Tag Archives: infertile couples’ stories

Transition Time

I’ve spent the last several weeks — maybe longer — trying to get a clear answer from God about whether to keep investing the time and effort required to write posts for this blog three times a week.  I realize it takes only a minute or two to read a post of mine.  But typically, it takes 2-3 hours to write one that will be worth reading.  That’s because I take this commitment very seriously.  If I’m going to talk to you in the midst of a journey as emotionally-charged and completely exhausting as infertility, I don’t want to waste your time.

You may be tempted to laugh when I tell you I haven’t been able to get an answer.  Sound familiar?  I’ve written quite a few posts on the silence of God.  Now, I guess, it’s time to remember my own advice.

I tried waiting.  That didn’t get a response.  Then, I waited some more.  Still nothing.  I tried asking for a sign.  No sign came.  I tried consulting people I think of as spiritual mentors.  Conflicting advice left me running in circles.  Finally, I consulted my friendly neighborhood psychiatrist (aka my husband).  His wise words did me a lot of good.  He said simply, “Maybe God’s letting you decide.”

Wow.  God trusts me to make a good decision?

All right then.  Here goes….

I’ve decided that writing 3x/week if I have nothing to say is pointless.  Forcing a message is the equivalent of expecting you listen to ME — because if I’m working hard to come up with something new to say, the Holy Spirit isn’t speaking through me (Trust me, I can tell my voice from His).

It may be that I’ve told you everything I’ve ever understood about how God works through infertility.  Or, maybe it’s time for me to spend a season at the feet of the One who loves to reveal Himself, so that I can bring you something new when I understand it more fully.

In any case, I’m making no promises about when or how often I’ll post from now on.  But, that doesn’t mean you can’t find help or hope!  There are literally hundreds of posts here for you to read.  Search them by categories or tags to meet a specific need, or just start reading and work your way forwards or backwards.  Print out whatever’s helpful — be it an entire post or a particular phrase — and keep that on your bedside table, share it with your doctor, or pass it on to a friend who’s making the same journey.

This blog is for you.  This library of promises and insights is a gift of the Spirit, who is with you always.  Use it to give you strength, courage, and cause for hope.

blessings always,


p.s.  If you haven’t already read Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples, it will walk you through ten stages of the infertility journey — from hopeless despair to peace-full anticipation.   It will also allow you to hear ten couples’ first-hand narratives about their own passage through heartache to joy.  Read it, and find the inspiration to keep believing in the God who never fails those who trust Him.


Filed under Hope, Humility, Perspective

How Can You Choose?

“Infertility shows you the limits of your faith in a way that is inescapable. You discover that letting go completely feels impossible because you don’t trust God—not enough to give Him control. At the same time, infertility reveals the limits of your own power. You can’t force the outcome you want on your timetable, no matter how much you spend or how hard you try.”

Does anything about that description sound familiar?  Do you recognize yourself and your situation in it? Wanting to force a heartbeat into the womb, but unable to… wanting to trust God and let go, but unwilling to… struggling mightily to find some way forward?

Does reading that passage and thinking about these questions make you feel anxious?  Paralyzed?  Unsure how to proceed?  If so, don’t worry.  You’re in good company.

I frequently receive emails from people who’ve started reading Pregnant with Hope and been floored by the accuracy of the description of this point in the journey.  It’s the fork in the road that leaves every infertile couple facing two (seemingly) impossible choices:  1) maintain control while hoping for the best but bracing for the worst, or 2) relinquish control to God with no guarantee of success.

How can you choose?

One option is step outside your experience and talk with someone who’s made the journey.  Find out what choice they made.  Then ask:  How did it impact your stress level?  Your relationship?  Your journey’s outcome?  What did you learn that you could share with me?  Specifically, what about your story might predict the trajectory of mine?

It can be hard to find people who’ll discuss their experience candidly.  There are plenty of strangers willing to chat anonymously on the internet, but wouldn’t you rather hear from people who’ll use their real names and tell you their whole story?  Because the context of a decision matters.  And so does assessing whether people who share their stories are like you — in terms of background, education, values, income, faith life… whatever matters to you.  Hearing about the tradeoffs they made and how they felt afterwards helps, too.

Wouldn’t you want to know all that?

Ten couples agreed to do that as part of Pregnant with Hope.  Each of them told their entire infertility story – from initial worry to discouraging diagnosis, from multiple treatments and failed attempts to heartache and despair… and finally, to joy.  You can learn a lot by hearing their stories in their own words.  I urge you to read them, if you haven’t already.

