Infertility. This word probably stirs within you a variety of emotions. Pain, sadness, and frustration to name a few.
For others, this word might mean very little. But for me, usually when I hear it, I only think of time. Families who’ve waited days, months, and years. Thousands of families who have experienced this excruciating season of waiting for the joy of bearing children. For many, this season is longer than others, but everyone who has felt its wrath knows the pain.
My wife and I were no exception. Struggling with infertility was an emotional roller coaster, but during this season of pain we discovered a profound truth.
I know our story and experience is not uncommon. Many have felt what we felt and figured out how to draw close to Jesus through it. However, we also know many who are in the thick of it and having trouble finding hope. No matter where you might be in the journey, we pray the next few suggestions would help you love and trust Jesus more during a difficult season.
Four Ways To Love and Trust Jesus More During a Difficult Season
1. Remind Your Heart That You Have a Good Father.
Pain can cause you to question a lot of things. Usually these questions can be summed up in one word, WHY? Why me, why now, why this. The why’s we ask are endless, and sometimes when don’t get a sufficient answer, we begin to question if God is still good. Our why’s get personal. We attach God’s character to our questions.
If God was good….
- why would He do this to me?
- why would He allow this now?
- why would He ever allow this to happen to anyone?
Intellectually we can remind ourselves that God is good. However, the problem is that our hearts have forgotten. We have emotionally forgotten that we have a good Father. This problem can not be fixed with intellect, because the problem of our pain is an emotional one. The solution can only be found in a person. Saying the right thing won’t help, but being the right person will. God being our GOOD Father changes everything.
Scripture promises us that in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33), but God’s goodness is not found in the blessings we do or do not receive. His goodness is found in His presence with us through everything this world brings.
In the honesty of our pain, we drew closer to Jesus for comfort and guidance. It was our belief in His goodness that caused us to draw closer and not retreat. Without our prior belief in the goodness of God, we might have been lost in why He would allow this. Instead, His presence was a constant reminder of His goodness as we believed a good Father is present when His children are in pain.
2. Seek Jesus Above Answers.
Whenever something goes wrong in life, we try to fix it. Infertility is no different. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s a responsible thing for us to want greater understanding and wisdom into our situation. However, getting answers can never replace seeking Jesus.
Our decision to trust Jesus was not accompanied by a knowledge or belief that “God does all things for a reason”. Or His timing is perfect. We chose to put no trust in answers, but simply the person of Jesus. We had no need to ask why, we simply begged for His presence.
With infertility, each month is a season of it’s own. Going through an emotional rollercoaster and responding accordingly. Our monthly season began usually pretty silent. Not wanting to talk about the reality we were just awakened to again. The reality that the answer was still… No. The silence wasn’t created due to avoidance. It simply reached a point of wondering, “What else is there to be said about the matter”?
Eventually silence turned into hope. Hope for what might be. Belief that God could do all things. Trust, that no doesn’t always mean no. Sometimes it means not yet, or not in the way we think. Above all we knew that no matter the answer, we could trust the person.
3. Focus Upon the Story of God.
Scripture is full of stories of great pain and suffering. We read through the story of Job, or the Israelites wandering through the desert, most never getting to see the land they set out for, and while we acknowledge the great pain these people endured, we have the distinct advantage of getting to see the bigger picture. We can acknowledge, and even empathize with their pain, but we are able to see the bigger story God was writing through it.
To the people in these familiar stories, I imagine the suffering they faced didn’t feel like a season. For many, it endured their entire lives. But we look at their stories and they seem like just a blip in the greater story.
For some reason, this was of great comfort to us as we struggled with the pain of infertility. To look on the stories of others, and realize that some day this would seem like a tiny spec of a much larger picture helped us to put our circumstances into perspective.
Whether this was for a season of our lives, or whether the season was all of this life, we learned to be content knowing that the tribulations of this world are temporary compared to eternity.
4. Remember, Your pain doesn’t define you, Christ does
It becomes easy for us to let our pain become our identity. While we found great joy and comfort in inviting others into the mess of our struggle, we also found that we were starting to allow it to become the topic of every conversation, and the measure of how we were doing.
When those close to us would ask how we were doing, it became the default to assume they were referring to our struggle with infertility, and thus it began to consume our entire relationship with God, ourselves, and those around us.
While of course God can use difficult things in our lives to encourage and minister to others, it is important to remember that our identity is not found in our circumstances, or even in the person we have become through those circumstances. Our identity must always be found in the one who is carrying us.
It is only when we can acknowledge that everything we are and everything we have is His, that we can truly cling to the hope and promises of Jesus. When we remember whose we are, our identity will be found in the relationship. Then our pain becomes a problem we address with Him, rather than an identity that takes the place of Him.
What About You?
How are you learning to love and trust Jesus more during a difficult season?