There’s a song I’ve sung along with countless times on the Christian station and in church. It’s “Praise You in This Storm,” by Casting Crowns. As you might have guessed, a major theme of the song is praising God even when everything in life seems to be going wrong. Before we were officially infertile, I sang this song and I believed I meant it. I thought, you know, I haven’t had many storms in this life, but I would absolutely praise God through any difficulty and hardship. No question.
Well, turns out theory isn’t always carried out in practice.
When we first found out what our issue was, we were (of course) devastated. But we thought surely it was fixable. When we found out it wasn’t fixable, I got angry. And I was angry with God. I’ve been faithful, haven’t I? I mean, intellectually, I know I don’t deserve anything, I’m not owed anything, but why would God do this to us?
Did God not say, “Be fruitful and multiply”? Did he not create man and woman in such a way as to be able to bear children? And did not God give me the desire to be a mother–give us the desire to be parents? Infertility feels like such a cruel punishment because it is like we are less than. We have been deprived of something that naturally belongs to each person. It is a dysfunction in the body that by all accounts should not happen.
And so when we pray for this miracle, for the healing we need to conceive naturally, I have a tendency to think: we are standing on firm ground here. We don’t deserve special treatment, but surely we do deserve to be whole in body, right? Like I am making my case to God. (There is a precedent for this: Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.”)
But here I find I have no ground to stand on at all. I can’t argue that I deserve anything from a God who already has given me something I absolutely did not deserve and never could earn. And if he has decided that we should deal with infertility, than I hope we will survive it in a way that glorifies him. That’s intellectual, though. I’m not sure I’ve internalized it.
I teach a Bible study to home-schooled elementary students, and I have the blessing of working with several other godly women in that venture. One of them, Ann, lost her husband four years ago. We were talking (I don’t remember the context) and she said, “I never asked God for the gift of widowhood. In fact, I didn’t want it. But it is a gift from God.” I can’t really wrap my mind around it, but I know it applies here. I know that infertility is, in some way yet unknown to me, a gift from God. I don’t want it. I’d like him to take it back today.
I do hope for a miracle. DH and I pray every night for complete healing–supernaturally or by the scientific advancements with which God has blessed us. We pray that we would be able to conceive naturally. But I also pray for contentment. I pray that infertility is something that came into our lives for a reason. I pray our infertility will glorify God.
I pray for the strength to praise him in this storm.