My infertility journey includes a full cast of characters who walk with me. My husband and I are not walking alone, even if it feels that way sometimes. Our families have been incredibly supportive, and we have friends who genuinely care about our plans to grow our family. They pray for us, make us laugh and make this burden seem lighter because we bear it together. But I would be remiss if I didn't mention another force at work during our infertility journey: God.
My husband, Derrick, grew up Catholic, and I grew up in a small Baptist church with 10 total pews. I loved my small-town church, and I had only positive experiences with faith and religion throughout my childhood. I tend to be the person who can break out a Bible verse or story when someone needs it. Being a Christian is a major part of who I am. I want to serve Jesus the best that I can every day. With that said, let's get down to the nitty gritty of my relationship with Him.
Through this whole infertility nonsense, God and I have been walking a rough road. Between negative pregnancy tests and an endometriosis diagnosis, I have gotten a little angry at the God of my childhood. You know the one: the God who always wins, the God who listens to your prayers, the God who loves you. This God of my childhood, the all-supportive Good Guy, cannot or will not get me pregnant. I have cried out, fallen on my knees and silently screamed to Him over the past eight years, wondering where on earth He is. My faith, friends, has been shaken up.
It is hard to think that God is listening to your prayers when all your prayers are begging for a baby. I have pleaded, negotiated, asked with thanksgiving and confessed during prayer for a healthy pregnancy and baby. I have read books about prayer, listened to sermons about prayer and read the Bible to learn how to pray better. Surely I have to be doing it right by now. How much do I have to ask, seek and knock for Him to listen?
I have to believe that getting God to listen to my prayers isn't a riddle or an impossible set of rules and tasks. He is supposed to be there, always listening to me. He knows my deepest thoughts and desires. He knows the number of hairs on my head. He has got to know how much I am dying inside for another baby. Where is the God of my childhood who can ease my pain? Infertility can take away your ability to have a baby—and your faith.
But I hold on, and so should you. When the tears dry and the fog clears, God meets me where I am, always. I've realized that God isn't some magical genie who will just snap His fingers and grant my wish for Baby No. 2. Instead, God offers a much greater gift to me (and to you): the gift of shelter and unconditional love. If I allow myself, I can rest in Him and His promises. I can calm my anxious heart and return to living in the moment, and I can remind myself that my life can be more than just an undying quest to become pregnant. When I take time to silence the words of doubt and fear in my mind, I can be confident that He does hear me, love me and chase me.
And what else? God has given me the chance to grow, to learn and to become a better mama in this whole process. I'm more patient, more forgiving and more vulnerable. I have become a better friend and a more convicted Christian. I'm a better person, but I'm still growing. God gave me silver linings along the way.
He has listened and gave me one healthy pregnancy and baby. He has given me supportive people in my life that keep me going, shoulder my burdens with me and love me. He has given me clear direction on when to take a break from treatments and when He is opening a window. He has given me peace in the turmoil of doubt and doctor appointments.
So, where is God in all of this infertility nonsense? He is here. I can confidently say that He is here. He is in the good, and He is in the bad. He is in the shower when I am sobbing, and he is at the park when I am playing with Jackson and become so overwhelmed with gratitude that my heart beats differently. He is here, and He has been here the whole time.
I pray for my son Jackson every night. I give thanksgiving that I am his Mama. I pray for his protection and safety. I pray that I raise him to be the man God made him to be. I pray for his future wife and his future friends. And yes, I pray for a second healthy pregnancy and baby. I know that he is always listening, and I am thankful to have a relationship with Him, no matter how rocky it might have been along the way.