We all know that labor hurts. But what most people don’t know is: infertility hurts too. It’s not the loud, screaming kind of pain. It’s long, and slow, and quiet. It’s a different kind of labor altogether. A labor of the soul.
It happens when you toss another negative pregnancy test in the trash can and sit on your bathroom floor and cry.
It happens when you lay in your bed at night, and your husband holds you as you stare into the darkness, while silent tears fall into your pillow.
It happens when you sit at a baby shower and hear all the “Ooh’s” and “Aah’s” over every little, tiny gift, and wonder if you will ever have any little, tiny gifts of your own to open?
It happens when you look in the mirror at your flat stomach, and put your hand over it, and pray for life to grow. And try to imagine what it would look like, what it would feel like, if it did?
Well, after 3 years of struggling with infertility, I thought this cycle was panning out to be different. Unfortunately, all the signs I thought I was seeing didn’t mean anything and the hope for a pregnancy went out the window. While I have disappointment at the outcome, the Lord has been so gracious to me through this in helping me worship and rejoice in Him no matter what. I don’t know if I will ever get pregnant, but I have surrendered it to the Lord and will rest and trust in Him, because He is worthy and has already been SO good to me. This post was such an encouragement to me, in the midst of this disappointment. It’s incredibly uplifting to see someone explain exactly what this feels like. Thank you for your gracious and love-filled words. It did my heart much good today.
I cannot begin to tell you how touched I am by what you’ve shared. I know that feeling well, along with all the wondering of what the future holds. Of what God is doing. But as I hear you speak with surrender, and gratitude, it sounds like God is birthing something quite beautiful in you, even now. I am so sorry for the difficulty you’ve had to endure, but I love that you are worshipping with your hands open, and your heart open. You are so precious to Him, your life is so precious to Him. And you are a beautiful offering! I pray God strengthens you now, and gives you endurance, and much joy, even in unexpected places, and that springs of living water may flow from your soul, and quench you, as you abide in Him. I am so excited about how He will fulfill His purpose for you. I am confident He has a unique calling on you. Keep walking, He will unfold it in His perfect time. You are a precious daughter. He loves you more than can be fathomed, and I just pray He holds you closer than ever right now, as you wait on Him. He will not fail or forsake you.
Beautiful. Thank you so much. I was already obsessed with your blog and then this…. I love it even more now. (I am not a blog-reader. The only ones I have bookmarked are Barren to Beautiful and my best friend’s.). This post ministered to me like crazy & I pray that it will help many other people in the struggle of infertility. I love that there’s no false assurance that if you do X, then God will definitely give you a baby. But there’s the much more beautiful promise that if you seek God, He will give you what you need most: Him.
I am so happy to hear that this ministered to you! I remember so well exactly how I felt walking this road, and though we don’t know where it leads, we can be sure it leads to Him. And that really is the best part. I pray He continues to minister to your heart in the way that only He can, and that He strengthens you with peace and joy and His nearness continually! I am excited for you, because I know as you abide in Him, you will bear fruit, no matter what it looks like. And I’m so glad that you picked up on the fact that there’s not some grand formula God wants us to figure out! He just wants all of your heart, and He wants to give you all Himself, too. During our struggle with infertility, I sometimes thought, “If I just have more faith, God will give me a baby!” It sounds silly to say out loud, but sometimes that logic came into my mind. Although faith is a big part of this journey, I felt the Lord showing me that it wasn’t that I needed MORE faith, then He would give me a baby. It was that I needed more faith to trust Him, whether or not He ever gave me a baby. And that kind of faith is in surrender. You are so precious to Him, and just know that you are not overlooked or forgotten. Thank you so much for commenting, and thank you also for reading! I really appreciate your kind words!!
THank you for this. I am sitting here angry with God. I am a child of God , why doesn’t he “give me the desires of my heart”? Why don’t I receive what I pray for? I don’t know, but he does. I can’t lie, I’m still angry… I’m still hurt, sad, and confused. Some days I get rage when I hear of abortions or the “oopsie”. I don’t know what to do at this point, but I know The Lord led me to read this. Thank you , in the name of Jesus.
