Several years ago, when I was leading a group of infertile couples through the Pregnant With Hope bible study, a minister’s wife shared her story. She and her husband had tried to conceive for years, but she’d never been able to carry a baby to term. Meanwhile, her husband was climbing into the pulpit every Sunday morning to preach the goodness of God. It felt like living a lie, and it became an impossibly difficult situation.
As a dark cloud of despair and resentment began to settle on both of them, he took a leave of absence from the church, and they sought comfort away from their inquisitive congregation.
Like all of us who have struggled with infertility, they wrestled with self-pity. It is, as Jesus Calling affirms:
“…a slimy, bottomless pit. Once you fall in, you tend to go deeper and deeper into the mire. As you slide down those slippery walls, you are well on your way to depression, and the darkness is profound.”
When they arrived at our group’s first meeting, they were hoping for little more than commiserating community. But over the course of ten weeks, they opened their minds and hearts to the messages of the lessons. They came to see that they had fallen into a “pit” of self-pity by ceasing to trust a God who wasn’t responding on their timetable, who didn’t seem to share their vision, and who failed to explain His reasoning — in other words, a God they could not control.
They came to a fork in the spiritual road: They could choose to trust God’s plan rather than their own, or they could reject Him and continue to struggle on without Him.
Jesus Calling says:
“Your only hope is to look up and see the Light of My presence shining down on you. Though the Light looks dim from your perspective deep in the pit, those rays of hope can reach you at any depth. While you focus on Me in trust, you rise ever so slowly out of the abyss of despair. Finally, you can reach up and grasp My hand. I will pull you out into the Light again.”
They came to the realization that God was their only hope. With or without children, He was the source of every good thing in their lives. They would trust Him, even if they did not understand why He would not enable them to conceive.
They surprised themselves by deciding to try adoption. The bible study had led them to the realization that God creates families in many ways, and they saw their decision as an exercise in obedience. Despite being told that they were unlikely to match — “Birth mothers may be put off by the fact that you’re in ministry, and they may not like that you’re older than most new parents” — they believed they were honoring God with this unexpected leap of faith.
A few weeks after submitting their profile, they got a phone call. Would they consider adopting newborn twins?
I still get chills when I tell this story because — as she told me when she called with the news — “no one but God knew we’d always been praying for twins.”
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” – Psalm 40:2-3
They trusted, and He lifted.
They stopped resenting and started releasing. They let go and let God. And He did what He’d always planned to do. He blessed them — in His way, on His timetable, according to His plan.
Are you tired of trying to force God’s hand? Of begging and pleading for your dream to come true? Before you slide any further down into the pit of self-pity, lift your eyes up off your circumstances and focus on the only One with the power to change your story.
“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” – Psalm 147:11
Want to hear more stories of couples whose despair turned to hope? Read Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples and visit PregnantWithHope.info