Denial & Guilt thru Infertility
Last year, our support group, HOPE, Hearts Of Promise & Expectation for Women at Lakewood Church went through a series on ‘Having a Heart of HOPE’. We discussed the common psychological reactions encountered by couples dealing with infertility issues, surprise, denial, guilt, isolation, anger, and grief. The goal is to face these issues head on with intent of allowing God and wisdom from the Bible to tend to our ‘hope-sick’ hearts and restore them completely.
I’d like to share the lesson with you. For this post, the format is different as I have copied in the lesson, rather lengthy I must say! The subject is denial and guilt (I think I just heard some sighs across the internet). I believe there is someone visiting who needs to know the love and freedom found in the resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ!
HE LIVES to set us free! Praying for your freedom today!
Our next Infertility Support Group meeting is Thursday, March 3 at Lakewood Church, 7 p.m., Houston, Texas. Contact for details: [email protected]
Having a Heart of HOPE
Denial & Guilt
WHAT IS THE HEART?
Our heart is our innermost self, our seat of emotions. The Bible says, the heart is like a wellspring; it will spew either bitter or sweet waters on others and our self.
We pray, we hope and we believe that He will get us to that desired place; of being a mother of children, but in the meantime let’s allow Him to work in our heart so when we do become mothers we can be the very best!
GOD IS THE ONLY ONE
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
GOD KNOWS THE HEART
“Would not God discover this? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” Psalm 44:21. At times we bury and hold in secrets that we think only ‘we’ know about, but God knows all. He wants all of our heart.
OUR HEARTS PRESENT CONDITION
Two issues we’ll address are denial and guilt.
Definition of Denial: Refusal to acknowledge existence of something (the secret things), refusal to face unpleasant facts (the pain of the secrets), refusal to allow somebody something (not exchanging our secret heart issues and the pain for God’s grace and mercy).
Let me ask you, what comes to mind when I say the word ‘denial’ in regards to your fertility issues? How did you feel on the initial diagnosis of infertility? Did you have the thoughts that ‘this could not be happening to me’ or that there must me some mistake?
Definition of Guilt: awareness if wrongdoing, responsibility of wrongdoing, fact of wrongdoing.
Guilt is often assumed once infertility is diagnosed. A quote from The Complete Guide to Infertility, Olga van den kker, “If the partners used contraceptives, if they had previous sexual relationships, if the woman had an abortion previously, or if a sexually transmitted disease was contracted—any of these factors may induce feelings of guilt.” Even some women have felt the guilt from having a child out of wedlock and giving them up for adoption, only to find out later that they are unable to conceive. They feel as if God is punishing and withholding children from them.
I want to park on this subject of abortion for a second. It is said that 1 in 6 Evangelical Christians receive abortions, 43% of American Women have received abortions. (Heartlink.org) For the moment, for a woman, the decision to abort may be a quick, easy solution to an unexpected situation. However, over time the choice of getting an abortion can cause guilt and shame.
May I add one more ‘guilt factor’ to the mix? The guilt one might feel because of the view of infertility treatments or assisted reproductive technologies (ART) as seen by our friends, family or a religious denomination. The reason I address religious denomination is I have encountered women who have felt a tremendous amount of condemnation from their place of worship. They have gone through ART procedures only to find out afterwards that their church or particular denomination was against these procedures. Couples suffer verbal opinions by their family and friends because of the technology/treatments they have chosen or the decision to forego treatments and ‘believe God’ for children. But remember what the Bible says, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
Technology/treatments in the fertility world advances quickly, where ethics and moral decisions about the new developments seem slower to follow. However, I strongly feel when faced with tough decisions, it is wise to seek counsel, but these decisions should ultimately be made in mutual agreement between you and your spouse. Most importantly, coupled with prayer and being led by His peace. I am going to make a bold statement here, “Please don’t allow the conditions of man or the doctrine of a denomination to dictate your course in family planning.” Jesus Christ came so you might have liberty and freedom! God, the Supreme, Almighty One has a PERFECT PATH for you! Seek Him!
With all that being said, I am going to mention the word ‘denial’ again. Guilt can ensue, whether it’s from an abortion, pre-marital sex, giving a baby up for adoption in the past (the secrets) or presently feeling condemned by others about your fertility decisions. The guilt continues when we continue to deny the healing process that God wants to give for our lives.
You might ask, where is the healing process? How can I feel free from this guilt of my past and shame that I feel from others? The healing process began at the Cross of Calvary, thru the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. In light of Easter we tend to focus upon the Cross, the resurrection and rightfully so. But I’d like to take it a step further, and expound from some excerpts from a book, the benefits of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Definition of redeem: to make something acceptable (you), restore (your) reputation; atone for human sin, to BUY SOMETHING BACK! (you)
The blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ the sacrificial Lamb, redeems us!
Quotes from Practice the Presence of God, the chapter on The Power of the Blood of Jesus, by Andrew Murray.
“The word redeemed had a depth of meaning. It particularly indicates deliverance from slavery and emancipation or purchase. It has a marvelous power for removing sin and opening heaven for the sinner, whom it cleanses and sanctifies and makes fit for heaven.”
This is what we have been given by the redemptive blood of Christ:
-Reconciliation through the blood. Ephesians 2:13-16
-Cleansing through the blood. 1 John 1:7
-Sanctification through the blood. Hebrews 10:29
-Union with God through the blood. John 3:16
-Victory over Satan through the blood. Revelation 12:11
-Life and eternal life through the blood. Leviticus 17:11, John 6:53-56
Ok, your probably saying, “Lesli, get to the point!”
Beloved, don’t deny the healing process, the healing power of the blood of Jesus Christ! Allow God to have those secrets of your heart. I encourage you to let go of the guilt, ask Jesus to forgive you if there was any wrongdoing on your behalf. It’s easy, all you have to say is “Jesus, forgive me.” And, it is done! Please don’t allow another human being to put guilt, condemnation or shame on you for the decisions you and your spouse have made regarding fertility treatments or family planning. Jesus paid way too much on the Cross-for you and I for us to continually carry around that burden.
HOW DO I HAVE A HEART OF HOPE?
It will take action on our part.
Draw near in faith to Him today.
“Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope, for He who promised is faithful!”
A prayer for you:
SHAME GUILT CONDEMNATION
“Heavenly Father, I thank You that You have given your Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for all my sins; past, present and future. Father, I draw near to You with a sincere heart in confidence, believing that I have been cleansed from a guilty conscience. My fertility challenges have caused me to feel as if I am wearing a cloak of shame, guilt, and condemnation, but I choose to put on your royal robe of righteousness which You graciously give. As I place my trust in you, knowing that I am your child, I praise You, that I will never be condemned or put to shame.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Isaiah 61:10, Psalm 25:2, 32:5, Romans 8:1-2, 10:11, Hebrews 10:22