Infertility is an abominable struggle. Anyone who has endured it or who has known someone in the midst of it can attest to the pain it brings. However, Hebrews 12:11 puts it into perspective:
"All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."
I cannot say I am at the end of the struggle, because I do not have children in my arms, nor have Tim and I chosen to live as a family of two. But I have reached the point in this struggle where I can attest to God's grace, mercy, and love for me. All of those attributes were things I doubted at times during this trial.
I have learned what is in my heart. Idolatry, envy, hatred, anger, greed, deceit, bitterness, pride, and disobedience.
I have learned to say that God is good even in trials.
I have learned that happiness is not the same as joy.
I have learned that believers can be horribly sad but still be trusting God.
I have learned that depression isn't always a spiritual issue.
I have learned that Tim will be my best friend and confidante no matter what else comes our way, and that nothing can scare him away.
I have learned that I have many, many things to thank God for.
I have learned that life isn't all that great sometimes even for mothers.
I have learned that there are more ways to be a parent than to give birth.
I have learned to show compassion toward people toward whom I previously felt contempt.
I have learned that I actually like certain dogs.
I have learned that people give advice because they don't know how to say "I'm so sorry for your pain" and "I'll pray for you!"
I have learned that infertility isn't an issue that can be solved by old wives' remedies, relaxing, or adopting.
I have learned who around me is compassionate and who seems to enjoy holding my state over my head.
I have learned to be open about my problems, because most fellow believers truly care and want to pray for me.
I have learned how to say to Tim "I am really struggling today. We're going to have to go out to dinner because I can't get off the couch to make it."
I have learned how to control crying during a pregnancy announcement at church. I still dread them though, and I prefer to find out by email where I can react sadly in private and show joy publicly.
I've learned that my sadness ruins others' pregnancy announcements for the rest of the family, and that it is because they care about me.
I've learned that sometimes it hurts so much to cry that anger is easier, and that Tim understands what I am really trying to say but just can't get out.
None of these things come completely easily to me yet. It is a process, and I am thankful that
"He who began a good work in [me] will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6