Thank you for the encouragement. You’ve helped remind me that God knows what is best for me. I’m way past child bearing age but there are other struggles in my life that affect me in the way I identified with your frustration and grief in not being able to conceive. So this is three days in a row God has used someone to remind me He is in control and I need to just hang on for the ride.
It is amazing how God speaks to us, and I am so glad that He spoke to you through this! I pray He continues to lead you to that place of quietness and trust, as you rest in Him and His ability to lead your life. May every anxiety and fear that you have be entirely swallowed up in His peace, since He has already overcome them all . Much love and grace,
Isaiah 54:11 “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony,and lay your foundations with sapphires.”
This made me cry. Thank you so, so much. I have been so discouraged and even angry this month so your post was very timely.
Bonnie, I’m so glad that you were touched by it. May God uphold you, and show you how close He really is. And may He continue to encourage your heart and give you strength, exactly when you need it.
Priscila Montes says
Its been 4 years and time after time ive been throigh so many negative pregnancy test. I hate that i have gone to God and i seem to always be given his back. I am not perfect. This year we have been trying again. I have not been in any type of connection with God for about 2 years. Tonight i was looking through the internet and i was searching different fertility treatments and wow. They are so expensive. The type of income that isnt in our budget. Then i just gave up. Im awake its 2:27 am again another night just thibking about why! Why me ! Why cant i be the one who conceives. I have seen so many old friends who just have one after another. My heart melts and i just cry as i see them and hold them. Every single person i meet tells me you would make a great mother ! You’re so patient and know exactly what to do and say. And i juat sit there like thanks but never gonna happen. Then, once again i feel alone and just google “God what do i do!!!!!!! I want to get pregnant and i cant. Im crying ” and i see this. I promise i was just gonna close down the app but i clicked on your article. I shed tears while my husband lies in bed in such peace asleep… I feel like God has spoken to me. I just dont know if i am ready to give it all up. I want to be one with God. But I’ve never had a mother nor a father. I have always wanted to see them. Know who and what they are. I feel that my life is so incomplete even though i have everything i need. I believe in God… I pray that he works in me…
Oh sweet sister, I pray God draws you closer and closer to know Him more. I am so sorry for all the pain you have experienced in your heart and soul. Not only in infertility, but also, in not knowing your mother or father. There is a verse in the Bible that says, “For though my father and my mother have forsaken me, the LORD will take me up.” Psalm 27:10 God made you and loves you, and you do not have to be perfect. NONE of us are! I hope God gives you the baby you so long for, but even more I pray you know Him and know His deep love for you. I believe He led you here on purpose, and He wants to rescue you from despair. Do you know any Christians, or do you go to a church? I was just wondering if you have anyone in your life who brings you encouragement or hope? My heart goes out to you! May God refresh your hope, and water your weary soul. And may He open your eyes to Him. He really sees you and loves you. He will work out His perfect plan for your life in His time and in His way. Please let me know if you have questions about who God is. Or you can communicate with me via my “Barren to Beautiful” facebook page as well. xo, Rebekah
Nadine Nel says
Gosh, as I read this, I need to focus every few minutes so that the words can stop blurring with tears.
Oh I wish I could have been more open hearted like you. Your words is spot on. Seems I have been selfish thinking its only me.
My husband and I have been battling for more that 2 years, every negative test breaks my heart even further. Countless nights, praying begging for a miracle; only to get another negative test.
I wish I could believe like you, im trying SO hard to be glad for every family member that announce there pregnancy but im a failure, I just cant get it together to be happy for them. I feel jealousy. Then a silent tear run down my cheek and I send up a silent prayer, for God just to bring my heart at ease.. Even though it doesn’t help all the time, I just have to believe.
Thank you for the words and I hope that one day I can be such a good believer like you, and that ill find comfort in our barrenness.
It just feel like im loosing faith.
Every sentence of your article brought tears in my eyes. I can feel each and every word just because i am going through it now.. but trust me, i feel a bit relaxed amd hopeful. Thanks for that wonderful article!!
You are welcome Sudha <3
May God bless you abundantly for your transparency and words of godly wisdom! I found this blog on the Thriving Home blog and was blessed beyond measure. Through rivers of tears and reading it several times, I have realized that this season of ttc has become my god, when my God is waiting with open arms for me to climb in His lap in surrender and worship Him in spite of my current season. Thank you so much for being obedient to God and releasing what He has placed on your heart. What a blessing!
