When my husband and I moved into our first home, we had BIG plans. We had been married for almost a year at the time and had been together for almost 8 years…it was time to start a family. The very first night in the new house, we flushed the pills down the toilet together. We weren’t going to ‘try,’ but we weren’t going to not try either. Not that I knew what that meant.
After our first year of trying I began to worry. I would have random months of long cycles and symptoms. I would swear I was pregnant, but the tests came back negative every time. My husband wasn’t as wrapped up in it as me, but as a woman, you know the pain of a negative pregnancy test, or when your cycle starts and you know in your heart…it didn’t happen, AGAIN.
Finally, I talked to my doctor about it. And then the tests started. The tests resulted in medications and more tests, which led to even more medication and fertility treatments. This story isn’t about what happened to me through this process, though; it’s about what I learned.
For three long years we waited to get pregnant. Waited and wondered and cried. Every month that passed without success was another piece of my heart that I felt was carved out of my chest. On Christmas Eve I went for my last blood test before my husband and I were calling it quits on this process. That evening we got the results that, once again, we were not pregnant.
That Christmas was the saddest I can ever remember. I was a shell with a fake smile. The world seemed so pointless if I couldn’t do what I always wanted to do – have a family.
But, insert God.
He had a plan for all of this. And the process grew me and sanctified me more than I ever realized it was doing at the time.
First, infertility taught me that a strong marriage is vital to trials. My husband was the rock I held onto when I was struggling. He was the person I cried to when it wasn’t working. He was the man who held my hand with injections and procedures and lost dreams. He was everything. He retreated into himself sometimes, and at those times I had to remember that people process things differently. I liked to talk; he liked quiet. As the years went on, I also learned that I could never put this baby above our relationship. Sometimes I failed at this, wanting a baby so badly it infiltrated our intimacies and created distance. But a quick nip in the bud from the Holy Spirit and I would quickly remember that he was my husband, and child or no child, God designed our sex lives in order for us to connect in a very special way. Build your marriage on the truth found in God’s Word so that you can face any storm with umbrellas raised together – your arms don’t get so tired that way.
Secondly, infertility sanctified me in multiple ways.
It taught me patience. Patience that is severely needed when it comes to raising tiny humans.
It taught me gratitude. You look at hard pregnancies and difficult days with a different perspective when you were so close to it never being a possibility for you.
It taught me to ditch comparison and jealousy. My story is mine. And women and friends around me getting pregnant? Their stories are theirs! I’ll never forget a dear friend of mine who was never planning another baby and came to my house balling her eyes out to share her news, afraid of my reaction since she was pregnant while actively trying to prevent. Her story was her story, and mine is mine. And those things shape us into the people God plans us to be if we let go of comparison and refuse to be jealous of others.
It taught me about idols. See, having a baby was an idol on my throne that is reserved only for God. I’ll go into this in more detail in another post. But, releasing the idols that were replacing God in my life freed my spirit to accept His plan and bring me peace.
Finally, most importantly, it taught me about God’s grace. See, throughout my years of struggle I didn’t realize any of these things. I worshipped the idea of pregnancy. I struggled with jealousy and comparison and complaining about ‘why not me?’ I was not worthy – instead I was angry, bitter and hopeless. And God blessed me with a healthy pregnancy anyway. He knew my heart, he knew my path, he knew I would come around to realize all he pruned in me during those seasons, so he extended His grace. My pregnancy was not the goal of my infertility in the Lord’s eyes. No, my pregnancy was just the beginning of my revelation to all He had done for me in the time of waiting.
Sweet momma, I see you struggling waiting for your baby. I see the pain of negative test and the fear of positive ones. I hear your cries of lost pregnancies, no matter how early or late – they were your babies. I see it all. But one thing I wished I would have learned during the wait? God has a plan for you. He wants to fulfill the desires of your heart. But maybe there’s some pruning he wants to do in you first. Pray. Ask God to reveal where He wants you to grow! I’d love to join you in prayer for your sanctification! Comment below or send me and email. Trust in God, lean on the promises in His Word, and joyfully walk through this season of pruning.