Tag Archives: self-reliance

Misery is Optional

If you were asked to draw a Venn diagram of aspiring parents, you’d probably sort your two groups into those who get pregnant easily, and those who struggle to conceive.  The Fertile, and the Infertile.  Lucky, and Unlucky.  Blessed, and Cursed.  Happy, and Miserable.

That’s the way the world looks when you’re struggling through infertility.  Blissful pregnant women are everywhere – at work, in stores, on magazine covers – radiating joy and the confidence that goes with effortless success. Meanwhile, you are at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum – fighting tears, suppressing grief, suffering silently.

What if I told you that, as always, there is an area of overlap in this Venn diagram?  That it is possible to be infertile, and yet radiate confidence.  To hear the statistics for infertility, and yet anticipate joy.  To know the truth of your situation, and yet feel peaceful, hopeful and grateful.

How would you find your way to that “sweet spot?”

First, acknowledge that it feels virtually impossible to focus on anything but Now in the midst of infertility.  What are my counts now?  Should we have sex now?  What are our odds now?  It’s time for shots now.  We need advice, now.  Why don’t they call now?  I want results now!  I’m gonna cry now.  I need a break – now.  Now, now, now!

Then, realize that underlying all this urgency is the constant worry:  what if I miss it?  The moment, the advice, the appointment, the phone call….  What if I don’t do everything right at just the right moment?  Will we fail?  Will we never have a baby?!

That kind of thinking reveals a complete reliance on Self.  But infertility proves that no one is truly self-sufficient.  No amount of money, effort or determination can force a heartbeat into the womb.  You’ve tried and tried… and failed.

So, now what?  Scripture describes God as the one who “always leads us in triumph.”  What about shifting your focus from self-reliance to God-reliance?

God hasn’t abandoned you or stepped out of your story.  He’s not neglecting your suffering or turning His back on your pain.  In fact, He’s been working behind the scenes, insuring that “all things work together for good….”  He’s been putting solutions in place, so your problems won’t be the end of your story.

He’s been making the crooked places straight, and guiding your steps as He walks with you on this journey.  He’s been fulfilling His promises in ways you may not see or understand — yet.

Want to find the sweet spot where the facts of the moment don’t overwhelm your hope for the future?  Where it’s possible to face infertility head-on and still feel confident there’s a child coming?  If so…

1)  Let God lead.  Loosen your grip on the moment and listen for the whisper of the Holy Spirit, the voice that says, “this is the way… walk in it.”

2) Focus on God’s abundant goodness.   Replace thoughts of lack and failure with memories of God’s faithfulness to those He loves.

3) Trust God’s plan.  He knows the precise moment when you will meet the sweet soul He wants you to love and steward.  He planted the seed of hope in your heart, and He will harvest it at the perfect time.

With infertility, the struggle is a given, but the misery is optional. Recognize that you have a choice about how to make the journey.  Go through it in the sweet spot.


Want more resources, inspiration and cause for hope?  Click this link

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Filed under Perspective, Trust

Can We Talk About Infertility?

If misery loves company, why do we insist on isolating ourselves when we need support the most? One woman with the courage to go public with a private loss wrote this in a Newsweek editorial:

“The doctor said the test had indicated an unviable pregnancy. I started talking to other pregnant women (who seemed to be all around me) and learned what no one tells you until devastation has set in: up to 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.

People keep too mum about private tragedies such as this. True, miscarriages are not catastrophic, especially in terms of sheer commonality, but it can tear away a piece of you that you didn’t know was there.  We need to talk to each other, rather than suffer surrounded by silent sisters.”

She’s right. We need to talk to each other. Suffering in silence only compounds the sense of isolation we already feel in the midst of infertility.

So, why don’t we talk? Why don’t we tell each other, “I lost a pregnancy” or “I lost a child”? The tidal wave of grief is already washing over us. The only way to get a lifeline is to call for help.

What’s stopping us?

Pride is what silenced me.  I hated to admit I was failing at something so many other women seemed to accomplish effortlessly.  Seemed being the key word.  If the Newsweek writer is to be believed, there were miscarriages going on all around me.  But no one talked about it.  Those silent sisters kept their secrets and I foolishly believed that I was alone in my misery.  That I was the only one struggling to catch up with everyone else’s instant gratification.

Now, consider this:  “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” [James 4:6].


My pride was rooted in a desire for self-reliance and control.  I was raised to consider self-reliance a virtue…an admirable quality often seen in leaders… the mark of a “can do” go-getter.  And control as the holy grail.  But God doesn’t see it that way.  He sees arrogant self-centeredness that refuses to make room for Him.  Or worse, an entitlement attitude that puts me on the throne and Him at my beck and call (in the form of “I want/I need” prayer).

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Thank goodness I finally set my pride aside and began to share my struggle.  Grace came from all around me, in the form of stories shared by women who’d also kept their struggles secret.  All of us had bought into the lie that we alone were failing to conceive.  We alone kept miscarrying.  Meanwhile, “we” were everywhere.

Don’t make my mistake.  Share your story.  There’s a silent sister out there suffering, and she needs to hear it.


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

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Filed under Bystanders, Humility, Speaking Up