Faith is an important part of both our lives. We attend church, pray, take classes and listen to worship music. I even used to work part-time in the children's ministry at our church.
But our faith has never been tested as much as it has these past 2+ years.
When we were trying to conceive prior to going to the doctor, I prayed. God, let this be the month we've been waiting for. God, let this be the moment we conceive. God, please, let this pregnancy test show two pink lines. God, please. PLEASE.
And as we were in the midst of the last year trying to get to the bottom of why there was no sperm showing up on my husband's tests, I prayed so hard. Please God, let this be a fluke. Please God, let this medication work. Please God, let them find a treatable blockage. Please God, let the surgery go well. Please God, let them find viable sperm.
And when none of these prayers were answered, I cried out, over and over––Why God? Why haven't you been listening? Are you punishing me? Do you think I'll be a bad mom? Why do you make it so easy for others, and not us?
I grew angry with God. So angry that I quit speaking to him. So angry that I quit watching church online, or I would try to watch but grew so angry that I would slam my laptop closed.
A little over a month after Brian's surgery (September 16 to be exact), we met with Pastor Jeremy from our church via FaceTime (you know, COVID 🙄). I've been good friends with Jeremy's wife for quite a few years, and Jeremy was the pastor who married Brian and me. We're so grateful that even in the midst of the pandemic, we were still able to have a meaningful conversation with our pastor.
I had a list of questions prepared (y'all should not be surprised by this at this point!). I want to share two of the main points I took from this conversation.
We asked Jeremy, "What do you do when your life's dreams don't align with God's plans?"
And his answer just kind of blew me away.
I'm going to paraphrase his response below:
God doesn't want this for you. He created this world to be perfect–free from pain, free from suffering, free from violence, free from heartache. He created it to be good, just as He is good. But evil entered when Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden and the world suddenly became tainted with sin. God doesn't want this for you. This is the result of living on this side of heaven–in an imperfect world.
This resonated with me. God IS on our side. He hurts WITH us. In Genesis 1:3 He says, "Be fruitful and multiply." He wants us to reproduce. He doesn't WANT this for us. This is NOT His plan. And when we get to heaven, we won't have all this heartache and suffering. Our infertility is a consequence of living on this side of heaven.
Pay attention because this is important.
One of the most difficult things we've heard from numerous people during this time in our lives is, "This is God's plan." Or, "God has other plans for you!"
While this feels like something you should say, I respectfully disagree.
Our heartache is not God's plan. Our pain is not God's plan. The fact that we cannot conceive children naturally is not God's plan. I do believe God is with us in this and He will make something good out of it. But I definitely don't think this was His plan.
Just some food for thought for the next time you want to tell someone who is hurting that it's all God's plan. Ask yourself: Is it really?
Our next question for Jeremy: "What does God and the Bible say about donor sperm?"
His answer was simple (paraphrasing again):
God is on your side. You can't conceive naturally and it is my belief that He 100% supports any decision you make on how you will become parents: whether that's donor sperm or IVF by donor sperm or adoption.
Towards the end of our phone call, Jeremy told us that there is no doubt in his mind that God will move in our heartbreak. God will make something good from the bad. Maybe not right away, and maybe not what we expect. But He's with us and will remain with us every step of the way.
After this conversation I gradually started watching church again. I gradually started praying again. I asked God for guidance and I asked Him to show us the NEW way to parenthood. Adoption? Donor sperm? Something else?
When I didn't receive clear answers to these prayers, I decided to change my angle. I'd just heard a sermon about all the things God can do through us.
So instead of asking Him what He can do for me, I started asking Him to show me what He can do through me.
No, it's not a baby. But maybe we were meant to help others by shedding light on infertility in real, raw and meaningful ways before we grow our family.
Maybe this is an example of how God is showing up in our pain. Maybe this is how He is moving in our story. Maybe the person following this blog needs to hear our words. Maybe that person feels a bit less alone.
Maybe that person is you.
If you're the praying type, we'd love to be added to your prayer list. ❤️🙏