As a Christian, one of the most basic virtues that I will always be working on is how to accept God’s will for my life, and with that, accepting that his timing is perfect. And as a woman, one of the most challenging efforts I endure is to accept his timing in blessing my husband and I with children.
I know I am not alone in my experience with infertility and loss. In my immediate circle of friends and family, almost every woman I know who is currently open to or actively seeking to become pregnant, has had some experience of either struggling to conceive, or losing children through miscarriage. Every couple’s journey on this very difficult path is unique, so while we cannot all be clumped into one box, we can certainly relate to one another in our grief, frustration, and continual hope for the future.
This past December, after six months of deeply desiring and trying for a baby, my husband and I discovered I was pregnant. Just two months later, our child was lost. The miscarriage was swift and ruthless. The pain was far beyond just physical, and I can honestly say, there are still days when my grief feels as fresh as it was that horrible night. We are now four months past the miscarriage; my womb is still empty, and our hearts are still yearning for another little baby to welcome into our lives. Yes, we already have one child, a beautiful little girl, almost two years old. Some who are on the road to conception, who have yet to ever feel the kick of a tiny baby from inside, or the discomfort of that first labor contraction, or the thrill of holding your sweet child in your arms for the first time, may be tempted to disregard the pain my husband and I feel at our struggle to wait ever so patiently for our daughter’s next sibling. But I can assure you, there is a very real, very tender ache that plagues couples who are burdened with secondary infertility. We experience the same, blinding boredom and anxiety of the waiting game as any couple trying to conceive, but on top of it, a gnawing anger that we somehow cannot get our bodies to produce the same results they once did. How, if we were perfectly capable of it before, can we somehow now no longer do the very same thing?!
All of these questions, doubts, fears, and angers that couples battle with, are perfectly normal and understandable. But for my husband and I, as Christians, our journey has another dimension to it. There is just a little bit of sweet to add to the bitter. We feel blessed to have an eternal perspective. We take comfort in knowing that our little baby is united with our Lord in Heaven and we look forward to seeing him one day, even though we were denied that privilege here on Earth. As for the time being, we continue to hope and pray for another little miracle.We place our trust in the Lord that although his works are often shrouded in mystery, they are marvelous and although his timing is so often different than our own, it is perfect.
But above all. the most important lesson that I have learned in this struggle and the message that I most eagerly desire other couples on this journey to hear is this:
Children are not a right to be had, but a gift to be received.
We cannot earn or demand children as though they are a commodity to be purchased or a product to be manufactured. Children are unique, unrepeatable, miraculous creations of God on High and He alone, the author of all life, is able to lovingly bestow the blessing of new life onto parents according to his holy Will.
In my moments of doubt, I turn to the Scriptures to find rest and consolation. So often, I just need to take deep breaths and remember that I am loved with a divine love that surpasses all my suffering and frustration. When I simply cannot understand the why behind God’s plans, I choose to focus on the what of them- that his plans for us are good! In this thought, I find peace.