I hope you don’t mind if I get a little personal with you today. Can I tell you a secret? I’ve been carrying this secret around with me for over five years now, but now the time has come for me to let it out. The thought came to me as I was walking to my car after a doctor’s appointment recently. That’s when I heard it…the still small voice inside, confirming what I already knew. Yes, now is the time for me to share my story. Someone out there needs to hear it, and since you’re reading this today, it could be you.
My secret isn’t unique at all to me. If fact, it is estimated that there are over 6 million women in the US alone suffering from the same ailment. It’s a word I’ve come to despise I’ve heard it so many times.
Over five years ago during a casual meal at a Zaxby’s restaurant, my husband and I decided we were ready to start a family. We made the decision to stop our method of birth control at the beginning of the New Year, just a couple of months away. I can still remember how excited I was as we walked out of the restaurant thinking of the new adventure parenthood would bring us. With two years of marriage under our belts, good jobs, and a nice home, it seemed like our life together was falling right into place.
Fast forward over five years later and here I am sitting at my desk writing this post. No baby to check on…no toddler to watch after. The thought never occurred to me that we’d have any difficulty conceiving a child, and I never imagined we’d still be fighting this battle so many years later. “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Christie with a baby carriage.” That’s how it goes, right? Isn’t that’s the way it’s meant to be?
I won’t go into all the details of our struggles with infertility right now. Just know that we are dealing with what is referred to as unexplained infertility. Everything appears to be in working order, and the doctors have no clue why we haven’t been able to conceive. I think that our diagnosis almost makes it worse for us, since it really isn’t a diagnosis at all. It still leaves us with a question mark.
But I’m not sharing my story with you today to focus on the questions about infertility. I’m sharing my story to encourage someone else out there to keep their hope. Yes, even after 62 months of failed attempts, even after my doctor told me recently that I only have a 1% chance of ever getting pregnant, I still can’t hold back the hope that resides deep in my heart. The hope that one day it will be different for us. The hope that one day I will see that beautiful line indicating a miracle on my home pregnancy test.
Why do I still have this hope, after so many years you ask?
I have hope because of my faith in a God who specializes in making the impossible, possible.
It is my prayer that no matter what situation you are dealing with in life, whether it be infertility, a struggling marriage, an addiction or a disease, that you never lose hope.
The first thing I did after hearing that dreaded word, infertility, from my doctor, was to start searching for answers. I started with the best book on the subject, my Bible. Reading about Sarah and Hannah and their struggles with infertility really comforted me. I wrote down verses from the Bible to offer encouragement for me and my husband, to increase our faith, and to give us strength as we prayed for the child we longed for so much.
“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3 NLT
Our struggle has not been easy, and the end is still not in sight. We still have questions with no answers. We still are unsure of God’s plan for us, and we pray daily for His guidance. But through it all, we still have the hope that we have in Him. We genuinely believe that our God wants only what’s best for us, and we know that God is using our struggle to perfect us and increase our faith in Him. Even if we never have a child of our own, we can still trust in Him.
We can’t have a testimony without a test, right?
It is now my goal to be content with the life we have now. Being content doesn’t mean I have to give up my hope that God will answer our prayer. Being content involves trusting God and choosing to focus on Him instead of my problem. I want to be like Paul in the Bible. I love what he says in Philippians 4:11-13.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (NIV)
I can be content with all that God has given me now. I can be content with all the many blessings He has given me already. He has given me so much to be thankful for, including my loving, supportive husband. Even without a baby what we have together is pretty amazing, and there’s no one I’d rather be on this journey with than him.
Wow, I can’t believe that my secret is finally out! If you’ve wondered why Errik and I don’t have children yet, now you know. Until now I’d chosen to keep this a silent struggle and had only confided in a few friends for support. Based on my experience and the experience of others, infertility is a touchy subject, and people can say some insensitive things to you…often times without even realizing it. But you know the saying, “The truth shall set you free?” I’m giving it a try today…and I must admit, I’m feeling much better already!