It’s quiet. Hardly visible yet it affects over 7 million women. Infertility’s silent pain dwells beneath the surface for many women.
I’m one of those women.
My husband and I have walked through the pain of unexplained infertility, a devastating fraudulent adoption case involving an FBI investigation, and the open adoption of our beautiful, now 10-year-old daughter. The road has been long and riddled with pain.
Along the way, the church has both hindered and helped healing. As a ministry leader, my own struggle opened my eyes to the pain of others. That’s the beauty of our own painful stories. God allows for us to use our pain to walk with the hurting and broken around us.
Here are 3 important truths to remember as you walk with those struggling with the pain of infertility:
God is always good. Scripture tells us over and over again that our God is good (Psalm 100:5, 135:5, 145:9, Lamentations 3:25, Nahum 1:7 to name a few). Regardless of the world around us, God is good. Since He is never-changing (Psalm 55:19, James 1:17), His goodness will not change either.
God is always sovereign. Scripture also tells us God is sovereign (Psalm 47:2, 135:6, Isaiah 46:10, Job 42:2). Nothing happens that does not first pass through His hands. He controls the universe. God’s goodness and sovereignty has not been altered. But we live in a broken Eden, and that affects us all.
God is always present. Scripture promises us amid all the pain, God is present (Psalm 46:1, Deuteronomy 31:6). He will never leave us or forsake us. Even in our darkest pain, darkness is as light to Him (Psalm 139:12). Our pain does not frighten Him or push Him away. Even when we cannot feel Him, He is still Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus himself is acquainted with our grief (Isaiah 53:3).
C.S. Lewis penned, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
The pain I’ve endured taught me beautiful things about our Savior I would otherwise not know. Being prayerfully present with a person in her pain — without words or a need to fix their situation — is the best gift you can offer.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm accessed 2/6/17
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain (1940; repr., SanFrancisco: Harper San Francisco, 2001), 91.
→ Laura shared more of her story and ministry lessons learned in this article for members of womensministry.net.