In his book, Love, Medicine & Miracles, Dr. Bernie Siegel writes, “In the face of uncertainty, there is nothing wrong with hope.” How often has your infertility specialist said that to you? How about your family or friends? There is something in Siegel’s unconditional assertion – “there is nothing wrong with hope” – that implies a confidence infertile couples often crave, but do not feel.
Dr. Siegel, a cancer surgeon, discovered years ago that a subset of those patients who came to him for help were able to live lives of meaning and purpose in the midst of uncertainty. These “exceptional patients,” as he called them, experienced something during their journey that they shared repeatedly with him: attitude is everything. As they explained, the belief(s) that guide your thoughts will determine the quality of the life you live.
The same is true of the infertility journey.
Couples who learn to trust God’s plan, release their grip on (the illusion of) control, and lean into believing that there is a purpose in their struggle, invariably go on to become parents. Some by conception. Some by adoption. A few by foster parenthood. But all of them get there. I have yet to see a couple give their dream to God and forever remain a twosome. It’s a matter of how – not If. A question of when – not Whether.
“… There is nothing wrong with hope.” Siegel’s words are a great reminder that there is no great risk in hoping that God is faithful. Hoping that His promises hold true for ALL believers. Hoping that He will elect to bless those who trust Him – His purpose, His plan, His timing. There is nothing wrong with hope! It is not irrational. It is not delusional. It is not unfounded.
It is faith.
And we have been called to walk by faith, and not by sight. We have been taught to trust a God we cannot see, but who hears our prayers, knows our thoughts, and shares in our suffering. It is this God who alone is able to realize our deep desire to become parents. It is His will that makes it possible. And when we are in the flow of His will, “there is nothing wrong with hope.”
I know several couples who will be finding out in the next few days whether their recent IVF’s have resulted in Christmas conceptions. I hope that they have. But even more, I hope that the God who knows their hearts, feels their longing, and intends to bless the seed of hope He has already planted will give these couples nothing less than His very best. ‘
I know from experience — it’s worth waiting for.
Emmanuel. God with us. There is cause for hope.