Fertility specialist Dr. Alice Domar has spent years studying the correlation between aspiring mothers’ mindsets and the outcome of their infertility journeys. Her clinical research has consistently found a high correlation between infertile women’s moods and their ability to conceive. Study after study has shown that lower rates of depression and anxiety correlate to higher rates of pregnancy.
The implication is obvious: Cheer up!
But it’s not that easy.
According to Domar and her colleagues, feelings of depression, isolation, anger and hostility — as well as stress-related symptoms (headaches, insomnia, etc.) — are common responses to infertility. What’s the prescription for curing that? Domar recommends infertile women “seek to restore a sense of joy, hope and well-being.”
Okay… but how?
How do you will yourself to feel something your heart can hardly comprehend? How do you find joy in the midst of unending struggle? Where do you find hope when you’re faced with constant heartache, despair and grief? It’s not as easy as Domar makes it sound.
But, good news. There is one thing that works: the power of a thankful heart. You cannot change your circumstances, but you can change your perspective on them. Doing that will begin to turn the psychological tide.
Three days ago, I wrote that God’s will is for us to give thanks in all circumstances. It’s not His will because He wants to mandate gratitude. It is His will because thankfulness changes our focus. It helps us remember the promise that “all things work together for good.” It reminds us to trust that God is a promise-keeper. It helps us remember that what looks bad won’t always be bad; our circumstances can and will change.
Giving thanks reaffirms that nothing happens by accident. Whether or not we understand God’s purpose, we can be confident of His purposefulness. He is always in control, and nothing comes into our lives without His permission – and His determination to use it for good. Abundant blessings are part of His plan “to prosper and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.”
How do you muster gratitude when all you ever get is bad news and failed outcomes? What can you sincerely thank God for? See if any of these expressions of gratitude fit your current circumstances:
Thank you that there’s more to my story than today’s bad news. Thank you that every day moves me one step closer to the blessing that awaits us. Thank you that you already know the happy ending. Thank you for other infertile couples; they remind me that we’re not alone. Thank you for other couple’s good news which reminds me that anything is possible. Thank you that my trust is not in doctors or statistics, but in the only one who has control over how this story will unfold.
Thank you for those who encourage me; their love and concern comfort me. Thank you for the resources we have to tackle this problem: doctors, clinics, medicines, procedures and more. Thank you for this struggle because it strengthens my commitment to being an amazing parent when I finally get the chance. And thank you for inspiring messages that empower me — giving me actionable strategies and hope.
Did anything there stir up an inkling of gratitude? If so, express it frequently; if not, create your own list. Whatever you are thankful for, voice it to God and watch your perspective begin to change.
If Domar is right, you will not only be following God’s advice. Your new outlook will directly impact your fertility. How’s that for worth a try?
For more inspiration and cause for hope, click this link…