It can be very disheartening to hear other couples’ success stories. We listen thinking they may spark our own hope or offer some inspiration. But more often than not, someone else’s success just reinforces our own sense of having been singled-out for suffering – compounding a growing sense of isolation and despair.
I had no intention of including infertile couples’ success stories when I wrote Pregnant With Hope – in part, because I’d already worked for nearly a year to transcribe the messages from the infertility Bible study. But also, I anticipated a negative response from the still-struggling couples who’d be reading the book.
God knew better.
During a long walk, He made very clear that I was not done writing. I needed to find ten couples to share their stories – in their own words, using their real names. “That’ll never happen!” I argued. “No one will agree to that.”
God pushed me to try.
Amazingly, ten of the twelve couples I asked said, “Yes.”
Why was it so important to include their stories? Because they fulfill a promise of scripture — one which God intends to fulfill in your life, too: “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”
That promise is at the heart of Pregnant With Hope. It is the common element in all ten of the stories told by the couples featured in the book.
All of them came to our group barely clinging to anything resembling hope. Most had experienced multiple miscarriages, numerous failed IVFs, and countless trips to doctors’ offices. Some had also undergone major surgeries, lost family members, battled cancer…. They were completely exhausted by the journey.
Experience had taught them to expect only failure and heartache. Increasingly, the “experts” agreed: the odds were not good, and getting worse. So, they sowed in tears – grieving their losses while continuing to cast seeds of hope. Some sought new doctors, new tests or new protocols. Others felt led to plow effort into creating profiles, finding adoption lawyers and scheduling home studies. All of them chose to trust the God of miracles.
And all ten couples reaped incredible blessings.
They’re all parents now, as are many, many couples who’ve come after them. Whether by conception or adoption, egg donation or surrogacy, they will tell you with absolute conviction: this is the baby who was always meant for us.
Why are their stories so inspiring? Because all ten couples, each in their own way and in the context of their unique story, dramatically demonstrate the power of the prayer: Thy will be done. All of them discovered the power of letting go, of trusting God’s timing, and of believing that their infertility was not the end of the story.
On the surface, each journey may have seemed doomed and hopeless. In the natural, there was no reason to believe joy was coming. But in the spiritual realm, God was blessing the seeds of hope they’d sown in tears. He was honoring their faith with His faithfulness. And they all “reap(ed) with songs of joy.”
Live into God’s promise and you will, too.
Are you sowing in tears with no sense of hope? Please let me pray for you. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
One response to “Sow in Tears, Then Reap with Joy”
Thanks so much for this post–just what I needed to be reminded of today. I am so often made aware of the work of the Holy Spirit when I read your blog because you so often put words to the thoughts and emotion I am experiencing–either overtly or under the surface. It’s as if He’s saying to me, “See Lisa, I KNOW you!” and “you’re not alone…”.
Most of all, I am reminded of hope. So, thank you for continuing to write! It’s such a blessing to me…and many others, I’m sure!