Letters of Encouragement: when the pursuit of fertility treatment comes to an end
I held the small container in my hand, carefully reading the instructions printed under my name. I had just arrived home from picking up my new medication, prescribed to me by my newest fertility doctor just days before. At my first appointment with him about a week prior, he presented a fertility treatment to me that no other doctor ever had: Letrozole, a drug that is typically prescribed earlier in a TTC journey to help assist in ovulation. Here I was, nearly a decade into my own endeavor, with a chance at this treatment that has brought many success. I was surprised at how swiftly the medication came through when I received the notification on my phone from the pharmacy. After eight years of trying to conceive and numerous fertility specialists, this fresh possibility of fertility care was beginning to seem so effortless. However, instead of feeling peaceful and hopeful, I felt quite conflicted. I held a new opportunity in hand. But the weight of my discernment signified that instead of embarking on this last attempt of treatment, I would be placing those eight tiny pills back on the shelf.
The Father has relentlessly invited me within the chronicle of my fertility journey to put my complete trust and hope into His Son, Jesus Christ, as I have ached, longed and pleaded for a child from my womb. Every door that either He shut or my husband and I discerned out of, the Holy Spirit has forever whispered the invitation and the encouragement to surrender to the power of faith in the Father. And the Father extends the same invitation to you, too.
Reflecting back on my experiences with each doctor that has aided in my reproductive care (or made the decision not to even offer me a chance), I can confidently say that by our stance and in our efforts we have chosen to be open to life. And we continue to be. Remembering our vows to be fruitful and multiply, we gave the Father our “yes” each time we walked into a doctor’s appointment with hope that maybe that was where our commitment would breed life. However, we know that our hope does not lie in the hands of our physicians. Our hope is to be placed in the hands of our Father as we declare and decree healing in Jesus’ name. Furthermore, we understand that fruitfulness is not bound to the womb. Fruitfulness flourishes in our steadfast faith in Jesus Christ and our devotion to one another.
Walking away from fertility treatment does not mean that healing is unattainable or that the chance of new life is no longer in reach.
Last year, the Holy Spirit brought me deeper into the Kingdom of God and gave me a more profound revelation of who the Trinity is. As co-heirs to the Kingdom, we are freely gifted an inheritance that Jesus paid for on the cross. Part of our inheritance is to have abundant life. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” It was in this season that I wasn’t on any medication or hormonal treatment. It was in this season that the Holy Spirit gave me the gift of faith. (Did you know that faith is an actual gift of the Holy Spirit? It’s a charism!) Faith that far surpassed the faith I had in natural or scientific things. I didn’t need the assistance of fertility treatment to have a grand hope for resurrection in my barren condition. It was in this very season of surrender that I had the greatest hope I ever had! My faith was alive and ablaze, and I bore much fruit.
The Father’s will is for us to live abundantly. In every circumstance. Even when a chapter ends and the doors close. He desperately desires for you to know that He has abundance in store for you. He asks you to trust Him for this abundance, even if you have come to Him empty.
Walking away does not mean you are hopeless. Walking away may be the birth of a newfound hope and a shedding of old for fresh wineskins. The pressing and crushing you have endured just may produce new wine.
You too might find yourself discerning out of fertility treatment. Or perhaps, at least stepping away for a little while. The treatment and experiences attached may have become a huge part of your identity in fertility. Stepping away may feel as though you are walking on new ground, uncharted territory, wondering “where do I go from here?” or “who am I now?” This isn’t how you envisioned the ending of this era, the way you would have departed from needles, ultrasounds and pills. Alternatively, you may find yourself relieved and at peace that this chapter has come to an end. Even so, your identity and worth isn’t found in the charting. It isn’t found on the ultrasound screen, through an LH surge, the negative pregnancy test or the surgery you underwent. Your identity is simply this: Daughter of the King.
Nevertheless, my dear sister and daughter of the Most High, your effort towards new life and your surrender of it all to the Lord has not been in vain. Christ shares with us that everything that concerns us, concerns the Father, and when we ask in His Son’s name, it will be given. Ask for endurance. Ask for gratitude. Ask for surrender. Ask for peace. Ask for faith. Ask for hope. Ask for the deepest desires of your heart. And then declare that He is good in all things. Especially in the messy, broken and empty. Dust your feet and open the door to the new. He knows you are tired. You are His daughter. A banquet is waiting. It’s time to rest.
This is part of our “Letters of Encouragement” series. To read all of the letters, search the “encouragement” filter on the blog.