If I Had Known: Looking Back at Over a Decade of Infertility
I just wanted to know how long.
That was my biggest question.
How long would I be barren? Was this a lifetime thing? Or was it just a season?
Did I need to completely shut down my hopes and dreams for a baby? Or was it okay to hold onto hope?
For eleven years I lived in limbo, wondering and questioning.
And now that I’m on the other side—now that I know it would be just shy of 12 years before I gave birth to our much-dreamed-of-and-hoped-for baby—I’ve realized a very clear truth:
I’m glad I didn’t know.
I’d like to say that if I knew I’d have a baby 12 years after I got married, then I would have enjoyed and celebrated those 12 years with a peaceful heart.
But I’m not that naïve. I know myself well.
I would have still longed for babies—and if I had known then I would have been harder on myself.
“Get over it,” I would have lectured my heart. “You should be thankful and not sad. You’ll get it soon enough.”
But the last thing a grieving heart needs is for someone to say, “Get over it.” Especially when that someone is yourself.
Nor do any of us need to be constantly looking years in the future and missing today.
It took grieving fully to experience God’s full and good presence, so I am thankful I didn’t know. I’m thankful I couldn’t short-change my own grief.
Not knowing meant I was required to depend more deeply on my relationship with the Father. To get what I needed for that day—my sustenance, my hope, my joy, my comfort—from His hands.
In Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us to not be anxious about our lives. He points out that the Father knows our value and our needs.
The cure for anxiousness is not found in knowing the future.
The cure is trusting the Father.
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness…” we’re told.
This was the priceless lesson I learned through my years of “not knowing”. I learned to seek Him first. To lay my anxiety at His feet. My questions, my dreams, my fears. To tell the Father all about them and say, “I believe You are enough. Forgive me for my unbelief.”
In the moment it didn’t matter if I got pregnant the next month or ten years from then or never. It didn’t matter. All that mattered was that I kept my face turned toward the Father who had given everything to redeem my heart from sin and to restore me to relationship with Himself.
Almost twelve years of infertility gave me a gift that I wouldn’t have found without the questions.
It gave me the gift of identifying the presence of God, not only in giant miraculous moments, but also in grief, in questions, in fear, in joy-filled and sorrow-filled days.
God was there. And He knew, so I didn’t have to.
I could keep my heart turned toward Him and He would do the work of acknowledging my worth and my fulfilling my needs.
Dearest ones who are walking through the years of not-knowing,
You can walk softly without the stress of fighting to know more. What you know for today is enough for today. I promise.
Whether your sorrow will last longer than you can imagine, or if it will end tomorrow, either way you can find peace in seeking Him. He knows your value. He knows your needs.
And He will do the work.
Choose Him today.
Say the things that need to be said. The “God, I’m hurting. God, I want this to stop. God, why can’t I just have this thing I long for?” prayers. Say them, then bow low and whisper the ending prayer: With or without, You are good. With or without, I will follow You. With or without, I trust that you are enough. Help my unbelief, Father.
And keep doing it. Day after day.
You’ll learn from there—you’ll find the gift.
The gift of identifying His presence in sorrow so you can identify it fully in joy, however that joy may look.
And it’s worth it.
It is absolutely, completely, totally worth it.
Thank you, Natasha. Continually grateful for your transparency. I feel like we’re kindred souls, as you’re always somehow able to put into words the things in my heart.
I’m still in the “without”, and I needed this reminder that knowing what the future holds won’t be the peace I long for. Trusting in the One who does know is the only peace I can put my hope in.
Thank you. You’re a blessing.
I am so thankful this blessed you. ❤️ Praying your “without” years are filled with peace.
So, so many of your posts are exactly what I’ve been praying about. I haven’t dealt with infertility yet your blog posts are so related to everything I am going through! I am so so glad I stumbled across it one day! I’ve kept a log of my favourites to print and remind myself of.. God has so used you to speak to me in a hard place, which is funny as we haven’t faced the same things! Very encouraged! (From rainy Northern Ireland! 😊) x
I am so, so thankful that you’ve been encouraged!
I love how God is the same, no matter what circumstance we personally struggle with!
May you know Him more,