One area I battle with infertility is discerning whether or not I have moved on or given up in our pursuit for a baby. Truthfully, the only times I really wrestle with these thoughts are when others bring it to my attention.
Currently, I can say with confidence that I am in a season of true godly contentment. Through God’s ongoing work in me, I have relinquished my fears and control over having a child — and oh. my. goodness. is it ever freeing! I pray he never takes it away.
However, in my experience, I’m noticing that others in my life perceive my moving on as giving up. Everyone has a standard to what lengths one must take to “try” before “moving on.” And this can be confusing and burdensome. So how do we differentiate between the two seasons?
First, understand that no one has the authority to tell you where you are or should be in your journey. This is about you examining your heart, your desires, your needs.
You can recognize the state of your heart based on your behavior and attitude. There is a direct correlation between the condition of your heart and the types of behaviors you exhibit. (Have you ever said or done something, and immediately said, “I don’t know where that came from! That’s not like me to do/say that!”? News flash: It is like you. It’s an outpouring of your heart.)
A content joyful heart will not produce bitterness. Likewise, a bitter heart will not produce contentment and joy. You may be able to fool yourself for a little while, but eventually, what’s taken up residence in your heart will continue to show in your thoughts, words, and actions.
Giving up will sound like: There’s no point. It’ll never happen. Forget it. God hates me. Giving up will look like: withdrawal, depression, anger, defeat, bitterness, envy, negativity, jealousy, rejection, abandoning hope.
Moving on will sound like: I’m releasing control over this situation to the Lord. I’ve done what I’ve deemed acceptable for having a child and it hasn’t worked, but I’m okay with that. I want freedom from the burden of infertility. If I never have a child, it will hurt, but it won’t overcome me. I can live a full life, a life of joy and freedom, even if that baby never comes. Moving on will look like: acceptance, freedom, enjoyment, joy, openness, willingness, humility, peace, release.
Friend, once again, please don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that you have given up because you haven’t met their standards or idea of what it means to try for a child. Everyone has a different opinion on what trying looks like. Instead of focusing on the number of actions you are or aren’t taking, focus on the state of your heart. Share your feelings and rejoice in your newfound freedom (if you’re there) rather than sharing only the number of procedures you’ve tried, the number of agencies you’ve contacted, the number of doctors you’ve seen.
Cherish and rejoice in the gift of moving on, for if you have been blessed with such freedom, you’ll know it isn’t something you’ll ever want to lose. If you’re still unsure of where you are at in your journey, friend, let me encourage you to pray. The Lord wants to hear from you and be intimately involved in your life’s decisions. He desires for you to run to him with your burdens. If you need Scripture today to speak into a specific emotion you’re experiencing, I’ve put together a list for you HERE.
Cover photo used with permission from Unsplash // Myles Tan.