Tag Archives: ovarian cancer

Do All Things Work Together for Good with Infertility?

Periodically, someone asks me if there is a single Bible verse that gives hope when nothing else can.  For me, there is.  I clung to it through what seemed like something out of the book of Job.

In the span of a few years, my parents died tragically.  I miscarried twins – one at a time.  Our baby had a hole in the heart.   There was another miscarriage.  A cross-country move.  A demanding residency.  A fragile pregnancy.  Five months of bedrest.   A premature birth.  A cancer diagnosis.  Chemo with a newborn….  And so much more.

It was relentless.

Wave after wave engulfed us.  We were constantly in survival mode.  Crisis was our “normal.”  Surely, no one would’ve chosen to live our story.  And yet… our marriage grew stronger.  Our daughter survived open heart surgery.  Our premature baby thrived.  The cancer was misdiagnosed.

Every time we felt our heads going under water, we found our feet under us.   Whenever we felt we couldn’t go on any longer, we’d get a moment of unexpected rest.  God was keeping his promise, “Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. Don’t be intimidated; I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my victorious right hand” [Isaiah 41:10].

So is that verse from Isaiah my favorite?  No, because God gave us more than just the strength to withstand.  He transformed our struggles into these valuable lessons:

1)      Take nothing for granted – Not life, not health, not prosperity or safety.  Not a baby’s heart beat, or a family’s support.  It’s all a gift.  We realized we are not entitled to joy, and it is never guaranteed.  So when those amazing moments come, we should pause and give God our thanks.

2)      Value each other’s contributions – Neither of us could have survived the onslaught of stress and grief alone.  We needed each other’s love, humor, grace, and tears.  Every trial strengthened our commitment to protecting our relationship at all costs.  That forged a solid foundation for our family.

3)      Learn to trust God’s plan and purpose – We would never have written our script; we would have made everything come easily.  But in hindsight, we see that the struggle made us stronger – our faith, our marriage, our passion for parenting, our sense of purpose.  Everything is more focused, concentrated, purposeful.  It has surprised us… but not God.

So, given all that, this is my favorite verse:  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” [Romans 8:28].  Our journey gave us the proof.  We now know the power of this promise, and the peace that comes from claiming it in the midst of any circumstances.

Don’t be afraid of the hard road.  It leads you to God’s very best.


Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com

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Obsessing Over Infertility

AP news release (11/09) – Doctors have long worried about a link between fertility drugs and ovarian cancer.  But, Danish researchers recently analyzed medical records of 54,362 women and found that, over a 13-year follow-up period, those who took fertility drugs faced no greater risk of ovarian cancer – even if they’d undergone 10 or more treatment cycles.

Why is it that obsessing over when we’ll get pregnant isn’t enough?  We have to compound our suffering by worrying over other things we can’t control—like whether the fertility drugs we take now will bring on some new kind of suffering later.

“Fear and faith seem like opposites,” writes Joel Osteen, “but both ask us to believe something we cannot see.  Fear says, ‘believe the negative.’ Faith says, ‘believe the positive.’”  Why is so much easier for us to embrace fear?  And if we hate feeling fearful, why do we choose fear as our response to uncertainty?

The truth is, it doesn’t feel like a choice.  Loss of control flips a panic switch somewhere deep inside us.  Our instinctive fight-or-flight response takes over:   Hurry!  Fix this!  Solve it!  Now!  We don’t want to feel afraid.  We hate it.  So, in response to fear, we fight for control—struggling to maintain a steady course down an unfamiliar road toward a destination we hope we can find.

Parenthood.  Is it just up ahead?  We want to believe we’re on the right road… but something tells us we’re lost.  And alone.  In growing darkness.  Uncertainty compounds our panic and, before we know it, we’re careening down a dark road at top speed – scared to death, and hoping to make it in one piece.

Is there any other way to make this journey?  Yes…, but it requires us to do the unthinkable:  relinquish control.

Letting go in the midst of infertility is completely counterintuitive.  It feels like giving up.  But it’s not.  It is simply a humble admission that we are not in control.  We desperately want to be, but we’re not.  Unconsciously, we’ve resisted facing this obvious truth.  Why?  Out of fear that we’ll be overwhelmed by despair.  We’ll see how small and helpless we truly are in the face of intractable infertility, and heartbreak will become defeat.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

When we admit we are not in control, we make room for God to enter the story.  Will He help us?  Will He care?

“Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Those were Jesus’ words to a panicked father when he heard his daughter had died.  Jesus understood the man’s instinctive response was fear and grief.  But Jesus told him:  don’t choose fear… choose faith.  Trust me… not what they tell you, or what you see.

What is your visceral response to bad news?  Do you rush to embrace grief and fear?  Or do you believe (“walk by faith…”), despite what you see (“…not by sight”)?

It’s your journey.  And it’s your choice.


Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com [tweetmeme source=”pregnantwhope” only_single=false]

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