I walked into my favorite clothing store with my birthday coupon in hand, thinking I’d get a nice shirt on sale to celebrate. Another year around the sun, and yet another year without a precious baby in my arms.
Amazingly – and unusually – many of the clothing pieces I tried on fit! The past year of eating a Mediterranean diet and walking every day to improve my fertility had resulted in a much-appreciated weight loss. Will losing this five percent of my body weight mean a positive test this time? While pleased with my scale and blood test results, the ultimate gift from God and fruit of our marriage had not yet come.
Regardless of weight lost, I was hesitant to buy new clothes, particularly pants, thinking I’d be wasting money since I hoped that I might soon need to buy maternity clothes.
But these jeans looked so good. They were sizes smaller than my usual. They were on sale. And, I really did need pants.
Screw it, I thought. It’s been more than two and a half years. I’m buying the pants.
I’m glad I did. Every day since I’ve worn those jeans, I’ve felt beautiful. They are a reminder that I’m making healthier decisions for myself in the long-term, child or no child. As my wonderful husband says in hopefulness: the jeans will still be there for me after a long-awaited pregnancy, God-willing.
It can be hard to make plans for the future on this journey of infertility, even for a wardrobe. I love to travel with my husband, and we have an extensive bucket list of locations to visit. Through the help of God and my husband, I’ve come to embrace more spontaneity in our travel planning over the last few years. We’ve been to some pretty incredible places and made wonderful memories and pilgrimages together. If I had given in to the temptation to not plan a future trip because of a potential pregnancy, none of those moments would have happened. We can’t put our whole lives on hold. We must keep living this beautiful life God has granted us and taking the next best step He shows us.
As a type-A planner, one of the more difficult aspects of infertility is feeling like there is no end in sight. The monthly cycle of hope, waiting, and then sadness takes its toll. With each new cycle, I find myself looking up the due date of a potential child if I were to conceive this next month. Maybe this will be the last month of sorrow before great joy.
Infertility is truly one of the first predicaments I’ve encountered where no amount of planning, hard work, studying, money, or other resources will achieve the goal. It’s about God working His miracles in His timing because He knows what is best for us. The control I crave is a total illusion, and it’s part of pride.
As part of this cross, God has been encouraging me to reorder my priorities: to see the desire for a child and growing our family as a good, but not to make it an idol. He’s calling me into deeper prayer and relationship with Him, as only He can satisfy my heart.
As I sit contemplating what kinds of fruits have come from these last few years of our infertility journey, my first thought is just how hard the pain and suffering of this experience continues to be. However, I also see how much I’ve grown in the fruits of the Holy Spirit and how much more growing I have yet to do. My self-control regarding consuming both media and treats has strengthened. My patience in dealing with challenging social situations, especially around infertility, continues to be refined. My faith in God and His promises is increasing as I try hard every day to choose loving Him in the difficult.
Together, each of us is exactly in the moment where God wants us to be. He wants us to find the beauty, gratitude, and joy all around us in the now. He wants us to seek Him first, as He is found in the present.
Jesus came so that we may have abundant life (John 10:10). Keep living your life in Christ, though it may feel like life is “on hold.” God didn’t promise us a life free of trials and suffering, but He did promise us a life full of purpose, joy, and peace that comes from a relationship with Him.
This post was written by an anonymous Springs in the Desert author.