Why, we asked, why were we not able to have children?
There are at least three reasons, all found in 2 Corinthians 1:3-11:
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
Reason 1: So that we would rely on God (v.9)
With infertility, it is very tempting to try every kind of trick and procedure available because there are so many and no one is sure about how effective they all are. So you think, It won’t hurt to try, right? Nothing else is working! And I think trying some of these “tricks” are actually healthy for anyone trying to conceive. Plus, since children are a blessing, I’m sure putting effort into having them is good, right?
Remember, it always comes back to the heart. If you get totally absorbed and caught up in simply conceiving, where is your devotion to Christ?
I fought this temptation constantly. I ached to have kids, to love and teach and disciple our children. And every day, I had to face the fact that we might not ever have any of our own (biologically). Each day I could make a choice to check and recheck and recheck my fertility calendar and just exist until the next LH surge or period gave me news.
Or, I could praise God and make Him the only thing I wanted.
I wore out Psalm 73:25 in prayer:
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
I’m not going to lie. Many days I cried as I prayed this verse – because it wasn’t true all of the time. But I wanted it to be, and I opened myself to depending on God deeper than I had in a long time.
I pray if you are walking this journey right now that this prayer would be what you bring to God daily.
Reason 2: To comfort others with the comfort we received from God (vv.3-4)
Although we were confused, we knew our God was in control. We know He is good. We also knew that didn’t mean that we would be able to have children.
But we were comforted to know that God would use this piece of our lives to glorify Himself. And that’s what matters above all else- only the praise of God. Only worship of Him.
For whatever reason, this is where we were. He surrounded us with others who prayed for us every day and loved us when we were in pain. They were a tangible comfort to us.
Since we started learning about infertility, we have been bombarded with knowledge about others’ infertility, miscarriages, and infant loss. It’s awful to feel the pain of a mourning parent or a hopeful parent. However, I know God has used our infertility to help us minister to others in similar or parallel situations. He has allowed us to be a comfort to others as He was to us. He HAS been glorified through this and will be constantly.
Reason 3: For many to give thanks (v.11)
Another thing I prayed for was that regardless of our ability to have children, we would praise and thank God for who He is. God blessed me in that even through my pain, I was always able to have the peace to praise Him.
But know that if you’re struggling with this, He loves you just the same. And I hope you will pray for this same peace and ability to praise.
Two years after we started trying to conceive, we were taking a break from fertility treatments (of which we had done 3 months’ worth – the lowest doses of Clomid). We bought a small 3-bedroom house, not all that expectant to fill it with children. When we signed the papers, we were pregnant – but we didn’t know!
We gave thanks – boy did we give thanks! And dozens of friends and family members did too. We were all stunned and overjoyed.
But we also gave thanks without that blessing.
God decided to bless us with Samuel. I don’t know why. I do know this, it has nothing to do with me or what I did or didn’t do. He might bless you in the same way. And He might not. It is SO hard to hear that and know it and still trust His perfect plan.
Please know that I am praying for comfort and peace for you – for perseverance – because for many, your journey is already years and years long. I understand that it’s hard to hear anything about infertility from a mother. I had the same deafness and pray that you will still find comfort.
Sovereign God, please bless my friends who are in the midst of infertility of any kind. I pray that they would seek you out constantly and fill themselves up with you. I pray that you would make your will known to them clearly and in perfect timing. I pray for their family and friends to be ever-so sensitive to their needs in this area.
Most of all God, I pray that you would be their only comfort, their only peace, and their only desire.