Men rarely discuss infertility. That’s why it’s so important and helpful for them to participate in support groups. In this “safe” environment, they can expose feelings and share concerns they’d otherwise feel compelled to hide.
My husband had no such support group. He had to struggle through infertility with no one but me to talk to about his questions, his fears, and his sense of frustration that he couldn’t “fix” our problem. Now, as a psychiatrist, he specializes in helping people face their challenges head-on, confident in the knowledge that “all things work together for good” [Romans 8:28].
Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared with him some of the stories you have shared with me — and invited him to write a guest post in response. Here’s what he wanted to say….
As a New Year begins, thoughts often turn to hopes and plans for the future. But, what is for many a time of eager anticipation can, instead, be a season of continued suffering for those battling infertility.
That’s the story of a young minister in Manchester, England. Despite his strong faith, he is experiencing spiritual struggles following his wife’s recent miscarriage. He finds himself obsessing over “Why?”
The loss of a pregnancy or death of a baby is one of the darkest points during the long night of infertility. How do I know? Because I’ve been there. So have countless others. Where can we turn for hope and inspiration during this time?
Scripture gives us the answer. It tells us the disciples were overcome by grief and fear when Jesus was captured, crucified and buried. For them, the days following Jesus’ death were a period of great spiritual confusion and despair.
What a dramatic turn of events. A few days earlier, they’d been celebrating Jesus’ return to Jerusalem with hope and excitement. But his death left them believing their dream had died. Where was their faith? Circumstances had led them to focus on unanswerable questions: “Why is this happening to me?” and “What am I going to do now?”
In the midst of their despair and confusion, God acted. Not on their timetable, but on His. The resurrected Jesus stood before them (on several occasions) and renewed their hope. What they had been sure they understood was not the end of the story. There was no cause for despair; this was not defeat. This was victory – in a way they could never have imagined!
The disciples’ story reveals the pattern of God’s intervention. He allows our dreams to motivate us. Then, when we realize we are powerless to bring them to pass, He lets them die and lets us grieve. But then, he resurrects the dream in a new form – and He demonstrates His incredible love and power by realizing His dream for us in all its fullness, completeness and glory.
That’s the pattern Scripture reveals. And, that’s God’s promise to us.
Many of you going through infertility may have had a period of initial joy when you got pregnant, only to see that feeling give way to despair following a miscarriage. Like the disciples, you may feel like huddling in a spiritual corner, overwhelmed with fear and confusion. You may believe you’re hanging onto faith by a thread.
Take heart in knowledge the disciples didn’t possess – the knowledge that God’s faithfulness will bring about your victory. You may not see it or feel it, but it is coming. Victory will be yours by the will of God.