Today I am sharing a guest post written by my daughter in law Shannon on the topic of infertility. Our prayer is that it will help others who are going through this heartbreaking experience as well. Shannon gives us a beautiful look into her heart and pain, but also into the hope she has in Jesus.
He Weeps With Us
By: Shannon Goforth
April 23rd marks the beginning of National Infertility Awareness Week – a week I never thought would have any significance to me, let alone know it even existed.
Infertility is a topic that is personal, vulnerable, and even intimidating to share, but it is something that I have been praying about for months. I feel like God has finally pressed on my heart to share my story.
I never thought I would be that “one in eight.” You get married and dream of starting a family one day, but you never think it will be difficult.
After struggling with infertility for almost five years, being told we have a 2% chance of having a child naturally isn’t what I imagined we’d hear. This devastating news was horrible and scary from the beginning. As we began to process and cope with our new reality, I began to read stories of other couples who had struggled in the same way. Hearing others’ miracle endings gave me hope. It made me feel less alone seeing how others could beautifully articulate the pain infertility brings. But what about still being in the middle of the waiting? Wondering if you’ll ever get your miracle at the end of your long journey…
Infertility isn’t something many people talk about. The waiting is extremely difficult. It has been one of the loneliest, darkest valleys Michael and I have ever had to walk through together – and still are. Despite this being such a heartbreaking struggle to endure, it has also been an amazing season of refining in our marriage. God has used our infertility to strengthen our relationship in such a remarkable way. We’ve experienced an incredible closeness with each other that has been so beautiful. Michael has been an incredible comfort to me throughout this entire process, all while experiencing such deep pain of his own. I could not get through any of this without his constant encouragement. We’re in this together, and I love that.
As we’ve slowly started sharing our story with others, I’ve been blown away with how many women have reached out to me and shared that they’ve silently struggled with infertility as well. This is ultimately why I’m sharing this uncomfortable topic: to help even one person know they’re not alone in their journey, as I thought I was for so long.
Being able to open up and share your story, then having an army of people praying behind you in response is so worth it, but I know that doesn’t make it easy.
I want to share some truths that have comforted me while walking through this difficult journey. I pray these reminders can be an encouragement to anyone who is in a valley reading this — something you can turn back to and reference in Scripture when you are in your darkest moments.
There’s a well-known story in the Bible that comes from John 11. Mary and Martha are grieving over the death of their brother, Lazarus. Even though Jesus knew He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, He still looked at the tears of those around Him and was so gripped by their pain that Jesus, the God of the Universe, wept.
From this passage in Scripture, we learn that God doesn’t just see our tears, He weeps alongside of us. This has been an amazing reminder to me that Jesus is always near. He sees me when I’m questioning His goodness and asking how any good could come from this. In the darkest moments when the enemy tries to get in my head and convince me that God has forgotten about me, I can look back on all His faithfulness in my life and know that’s the farthest thing from the truth! He is near. He is weeping with us in our pain.
Not only that, but Jesus understands our pain more than we ever will. While Jesus is fully God, He is also fully man. He felt the pain that sin brings. He went to the cross for us on our behalf and felt the agony of pain leading up to that dark day. In Luke 22 He says to the Father “If you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” This passage goes on to say that He was in such agony over the cross and prayed so earnestly that His sweat became drops of blood. Can you imagine that pain?
When I’m tempted to feel as though Jesus doesn’t understand my deepest pain, I’m reminded of this incredible truth. Not only does He walk alongside me through this, but He weeps with me and knows the pain I’m enduring.
I would never choose to endure this pain of infertility, but the intimacy I’ve felt with the Lord and this beautiful realization He’s taught me during our devastating season has made it worth it. Had I not chosen to lean into Him a year ago during some of my darkest moments, this isn’t something I ever would’ve been able to say.
God is still writing our story. Even though I don’t know what the future holds, I know He has a better ending for us than we could ever imagine.
If you are currently walking this painful road of infertility, just know I see you and you’re not alone. More importantly, God sees you and weeps alongside you.