What’s Your Perspective With Your Infertility?
In the movie Soul Surfer, Bethany Hamilton’s youth leader showed pictures to the kids. They were highly zoomed in making the original object unrecognizable. The kids had to look at the image and guess what it actually was. In one photo, the kids guessed it was a brain. When brought back to the original size, it was a walnut.
She explained to the youth group that at times you can get so close to something that you lose perspective. When the kids were looking at the zoomed in walnut, they thought the original item was much bigger than it really was.
In Bethany’s case, she had her arm bitten off by a shark while surfing. Surfing was her passion before that. At the time, she was so close to the situation that she couldn’t see how it would ever be used for good. She thought she’d never surf again.
However, as you may know, when she pulled back from her close-up perspective with the help of others, she realized that God was using it for incredible things, and that her surfing didn’t have to be over. It was just beginning. Bethany chose to trust Jesus and grow in Him rather than become bitter and giving up on Him. This has helped shape Bethany into becoming a beacon of light for Jesus across the world as she shares her testimony, she disciples others with amputations, disciples mothers and daughters, as well as still competes as a professional surfer.
Infertility can become all-consuming. It is something that can quickly take over majority of your thoughts, energy, and activities. Depending on how desperate you’re feeling in your situation, there are triggers you need to be aware of.
Watch Your Time
You’ve got a year of trying to conceive on your own and then possibly another to get through all of the medical testing. You’ve got people asking you questions about when you’ll have children. You still have to maintain your work and home responsibilities. All of this renders you emotionally drained. The natural outcome is to isolate yourself from others. You’d prefer to not have to deal with people who don’t understand. It’s easier to avoid all of the families at church by staying at home and watching it online. It requires energy to visit with friends and muster up feeling “happy” for a time, so you decline invitations to hang out.
The next thing you know, you come home from work each night, put on your comfy pyjamas, and endlessly read books or watch TV to numb your overactive brain.
What are you neglecting in the meantime?
How many relationships are you avoiding? What kind of mess is the house in? It takes energy and ambition to clean it, so it’s easier to embrace self-pity and order take-out for dinner in order to avoid the dishes, right? What other responsibilities are getting neglected?
The more you dwell in this state of exhaustion and emotions, the further you’ll slip into isolation, depression, and despair. Though it’s hard to put the energy into conversations and keeping some semblance of order at home and at work, these are good for you. They’ll help give you other things to work towards and keep a healthy perspective.
Watch Your Money
Pray about your finances with your spouse. If you aren’t sure what God wants you to do as far as fertility/adoption options, take time to pray and save. Don’t rush into opportunities just because a doctor or friend recommend it. Seek the Lord’s counsel.
Fertility and adoption options are costly. Prepare for them. Don’t go into thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars in debt for something you don’t even know will work, or is God’s desire for you to pursue. Ask the Lord step by step what you should do next. Take time to sleep on it and discuss it with your spouse until you have a mutually agreeable decision. Don’t rush ahead just because you think you know what to do.
Finances can be one of the major sources of contention in a marriage. Infertility is another. You don’t want to join those two issues together if you don’t have to. The only one feeling rushed in all of this is you. Don’t worry about your “body clock” running out of time. Trust the Lord, wait on Him, and be a good steward of your money.
Don’t forget to be generous too. Trust the Lord to provide what you need. If you hold ever dime closed fisted planning to put all of it towards the fertility without margin to give or do anything else, you’re going to have a very difficult time.
When you leave your hands open and your mind in the perspective that it is ultimately God’s money and He will direct you how to use it, you’ll experience greater blessing and provision because you’ll allow Him to work.
Watch Your Body
As I mentioned earlier, don’t worry about your “body clock” running out of time. Thoughtfully consider the fertility options available to you. Make sure you are at peace with whatever decision you choose. Search the Scriptures, seek wise counsel with Godly people you trust, pray about it, and weigh the options. Are you taking care of your body or have you been through an endless cycle of hormone treatments which have wreaked havoc on you? Be patient and be wise.
By being mindful of watching your time, money, and body, you’re honouring God. He in turn will help you pull back your perspective and see a greater picture of what He is doing through this process. Like Bethany, He’s writing an incredible story for you to share with others. You’ll be able to take the wisdom you’ve learned from this time and help others through theirs as well.
“He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” 2 Corinthians 1:4-5
As you’ll learn next month, this outside perspective can turn your heavy heart into a thriving one.