Springs in the Desert was founded to accompany those of us on the path of infertility and loss. We do this by offering spiritual and emotional support, and a place for friendship, wherever we find ourselves on this path. Infertility finds its expression in marriage, because it is in the marital embrace where God generously invites us into a creative partnership with Him; and it is in this place where the fruits of that partnership are not always realized as we expect. Our ministry strives to address the many emotions and spiritual difficulties that accompany infertility within marriage, and a core principle we’ve held from the beginning is to uplift and nurture marriages, helping those with whom we walk to discover the unique fruitfulness God has planned for them, irrespective of family size.

While our focus is on infertility and loss within marriage, we recognize that there are some who follow our ministry, and occasionally engage with it, who are not married. Some already have a diagnosis that will make conceiving difficult or impossible, and they carry a heavy burden in their desire for marriage, and fear that the possibility of infertility will make it more difficult to find a spouse.  This is particularly isolating for them, and it is an attack in their identity as women.

Others suffer a kind of “spiritual infertility” due to their current life circumstances. While they do not have a diagnosis, they are waiting and praying for a spouse, sometimes for years or decades. They often feel particularly isolated and unseen as the years go by – no longer “fitting in” with the young adult singles groups, mommy club, or married couples’ events. Their burden, too, is a heavy one as they feel the call to marriage but face the possibility that this desire (along with their desire for children) will go unfulfilled.

Our content and resources address complex emotions, difficulty with prayer, how others perceive (and sometimes judge) us based on our family size, and the need for greater pastoral awareness of this cross. The emails and comments we receive tell us that our message resonates across the board. Given our mission and resources, we can’t possibly meet the specific needs of those carrying the burden of physical or “spiritual” infertility outside of marriage, and their longing to find a spouse with whom to share their life. But we want you to know that we stand with you spiritually.

Everyone carries a cross – sometimes many crosses – and comparing them inevitably only adds to their weight. Those of us who carry the cross of infertility or loss in marriage know this very well. To our fellow travelers whose marriage finds them on this path: consider that some portion of the fruitfulness to which God is calling you might be in your attentiveness to the loneliness and lack of community found within your family, parish, or workplace. The radical availability you possess because of the lack of children, or a smaller family size than you hoped for, is waiting to bear fruit in others by the gift of your time, mentorship, hospitality, and just being a friend. Imagine what impact the “gospel of the family” – the gospel lived out in your family – can have on an unmarried man or woman. The power of your witness is not measured by the size of your family, but by your willingness to invite others into it so that they feel seen, loved, and valued.

To our friends in this community who are unmarried:  know that we love you and we understand that you carry a unique and painful burden. You are a witness to us through the reminder that marriage is a gift not to be taken for granted. In our seasons of infertility and loss, we may easily forget what life was like before marriage – praying for “the one,” being disappointed and discouraged, and wondering if God was even listening to our prayers. In some mysterious way these two paths seem to run parallel allowing us to recognize and appreciate each other’s experiences.  

Whether or not Springs in the Desert can offer you the resources and support that are specific to your season, we pray that you feel God’s presence and experience Him as a companion walking with you, wherever your path leads.

It is our honor to walk together.

 

-The Springs in the Desert Team