A new subscriber to this blog writes about her infertility journey in EggsInARow. In a recent post, she asked, “When does the bitterness go away and the acceptance come?”
That’s the kind of question that can cast a sudden pall over the room when couples gather to talk about infertility. Why? Because acceptance implies defeat, and no one wants to consider that possibility…. But everyone constantly does. A few fearless souls do so publicly. Some, like EggsInARow, ponder it anonymously. Many, many more struggle in secret.
The deepest fear in every heart, though, is that acceptance of defeat may be the destination to which this road leads. Childlessness. Forever. Is that the inevitable outcome? If so, how do you know when it’s time to give up? And if not, how do you keep hope alive?
The temptation, when we don’t know how the story will unfold, is to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. To squint into the future and see what’s coming so that we’ll have time to brace ourselves if it’s bad, and to lean into joy if it’s good. That sense of informed anticipation enables us to maintain the illusion of control when – deep down – this whole thing feels out-of-control.
Is that the best we can do? Prepare ourselves to relinquish bitterness in favor of acceptance? Then just wait for the inevitable?
Yes, it’s wise to relinquish bitterness. Choosing to cling to it affirms a sense of being victimized, mistreated, and unfairly punished. It fuels the self-pity that undermines hope. It poisons the spirit and burdens the heart. Intentionally or not, it encourages us to consider God a liar because it refuses to believe that “all things work together for good…” (Romans 8:28).
What about acceptance? Should we relinquish that, too? Or embrace it? Honestly, both. We should relinquish the acceptance that is an expression of despair. The voice that tells us, “There’s no hope. You’ll never have a baby.” That kind of acceptance trusts the lies of God’s enemy more than God Himself.
Remember: God can do anything! The fact that you cannot see or envision how He could make you a parent doesn’t mean you won’t be one. The appearance of impossibility may be setting the stage for a miracle. Or, it may be redirecting your path away from the way you imagined this unfolding to the path that leads to God’s best – for you, and for the child He already has planned for you.
So, don’t accept defeat. Accept the fact that you are not in control. And then decide: will I see that as cause for despair, or cause for hope? If you humbly acknowledge your need for God’s help and invite Him to guide your steps — wherever that may lead — there’s definitely cause for hope. If you put your energy into trusting, rather than controlling, you are headed for joyful good news.
It’s your choice.
Wait and see.
For more inspiration and cause for hope, get a copy of Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples.