Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Infertility – My Story

on January 13, 2014

When I got married, I had no idea I would struggle to conceive. I figured I would try for a few months and be able to have a baby without a long delay. I did not foresee the struggle and pain that the next four years would bring, nor anticipate the amazing work of the Lord through this trial in my life. I share this story now to bring hope, encouragement and comfort to my sisters who have experienced, or are even now experiencing the pain of infertility.

My husband and I had no plans of waiting to have a child when we were married. We wanted to get a family started right away. I had dreamed of a large family with five plus kids. We never prevented pregnancy in any way. Three months passed and nothing. I wasn’t too concerned, reading online that it took healthy when up to a year to conceive at times. We were living in Scotland at the time and I figured the stress of moving to a new country may be putting my body on hold.

As time went on, I struggled with watching friend after friend conceive and deliver precious babies, while for me it wasn’t happening. My husband and I prayed and tried to leave our concerns in the hands of the Lord. As a woman I found the struggle to be particular painful because there were so many shades of emotion. I struggled with impatience, sadness, longing, jealousy….I confess these are not attractive or righteous attitudes. I prayed. Released the pain to God. After a time it would return like a haunting spirit.

For years the pain and fear built upon itself until the point came when I realized the seriousness of what was going on. A dear friend of mine announced she was pregnant with her second child. I had been trying to conceive since before she was pregnant with the first. Suddenly I was no longer a healthy woman being impatient….I was a woman struggling with infertility. I cried more tears during that time than at any other time in my life. I asked God why He had excluded me from the blessing of being a mother when it was all that I wanted. I begged Him for my womb to be open. I cried out in anger when His answer wasn’t an immediate “yes”.

During this time I found it very difficult to be around my pregnant friends. I could hardly handle a baby shower. I grew bitter and was so emotionally tender. I was highly affected by every flippant comment made by people telling me I should have a baby or asking me why we were waiting. We moved back to the US and I found myself at a church that was highly “fertile” ground, as it were. Women were having babies nearly every month and yet I sat by, an incomplete and defective woman in my own estimation. I felt that people looked down on me, that they assumed I was infertile because of my own failure or sin, and that they treated me like a child because I couldn’t to conceive. Some of this was the wayward imaginations of my own mind, and some of it had some merit, I will say.

I hit rock bottom and came to the point when I had to really give it all over to the Lord to be able to function. He was faithful to take my burden. While I still struggled with the pain, God went through it with me and gave me comfort.

Then, four years into my infertility….

I was at a woman’s Wednesday night Bible study and we came across a verse Psalm 113:9. “He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!” The verse, meant to encourage, broke my heart. I wept to my sisters and allowed them to minister to me. Then at church on Sunday, my pastor read the same Psalm again. I was surprised to hear it again and filled with emotion. Tuesday morning I found out I was pregnant.

The realization of what God had done hit me full force. I knew there was no coincidence. He had given me that verse and confirmed it to prove that it was Him and Him alone who opened my womb. He is the opener and closer of wombs and the only Creator of life! My first feelings weren’t as much of joy as they were of fear. Cramping had led me to the pregnancy test in the first place, so I feared I was miscarrying. Praise the Lord that it wasn’t so and I my daughter, Tabitha, was born a little over 7 months later.

If you struggle with infertility and are reading this, the victory at the end of my story may cause you the same pain that I experienced at hearing of the pregnancies of friends. I’m sorry for this and pray that you will be comforted as I was. My prayer in sharing it is that it will bring you hope and comfort. You are not defective or unworthy of being a mother. God has reasons above our understanding for why He gives children to some and withholds from others. I did nothing to earn my daughter. God had a plan and a time.

Since my daughter’s birth I have again been unable to conceive, and it has been over four years. Again, my husband and I have not tried to prevent pregnancy, so I would now be considered as having secondary infertility. Of course, these words are just terms to define your current state. God is as much in control now as He was when He gave me my daughter. He could give me another child, or He could say no. While I would love to have more children, I believe wholeheartedly that God’s purpose and plan is what’s best. Perhaps He will allow my husband and I to adopt? We are open to His leading.

I wrap this testimony up by sharing three encouragements:

1. God is sovereign and He is the one who opens and closes wombs. Our hope is in the Lord. Just like Hannah petitioning the Lord for a child, we cry out to Him and receive from Him what He wills. We must trust Him and we need to allow His comfort to minister to us and bring us peace and contentment.

2. If you are struggling with infertility, please know that you are not defective or incomplete as a woman. You are complete in Christ. In Christ all fullness dwells and you are in Christ my sister. You lack nothing. God may be allowing you to go through this trial for a purpose that is far beyond what we can see or imagine. I pray fervently that the Lord will open your womb if it be His will. I pray even more so that, no matter what He chooses to do, that you would receive a flood of comfort from the Throne of Grace.

3. If you have a friend who is barren, I pray that you will seek to understand and be sensitive to what a painful struggle she is likely to be going through. Guard her heart by being cautious of your words. Don’t make light of it or joke. I guarantee that, while she may smile on the outside, she is weeping on the inside. Pray for her. Remember her.

For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

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