Tag Archives: Andy Stanley

Doubt vs. the Voice of Truth

Andy Stanley gave a great talk on doubt last Sunday (here’s a link), and what resonated most with me was what he DIDN’T say.

He didn’t say, “Real Christians never doubt God.” He didn’t say, “Doubt is evidence of weak faith — and it explains why things aren’t going well in your life.” He didn’t condemn. He didn’t judge. In fact, just the opposite.

He said: “Everyone doubts.”


Here’s why that’s important. Lots of couples struggling with infertility are secretly afraid that their doubt-filled faith has alienated God, and that infertility may be the direct result. Now, the question is whether to commit wholeheartedly to doubt, abandon God and embrace science in the hope that it can do what He hasn’t — or, try to keep trusting a God who can’t be seen to do something that (seemingly) can’t be done.

That’s not an easy choice. And, I’ve come to believe, that’s the point.

When life is not going according to plan, doubt gains a foothold. When you realize you are not in control of things you desperately want to control, it’s human nature to wonder whether God is working with you… or against you. That gives doubt a chance to gain ground.

When things go from bad to worse, the voice of fear starts to whisper.  Negative thoughts begin to circle like vultures, “I doubt God’s listening. I doubt He cares. I doubt this means anything to Him. I doubt He’s going to help. I doubt He’s even there.” Those thoughts can be frighteningly persuasive.

What do you do in when fear invites doubt and threatens your faith? Do you listen?

The band Casting Crowns sings,

“The voice of truth tells me a different story. The voice of truth says, ‘Do not be afraid.’ The voice of truth says, ‘This is for My glory.’ Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”

Did you catch those words? “I will choose….”

Not, “I will think of myself as a victim — passive, helpless, broken, forgotten.” But, “I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”

It was a challenge for us when we were trying to conceive. Doctors made (positive) predictions that didn’t come to pass. There were multiple miscarriages, failed IUIs, harrowing trips to the hospital. We felt so alone! It seemed as if we were the only ones who couldn’t conceive at will — except when we crossed paths with other worried souls in waiting rooms and hospital corridors. It was an awful, painful, where-is-God-in-all-this time in our lives.

And doubt made a run at me more than once.

I instinctively did what Andy Stanley and Casting Crowns advise: I clung to the truth. I couldn’t will the doubt away, but I held faith and doubt in two hands, and I kept them open and uplifted, believing that God somehow knew I was doing the best I could, given the circumstances.

I see now that that my willingness to hold things in two hands — rather than drop faith entirely while embracing doubt — brought Him glory. My willingness to trust Him demonstrated my faith — not just to Him, but to every person who asked me, “How do you keep hoping?” That had power. It had value. It was a witness and a testimony to the faithfulness of the God I chose to trust.

Don’t get me wrong: I was afraid. I was full of doubt. I cried more often than I can remember. But, as soon as I could muster the strength, the courage, the will to choose to believe that God was still good and still in control, I would lift my hope to Him and pray, “Please, Lord. Show me that my faith is not misguided. Help me not to be afraid. Help me trust You.”

Don’t endure a season of struggle and grief without meaning. Make it a season of spiritual growth for you and glory for God. Despite your doubts about the future, choose to believe...

“All things work together for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”  -Romans 8:28


For more messages of hope in the midst of infertility, read Pregnant with Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples

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Filed under Battles, Hope, Trust

Choosing to Do Something for Infertile Couples

In a recent sermon, Andy Stanley, pastor of Northpoint Church, urged his listeners to consider this New Year’s resolution:

“Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.”

He was acknowledging the paralysis many people experience in the face of what seem to be intractable problems.  “What can anyone do to fix this?” people ask.  When the answer is too overwhelming to contemplate – or when a solution appears literally impossible – they give in to defeat, often without doing anything.

But God calls us to do something.

Eloise Drane is a living example of the power of doing for one what you wish you could do for everyone.  Several years ago, she donated a kidney to her cousin.  He died soon afterward from an uncontrolled infection.  Despite the heartbreak of that loss, she was changed by the joy of giving a part of herself so selflessly.

Less than a year later, having had four childen of her own (with no fertility issues), she realized there were virtually no resources available for infertile people of color.  So, she decided to become an egg donor.  Thanks to her willingness to do what many African-Americans weren’t even willing to consider, three babies were born to couples who otherwise might never have become parents.

Eloise felt called to do more.  So, she agreed to be a surrogate for a couple she “met” through the internet.  Her husband felt conflicted about her decision.  He asked her pointblank: “Do you need to rescue everyone?!”  She explained that God had put a burden on her heart for couples who could not conceive, and she felt compelled to do something in response.  After a long discussion, he agreed to support her decision.

It took three transfers, but she conceived and delivered twins.

Last October, she contacted me through the PregnantWithHope.com website.  We began talking about her sense that God is calling her to lead a support group for infertile couples using the book Pregnant With Hope as the basis for discussion.  This would be a different approach – helping more than one couple at a time.  Did I think struggling couples would accept a “fertile” as their leader?  Could she support them in meaningful ways if she hadn’t experienced infertility herself?

We agreed to keep talking and praying about the decision.  In the meantime, she agreed to a second surrogacy in the hope of helping another couple.  The transfer went smoothly, but there was no pregnancy.  She was devastated.

“I was so invested in this,” she told me, “and so sure it was going to work for them.”  Her grief surprised her with its intensity — giving her new insight into the rollercoaster emotions infertile couples experience.  I believe that was the blessing-in-disguise in this failed attempt.

The experience equipped her to empathize more completely, and to talk more comprehensively about the entire infertility journey – its highs and lows.  That will make her a better leader when she launches her group next month.

Andy Stanley advised, “Go deep, not wide.  Go long, not short.  Give effort, not just money.”  Eloise has done that.  More than once.  Her willingness to break racial taboos and respond to people’s suffering with compassionate action has helped bring five babies into the world.

This year, may there be others like her who respond to the growing awareness of infertility by saying, “Yes, I want to help someone.”


Filed under Bystanders, Hope