This is the last of the “summer reruns.” That means all new insights and words of hope beginning Wednesday. But first, here is the most popular post I’ve ever written, based on the volume & content of emails received in response….
Not long ago, I discovered a book by Mother Teresa, You Are Blessed. I walked past it as I was leaving a bookstore, and God could not have spoken to me more clearly if the book had leaped off the table and into my hands.
I am blessed, but sometimes – especially when I’m not getting what I’m badly wanting and desperately praying for – I forget that. I lose sight of my glass half-full. All I can see is that it’s partly empty. As I look around me, “everyone else” is already enjoying the blessing I want. That’s when the negative self-talk starts: it’s so unfair, why them and not me? A minute later, I’m caught in a psychological death spiral… down, down, down… into a dark hole of worry and gloom, until I feel so far from God that I can’t possibly hear Him.
Does that sound familiar?
Maybe it doesn’t happen so fast for you. Or, maybe it’s such a blur, you can’t even describe the stages of descent – just the fact that one minute you’re fine, the next minute you’re losing it.
It’s those death spiral moments that make infertile couples ask, “Where is God in all this?” He can seem so distant, unresponsive, and unmoved by our trauma and drama. But, He’s not. We’ve pulled away – out of fear, a need to control, repressed anger, and so much more. Meanwhile, God is busy blessing us.
How can we see that more clearly? What would that change? And why is it hugely important to our infertility experience?
When we focus on what we do not have – and those who already have it, we open the door to resentment and jealousy. We foolishly invite darkness into our hearts, our minds, and our spirits. We unconsciously push God aside to make room for His enemy, and then give ourselves over to despair. We choose a path that cannot possibly take us to joy.
Unbelievably, this is our choice. It is our decision to marinate in toxic emotions that make it virtually impossible to hear or see God. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
If we shift the focus from self to God – from “I want but don’t have…” to “He’s already given me…” – we find cause for renewed hope. Even more, we experience a restored confidence in His faithfulness and compassion. It is choosing to see the glass half-full (thanks to God), rather than half-empty. And it makes all the difference in how we experience the infertility journey.
So, when you want a child and can’t conceive one, can’t carry one to term, can’t imagine another cycle but can’t imagine giving up… how exactly is the glass half-full?
If you have a loving, supportive spouse, you are blessed. If you have found a doctor you trust and respect, you are blessed. If someone outside your marriage is encouraging you, you are blessed. If you’ve ever gotten a good test result, you are blessed. If you’re healthy enough to try again, you are blessed. If you can afford ART, you are blessed.
If you’ve found a community of infertile couples, you are blessed. If you’ve read an uplifting message, you are blessed. If you have a friend who understands your struggle, you are blessed. If you continue to hope despite losses and grief, you are blessed. If you still believe that God hears your prayers — even if you don’t sense His answers — you are blessed.
You are blessed. You are blessed. You are blessed.
And all of it – every bit of it! – was put in your path by the God who loves you and longs to bless you more. He intends to give you His very best, in His perfect timing. It’s hard to be patient – especially when you don’t know the details of His plan – but you can trust the God who’s proven Himself faithful throughout scripture.
Mother Teresa’s book reminded me today that I am blessed. I took several minutes, right in the middle of the bookstore, to think of the ways God has gone before me to prepare a path strewn with blessings – too many to count. Recalling those blessings was a blessing in itself. I felt a surge of gratitude for the God who knows and loves me.
Do you have a thankful heart for all that God has already done for you? Tell Him so. Thank Him. And, trust that He is not ignoring your pleas for the blessing of a child.
Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
What greater blessing could there be than this promise? Claim it, choose to see that the foundation is already being laid, and give God your “thank offering” of a grateful heart. The change in your perspective will alter your trajectory.
For more resources and cause for hope, visit PregnantWithHope.com