"When are you going to have kids?"
This common question carries much pain when your heart's desire for children has not been realized. How sould you answer the awkward conversations about kids that inevitably come up? How do you deal with the ongoing disappointment of childlessness while your friends are celebrating their child's milestone?
Infertility can put a strain on your marriage relationship as you share the frustration and disappointment. Your finances also feel the stress, especially if you are seeing specialists and taking infertility treatments. Whatever emotions you may be experiencing, remind yourself of several important truths.
It's Okay to Grieve.
Although friends and family try to offer comfort, they often say things that are unknowingly hurtful, like downplaying infertility and pointing out the benefits of life before kids. If you already have a child and are experiencing secondary infertility, people may not understand your sadness and expect you to be content with your current family. Whatever your circumstances, it's common and expected that you would experience a great sense of loss when you are unable to have a child. Infertility is a tragic reality of our fallen world, one that rightly causes grief. Jesus told his followers, "thos who mourn will be comforted" (Matthew 5:4).
It's Okay to Hope.
Because of God's goodness, we are never without hope. "He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children" (Psalm 113:9). You don't know how God will choose to work in your life, but you can know that He is able to do exceedingly more than we can ask or think. He can restore fertility when it seems medically impossible. He can help you grieve your inability to have biological children and possibly cultivate in you a desire to adopt. He is the God of all comfort, and we can know Him and the peace He offers in a way that is beyond our understanding. Your ability to hope in God begins by releasing everything to Him in prayer. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
By Kurt Bruner, The Center for Strong Families
Empty Womb, Aching Heart
by Marlo Schalesky
Bellevue's Biblical Counseling Ministry offers free counseling sessions for individuals, couples, and families. Visit bellevue.org/biblical-counseling for more information.