On our seventh anniversary, we piled into exam room #2 to listen to our baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Giddy anticipation was the understated atmosphere. But three years of negative pregnancy tests and a miscarriage just a few months prior gave us the newfound ability to read a room.
It took one glance for us to simultaneously agree upon the harsh reality of our circumstances that day: there would be no celebration.
Our marriage has endured the crushing weight of infertility and the strain of complicated grief by nothing short of a miracle. God walked with us every step of the way. Our story is one of pain, but ultimately, it’s a story of hope. God exchanged our shattered dreams for something far better than we could have imagined.
We’ve been married seventeen years now. God’s most tender blessings have come through opportunities to share our story with others who wade through the muck of infertility. We don’t have all the answers, but what we do have we’ll offer here.
Powerlessness can accompany infertility, but there are some things you can do, things that just might strengthen your marriage as well as your faith.
Accept that infertility isn’t your fault.
The tempting question to land on is: Why is this happening to us? This question seeks to solve the problem of human suffering.
We were both convinced infertility was God’s way of punishing us. God reminds us in His word that He is for us (see Romans 8:31), so we can be free from the mindset that sin is the only cause for suffering. The cross of Jesus Christ is proof that God does not give us what we deserve; He gives His unmerited favor and abundant grace.
We’ve discovered a better question: How is God revealing Himself to us through this? Logic will never explain our suffering, but divine Presence can comfort us within it.
Grieve your own way.
God used infertility to strengthen our marriage by exposing our unique differences. Especially when it comes to grief, it is so easy to assume we all deal with life and view the world in the exact same way.
We talked about our situation with each other a bunch. God brought us to the place of acknowledging that though we could not mend each other’s hearts, we could walk together and remind each other that we were not alone.
Name the lies, then ask God to replace each with truth.
These are some of the lies that crippled us and the truth that set our hearts free. Ask God to expose some of the lies you’ve believed about infertility, about yourself, or about God.
LIE #1 : You’ve been left behind and forgotten.
TRUTH: “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
LIE #2: There is something wrong with you.
TRUTH: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14
LIE #3: Your marriage won’t survive this.
TRUTH: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
LIE #4: There is no hope.
TRUTH: “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4
LIE #5: No one understands.
TRUTH: “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:5
This one is, by far, the most important. God’s timing cannot be manipulated, nor can it be thwarted. We can honestly say that infertility, though heartbreakingly painful, has ultimately been one of God’s greatest blessings for our marriage and our individual faith as well.
Cling to Jesus. He is the answer you seek, and He alone can rewrite your heartache into a breathtaking wonder of a story.
By Kelly Sobieski