This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Amanda from A Royal Daughter has a series this week addressing different heart issues of infertility. She asked me if I would send her a note of encouragement to women who are still in the midst of the hurt of infertility (that will be up on the 27th, I believe). When I opened Amanda’s letter, my initial thoughts were “I’m in no place to be an encouragement to someone! I’m not sure how I feel!” But God (it’s always but God…isn’t He good) reminded me of where I was just a year ago and the countless tears I shed as the months continued to pile on with no positive pregnancy.
I often feel like the emotional roller coaster I rode last year was in large part because of the expectations I had of how my life would play out. If I could go back 8 years to the quiet, yet budding college Junior, I think I would have a few words to share with her. These are those words:
Dear 20 year-old Self,
At this point in your life, you’re pretty infatuated by a boy. Sister-he’s got nothing on the man of your dreams! Be careful with that heart of yours and how quickly you give it away!
The reason I’m writing is to share something with you that may rock your world….you will have a REALLY hard time getting pregnant. The year after you get married will be one of the hardest years because you had placed your identity into becoming a mother. Being a mother is a blessing, but you will take it too far and it will almost destroy your heart. BUT God will step in and He will graciously reveal your sin of idolatry and also His unfathomable mercy and grace. He changes your heart in a way you never expected. In fact, after a year of trying to conceive, you and your husband will decide to adopt two children internationally. I know that made you nervous and anxious about finances, but don’t worry-God will provide. I can just hear you start asking me questions about the logistics of how this works and what our plan will be to raise “adopted” children (you were quite naive back then…) But what I want to tell you is to focus on today and to release your plans to God, you are trying to control way too much of your life. All of your planning about how you will marry this guy and what you will do and where you will live and how you will raise your future kids…it’s futile, Sarah. Believe me, it doesn’t matter how hard you try to make things work, God is the One who is making the calls. It will be so much easier for you if you trust the in the sovereignty and love of our Creator and stop worrying! Your battle with anxiety will only increase if you keep up like this.
Here’s another piece of advice…listen to the wise counsel around you. Truly take to heart the spirit-led wisdom from Emily and accept the amazing truth that you are loved and accepted by our almighty God. I know how hard it is for you to believe in the goodness of God, but start praying to see His goodness in your life and TRUST God. Your struggle with infertility will be one of the hardest seasons of your 28 years, but out of that pain and darkness will come a peace that passes all of your understanding. Out of that trial, you will see how God has truly written a unique story for your life and it is GOOD!
So, my 20 year-old self, take a deep breath, relax, smile more, laugh more, say yes to friends more and enjoy the gift of life God has given you. Don’t worry about tomorrow; God knows what tomorrow will bring. And I can guarantee that what God brings to you in your tomorrows will be so much better than what you could have asked or imagined…you’ll just have to walk through some fire to get there. But no need to fret about those fires because God will bless you with a husband who will do his very best to protect you from those fires and when you do get burnt, he will be there to comfort you and hold you as you heal. Trust God with your tomorrow’s, Sarah, because you can’t control them either way.
Your 28 year-old self