Some spiritual reflections on infertility

Thank you for all your warm words of congratulations after my last post! John and I loved reading them and having you join in our joy is a true gift; it helps us grab hold the excitement before us.

This is not the story I would have written for myself, but I am continually amazed at how much richer it is than the bland one I would have chosen. Certainly the story I would have chosen would have read more like a checklist than a great novel: get degree, get married, buy house, build a family. Check, check, check, check. Actually all those things have happened, for that I am blessed, but not without some major plot twists. In itself this infertility journey has challenged me with fear, despair, doubt, grief and a deep sense of brokenness. I have been emptied as that heartache bore painful holes in my soul.

Today, though, as I anticipate our embryo transfer, I probe those holes tenderly and believe they will soon be filled: filled with courage, hope, faith, joy, and healing.

I never would have sacrificed my fertility to gain this better soul, yet as I reflect on my journey Jesus' words from Mark 8 flood my mind:

"What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" 

If given the opportunity would I have forfeited my soul to gain my fertility? Just the question sobers me. I thank God that he writes my story and I don't have to answer it.

The truth is that I want courage without ever having to fear

hope without any experience of despair 

faith without walking through doubt 

joy without breaking the grip grief

and healing without ever having to be broken.

It doesn't work that way, does it? We all want the victory without any battle… but that wouldn't make for a very good story, would it?  No plot, no conflict, no character development, nothing.

Did God make me infertile so I could live a better story? Allow me to be infertile? I don't know. I don't know how all that stuff works out.

I do know that I'm living a better story than I would have chosen for myself. I believe redemption is coming. I believe that God knows not just what is best for me and my soul, but how best to make his glory known through my story.

Isn't that the end-all of this life, anyway? God and his kingdom come? Isn't that why we pray as Jesus taught us, "Not my will but yours be done?"

Praying that it will be said of my story what was prophesied of Judah and Israel thousands of years ago: 



  1. I love to see how God has changed you through this process! What a great perspective! I am praying everything goes well with your upcoming embryo transfer and that you will get to experience the joy of pregnancy very soon! :) I LOVE that embryo adoption is becoming a new trend because these babies deserve a chance at life too! :)

    1. Absolutely! I really appreciate your prayers Janna; they are a gift!

  2. Thank you so much for your wise words on faith, especially the bolded section about desiring results without having to go through the struggle to get there. I find your ideas on this issue both comforting in the case of existing troubles and encouraging when I think about the possibilities that may lie ahead of me. I may not feel prepared, but I hope to trust in God and He will see me through.

    A personal note: I have been following your journey since you brought Arie home--a friend linked me to the post when you came home, and I can't believe it's been almost two years. It brings me great joy and inspiration to see how you, your husband, and your son have all grown, personally and as a family.

    1. I feel the same- unprepared but trusting that God will lead. Thank you so much for following our story! It's been almost two years since we brought him home! Crazy. On Sunday it will mark two years since we stood before the judge in Russia. I am still amazed when I remember that day and then watch Arie run around my living room. I am so blessed to call him mine.

  3. Becky B.10/08/2014

    Oh Jill- you took the words right out of my mouth! I wouldn't wish infertility on my worst enemy, but the things that I have GAINED from this journey are immeasurable. Not only a deepening of my faith (after it was shaken to the core) but the friends (and e-friends like you) and opportunities I've had to educate others on infertility. It's given me a cause to fight for

    1. Yes! I often feel like this has leveled my faith and rebuilt it, stronger. Thank you for sharing!


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