One of the hardest things we have to do in our journey with God is to maintain our faith during the hard times – the times when it feels like He’s not there, not listening, not seeing you. Or worse, the times it feels like He’s actually punishing you.
We know that’s not the case. We know on the surface that God never abandons us, never gives us a challenge we can’t conquer through him, never punishes us. But when you’re in it, it’s hard to remember that.
For me, the hardest test of my faith came 5 years ago, I was battling infertility. When my brother and my cousins and my friends and my old sorority sisters and my neighbors and my favorite celebrities were all getting pregnant just from sneezing too close to each other (or so it seemed), and I was somehow deemed “not worthy.”
Our Infertility Journey
We fought – yes, fought – to get pregnant for two years. We did tests upon tests, tried different medications and injections, and attempted multiple procedures and techniques, before we finally went “all-in” with In Vitro Fertilization. And finally, after that all-consuming process of IVF, we had success, resulting in our firstborn son, and the embryo that would become our daughter two years later.
Now that I’ve seen how the story ends, it’s easy to see all the stepping stones along the way that were meant to lead us there all along. It’s easy to look back and actually be grateful for that experience because of the perspective and gratitude it’s given me for motherhood. It’s easy to feel how much stronger my relationship with and faith in God is now, thanks to my infertility journey.
But in the depths of that two year darkness? I felt like I was hanging on to my faith by my fingernails, watching it slip away and then gripping my way back to it through gritted teeth.
When you’re battling infertility, there’s very little that you can control about the process. Sure, you control the medications and procedures and doctors to help the process along and give yourself the best odds possible. But at the end of the day, only God can make a baby.
That realization can be comforting, frustrating, and defeating all at once. So for me, my faith was like a lifeboat. When I saw that sad, single, lonely line on the pregnancy test; when the doctor called to share unfortunate test results; when it felt like it would never happen for us… I clung to my lifeboat.
I prayed hard. I prayed for a baby, of course; but also for healing, for understanding, for comfort, for strength. I prayed for my husband – that he would find comfort, too, and relief from always having to be my rock. I prayed that He would use this to strengthen our marriage, rather than tear it apart.
And you know what? Every single one of those prayers was answered.
It wasn’t always obvious or immediate (in fact, it rarely was). But I took comfort in knowing that even when I was disappointed and angry, He was still listening. I could always feel His presence, even when He wasn’t giving me what I wanted.
So while holding onto that faith felt impossible at times, I now know my faith and trust in God is stronger than ever. And for that, I’m forever grateful for my infertility experience (as weird as that is!).
So if you’re suffering from infertility right now, feeling all those feelings of loneliness and defeat and anger and disappointment – please know you’re not alone. Not only are you a part of a community of warriors who have fought this same battle, but God is with you, too.
So talk to Him. Tell him your fears, your desires, your frustrations. Cry to Him, yell at Him, plead with Him – whatever you need to get off your chest, give it to God. He’s there, and He’s listening.
ABOUT CHRISSIE JONES
Chrissie is a wife, mother, and Christ Fellowship attender living in McKinney. She blogs about her life as an #IVFMom, being on the receiving end of toddler tantrums, and family-friendly recipes at onehangrymama.com!