Why do I write about infertility? Why all the Facebook statuses, Instagram pictures, blog posts and story sharing?
It’s not for sympathy.
It’s not for pity.
It’s not so you can coddle me or stare at me with sad eyes.
It’s not for attention.
It’s because 1 in 8 couples suffer with infertility. That’s a lot of people. 7.6 million people in fact. That’s too many 1’s. And those 1’s feel ashamed, alone, confused, and hurt. Too many people try to venture through it alone because the thought of the questions, the opinions, and the blanket responses are too painful to be considered.
So I share to break the silence.
I share to remind people that if you are the 1, you are not alone.
I share to encourage you to share your own story. It doesn’t have to be with the world, it can be with one other person.
I share because if you too have PCOS, you need to remember that you are not broken. If you have endometriosis, there is nothing to be ashamed of. If your spouse has male infertility, that doesn’t make him less of a man. If you simply are “unexplained”, you don’t need to be embarrassed.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me,when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)
I share because even with infertility, there is hope.
Not every 1 will birth a baby, as hard as that is to read.
But if you have journeyed with us over the last painful, difficult years, you know where we find our hope.
There’s hope because of Jesus. There’s hope for everyone because we have a God who cares that you’re the 1.
Our world is broken, our bodies formed in His perfect image, yet bystanders of circumstances outside of our control.
I share our story because infertility is hard, but I don’t want to miss the chance to point you to the one who offers life. Not only new life in the form of babies and children, but new life in Him.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 )
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and I want to take a moment to join the movement in spreading awareness that infertility is real. It’s hard. It’s painful. It hurts. It shatters your world time and time again. It makes you question yourself. It drains your financial resources. It changes dreams. It alters relationships. It causes fears and tears. It stretches your faith in unbelievable ways. It forces you to answer questions you never imagined thinking about in a million years. Your thoughts on adoption? Medical intervention? Invitro fertilitization? Embryo custody? Loans? How long do you keep trying? What would life look like without a family?
It alters holidays. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day takes on new meaning, new hardships. It can make you bitter if you let it. It can drive hope into the ground.
However, there’s beautiful opportunities in infertility too. It can cause relationships to blossom. Communication to be strengthen. New communities to form. Vulnerability to be discovered. Blogs to be written. Support to be allowed. Faith to be reborn.
The theme for National Infertility Awareness Week this year is “Start Asking”. We want people to start advocating for themselves at doctor’s offices, begin asking family and friends for support, bringing the struggling to your employer and fighting for insurance coverage.
And while those are all great, important things to be asking, I want to take it one step further today because I don’t want this week to slip away.
I want to invite you to starting asking God how you can grow in your faith as a result of your infertility. Or perhaps you don’t have a relationship with God and have no idea what that even means. I would love nothing more than to invite you to starting asking what a relationship with Jesus would look like. I want you to start asking Him what it would look like if you laid your tears, fears, failures, broken dreams and hurts at His feet and handed over the burden.
You see, infertility is awful and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But because of Jesus, there’s a hope that the world doesn’t have. There’s a peace that He gives despite the hard. The hard is still hard! But there’s hope that one day, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelations 21:4)
I want that for you.
So dearest friends, this is why I share. Because in it all, I want you to see that it’s possible to go through trials in life and still have a relationship with Him, one that is far greater than the joy that any baby could bring.
If you’re ready to start asking, I would love to chat with you. My inbox is always open – trialsbringjoy @ gmail.com. Start reading His Word. If opening the Bible seems overwhelming, start with the book of Mark. Then move to John. Then pop over to Romans. I love moving my way through 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians … You may not understand it all, but that’s okay! I don’t understand it all! There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs. Add on one a day and gain some wisdom there. Pray. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Use basic sentences, talking in your head or out loud like you would to a friend. Be honest with Him because He can take it.
If you don’t have a Bible, a great tool is the You Version Bible app which allows you to check out different versions. I personally love English Standard Version (ESV) and the New Living Translation (NLT).
However, if you are in a position where you don’t have a Bible, a hard copy is more ideal and your uncertain about all of this and don’t want to invest in one, let me help you out. My husband and I would love to send you a Bible to toss in your bag and start diving into. It won’t be anything fancy, but if we can help you in any way start journeying towards a relationship with Him, that investment is worth it. Just email me and we will get you a Bible in hand. (USA only, however, if you are overseas, let’s still chat.)
Don’t go this alone friend. It’s hard, but there is a peace that can come in it all. I believe it with every part of my being.
If you liked this post, please, feel free to share it and pass it on!
10 thoughts on “start asking.”
Chelsea, I so adore you. I am sending prayers, love and my very best wishes for your’s and Josh’s future. Love you both always
Aunt Donna and Uncle Fred
Chelsea, I am so blessed to follow your blog. Thank you for being such an inspiration for myself and so many others who struggle with infertility. Your post today brought me to tears and it wasn’t because I was sad about having infertility. It was because my Lord, Jesus, loves me so much that He led me to you and your strong words of encouragement, and faith in Him. I appreciate and love you so much! Thank you for being bold and posting this today. I feel stronger and more willing to share my story with others because of you. God Bless!
I am 1…and even though we finally conceived our two miracle babies after 6 years of surgeries, probings, bloodwork, and going broke…the scars remain (and always will). Thank you for honoring a struggle that few talk about.
Thank you Chelsea for your advice and understanding that we aren’t alone. I’m praying for you and your husband and family. Only my husband and I talk to eachother about our trials. His parents knew some but not enough to understand. It’s certainly not easy. My husband got surgery in hopes to help his infertility and his trial has become much harder. As much as I want to push him to going to the dr and communicate ways to help, I no longer talk about it. I can tell it’s taking a toll on me. Today I went to the dr of a possible lump under my arm thankfully in fine but as they took my blood pressure I look up and to my right was pamphlets of what happens during the weeks of pregnancy I thought nothing of it until the nurse told me my blood pressure was 174/84. It is literally stressing me out. They did retake it and it was better. The second time I prayed and breathed.
Many blessings, Sean
Chelsea, I so love that God brought you into my life and that we share our love of Jesus. God has made you strong, beautiful and selfless. I know you make God smile. “He is rejoicing over you with Singing”. Praying for you and Josh, “For if we remain faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.” God bless you, love you.
Visiting from Caroline’s blog today. I love your heart and will be praying for you! Thanks for sharing and bringing awareness.
Thank you for doing what you do, Chelsea.
Your heart amazes me. I love how you point it ALL back to Jesus. Always and in everything. I can’t even imagine how proud of you He is. You are impacting so many lives and I have no doubts that many will be touched as they read this!
I absolutely love this. I discovered your post after I wrote my first scary one and published it for my friends to see.. so breaking the silence is a new journey for me, but after 3 years I’m redy and excited to share more and raise awareness and most of all point people to Jesus as the Hope, the only reason I can have Joy in this Journey!
This is my favorite part: I want you to see that it’s possible to go through trials in life and still have a relationship with Him, one that is far greater than the joy that any baby could bring.
I love all of this entry, though. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly.