For much of my life, I was a runner – but then, spine surgery sidelined me. In my quest for a new individual sport, I discovered yoga. As it turns out, it’s a great metaphor for infertility. The benefits of yoga include greater flexibility & strength, less stress/more calm, better concentration, improved mood, lower blood pressure & slower heart rate, more ideal posture, and heightened spiritual awareness.
Does that describe your infertility experience?
Let me guess…. No.
So, why is it a great metaphor?
Because it describes what is possible.
Some couples go through infertility fighting for control. They acknowledge God’s presence, but resent His (apparent) unwillingness to do things their way, on their timetable. In their effort to manage the process, they confuse determination with inflexibility. Over time, their lack of success generates a growing sense of hopelessness and failure. They don’t feel strong, nor do they look it. The stress and turmoil they’re experiencing – both emotionally and spiritually – makes them tired, moody and distracted. They have trouble concentrating, trouble sleeping, and definite trouble feeling peace, joy or gratitude.
I’ve seen people look like this during yoga class. The whole hour is a battle. Their mind is in opposition to their body – and it’s a miserable experience. There are no apparent benefits to this exercise. But, they continue to gut it out, thinking that somehow it will be worth it.
There is another way.
Yoga teaches you to work with (your heart, your muscles, your body), rather than fight against. When we apply the same principle to the infertility journey, we learn to stop resisting God. We stop trying to force our will – and instead, submit to the will of One more knowledgeable and patient than we are.
Before we begin, the Teacher knows what to expect from this “exercise.” He can anticipate the aspects that will challenge us: the ones that require us to be patient, to stay in a difficult position and listen for His instructions, to recognize discomfort without fearing it, to release our hold on a position (or mindset) when it becomes too painful. He can see when we have reached our limits and are trying too hard. If we listen, He will tell us when it’s best to work deeper, and when to let go and rest.
How do we make the transition from being what scripture calls “stiff-necked people” to flexible, spiritually limber souls? I think the answer is nestled in Proverbs 3:5,6 –
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”
Trust lets us release tension. We can stop pouring energy into worrying; instead, we work at actively trusting. That’s where we put our energy – not into control, but into faith. How much energy? “With all your heart.” Put everything you have into it. “And don’t lean on your own understanding.” Think of yourself as a beginner, a novice, an inexperienced student does not necessarily know what’s best. Rather than risking serious self-injury, rely on the wisdom of One who knows what you do not.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him.” Greet God, listen to Him, respect Him, thank Him, value His expertise and praise Him for His patience with you. “He will direct your path.” If you’ll listen, He’ll get you through this class – and you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned in the future. You’ll be stronger, more flexible, able to do things you previously believed were impossible.
If you want to go through infertility with inner peace, a sense of strength that is visible to others, a quiet mind, a calm feeling of purpose, and an ability to lean into the challenge of a moment – confident that you will pass safely through it under the watchful gaze of your Instructor, begin practicing the yoga of infertility with Proverbs 3:5,6.
You’ll be amazed by how quickly you are transformed.
For more resources and cause for hope, go to PregnantWithHope.com