Wednesday, May 4, 2011

::a rarely addressed topic: sin & infertility::

Dr. Russell Moore (author of Adopted for Life) speaks on the topics of adoption and infertility on the following interviews with Family Life.  I listened to the one titled "Grappling with Infertility" and part of "Embracing Adoption" while out jogging early this morning, and I was both encouraged and convicted.

Dr. Moore addresses some of the same topics that he writes about in his book, but he also touches a little more on the areas of sin that many infertile people struggle with--areas of sin that no one will call them out for because they feel sorry for their infertile friends.  I found this to be so interesting because the sin of bitterness, resentment, and anger were ones I've struggled with on and off for years, but especially during the first two years of our infertility.

Thankfully, I did have a dear friend who dared to call me out for the bitterness growing in my heart after it became apparent that I couldn't get pregnant.  It was about six years ago that she met me at a coffee shop, armed with books and a look of determination.  She talked long and hard to me about the areas of sin she saw taking root in me--because she loved me and didn't want to see me totally captive to my sin simply because I couldn't get pregnant.  I am so thankful she had the gumption and conviction to do such a thing.  It hurt at the time, but it was a wounding I needed. 

Throughout the seven years that we have been infertile, I have gone back and forth with my emotions and reactions to our inability to conceive.  After listening to my husband's sermon on Sunday and hearing Dr. Moore's thoughts on this subject (both in his book Adopted for Life and the audio files I am recommending to you), it became clear to me that even though I had confessed my areas of sin to the Lord over and over, I never really repented of this feeling of entitlement--that I had a right to either conceive or at least know why He wouldn't allow us to conceive.  I have felt really humbled in this area.  And saddened by my lack of trust in the Lord because I didn't get my way. 

I'm not writing this to make any of my infertile friends feel guilty for how much they hurt over their infertility.
It does hurt, sister.  
It's not wrong to desire to become pregnant. 

But it is wrong to demand it, to shake your fist at the Lord when you get negative test after negative test, and it's wrong to let bitterness and resentment towards all your fertile friends take root and grow in your heart.
I am speaking from some ugly experience here.

Aside from the Lord, my husband is my greatest witness as to how the enemy has used infertility to gain a foothold into my heart.  At times, my anger and unbelief seemed greater than my faith and trust in the Lord's sovereignty.  Those are scary days.

But--praise God that He is stronger, greater, and more able than the enemy or my own heart!  He has taken this hard thing and used it to humble me, to rebuke me, to both wound and heal me. Again and again.

Be encouraged....the Lord's grace is sufficient for you.


tea said...

I agree that those feelings of bitterness, anger and resentment are definitely a big obstacle in the whole process of dealing with infertility. I know I have dealt with them too. The book of Job was so instrumental in bringing me out of the place of bitterness. But, I do think that just as with any other significant grief, those emotions are stepping stones that we have to cross. Those feelings are going to come, and it can be hard not to get stuck there. But I also think it is so necessary to feel the freedom to truly grieve and work through all of those emotions. I know I am really thankful for how God has taken me through that stuff, because after dealing with all of those really difficult things, my faith has grown stronger. ...Sometimes I think people who don't understand the grief that comes with infertility, can be quick to judge and not allow those who are suffering with it, the opportunity to work through everything. For me, in those first few years, I dealt with so many hurtful things said, so many judgemental comments and looks from people who didn't have clue about what I was going through, I don't know if I could have taken someone coming to me like your friend did. Maybe that's my own pride, but I needed the whispering voice of God to bring me to a place of conviction and understanding. I'm glad it worked for the good in your life and that your friend had the wisdom to let the Lord lead her.

AwkwardMoments said...

I agree with everything that You AND Tea have written. I struggle with some of these feelings/emotions stil and I am constantly having to keep things in check

Clacy said...

Wow - this was a reality check for me. I'm truly humbled by this post. Your friend's boldness has not only helped you but others you share this with.