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  • Writer's pictureKristin D.

My infertility creed, part 1: I believe in one God

(This is an excerpt from “The Spiritual Advent of Infertility” manuscript. This is the first in a 4-part series. You can find the links to parts 2, 3, and 4 at the end of this blog.)


Infertility can be a very raw experience of loss and grief. A very basic part of the human experience is missing. How are we to make sense out of it all?


The Nicene Creed shares with us the very basic tenets of our faith. It sheds light on our understanding of who God is and who we are in relationship with Him. While reflecting on this unifying expression of faith, we are reminded of God’s presence in our lives and how we can find hope amidst life’s trials.


I believe in one God,the Father almighty,maker of heaven and earth,of all things visible and invisible.


“My hope comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth!” (Psalm 121:2)


Every Sunday, we express our belief that there is one God who, throughout time and space, has created all that is. Through His divine will, we are alive today. When we say, “I believe in one God, the Father almighty”, we are professing that we are His children and He knows our hearts deeply, intimately, passionately. We are acknowledging that He is the source of all that is and all that we have yet to see. He is the God of the past, present and future and He holds us in the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16).


One of my favorite lines in cinema history is from the movie, “Rudy”. It is the story of an underdog, Rudy, played by Sean Astin, whose passion to live out his dream is often misunderstood by his family and friends. It is a story of grit and determination. One moment in the film that has always stood out to me was the moment Rudy almost gave up. While facing his last chance of entering Notre Dame and pursuing a lifelong dream of playing football for the Fighting Irish, Rudy visits his mentor at church. He shares with his priest friend about his desperation over the possibility of never realizing his dream. His mentor shared, “In 30 years as a priest, I have come to two indisputable facts. There is a God and I’m not Him.” I always got the sense that the priest was offering a glimpse into the mystery of faith. Our passions and dreams are good, they come from the Heavenly Father, He gazes with love as we labor towards our dream, but His ways are mysterious and we do not see the whole picture while we’re in it. God is real, He is, He exists, and He is active. But we don’t always see it. His work is always there but often hidden beyond our grasp. I have come to believe with all my heart that the priest’s words were not of resignation or hopelessness; they were words of truth and gentle encouragement to “be still” and not try to figure it out at once. This was an invitation into the mystery of faith. I don’t want to spoil the end of the film for those who have not seen it, but I’ll just share that every time I see that movie, I am moved to tears with gratitude for the beauty of this life and the truth that God believes in us even when we doubt our situations.


Pope Benedict XVI reminded us, “To come to know God – the true God – means to receive hope.” (Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 3) He went on further to explain:

“It is not the elemental spirits of the universe, the laws of matter, which ultimately govern the world and mankind, but a personal God governs the stars, that is, the universe; it is not the laws of matter and of evolution that have the final say, but reason, will, love—a Person. And if we know this Person and he knows us, then truly the inexorable power of material elements no longer has the last word; we are not slaves of the universe and of its laws, we are free.” (Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 5)


I believe that the heart of the journey of infertility is coming to this same sense of freedom. Yes, there is a God. There is a power above me, there is a power that hears me, there is a power that loves me. Yet this power, this God, this creator is not in my own image. He does not create things according to my plan, my imagination, or my dreams. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.” (Isaiah 55:8) 



It is perfectly ok to wrestle with this, to let the anguish fill the pit of your stomach. How do we respond to this restlessness? Go ahead, my friend! Share your protest, shout from deep within the heart, “Your ways are not our own ways, oh God! Please answer me!” While we plead, let us remember, God is listening and enters into our pain. Every day, the Lord quietly showers us with grace and opportunities to grow in virtue, character, and strength. Yet in our tumultuous existential crisis of identity and faith that is the cross of infertility, God’s graces and their power are not always so clear, yet they are as present and abundant as the air we breathe. As we experience moments of trial and at times near desperation, He is still working towards a great good for our souls, even when we don’t see the results of our efforts.


God seeks us when we are lost in the forest of life’s disappointments. Because of his love, we will not be lost forever; he will pave a path and gently invite us toward freedom despite our limited vision. We will discover a fresh new way of living because He is God and creates our world with infinite possibilities even within the limitations of time and space. 


So, how do we learn to trust God who holds the mystery of life in His hands, who creates the most masterful works, who gives and takes away, as we search with longing for an answer in the depths of our hearts? How do we come to know that He has plans for something greater for us while we are feeling empty, incomplete and seemingly unfinished? We must remember that we still have a choice in how we respond to our situation: Be still! Be open! Keep living.


Questions for reflection

  • When did you first come to believe in God?

  • How has that understanding changed over time?

  • What does the image of God as Father mean to you?


Action steps

  • Write down the Nicene Creed from memory. Circle the words or phrases that have the most significance to you. Put an asterisk next to the parts that you would like more information and seek it out.

  • Pray for someone who may be struggling with their faith.


Prayer

Lord, thank you for being our loving Father. Thank you for creating me and my spouse in your image, even in our brokenness. Today, I am especially grateful for [insert moments, graces, or something from the day that you are grateful for]. I am sorry for [insert sins, omissions, disappointments from the day]. Help me to see the great things you are preparing in our lives as our loving Father. Help me to trust you, even when my internal vision fails. Amen.


 

Click on the links below to continue reading the series, "My infertility creed", by Kristin D.

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