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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Infertility, in Retrospect

Ann Voskamp, in One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, has taught many of us that "all is grace"...and that joy comes from gratitude, even for those things that bring sadness...because we cannot see the whole picture.  But he can.  We can only trust.

Friday's post, for me, brought to the surface one of these areas of grace that is always just below it.

Photo: Leeni, click for license
As I reflect back on 22 years of marriage touched by infertility, I still feel the sadness, but it is not quite so searing now.  Partly because we were gifted with a miracle who has brought such goodness and joy into our home that it eclipses the want for the many others that we had hoped would join our home.  And partly, too, because I realize that the absence of the others, that we had longed for, has opened up space for some that I have not birthed, but have loved.

As I reflect on my burden of sadness, I realize that there are a couple of others that have been placed on my heart to love.  I'm not sure why.  But I can't shake them, even when they want me to.  Somehow, it is my job to worry about them, pray for them, hope for them, hold them in my heart.  Like my own.

Perhaps if I had been given the houseful that I had hoped and prayed for, I would have missed them,... these others.

I suppose that God has his reasons, and it is our job to accept our lot, live in it fully, and call it good.

I'm almost...almost...ready to be thankful for it.

Peace of Christ,

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  1. Beautiful. My husband and I also struggle with infertility. Three years into our marriage we were told we would never have biological children. It's been a few years since then and I have adjusted and am so thankful for the life we have instead but it was such a huge, huge blow. At the time I felt like God had betrayed me...not the most grace filled attitude but there you have it. :) Even though God has blessed us (we have a son and are in the process of adopting another child) I sometimes have lingering sadness too and I don't understand why since I really do accept the life we've been blessed with. Anyway, thank you for sharing.

  2. Michelle-

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your words truly touched my heart as I have too have been struggling with secondary infertility for the past 5 years. I am so sorry to hear of your sadness, but you are definitely not alone.

    Have you found any particular resources particularly comforting? I am definitely going to check out the book you mentioned.

    Blessings in Christ,

  3. Hi Michelle, just wanted to say Hi, and that I've been poking around your site and have been blessed. Wanted to post here to say that I've also found that the Lord has used my secondary infertility for His Glory, to make room for those "others". After years of "trying" and miscarriages, we were finally blessed with our first daughter 5 years after our marriage, followed in very quick order by 3 more babies, so that we had 4 babies in 5 years, and I thought it was glorious. That however, was followed by 4 years of miscarriages, and finally carrying one more child to full term before many years of miscarriages after. BUT, it is the Lord who OPENS and CLOSES the womb and in those first 5 years of marriage, the Lord sent us my dh's children from his first marriage, after they ended up abused and in foster care, in need of much healing. After we stopped having babies, we started to foster babies/toddlers, but a few years ago, the Lord put on our heart to adopt an older, special needs daughter - where does she fit in? RIGHT in the gap between our two youngest bio children. So now, with my dh's 3 older children, our five bio children, the one adopted child - we got a phone call from CFS late one Friday last January begging us to take 2 sisters "just for the weekend", lol, they have now been with us for over a year, as well as their baby sister who was born last May, and we are hoping that sometime in the next year we will be able to adopt them as well. It's hard to imagine that a woman with 5 bio children could be infertile, but that longing, pain and grief are still there, but God brings us those "others" who need us to fill that space that LOVE was meant to be poured into.

    Just thought that I would let you know that I enjoyed your blog. I did headcover for a few months, years ago, but stopped because it was causing a negative reaction from others, which was not my intention. I wouldn't mind going back to it, I did like it and YES, it was for me and my Lord WITH my dh's approval :).

    Love and Blessings to You and Yours :).


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