Invisible Loss: Understanding the Pain of Infertility

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I originally wrote this in 2017, before we adopted our incredible baby girl in 2019. Since her adoption, the pain of infertility has been greatly soothed with the salve of love and presence and unspeakable joy. The Lord truly has restored “the years that the locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25). Nevertheless, this post has meaning, and I pray it continues to serve those who read it. If you are struggling with infertility, know you are not alone; you are, to the degree shared experience allows, understood, and you have hope in Christ who will wipe your every tear and swallow up death in life (1 Cor 5:4).

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My wife is infertile. We will be married five years this October, and we’ve been trying the whole time. The causes are complex; they affect more than her fertility; and solving one will not solve the others. The doctors want her to schedule a hysterectomy, because her quality of life is so low, but giving up is not yet an option for us. So, we continue with treatments. If there’s anything we’ve learned on this path, it’s that infertility is hard. In so many ways, it’s hard – emotionally, relationally, physically. Infertility leaves no facet of life untouched. It’s pervasive and defining.

But why is it so hard? That’s a difficult question to answer, and that’s part of the problem. Our inability to answer that question is at the very root of infertility’s relational pain. I wonder if we consider seriously enough the link between the depth of our knowledge of a person and the quality of our love for that person. If I can’t understand you, how well can I really love you? Consider this quote from Francis Schaeffer:

 Love is not an easy thing; it is not just an emotional urge, but an attempt to move over and sit in the other person’s place and see how his problems look to him…The reason we do it is that the one before us is the image-bearer of God, and he is an individual who is unique in the world. This kind of communication is not cheap. To understand and speak to…people is costly. It is tiring; it will open you to temptations and pressure. Genuine love, in the last analysis, means a willingness to be entirely exposed to the person to whom we are talking. (The God Who Is There, Schaeffer, Francis, p. 120)

That is the kind of love to which God has called his children. 

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Apply the Word: The Shepherd Leads

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailI’ve been remiss in sharing the articles I’m posting on my church’s blog. Here is some application from a sermon on Psalm 23. It’s titled, The Shepherd Leads, and it addresses God’s commitment to lead us all the way down the path of righteousness into his presence, where there is fullness of joy.

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Weaned from False Hope

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailI’m posting again for my church’s Apply the Word series. Below is an excerpt from my post and a link to the full article.

One of the questions that comes up any time we address the need for change is that of “How? How do I get from where I am to where I should be?” This Sunday, Benny (my pastor) preached from Psalm 131 on moving from anxious, harried, and haughty to peaceful and content in Christ.

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God Is in the Midst of Her: Thoughts on Psalm 46

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail“When we face pain and difficulties in life, it can be tempting to feel alone, abandoned to our trouble. Indeed, one of the key elements of fear and anxiety is the feeling that we are facing our threat alone.”

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Understanding Your Control Issues

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I like to control my money. Well, what I mean is, I can be controlling with money. Hmm, I guess what I’m saying is when it comes to money, I have control issues – just ask my wife. I want to be present at every shopping trip and to oversee the selection of every item to ensure we purchase nothing that I deem superfluous or wasteful. I don’t believe in “treats.” I like the bare minimum, and I want her to like it, too. I generally don’t give in to these invasive inclinations, because I also want my wife to be happy – especially with me. But I do instigate conflicts over spending on small things that, to me, represent a bigger problem. Through all of it I drive my (very gracious) wife crazy, as I try not to suffocate her with my spending idiosyncrasies. I have a control problem. Why?

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How Fear Works

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailHow Fear Works

Shortly after I started dating the girl who is now my wife, I had my first ever panic attack. I had a dream that I lost my affections for her, broke up with her, ruined her life, and the entire church at which I met her hated me. I awoke covered in sweat, gasping for breath, and nearly blacked out. It was horrible. If you have, or have ever had, panic attacks, you have my sympathy. This was the first of two such panic attacks, both stimulated by nightmares, and they were high-frequency points in a season of my life stricken with fear. As anyone struggling with fear would do, I began a search for answers and solutions – why am I so afraid, and how do I deal with it?

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