Note: My husband was inspired to write a series of post (four) on his own experience of infertility + how to live joyfully nonetheless. I'm really grateful for his insights (obviously I'm biased!) and also think his thoughts are extra appropriate now, being in the thick of Lent with Holy Week right around the corner.
With no further ado...
I know it seems too good to be true. Really, can I have joy with this incredibly painful and often misunderstood suffering of infertility? Well, yes. But as I type these words I cringe and tremble because it is so hard. I know from personal experience struggling with infertility that it is the hardest thing in my life. Also, I fail at these ideas I'm proposing weekly, if not daily. Perhaps they will help. Perhaps they will be an oversimplification. Perhaps they are presumptuous. But yet they have been a grace for me and my wife in our life so I want to share this good with you. Thus, I thought I would share what God has placed on our broken hearts as healing balm. I will share these thoughts in four posts corresponding to four thoughts but please note that these thoughts are not meant to be in any way exhaustive for the depth and complexity of drama of infertility. And by the way, this suggested Rx is an on-going treatment for all of us, we infertile couples, so please keep me in your prayers as I pray for you.
N.B. Alot of these thoughts occurred to me while I was “on the cross” crying for the children I desired one weekend while I was on retreat. As a result, several of these thoughts I would like to credit to words and encounters with particular priests on that retreat. Therefore, I would like to give due thanks to these unnamed spiritual fathers. Here is the fruit of their priestly presence and teaching in my life.
- Get Your Treasure RightThere are two things in this world: God and the Things of God. Sin is placing any thing of God, no matter how good, above God. We do this in any number of ways every day in many different actions. Yet the worst is when we place our identity and happiness in one of the things of God, rather than God. To be sure, God wants to give us many of these good things, but only after we first recognize that God is the giver of these gifts and that He alone is our happiness, not these other things of God. Now, there is a unique temptation of infertility that comes in exactly here. The greatest temptation we face is to place our entire identity and happiness in a child we wish so badly to have. Do we not often think, “I'll be happy when I have a child. When I don't have to deal with infertility treatments. When I (fill in blank here).” Yet the incredibly gut-wrenching, soul-piercing truth is that as good as this desire is, a child is still not God. We have everything when we are beloved by God. Do we really believe that? Is God our treasure above all things, including children? Is God our happiness? A happiness that we can have not tomorrow or down the road, but today. I know there have been multiple times where like the Rich Young Man of the Gospel I have went away sad and empty because I didn't want to make God my sole treasure. Oh God help me to leave all things behind and cling to you as my treasure! Please help to heal my mind and my will when I get my treasure wrong.
Next: Go into the Desert