When most couples get married they are filled with hope of building a family together. Some choose to wait a few years to begin, some decide they don’t want to wait at all and end up getting pregnant on their honeymoon, still others get pregnant without giving it any thought. But what about those who desperately want a family of their own, yet for various reasons haven’t been able to get pregnant?
It is a heartbreak that never heals.
Every Mother’s Day and Father’s Day that passes is another reminder of their emptiness.
After Tom and I were married two years we decided it was time to start a family. I was so excited. When we discovered I was expecting we didn’t hesitate to call everyone with the good news! Yet at only 6 weeks I ended up miscarrying our baby. We were heartbroken and afraid. Would we ever be able to get pregnant again? If so, would it end in miscarriage? What if we’re going to be one of those couples who can’t have children? These thoughts came constantly and got louder over time. I was a mess! I was young and had no idea how to battle these thoughts, but I had a husband who loved me, prayed with me, and assured me that we were in this together no matter what.
We realize that what we’ve experienced pales in comparison to those who are unable to conceive. But at the time we didn’t know if this was going to be something we would have to battle for years or not. It felt as if it could be a lifelong trial.
We have some friends who have been married for over 10 years. They haven’t had children, though they have tried. The doctors confirmed there was no medical reason why they hadn’t conceived, yet year after year they went without a little one to love and hold. It was sad to watch, yet what struck me about them is the love they share. This issue hadn’t become so large in their eyes that they lost sight of their love for each other. To see them interact you would think they were still on their honeymoon. They hug and love on each other all the time. Their infertility has only strengthened their love for one another.
Another couple we know experienced the opposite. Their longing for a baby caused such tension and anxiety in the home that it became a place where neither enjoyed living. Sadly, their marriage ended in divorce, all because they were unable to produce a baby together.
Infertility can cause a wedge or pledge.
But how do you go from being so consumed with the desire for children to the place of peace and acceptance? How can you live a happy life when something you want so badly isn’t given?
I believe we can find the answer in the 1 Samuel. Consider Hannah and her troubled heart. She desperately wanted to have children with her husband, Elkanah. But the Lord had closed her womb. Yet Elkanah’s other wife, Penninah had lots of sons and daughters. She used to flaunt this fact to Hannah day after day. Yet Hannah had the heart of her husband. He loved her deeply even though they had not had children together.
One day when Elkanah had taken his family to make sacrifices, Hannah went into the temple to pray. She poured out her heart to God asking Him to give her a son. She even promised if He did she would give him to God to serve Him his entire life. When Eli saw Hannah praying he thought she was drunk. When she assured him she wasn’t, she was only crying out with desperate prayers to God, he said “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.”
When Hannah arrived home, she was no longer sad, but full of joy. Her eyes had been lifted from what she wanted to the One she needed. He alone was her joy, and knowing that He heard her petition gave her peace. It wasn’t long until she conceived a son, and she named him Samuel. You can read the entire story in 1 Samuel for it’s a fascinating story. But the point I want to make is that the answer to finding peace in your infertility is to look to God. He is the author of life, including yours and any He chooses to bring from your marriage union. Take your desire to Him and leave it with Him. In the meantime, enjoy the one with whom God has given you to share life and love with in this life. Don’t allow a lack in one area to rob the riches you’ve already been given.
If you are struggling with infertility, we want to pray for you that God will hear your petitions to Him and open your womb. But if He doesn’t grant your request, our desire is to see your marriage grow stronger through the trial, not allowing a wedge to come between you and your spouse.