06 August 2012

a quartet of lessons: things God has taught me through infertility

Rose Macro - IMGP7758
{image credit: Bahman Farzad}
I wrote this post before Jared sprung his on me. Be assured that despite the sober tone of this little piece, I'm nowhere near depressed. It has simply been a sober sort of year, in a good way, though not easy.

Baby, you're crazy and I love you.


Happy birthday to me!

The Lord has given me some hard gifts this past year. Hard to open, hard to understand. They did not seem like blessings at the beginning. However, I'm seeing them more clearly now--I wanted to share them with you as a way of testifying to His faithfulness. He doesn't give up on us and He never stops His good work in our hearts.

Here is what I have learned.

God's people love one another. I tend towards cynicism. When we first opened up about our struggle with infertility--that is, when we started to tell people outside of our very close circle of friends--I doubted that anyone would care. I was so wrong. They have remembered. They have encouraged us. They have prayed for us. They have cried with us. I have seen the love of Christ compelling them, igniting their hearts to extend the same love to Jared and me. And through that incarnated grace I've come to trust Him more.

Prayer counts. I have recently written several times about prayer, here and here. Those thoughts were  prompted by the darkness I've been walking through. Prayer used to feel a little like talking to the ceiling, or a duty to check off my Pharisee list. That's because I did not recognize my need for communion with the Lord. Once more, I was so wrong.

I know that without the desperation this trial has brought, I would not have learned what I did about prayer: that God listens, that He cares, that He speaks right back. Nothing we say to God--whether praise or a plea for help--goes wasted.

I cannot place my faith in a healthy lifestyle. Ever since I was a wee lass, I have loved to get things right. (Just ask my mom; I wailed on the first day of kindergarten because I didn't already know the answers.) The same goes for health and nutrition. I research my head off, then do the very best I can . . . and  . . . no pregnancy.

So is my hope in a perfect diet? It better not be. The Lord is sovereign. I trust Him alone. What I eat and how I exercise are important, but oh, they cannot be my salvation.

Life hurts. I am not a very compassionate person. I think this is partially due to selfishness, and partially to the relative ease of my life so far. In these two and a half years, God has been changing that. He has been breaking my heart so that it can feel another's pain. Grief and despair have moved from theoretical to actual. Infertility hurts exponentially more than anything else in my experience; I'm willing to bet that I have cried more in this small span of time than in the entire ten--even twenty--years previous. Now when I hear of suffering in the world, whether it's in a Chinese orphanage or just down the street, I actually have a reference point for that. I understand what it is to carry a burden, and I want to help carry others' burdens too.

This trial has not resembled my plan for our marriage in the least. Yet I am glad.


  1. Rebekah, it has been a joy to read your blog when your title becomes bold in my Google RSS feeder. I'm not much for cooking, but I'm sure Jared values his position as "taste tester" extraordinaire. Thanks for sharing your heart in your times of abundance and in time of need, and that in whatever the circumstance, a central hope and trust in God's love, kindness, and mercy are key in surviving life as we know it. I know and look forward to meeting that little one when the day comes. God will bless you.

    Grace and Peace.

    - Noah Miranda


  2. What wonderful lessons you have learned and are learning. You did not choose the circumstances, but you have chosen to step back and see God in it all and to attempt to learn through it....to let God speak to you and change you. You are an inspiration. I am too often too lazy to take the time to see what God is trying to tell me and teach me. Thank you Rebekah. And I"m praying that one day in the not too distant future, God will choose to bless you with offspring.

  3. Can I just chuckle that you wailed on the first day of kindergarten because you didn't know the answers yet?

    Again....good thoughts.


  4. The kindergarten thing made me laugh, too. I, too, had trouble getting pregnant, and I remember the sorrow and confusion I felt. I will keep praying for you, dear girl.

  5. I liked this post, especially in seeing myself in it, because I am entitled and well taken care of and prone to a cold heart. Funny, again, how God gave us opposite things and they both had a similar effect. He picks his medicines for the recipient, for sure.