For seven years my husband and I experienced infertility. I was poked and prodded more times than I ever care to recall. All the testing came back with no known cause to our infertility. We were among the 4% of couples in the undefined category. At first, it was easy to trust God and believe for a miracle. But as months rolled by, the pain of childlessness grew more intense. When I finally got pregnant, I miscarried.
Loss often brings us to a crisis of faith. It makes evident what we really believe in our heart of hearts. Clichés and platitudes no longer work. It takes intention to put into action the words of the Gospel. Here is what helps move you through the process of loss:
- Acknowledge your feelings. Don’t pretend that because you are a Christian you don’t feel the pain of loss. The loss of a child is significant and should be acknowledged.
- Embrace the pain. It hurts. I didn’t walk around pretending I was fine. I wasn’t. Mother’s Day was difficult. Seeing my friends pregnant was depressing, and baby showers seemed cruel. I was in pain.
- Allow your pain to turn you towards God. God allowed biblical Job to cry out in pain and even blame him for a world His creation messed up. As Philip Yancey points out, God was not on trial in the book of Job, Job was on trial for his faith. Keep your faith. Turn towards God in the pain, not away from Him.
- Become desperate for God and begin to move in His power. We overcome trials by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us. As we develop deeper intimacy with Him, he matures us through the fire and difficult times. He wants to empower us in our faith and make us effective for His kingdom. Move in Him.
- Have faith. Faith is what we don’t see. There was a critical time in the seven-year process of infertility where I had to trust God and believe by faith that His plan for me was good. When I surrendered completely to God and gave up my will for His, He began to move powerfully in my life. He fulfilled my desires, not in the way and time I first saw fit, but in His perfect way and timing. I know I serve a God who takes my pain and transforms it for His glory.