A few days ago, I wrote about narcissistic fertility – the tendency of some “fertiles” to take pregnancy for granted, and to think of a baby primarily as an extension of themselves. It’s easy to criticize that kind of self-absorption. And, it’s tempting to think “I would never….”
The problem is: we would, and we do.
Don’t misunderstand. After the struggle and heartache of the infertility journey, I don’t believe any of us would take a baby for granted. But, I do believe that many – maybe all of us – set off on this journey believing we deserve to be parents. We want it, and we unconsciously believe we have a right to expect it.
We see the people around us conceiving effortlessly and assume, that’ll be me – pregnant and living happily-ever-after. We might never say so, but at some level, we feel entitled to that story.
Here’s the problem: that entitlement attitude puts Self at the center. It presumes that what we want is what’s best for us — because we want it. In hindsight, that seems both arrogant and a little ridiculous. The truth is, it’s simply human nature.
We tend to think of ourselves as able to make perfect plans and control our destinies… until we discover we can’t and we don’t. That’s when we start to feel confused, frustrated, and even angry.
Now, we see a clear need for God in our story – but He seems to be withholding our heart’s desire. Or worse, punishing us for something. Why can’t we conceive? And why does He insist on thwarting our plans?
Because our plan is not His plan. It’s not His best for us.
So, now what? How do we get past our emotional response to God’s “no,” and onto a path that leads to parenthood? That’s the question I was thinking about recently as I read Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To.
I wondered: Is there a prayer God always says “yes” to when infertile couples pray? If so, what is it? What makes it work? And does it always?
The good news is that there is one prayer God always answers for infertile couples. And I’m convinced the purpose of the infertility journey is to prepare us to pray it with complete sincerity of heart, mind and spirit.
No one told me about it when we were struggling to conceive. At that time, the God I’d grown up believing in no longer seemed generous, loving and faithful. Instead, He seemed distant, silent, and even secretive. I had some strong feelings about that, but I was afraid to express them for fear of making a bad situation worse.
So, we struggled on in silence (as if He didn’t know my thoughts).
I felt increasingly invisible and lost to God. Either rejected by Him or simply ignored, all I could see was that He didn’t seem to be working with us. In fact, He seemed to be working against us. Rather than breathing life into our dream, He was thwarting our desire to become parents. He could have made it happen at any time, but He kept saying, “no.”
Does it seem as if God is thwarting your will, too? Are you doing everything you can to get to “yes” only to sense He’s repeatedly telling you “no”? Then pray the prayer He always answers:
Thy will be done.
This 4-word prayer has the power to set life-changing events in motion. It can overpower whatever emotional distress buffets us, whatever circumstances devastate us, whatever fears paralyze us, whatever thoughts terrorize us. It is the “open sesame” that makes all things possible because it is the prayer that puts all things in our lives under God’s authority – including us.
It is a prayer of incredible power… because it a prayer of total submission. It acknowledges that God sees what we cannot see, and knows what we cannot know. It invites Him to accomplish His perfect plan in and through us, with our complete cooperation.
Can we trust Him enough to give Him complete control? Can we stop obsessing over our own plans and trust that “no” means His plan is better? Can we set aside our impatience long enough to give Him whatever time He needs to accomplish His purpose? And will we?
That’s the hugely important choice we must make.
We can continue to insist on our plans and our timetable, giving God room only to optimize what we will for ourselves. That path will never lead us to His best. Or, we can let go of “when?” and “how?” and choose to trust Him completely and unconditionally. That path leads to nothing less than His very best.
How do I know? From personal experience, and from my front row seat watching the stories of countless infertile couples unfold. Every single couple who comes to a place of being able to pray unreservedly, “Thy will be done,” finds joy. Every. Single. One.
May it be so for you, too.
For more inspiration and cause for hope, read Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples