“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your hearts desires” Psalm 37:4 NLT
As a little girl I could not wait to grow up and become a mother. It was honestly all I could dream of. I was always playing with kids and babysitting and anxiously awaiting to one day be a mother of my own children. When I was 16 and started working my first job, I had horrible pain in my lower abdomen and just knew something was horribly wrong. My mom picked me up from work and took me to the emergency room. After numerous tests they determined that I had several cysts on my ovaries that had ruptured. I was sent to my OBGYN for further testing and was ultimately diagnosed with poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. I really did not understand it all, but he just told me that one day when I want to have kids it may be a little more challenging to get pregnant but that it is not impossible. I was not worried though because I just knew I was destined to be a mom and it would happen.
After getting married, we waited a little over a year before we decided to try and have children. The moment I came off of my birth control I was overwhelmed with joy because I knew it was time for me to be a mom. After about 6 months of trying, it had not happened yet so I decided to go in and talk to my specialist. She and I decided to try some medication to help. She went over all of the statistics with me of women who took the medication and had success and I was so encouraged. Over the next few months I did everything she asked me to do. I took the medications, took my temperature every morning to monitor my ovulation, watched my eating habits…and nothing. With every failed pregnancy test I could tell that my faith got weaker and weaker. Nothing worse than just knowing you are pregnant and looking down at this stupid stick that says, “yeah no, no you’re not”. My doctor changed my medications numerous times and ultimately told me that I was infertile and that the likelihood of me getting pregnant was slim. I was devastated. My husband and I mulled over this news for a bit and decided to go see a different fertility specialist.I took a new set of pills and gained a whole new set of weight. Unfortunately, that failed too. So great…now I am not pregnant and I’m 60 pounds heavier, if that isn’t just the best thing ever. All I could do was ask God why, but he didn’t answer.
I was in an unusual emotional state at this time and my spirit was crushed. It was around this time that the news of my friends or people I knew from church getting pregnant suddenly enraged me. I had so much bound anger I was ready to explode. I can remember thinking horribly when getting invited to baby shower after baby shower. I would be furious on the inside thinking “no, I do not want to go to your stupid baby shower”, yet out of my mouth would be “yes, of course I am coming”. I mean lets be real, why not just torture myself some more with the Lord just dangling this baby right in front of my face knowing I was never going to have what they had. Uh, and if one more person prayed for me to have children I may have punched someone in the face. I was falling apart and I was so angry with the Lord because He knew the desires of my heart and He knew I was faithful in being a virgin when I got married and that I was faithful in all of my ministry involvements… so why? I remember crying all the time because it just did not seem right. There were women I knew sleeping around and moving from one marriage to another and they could get pregnant at the drop of a hat, but here I am doing what I know to be right and I am getting punished. Why, God? Why me? What did do so wrong to deserve this punishment?
I could not handle the overwhelming feeling of depression, so I slowly began drowning it out with one drop of alcohol at a time. I did not think I had an issue at first, but that is how it always begins I suppose. I can remember times when my husband would have to come pick me up from places because I would have had too much to drink. He never said much about what I was doing and I often wondered if he even noticed I was spiraling out of control, or if he even cared. Alcohol seemed to be my only means of survival because without it my emotions would take over and I was about two seconds away from losing it. Alcohol became my crutch and my way of coping with the disappointment and depression I felt from not being able to get pregnant. I mean seriously, what woman cannot get pregnant? What kind of woman am I if I cannot even conceive a child? How am I this broken? I tormented myself with thoughts of not being enough. Why, God?
Infertility. Man, that word is like a knife straight to the stomach. I hated myself at that time in my life and I saw no end in sight. My husband did not know how to help me and in his own way he tried to be supportive and encouraging, but he did not understand what it was like for me. Even to this day the word “infertility” hits me somewhere deep in my spirit and I feel as though it is tattooed on my forehead for the world to see. I still fight the overwhelming thoughts that infertility defines me, but I know it doesn’t. It still doesn’t mean though that I don’t wonder… why, God?
I suppose the answer to my question of why is that the Lord knew the road ahead of me and He knew what I could not see. He knew my husband would be unfaithful and leave. He knew that we would foster for a while and He afforded me the opportunity to be a mother to children who had no mother. I now know that is my purpose…He wants me to mother those who are in need of a mother. While my future of natural children is unknown, I am thankful to understand my purpose because it changes my perspective of the things that are happening in my life. It does not mean that I don’t have moments where I still wonder why I am being punished with infertility, but it means I have a foundation to stand on in knowing what I was created for. So, how did I get from rock bottom of dealing with infertility, alcohol dependence, divorce, and the loss of my children? Well, that was an unexpected road with some unexpected people. Stay tuned!
Dear woman struggling with infertility,
You are strong and courageous. Unless another woman has experienced infertility, she will never understand your burning desire to be a mother, but I understand and I am here for you, fighting this battle with you in prayer. I promise you that He hears you and He is there, even when it seems you are all alone. Your pain is real, but my friend, He is a healer and can take your pain away. Trust His plan and follow His will because He can see the road ahead that you cannot see. Know that infertility does not define who you are, for you are a strong woman full of life and purpose. Walk in your purpose today.