“Taking the 5 loaves and 2 fish and looking up to heaven, Jesus gave thanks…” [Mark 6:41].
My friend, Toni, is jokingly referred to as “the one egg wonder” by the staff at her reproductive endocrinologist’s office. Having crossed the imaginary line between fertility and infertility on her 35th birthday, she was told to get busy getting pregnant. “When we talked to the doctor about statistics,” she says, “we realized we’d better try to do something, or it might be too late to do anything.”
Many failed IUIs later, after extensive soul-searching, she decided to go forward with IVF. The retrieval resulted in one egg. Toni was ecstatic—until her doctor explained that one egg was statistically dismal. Not easily discouraged, Toni chose to cling to the hope that one egg was all she needed.
“The doctor told me, ‘you may want to consider adoption.’ Before even trying the IVF she was already expecting a negative outcome! I remember saying, ‘I know you can only do what you can do, but there’s another factor involved here. I didn’t want to say, ‘God is doing the work’ because I didn’t want to offend her, but that’s what I was thinking.”
Everyone at the doctor’s office regarded Toni as mildly delusional—until her son was conceived and delivered.
What did she know that they didn’t? What gave her the sense that something virtually impossible was perfectly possible? And how did she hold on to that confident expectation, even when the experts thought she was crazy? According to Toni, she prayed with a thankful heart. “I’ve always prayed ‘thank you’ for everything. I learned the scriptures that were relevant to infertility. Once I had that going for me, I just felt really confident.”
Jesus modeled that same confident expectation just before feeding 5,000 people with just 5 loaves and 2 fish. Everyone around him saw lack, but Jesus saw plenty.
In the midst of infertility, it is our tendency to dwell on insufficiency. We become obsessed with numbers that aren’t high enough, follicle counts that aren’t large enough, options that aren’t plentiful enough.
One egg? Get serious!
We need to remember that the gap between our “realistic” perception of insufficiency and God’s knowledge of plenty is enormous. And there’s only one way to bridge it: by faith. We aren’t given the gifts of foreknowledge or control; those are God’s territory. But, we are invited to believe that “very little” can be “more than enough.”
It worked for Jesus. It worked for Toni. It could work for you.
Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com