Thursday, February 8, 2007

Questions about Suffering

Another month of trying to conceive (TTC) comes quickly to a close for me. As I inch closer and closer toward the 3 year mark (April), I am trying to take a new view of infertility. The thought of beginning a 4th year of TTC is hard to swallow, especially when friends are having their second and third children during the time that we've tried unsuccessfully to have our first. I sure never thought I'd be here. It seems that so often I say to myself, "I will not be here next year--I will not be battling infertility this time next year, I will be a mother a year from now." As if I can control any of this! If I've learned anything, I've learned that I have no control. As much as I want to do something to change this, I can't. It's just not within my reach. And I guess that's a good thing.

William and I have been talking a good bit about suffering lately. I don't know if infertility directly falls into the category of suffering, but some days it sure feels like it. But, my question is--Is suffering really such an undesirable thing? I mean, doesn't Scripture teach us that as we suffer we come to know Christ and His character more and more? I realize that we will always pray for children, will always pray for God to open my womb, will always pray that God would bless us with children however He deems appropriate. I can't imagine ever not
praying that. At the same time, should I always pray for suffering or difficulty to end in my life? If it is a means through which I may draw nearer to Christ, should I pray that it come to an end immediately? I'm convinced that Christ is more concerned about my holiness than my happiness. If that is true, should I be praying that my life be easier and "happier" ("happy" according to my standards, which would equal motherhood, I suppose) or should I be praying that God would refine me, make me holy, make me like His Son no matter the cost or process?

I do not know the direct answers to my questions. My husband heard a sermon on suffering that he wants me to listen to. When I do, I'll be sure and relate my reaction here. What if our church community taught us to rejoice in suffering instead of praying for an immediate end? How would that change our view of suffering?

Again, I know that far worse suffering than infertility exists in the world--I'm not even sure infertility qualifies. But, if it does, then I have a lot of questions....even as my heart yearsn for children today.

Feel free to comment.



The Williams said...

Glenna, i so feel your pain. there's a lot to be learned in suffering. ben prayed last night that we would grow closer to Him through our pain and suffering. Ben hates to see me suffer and be in pain as i am, but he knows that Christ IS faithful. as much as it hurts, the only thing we can pray for is a holy-ness about our lives. you do have that, sister. keep growing closer to the Lord. i love you.

Connie said...

One of the struggles of infertility is guarding against setting up idols in our heart (i.e. children, motherhood, "fitting in", happiness, etc.). I KNOW it's not easy to avoid, I lost count how many times Rachels' words echoed in my head, "Give me children or else I die". Sad, but true.

Still, infertility is a tool God uses to work sanctification in us! And we know that what He does in, for and through His children is right and good.

Lydia Brownback said...

So many women in Scripture shared this exact pain, and from that we see that God understands fully just how hard it is. As Connie wrote, infertility can be a particular means of providing the grace that comes only through suffering--a lesson you are surely learning!