Monica, your response gave me chills. Amen, sister. You understand perfectly what I am saying. It’s all about Him! Much love. May He satisfy you more than you ever imagined! love, Rebekah
Last night, I was googling “Hawaiian gods of fertility” when somehow this blog post showed up… My cousin had given me a little idol that was some sort of god of fertility that she is convinced is why she conceived after struggling with infertility for a few years. When she gave it to me yesterday, I kind of laughed it off as a good luck charm but the more I thought about it, the more I felt God telling me that this was a false idol, and we shouldn’t be worshipping false idols.
I have no idea why or how this blog post came up during that google search, except that I think God wanted to remind me that He is the only God I need to worship and that His plan is far greater than any plan I might have for myself. I read your words and I cried and cried and cried. I felt like every feeling and emotion in this journey through infertility was spilled on the pages in front of me and validating the fact that I need to put far more faith in God than I have been. I emailed this post it to my church infertility group at 1AM and prayed to God that I could have a more grateful heart about everything that I do have going for me right now and to trust in Him, that His timing is far better than mine.
This morning, I took a pregnancy test because I am a week late and it was negative. As prepared as I was for this (I took one last Sunday as well), I still cried. I went to church and the pastor randomly talked about pregnancy tests in his sermon and I lost it. I cried some more to the point where I felt like I couldn’t breathe. And as much as I have prayed that I would be ok with His timing, I am still so sad. I went to coffee this afternoon to meet up with two of my best friends to plan a baby shower for a 3rd friend and I cried again. I read this blog (and quite a few others of yours) over and over again and while I take hope in the fact that I have a God who loves me and has a great plan for me, infertility is hard.
It’s hard to go to baby showers and see announcements on facebook every day for someone new who is getting their baby, while I am still waiting for mine. It’s hard to be on medicine that makes you feel crazy and hormonal and menopausal and nuts and emotional all of the time. It’s hard to feel hopeful and distraught every single month based on whether or not you conceived. It’s hard to see your unwed God-sister have their fourth baby before they are 24 years old when you have done everything in the right order. It’s hard to hear about people neglecting their children or choosing drugs and addiction over family, when you would love to put a baby first. It’s hard to not question God and why he is giving babies to all of the other women when you want one more than anything. It’s hard to let go and let God take control. Infertility is so hard.
I am not sure where I am going with this except to say thank you for your kind words. Thank you for being an understanding voice who gets how difficult this process is. And thank you, thank you, thank you for reminding me that my focus should be on Him and not whether or not next months pregnancy test has two lines or one.
Oh Kim, tears fill my eyes reading this. This is certainly HIS doing, not mine. That you would even find my little blog, but I think the Lord has led you here, in His love. Surely, He has a plan for you. And He cares not only about your womb, but about your heart. May He flood you with His healing and life, quenching your every thirst with Himself. Please continue to follow along as I think it will be an encouragement to you. Check out my Barren to Beautiful facebook page, and you can read the testimonies of women I feature every tuesday of how God has or is working in their life. You are not alone, and I am so thankful for a God who loves us so much not to let us wander away from Him. <3, Rebekah
Rebekah, thank you! Thank you for pouring out your heart and sharing the harsh reality of disappointment and feelings that are not of the Spirit when trying to conceive. I personally have been struggling seeing all of my friends post their pregnancy announcements. I want to be happy for them, but instead I find myself crying and feelings of envy and jealousy creep in. I know Satan is trying to tear me away. Thank you for the verses you shared. I am continuing to pray for patience and faith as I trust in God’s plan for me, my husband, and our life. I know this His plan is greater than I can imagine and that His timing is always perfect. I’m also praying for grace to be happy for
others. Thank you again for sharing your journey. Praying that God continues to bless you and your family.
I never considered that when I finally got married I would not have children as well. I thought it was all one package. It’s something that I am still grappling with – it’s VERY hard to accept. I feel as if God does not think me worthy to have children. Why are people who dont’t want kids or even like kids, able to have kids? If children are a blessing, why have I been denied this blessing? I hate the emotional roller-coaster. I just want to be able to not care anymore.