Here’s what all ten couples – and many whom I’ve interviewed since – consistently say:

1)      Make the right choice and you can increase your peace, decrease your stress, and set off on the path toward parenthood and a deeper, richer spiritual life.  That’s what God wants for you, and for the child He intends to entrust to you.

2)      Make the wrong choice and the pressure on you and your relationship will continue to mount.  The stress of seeing people around you succeed where you continue to fail will become an unbearable reminder that you are not in control — which can lead to mounting anger, deepening depression, or both.

3)      At some point, you’ll have to make a choice  — otherwise, you will risk forfeiting not only your dream of a family, but the health of your relationship with your partner and the quality of your faith life.

So, here’s what I recommend:  Let go.  Give up.  Surrender.  Why offer such hopeless-sounding advice?  Because it’s actually the path to joy.  And to peace.

By acknowledging our own limitations, we admit what’s already obvious:  we can’t control what’s happening.  We don’t have the power to make anything we’re trying succeed – whether it’s an embryo implanting, or a birth mother choosing our portfolio.  We want to script it because we believe we know what’s best.  We want to manage it because we’re sure we’ll get it right.

But, we don’t always know what’s best.  And we might not get it right.  We might be able to force what looks like success, but there are plenty of examples of “success” like that backfiring.  If we want nothing less than the best possible outcome, we have to give it to the only One with the desire and the power to make that happen.

Are you ready to let go and give God control?

Leave a comment

Filed under Control, Peace

Infertility Anxiety & Time to Be Still

Unexplained infertility can seem like psychological torture.  No one can tell you what’s wrong, what will work, or if anything ever will.

Faced with little-to-no information, how can you make decisions?  When the voice in your head is shouting, “The clock is ticking! You’re running out of time!” how do you think clearly?  When the most-likely-to-succeed protocol fails – repeatedly – what should you do next?  Where can you turn for input?  Who can you trust?  And how much more can you handle?

Bottom line:  What does it mean when there’s still no baby?

Welcome to a season of discernment.

When Don and his wife reached this point in their infertility journey, Don made a very wise choice.  He decided to slow down, wait, and listen.  “I’m one who believes God’s touch is very subtle,” he said.  “You’ve got to exert immense patience to understand – and wait for – what He’s doing in your life.  If you jump to a conclusion, you may miss the message.”

After several miscarriages, Don thought, “We haven’t been able to get pregnant.  Is God sending us a message?  I was listening and thinking, is God saying, ‘You shouldn’t be parents?’ or, ‘You should take another approach?’”  He and Robin decided to join the infertility Bible study to spend time with other couples struggling with the same questions.

“When I first went to the class, I was struck by how many people were emotionally distraught about infertility.  But I kept reminding myself:  God has a way of moving things around so that it’s a win-win for everybody.  It sounds formulaic, but you have to trust Him.  Be ready – do your part – but let it come on His time.”

The more they listened to other couples’ stories – especially those of “alumni” who came back to talk to the group – the more they realized, “you have to be patient.”  Speed and a desperate sense of urgency had not made  these other couples parents.  In fact, just the opposite!  Quite a few affirmed Don’s sense that  “you can’t just take over.  God’s got opportunities, messages and subtleties there for you… but you’ve got to be listening.”

Over time, Don and his wife felt a growing, deepening peace about the choice to adopt.  “God understood what I needed to make a decision,” Don recalled.  “We researched our options thoroughly, moving slowly enough to seek God’s guidance at every step.”

To a casual observer, it might have looked as if they were making no progress on their journey toward parenthood.  But in fact, the most important progress occurred when they slowed down and were perfectly still.  How so?  A birth mother tried to put her twin boys up for adoption five times  – but she always changed her mind.  Finally, she decided she was ready.

“If we’d been ready 6 months earlier, this mom wouldn’t have been ready,” Don said.  “And if we’d been ready 6 months later, we might have missed adopting our boys.  I want to recognize God’s timing in this miracle.  It was perfect.”

God’s timing always is.

The words “Be still and know that I am God” are not just a suggestion from scripture.  They are an imperative command for our benefit.  They are also the only way to answer the many unanswered questions on this journey.

When we are still, we make space for God’s voice to be heard.  Sometimes, He may be silent.  If so, we should stay still, but not be afraid.   He has not forgotten or neglected us.  And it is not His desire to compound our fear and anxiety.

We must trust that He is well able to speak clearly when we are ready to listen, and when the time is right. Those are the two key ingredients to forward progress.

This season, give yourself the two gifts that will bless your journey:  intentional stillness, and active listening.  Expect God’s guidance – wait patiently for it – and He will honor your faith with His faithfulness.

He always does.


For more inspiration and words of hope, visit PregnantWithHope.com or read Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples.

Leave a comment

Filed under Battles, Perspective