Be fruitful and multiply…

In Genesis 1:28 we read, “God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

And we’re trying to do just that!! The journey towards conception isn’t always as easy as obeying God’s command to reproduce. My husband and I have been attempting to conceive and it has proven to be thus far fruitless. desire to trust and be patient and obedient to God’s will. If it’s meant to be, it will be. Often in my life I have struggled with the notion of “Thy will or my will” and this instance is the same. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for almost a year now. I must admit that some of our “tries” have been haphazard, but we certainly thought we would be pregnant by now. As Marisa Tomei said in My Cousin Vinny, “My biological clock is ticking like this!!”, which adds pressure, a lot of pressure. And that was the theme of my therapy session today: Why do you put so much pressure on yourself? There’s all this pressure to achieve, to succeed, to be accepted with my every choice and action. And we teased out my self-doubt and selfishness, wondering why I am so hard on myself and whether it is selfish to want a child. So she asked why we want one, and here was my response:

We’re trying because we both want to bring a child into this world to love and to raise well. We want to share our love with that child and teach that child how to love and be a good person. But the question that looms while we find ourselves struggling to get pregnant is, “Is it His will?” God has shown me so much good and so many truths when I listen to Him and not to my own selfish desires. But this desire is something that my husband and I believe is aligned with God’s will. Yet obviously it’s not God’s will for everyone, or it’s not the “right time” at least when other’s feel ready. So we wait and try to be patient with the hope that if it were to happen on our timeline, we would miss out on an opportunity or blessing that God has planned for a different timeline. And that when He deems the time to be right, he will bless us with a child. But what if he decides we shouldn’t bear children? What if I am barren or my husband infertile?

I consider this from Psalm 84:11: “For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” So what if God does withhold this good thing of conception? Does that mean that I am not doing what is right? We know as Christian sinners that we will never be able to reach perfection, so how much right would I need to do to have that good thing bestowed upon us? My God is a loving God, and I know that. But I posed this question to my therapist in return today, “What if God wants us to hear his message and get closer to Him more so than to revel in our own earthly happiness?” Because sometimes my happiness is not what it could be, what God could offer. If I knew what God had in store and it was magnificent, but it meant not bearing my own child, would I value the potential of his gift? Through the uncertainty and the storms, it is very difficult to appreciate that he will give us gifts. But I know he wants to bestow them. If I would just trust.

But the main part of the discussion with my therapist that vexes me is about the guilt. The old Catholic in me remembers the guilt that continuously tells me that I am not good enough and I need to repent because I’m not listening to God; that I am not obedient and that my heart and my own selfish desires get in the way of my closeness with Him. So I doubt myself and I am convinced that I need to constantly be on guard about the decisions I make. Is it my will or thy will? It’s exhausting. I know the answer is to know God better through the Word, but can’t bring myself to consistently practice it. In reading His word now, I reflect on these passages in Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 4, and 11: “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God: Your children and your crops will be blessed. The LORD will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops.” Again, if I obey the Lord these things will happen. So if I don’t they won’t? How can that be true? There are endless non-believers who bear children and reap rewards.

What also comes into question is what to do with an obstacle to achieving a personal desire. Is the answer to accept it’s inability to happen as God’s will and declaration or find a way to make it happen with God’s grace and willpower urging me on? If God didn’t want in vitro to exist, it wouldn’t exist. Or is it a temptation to go against his previously designed plan? A woman I work with said this in response to the aforementioned question: If God wants a soul in this world, He’ll get His soul, regardless of how it comes about. (She also ordered me a beautiful St. Gerard charm and necklace to pray to Him for fertility. Thank you God for sending Paula to me!)

The uncertainty of this pregnancy may be God’s way of helping me to appreciate, respect and be humble in the sight of the Lord and the miracle of birth. Perhaps my husband and I would have otherwise taken it for granted. Or maybe the timing is everything. God may have plans for a home purchase, move and delivery that would work out better if we conceived later. Whatever the reason, may I find the right reaction to whatever our news is regarding fertility.

Sinner share #3 – Trust has always been God’s desire for me. He wants me to let go and let God more often than I am comfortable doing. May this be another way that God is trying to reaching me. And may I hear his message and act upon it in order to receive His blessing and to prove my obedience. Though I am not worthy to ask anything, I pray at this time that I accept God’s will for a baby in our life and trust that He has good plans for us.

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

30-something share #3 – Besides God sending a message, I confess that I question what it means for me to be a 30-something year-old who may not birth a child. Our society tells us that there’s something wrong with being a mother-less 30-something year-old. What a stigma and what shame. God always walks us through the storms, but that blizzard will be a long, arduous journey if that’s what He has in mind.

Isaiah 4:6 “There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.”

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