Hannah Bunker, contributing author to Dancing Upon Barren Land also writes for HOPE, Hearts Of Promise & Expectation Christian Infertility Support Group.(firstname.lastname@example.org) She takes copious notes, summarizes the lesson taught during the support group and shares her thoughts and inspiration. Presently we are studying the workbook Surviving Infertility, What the Bible says about your Baby Hunger, by Beth Forbus.
If you live in or near the Houston, Texas metroplex we extend an invitation to you to join our support group. We meet at two different locations. The support group is for women who are struggling with infertility, secondary infertility, failed adoption attempts or miscarriage / stillbirth. It is a safe place where you can share your heart and be encouraged as well. Our next meetings are:
HOPE at Lakewood Church
Meets 1st Thursday of every month at 7 p.m.
Next meeting, June 7 th
Location: 3700 Southwest Freeway, Houston
4th floor, Rm. 4025
HOPE at The Ark Church
Meets the 1st Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.
No meeting for the month of June due to church-wide event
Next meeting, July 9
Location: 450 Humble Tank Road, Conroe, Texas (north of The Woodlands)
Without furthe adieu….Here’s Hannah!
I had just taken my seventh negative pregnancy test in a row. Seven months. Seven negative tests. During the ﬁrst ofﬁcial month Aaron and I started trying, my very dear friend had just conﬁded in me that she was pregnant. I was so excited because we were trying too and in my mind I wasn’t far behind her, we would be pregnant together, and then our kids would grow up together and be best buds.
Month seven had approached and I was still staring at one line on a pregnancy stick every month. Then month eight arrived, then month nine…My friend’s belly had grown. All of the pregnancy announcements from other friends were now magniﬁed. With every announcement I felt excluded as if I were fading in the distance as they were leaving me behind on the path to motherhood. Where before I had never paid any attention to the exciting news of a pregnancy, now I would get a sixth sense when I felt someone was pregnant. Paranoia, maybe?
I had a strict schedule for my life and with every negative test, we were getting behind on our timeline. That’s when my anxiousness began – when I began to feel left behind. My anxiety grew when I started seeing all of the growing bellies around me when the only sign of my belly growing was after eating one too many bowls of ice cream. Then other worries began to overwhelm me; What if there was something wrong with me? What if Aaron died before we would ever be able to have a little “us” running around? What if we spent thousands of dollars on treatments and failed every time? What if I would never experience being pregnant?
In Surviving Infertility Beth Forbus calls these our “everythings.” These are the “stresses, fears, and thoughts that cause us anxiety.” I can remember the moment in our infertility journey where all the anxiety, stress, and pain fell on top of me like an anvil does the Coyote in the Roadrunner cartoons. It was at that seven month mark that I fell on the ﬂoor of the room we have reserved for our baby and weeped and sobbed until I could barely breathe and could sob no more. I was overwhelmed by the helplessness of not being able to ﬁx the one thing I wanted more than anything.
How in the world are we supposed to handle those “everythings?”
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
There are several steps in this scripture that guide us to an answer for coping with our worry.
First, God wants us to continue to talk to him, share our desires with him, and continue to ask for his favor over our situations. He doesn’t want us to live this way so He promises to carry our burdens, give us His peace, and guard our hearts and our minds against all fear, worry, and anxiety. The most interesting word in this scripture is “thanksgiving.” He asks us to talk to him in a spirit of thanksgiving. Maintaining a thankful attitude is like asking for the moon in a situation like infertility.
However, Beth reminds us; If infertility has clouded your view, take a moment to remember what God has done for you in giving His only begotten Son for you. If you can ﬁnd nothing else in your life to be thankful for, you can certainly bow your head in gratitude for this amazing gift of grace. You’ll ﬁnd thanksgiving coming back into your heart. So let’s continue in the spirit of Philippians 4; Let’s continue to lay our burdens, fears, and worries on His shoulders, be thankful for the gift of His Son, and believe that He will guard our hearts and minds and ﬁll us with peace as we continue to wait for our families to be complete.