By Rachel Hunter
I married my best friend and high school sweetheart. We dated for five years and had a beautiful, (well, beautiful for a pre-Pinterest 1992) fall wedding. We loved marriage and ministry so much that we decided to wait at least five years before having kids. When year five came and we still weren’t ready to “change everything,” which is what everyone said kids would do, we waited another year and then started trying.
Entering the phase of “trying” was fun, exciting and super sweet! With every try we thought “this” special moment was going to be the one that changed everything.
Months turned into a year and hopes turned into fear.
We started down the daunting road of infertility doctors, clinics and tests. Let me tell you how much fun we had in this process…none.
Going to fertility doctors is a lot like going to the dentist…but naked…and talking about super sensitive and embarrassing topics. Yayyyyy!
My husband was so supportive. It definitely wasn’t easy for him either. He had to miss work and also be subjected to testing he would prefer to forget. But we had each other. And that, combined with God, was always enough. We held on to each other tightly, but the month-after-month build up and let down really took a toll.
I began to feel like a failure. I felt like I was not holding up my end of the deal. Wasn’t it even somewhere in my vows?! I was supposed to give him children! My insecurity and guilt grew to frustration and anger. And all of the added hormones I was taking didn’t help one bit!
My husband wasn’t taught how to deal with a hormonal, sad, guilty, frustrated and angry wife. He didn’t want to talk about the pink and blue elephant in the room. He wanted to have “normalcy,” but normal couples weren’t draining their savings for hormone shots, surgeries and procedures.
The worst part of it all was that we had NO control. All of my friends were fulfilling their fertile family plans with pinpoint accuracy. They were birthing their babies during the slow season at work, right before the heat of the summer hit. It seemed like they had ultimate control. WE wanted control. We tried for control. But we had no control. We did everything we could do to conceive. Every test, every medicine, every procedure, every prayer and proclamation…we did it all. But we could not control the situation.
We moved on to adoption. We had three private adoption situations, but we couldn’t control those either.
This lack of control required complete trust in God. But before I could completely trust in God, I had to let go of my great disappointment in Him. I KNEW He could heal whatever was wrong in my body. I even KNEW He could supernaturally give us a baby – in the womb or on our front door step, but He wasn’t.
He wasn’t answering our prayers, even though He could. I had a hard time understanding His love in that. It had been seven years. Seven years of trying. Seven years of crying. Seven years of disappointment.
By this time, I just felt stupid. Stupid for having faith. Stupid for believing the prophetic words I had received, time after time. I somehow felt judged for even having faith that I could still conceive our promise. I imagined my friends thinking that I should give up. But I knew that God was my best and only option.
Throughout this process I had days where I leaned into my loving Father’s embrace, and days where I stomped past Him like a rebellious teenager. But He never pulled back His mercy, love and grace. He was faithful even in His silence.
After some pivotal spiritual moments and sacrificial obedience, we felt God directing us to give in-vitro fertilization one more shot. In this process, we conceived our twin girls and welcomed them into the world in 2007, happy, healthy and beautiful! Let me tell you, they were totally worth the wait!
If you find yourself in a situation you can’t control, I’d like to share a few things I learned that kept me from completely losing it:
1. Find a life verse and stand on it!
During this process, I found myself doubting my faith. I learned that in asking God to increase my faith, He also increased His grace. I stood on these words, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you; so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). Knowing God was giving me the grace I needed to abound in the “good work” of being a wife, a pastor, a friend, and a daughter, was what I needed to keep pushing forward with a smile.
2. Know you aren’t supposed to be in control!
Calling Jesus the Lord of our lives requires us giving him the reigns. HE is the one in control! Trusting in His goodness and unchanging character is what enables us to be okay with that. Remember He is working all things for our GOOD!
3. Realize your story is currently being written.
Believe it or not, I wouldn’t change my story. I wouldn’t take out the pain of infertility from the pages of my life. Those years and those acute moments shaped me forever. Your faith is not only being tested, it’s being strengthened! One of the worst moments of my story actually became one of my favorites. It was a moment after I received a call from my doctor telling me that my embryo had stopped developing and would not be viable for implant. I laid across the bed and sobbed like an Oscar winning actress, then I heard my spirit man kick into gear and began speaking OVER the pain. “I will never stop praising you, God. I still believe in you. You are good, God. I love you, God!” That moment proved to me that we are soul and spirit and my spirit had been trained and fed! My spirit was fathered by the most loving Father of all.
I proudly share my story today and thank God for it!
If you are experiencing a season of infertility, know it is only a season! God can end this season in many beautiful ways. And know that a faith-filled mama in Houston, Texas is praying for you and your miracle! Keep up your “good work!”