May 27, 2011

Clean Heart, Dirty Diapers

As #12 of 13 kids, the last thing I worried about was infertility. I mean, come on—I was an aunt 45 times, so obviously fertility wasn’t an issue, right?My husband and I waited till our honeymoon, and the Bible says “He honors those who honor Him,” does it not? And let’s not forget I’m an Inspy author whose tagline is “Passion with a Purpose,” so “passion” sure doesn’t hurt either. All in all, a slam-dunk, right?

Well, a slam, anyway. Within a year there were progesterone/Clomid treatments, monthly ultrasounds, temperature charts, bicycles in the air, husband in boxers and mumbles of Psalm 113:9 in my sleep. Yet, nothing —nada, zero, zilch. Oh, wait —something did happen. Suddenly I couldn’t walk into a McDonalds or church without weeping, heart twisting at the sight of babies, kids or moms-to-be. Trust me, it got real ugly —anger at God, anger at pregos and anger at myself for being angry. I felt awful, but not from morning sickness —it was jealousy, anger, bitterness and despair that had me ready to throw up.

So I counseled with a pastor’s wife known for infertility ministry. Apparently many women she counseled/laid hands on became pregnant soon after, so I thought—why not? Since I’m a big believer in prayer, healing and last resorts, I gave it a shot. November came and went, December did too, and then January took me down for the count. I still remember sobbing in church, on my knees with a hard, bitter feeling where a baby should have been. “Why won’t you give me a baby, God?” I cried, anger spilling out along with my tears.

Never will I forget the words that drifted in my brain that day, drowning out my sobs, crying babies, the band and the choir:

Are you going to throw away this year like you did with the last?
With bitterness, jealousy and doubt?
Or are you going to lay it and the baby down
and live in peace, hope and faith?

Ouch. But God got my attention, and I started sobbing again, only this time it was with a repentant and obedient heart. I told God I was sorry and that I would trust Him with the desire of my heart —children— if it meant biological, adopted or foster. I started praising Him in the face of my infertility because I knew I had the best insurance policy around in Romans 8:28:

And we know that all things (even infertility) work for good for those who love God (love=obedience, John 14:15) and are called according to His purpose (to glorify Him, Isaiah 43:7).

Every time I saw a mother or mother-to-be after that, I’d rebuke jealousy in Jesus' name and pray, asking God to bless her. Three weeks later my brother waltzed up at a family wedding and said, “Guess what —three weeks of trying and we’re pregnant.” Not hello, how are you, or kiss my feet.

Jealousy sprang up like the fountain in the foyer, and I dragged my sister to the bathroom. “Pray with me,” I begged, and we did. That God would bless my sister-in-law with a safe and healthy pregnancy and that God would help me to bless her, some way, some how. That very night I asked her if I could give her a baby shower. She said YES! And you know what? So did God —ten months later when my baby was born two months after hers! Go ahead, call it coincidence, but I gotta tell ya right now —this is one mommy who will never buy it!

Winner of ACFW’s 2009 Debut Author of the Year and 14 RWA awards, Julie Lessman is the author of A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, A Passion Denied, and A Hope Undaunted, ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010. She and her husband have two children.

Author Website: Julie Lessman