Once couples who’ve battled infertility reach the goal of parenthood – whether by conception or adoption – it’s tempting for retroactive amnesia to take hold. Who wants to remember the heartache of the journey? Why would anyone hold on to memories of loss, grief and suffering? After all, given the time, money and effort it took to become a family, why do anything but enjoy it?
Because it’s not just about you.
Everything God does has a purpose. Every difficulty He allows into your life is for a reason. And very often, His reason extends beyond the impact of this journey on you and your faith life. He also intends to use your experience, and its life-changing effect on you, to bless others.
As scripture says…
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
The temptation to focus on a hope-filled future, while intentionally forgetting the faith-challenging past, is just that: a temptation. It is a common one, a completely understandable one, and one you should resist.
Because part of our calling is to be the body of Christ for one another. “…To comfort those in trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive.” The infertility journey doesn’t end with parenthood. Instead, we graduate to the next stage of the journey – one in which God calls us to set aside our former need for privacy (secrecy?) and openly witness to God’s goodness and faithfulness in order to give hope to those making the journey behind us.
Kristi and her husband, Carlos, kept his male factor infertility a secret from their family and friends. But they confided in me, asking that I pray for their decision-making process, and for peace in the midst of uncertainty about the outcome of their journey. [For more on their story, click this link].
Recently, Kristi got a call from a close friend who confessed that she and her husband were struggling with infertility. In a split second, Kristi had a decision to make: should she protect her privacy and the perception of an effortless conception, or should she share her story? Kristi felt God nudging her to tell the truth. She did. She also talked about Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples, and about this blog. “It was a spiritual lifeline for me,” she assured her friend.
Kristi’s friend hung up, immediately ordered a copy of the book and went online to read recent posts. She called Kristi back in less than thirty minutes, and “we cried together over how good God is, and how everything happens in His perfect timing.”
Kristi shared this story with me so I would know how much the book and blog helped her — and by extension, her friend. I pointed out that Kristi’s now taken on the role I played during her journey — of comforter, encourager, faithful witness, and Spirit-filled friend.
You can do that, too.
Do you know someone who’s struggling to find hope in the midst of the infertility journey? If you’ve become a parent, share your story. If you’re still making your own journey, it’s not too soon to help someone else. Pass on your copy of Pregnant With Hope. Send a link to this blog with a verse of comfort. Risk exposing your need for God’s help and allow Him to use you to deliver a message of hope.
You will experience the joy that proves the axiom “It is a blessing to be a blessing.”