Infertility is more common than most people think it is. “Out of 100 couples in the United States, about 12 to 13 of them have trouble becoming pregnant. About ten in 100 (6.1 million) women in the United States have difficulty becoming pregnant or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” (Source)
If it is so common why do we hardly hear about it? Couples that have a hard time expanding their families often feel shame. They feel like something is wrong with them or that they are broken. Most couples that wish to have children start talking about it when they are still only dating. They plan how many kids they want, they talk about baby names and fantasize about their growing family. So when something so natural doesn’t come naturally it can be very devastating.
I have never experienced infertility, but someone very close to me, my brother, Matt Bell, has. As I watched him and my sister-in-law during their journey I saw their faith never waver. They never let shame, doubt, or fear control them. They praised God every step of the way and their tears were turned to joy when they received the blessing of a baby girl last December. I interviewed Matt below. I hope their story brings hope to anyone else struggling with infertility!
How Did you sense God’s presence through your infertility journey?
“The entire journey of battling infertility for exactly 7 years, was filled with ups and downs. It seemed like there were more downs than ups, but even throughout the emotionally taxing journey, we felt God near to us the whole way through. We never got so low that we couldn’t handle it. When we did have moments of weakness and emotional breakdowns, God would speak. He would reaffirm His promise and we would feel refreshed and refocused on the journey. During a few times, when we didn’t really expect it, God’s presence showed up in a very powerful way, so much so that we practically fell down in our house. It was in moments like that that we felt protected and that God was working for our good, even though we did not see the manifestation of His promise in our physical life yet. We built our foundation on Hebrews 11:11 and hung that verse on our refrigerator. And today, we carry God’s promise in our arms, because He was true to His word and gave us our miracle baby, Evangeline Skye.”
“And by faith, even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.” (Hebrews 11:11)
Now that you have a baby girl how do you see God’s work in retrospect?
“What we gained through the struggle is far greater than anything we could have ever expected. We have a foundation of faith that was developed through an intense 7-year trial. When you struggle for something, that is supposed to come easy to everyone, it cultivates a very different perspective and framework for reliance upon God. While we do not believe God wills the struggle upon us, He meets us in the struggle. Sometimes the trials you go through are part of building character and faith that are necessary for where God is taking you in your life. I know we are profoundly more grateful to hold our baby in our arms today than we might have been if we had conceived right away. There is something very special about our little girl. The miracle-working faith that was cultivated in us during the struggle is now the faith we will parent her with. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”
What would you tell someone else struggling with infertility?
“God created a man and woman’s bodies to come together to create a baby. That is God’s will, plain and simple. You will have a lot of different voices speaking into your life during this process if you allow it. Make sure to align your belief system to the word and will of God. If you aren’t able to conceive, it does not mean that God has willed this life upon you. There could be something affecting your ability to conceive. It could be anything from spiritual to physical causes. Guard your hearts and cling close to God’s Word. If you build your foundation on God’s word, you will see breakthrough. That’s His promise.”