Several years ago during my own struggle with infertility, I sat down with other godly women struggling with the same battle to hammer out a handbook for an seminar on the topic. Many years have passed. Some have adopted. Some have gotten pregnant with or without fertility intervention (and then gotten pregnant a 2nd time unexpectedly). Some still have not yet conceived a child of their own. But I believe the truths we gathered from Scripture on this topic resonate still. And if you or someone you love are struggling with this topic, I hope this will be an encouragement to you.

I will break this up into a series of posts over the next few days due to the length.

If You Were Coming In The Fall
By Emily Dickinson

If you were coming in the fall,
I’d brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.
If I could see you in a year,
I’d wind the months in balls,
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.
If only centuries delayed,
I’d count them on my hand,
Subtracting till my fingers dropped
Into Van Diemen’s land.
If certain, when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I’d toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.
But now, all ignorant of the length
Of time’s uncertain wing,
It goads me, like the goblin bee,
That will not state its sting.
Emily Dickinson must have been long acquainted with the frustration of waiting. Though likely written about a lost love, her poem well articulates the annoying problem of waiting for something with no indication of when (if ever) your wait will be over. For many of us, that wait is for God to give us a child. If you have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, you have likely experienced feelings similar to the bee Dickinson describes that flies about your head threatening its sting but never fulfilling its threat. Wouldn’t you sometimes just rather KNOW? Many couples go for years without getting pregnant with no documentable problem with either spouse. What do you do? How long do you wait? Should you try to adopt?

God often uses WAITING in Scripture to accomplish His purposes. Lamentations 3:25 promises that the Lord is good to those who WAIT on Him. But what do you do in the waiting? How do you deal with emotions and fears that buzz around your head threatening you like Dickinson’s goblin bee? Here are some common questions and concerns faced at this stage of life along with Scriptural answers for each.

Common Infertility Concerns and Questions

1) “I prayed and I’m still not pregnant. I’m afraid God’s answer will be NO.”

God invites perseverance in prayer. The parable of the unjust judge in Luke 18 was given to us for the express purpose to teach us to not give up in prayer. Though God is sovereign over this process and has before the foundation of the world established His plan for our lives, He still invites us to nag Him in prayer. And in that persevering prayer, He promises a peace over our hearts and minds that will transcend our ability to understand. What a gracious God!

Philippians 4 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Luke 18 1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4″For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ ” 6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for
his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Romans 8 26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

2) “God isn’t good and He isn’t working for my good.”

Oh, but He is!!!! God is notorious for using the worst of circumstances to work the best of things in His children’s lives. This is His trademark. Think of Job, Joseph, Hannah, Ruth, etc. He brings bad circumstances into our lives, forcing us to lose our life so that we may truly find it. Then He teaches us the meaning of true abundant living. Dying to ourselves is painful. But believe that the work He is performing in your life defies expectation. This is fundamentally Who our God is.

Romans 8 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Hebrews 11 1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. …6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Matthew 10 37″Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

3) “Why did God give me a desire that He refuses to fulfill?”

The desire to be parents is certainly God-ordained. But desires out of line with sufficiency and satisfaction in Christ are devastating. God often uses unfulfilled desire in Scripture to accomplish His purposes. Consider Hannah’s classic example. Without her long unfulfilled desire, she would never have been willing to give her son up to service in God’s temple. No one can say for sure why God is allowing this unfulfilled desire in your heart. But you can trust that it is consistent with His character and that He is working in your desires to accomplish His will. Psalms 37 speaks of God’s working in and through our desires. But consider the context. The general exhortation of the chapter is to be patient and not worry when evil people seem to be winning and your desires are slow to be fulfilled.

Psalms 37 3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD ; trust in him and he will do this: … 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;

Isaiah 30 15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

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