If we could understand God’s purpose, would it change our perspective on infertility?

My husband and I rented “The Ten Commandments” a few days ago and watched Charlton Heston’s Moses journey from birth to the moment at the burning bush.  In that moment, when God calls him to confront Pharaoh and free his people, Moses’ first thought is:  I can’t.  But, God doesn’t take “no” for an answer.  As He makes clear, this isn’t about what Moses can do.  It’s about what God can do through Moses.  If Moses is willing, God is able.

He has a purpose for making it (appear) impossible for Moses to succeed, which He explains:

“…‘Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart…so I can perform these miraculous signs of mine… so that you may tell your children and grandchildren… and that you may know that I am the Lord”  [Exodus 10:1-2].

God isn’t interested in humiliating Moses or putting him in danger, despite how it may seem.  This story isn’t just about Moses.  God is setting the stage “for these miraculous signs of mine” which require the appearance of impossibility.  Why?  “So that you may tell your children and grandchildren… and that you may know that I am the Lord.”  All Moses needs to do is trust  God, and obey.

Like Moses, we miss sensing God’s purpose when we’re confronted with what appears impossible.  We’re too busy concentrating on our limitations and our fears.  Infertility (and all of the failed procedures, unexplained problems, miscarriages and grief that accompany it) focuses our attention on what we cannot do.  That’s all we can see, and all we can think about.  We forget that this isn’t about us; it’s about what God can do in and through us.

When Moses says, I can’t, God repeatedly assures him, I will:  “I will send you,” “I will be with you,” “I will help you,” “I will show you,” “I will teach you.”  Why?  “So that you may tell your children and grandchildren… and that you may know that I am the Lord.”  That’s the reason.  That’s God’s purpose.  It’s not about the struggle.  It’s about the outcome, the knowledge that God is God, and the story that will be told to generations.

The same God who spoke to Moses wants to step into your story.  He wants to assure you, “I will be with you,” “I will help you,” “I will show you,” “I will teach you.”  Why?  “So that you may tell your children and grandchildren… and that you may know that I am the Lord.”

Suffering, struggling, wondering if you’ll ever become parents… it’s all setting the stage.  And because you cannot see the outcome of the story, you worry about how it will end.  But, if you are willing to trust God, He says, “I will be with you,” and “I will help you.”

The same I who knew the outcome of Moses’ story knows the outcome of yours.  Trust Him, and before long, you too will be telling your children an incredible story of God’s amazing faithfulness.

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Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com

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