I ran from it.
Overwhelming desire hit me smack in the face.
Hope springs up deep inside.
Month after month,
Months turn into years.
Joy turns into Pain.
Pain into Despair.
Despair into Anger.
Why me when others seem not to care?
Anger and pain so strong it blurred my view of God.
When there was nothing left,
And I was at the end of myself,
That still small voice,
The Voice of God,
Suddenly got louder.
He was always there, whispering.
Words of love and hope,
Reminders of His perfect timing,
But my anguish and desperation
Had overpowered His truth.
I truly let go,
Godâ€™s love got louder.
I was ready to hear
Hear the words the Father has been whispering.
Just for me.
â€œIâ€™ve been here waiting.â€
â€œWaiting for you to listen and look to me through the pain.â€
â€œI have a plan, dear one.â€
â€œOne that is far better than your imaginings.â€
â€œOne that will bring you great joy.â€
â€œWait on me.â€
Infertility. Why are we so afraid of this word? Is it because of the feelings of anger, shame, guilt, or loss? Why do we hold these feelings inside instead of sharing them with our heavenly Father, who longs to carry the burden for us? Why shouldn’t we be willing to share our lives and personal experiences with our sisters who have walked this path before us or are experiencing it in the here and now as we are?
I had a discussion recently with a friend about how we know more women who struggle with infertility on some level than women who donâ€™t. Women suffering in silence. There are some message boards and a few websites where women can come to share their experiences, but what about the Christian community? How are we ministering to these women? As Christian women who have walked the same lonely path, we should be there to guide and encourage women so they can come out of the depths of doubt and pain and into Godâ€™s marvelous light and faithfulness.
God patiently walked with me on my long journey of dealing with infertility, and in turn, has given me a heart and calling to reach out to my sisters who are experiencing the same pain. I know and have felt all the array of emotions that go along with this painful journey, but have now been surprised by joy (to quote the incomparable C.S. Lewis) and have seen the hand of God at work. I understand the immense sadness that results from an empty womb, and all the pain, doubt, anger, confusion, and desires that flood our heads and hearts on this arduous path. But what if, instead of allowing these feelings of bitterness and anger to consume our hearts, we could turn our focus to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, seeking His face, love and plan for our lives? Easier said than done, of course, but still, shouldn’t we encourage and challenge one another in this way?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:2-6, NIV)
In the midst of infertility, it can be so hard when everywhere we turn we see another girl pregnant. And what about those who donâ€™t even want to be pregnant? You may think (because I know I have), why, God, can they get pregnant, when I canâ€™t? Even now, after adopting, and having children more precious than I could have imagined, it is difficult to assuage the feelings of loss that rise inside me over missing out on the experience of carrying of my children in my womb. I would lying if I said a day doesn’t go by when I don’t feel some sadness over that loss coupled with great joy and thankfulness for all that God has provided. I have to admit that even still, when I experience the joy of someone finding out they are pregnant, or hold a precious new baby in my arms, there is a fleeting moment when I cry out to God, why can’t I carry a baby inside me? But in that moment, God whispers in my heart once again, “Suzanne, you know that my plan for you is adoption. It is My perfect plan for you, and it far exceeds the plans you thought you had or even the ideas that the world is pedaling as ideal. Keep trusting Me, dear one! ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher then the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’â€ (Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV)
In those moments, if I can choose to focus on my Father and His promises, I experience abounding peace and joy. It is only through the acknowledgement of my weakness that my understanding of my need for Him increases. This has been a daily process of continuing to learn to just trust Him, even when I want to scream, â€œWhy, Lord?â€ I know in my heart that He has a plan that is far superior to anything I could ever imagine.
Why canâ€™t I have a child? The answer to this question will be different for each person struggling with infertility. Sometimes God will clearly reveal why and sometimes He wonâ€™t. I think this is one of the hardest things about infertility. It is all about relying on God. He has a plan that is far beyond our understanding. Everything that happens to us in this life, God draws on to shape us into a vessel that He can use for His glory and to further His kingdom. â€œBut now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.â€ (Isaiah 64:8, NASB).
The infertility experience will bring us ever closer to our beloved Father as we learn to lean on Him for support. And, we have a high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses. He understands what we are going through; Jesus not only experienced all the physical aspects of being human, but the emotional as well. He felt great loneliness and grief when separated from God, His Father, on the cross (Matthew 27:46). He dealt with sadness at the death of Lazarus (John 11:34-36), and expressed righteous indignation at the discovery of exploitation in the Temple of the Lord (John 2:16). The physical pain that Jesus felt on the cross was incredible, yet He stayed focused on the Father and His plan. How encouraging is it to know He understands our pain and sorrow!
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:14-16, NASB).
After struggling with infertility for 5 years, God led Suzanne and her husband, Adam, to His Plan A for their livesâ€”adoption! Their daughter, Grace Lihua, came into their lives on May 8, 2011 (Motherâ€™s Day) from Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China. Their son, Anthony Jianyou, joined their family on January 14, 2013 from Shanghai. After a career in politics, Suzanne now works as a part time Pilates instructor while home schooling their children, writing and working as part of the Sparrow Fund Blog leadership team.
You can follow their adoption journey and life on her blog, Surpassing Greatness.