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Bad News, Good News

When I called Aaron last Thursday to report the heartbreaking news of our negative pregnancy test, he suggested that I take the rest of the afternoon off from work and spend some time crying out to God. He specifically encouraged me to read a few pertinent sections from A Gospel Primer. As I sat on our front porch and wept in weariness of getting bad news again and again, I read the following through my tears:

"[T]he gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials. The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ" (p. 31-32, emphasis mine).

It's challenging to cling to the good news of the gospel when the bad news feels so very bad. I don't think I'll ever fully understand, in this life, how the trial of infertility is being made good in God's hands. But I trust, even as my eyes are dimmed by tears, that it is so. I trust that the precious news that my Savior has given me all of himself, that I am his and that he won't let me go - that good news will be my everlasting story and song.



I dreamt the same thing twice in one night last week. In my dream, I was thirty-some weeks pregnant and needed to be induced early for some medical reason. We were sure that I and the baby would be fine, and we were excited to meet our little one. Each time, I woke from the dream to remember: my belly was swollen not with child but with hyperstimulation post-transfer. Still, it was a nice dream, and I hoped it boded well for our embryos.


Our house has a detached garage, with a disheveled, rusty basketball hoop mounted above the garage door. Birds have built their nest in the space between the hoop's backboard and the garage wall. This morning, as I stepped through the garage door to go to the car and leave for my beta appointment, I noticed something near my feet. The small, broken body of a baby bird. It's still there now. I'll ask Aaron to take care of it when he gets home from work; I don't think I could bear it.


Words from a song I listened to as I drove to the clinic:

So I lay down what I cannot hold in my hands
Every sorrow and hope spinning out of control
And here I find sweet resolution comes in letting go
And we will find shelter here


Results: Negative.

So very tired of bad news.


Psalm 66

In my Bible reading last week, I encountered Psalm 66 and decided to camp out there until we get the results from this IVF cycle. I've been re-reading it every day, and it's been helping me to maintain trust in God as I wait. Here are some excerpts and reflections:

Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!
Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
All the earth worship you
and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name."

God is glorious, and all the earth praises his name. "All the earth" includes me, whether this IVF succeeds or not, and "all the earth" includes our embryos, tiny beings whose microscopic cells magnify their Creator. God's power is great. My enemies as I try to conceive are his enemies: sin, sickness, sorrow and death. His enemies cringe before his power. Sin, sickness, sorrow and death cannot ultimately triumph over me, even if these embryos don't survive.

Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.

I want, whatever the results this week brings, to call others to come and see what God has done for me. I'm praying that I would get to see his awesome deeds toward my children, in bestowing and sustaining life through this IVF. But if that's not how he chooses to work at this time, I can still draw attention to his work in my life, giving me contentment and peace even in the midst of suffering.

Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.

Throughout these four-and-a-half years of infertility, God's hand has been active. He sent the test, but he has not let me fall and he has sustained life in my soul. When I feel like infertility might crush me, like I might burn or drown in the hardship of it, it brings rest to know that God is in control of this trial and that he will preserve me. Not only will he preserve me, but he will bring me into abundance. I pray that this IVF would yield an abundance of blessing in a child or in children, that he will have seen fit to keep at least one of our embryos' souls among the living. But if I'm not pregnant, he has still brought me the abundant blessing of knowing my Savior better, of sharing in his sufferings.

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!

God listens to my prayers. He listens to my prayers because of his Son. Because I trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus, God has given me a new heart - a heart where sin is still present but where sin has no final power. I can't earn the ear of God, but my justification in Christ ensures that God attends to my voice when I pray. He has heard all of my prayers for children over the past five years, and he has heard my prayers for these three embryos over the past few weeks. I so hope that I will get a positive pregnancy test this week as tangible evidence that he has not rejected my prayer. But whether the results are negative or positive, I have confidence that God will never remove his steadfast love from me, because of my security in Christ.