INFERTILITY

God’s Faithfulness Through Infertility

Amber Gaige

After not preventing pregnancy for years, Brendon and I were diagnosed with male factor infertility in the fall of 2014. We underwent 3 procedures and multiple testing with no success and decided to take a break from the stress and pressure and seek direction from the Lord. At this point, my heart was in rebellion against any more treatments. I knew if God wanted to give me a “miracle baby” He could. So, I asked Him to give us a child without IVF…His silence on the matter was clear. So, I asked him to open wide the flood gates of confirmation which he did through scripture, providing resources, and faith building confirmation through an ordained gift from my mom…a pair of earrings.

For my 30th birthday my mom gave me a pair of diamond earrings which my father bought for her years prior. Diamond earrings are fabulous themselves, but these are extra special because 1 of the earrings had been misplaced for over a year, causing my mom much heartache. So, for over a year she consistently prayed for them to be found. In my birthday card, Mom encouraged me to remember that our God is faithful, always pray without ceasing, and trust the Lord to hear our hearts and answer our most heartfelt prayers. Reading these words from my mom encouraged me to pray for the impossible. In this case, a baby, so I did.

As we continued seeking the Lord’s direction for our family, I prayed, sought confirmation and wore my earrings. Sadly, one day, I too, lost one of the pair. After driving all over McKinney, retracing my steps and voraciously cleaning my house, the earring was nowhere to be found. I cried and absolutely did not tell my mother about my failure to preserve something so precious that had been restored to her. For a month, I prayed daily over a precious lost item and my desire for a child. I finally felt a peace moving forward with more fertility treatments so I scheduled a consultation with Dr. Havemann in McKinney. Knowing full well we could not afford the cost of IVF. I felt foolish taking the step. But, I clung to the reminder my mom wrote in my birthday card. My God hears my prayers, He is faithful, He is enough. On the day of our consultation my precious diamond earring reappeared in the floor between the planks of my wood floor…(An area I had vacuumed time and time again). Silly as it sounds, this was my confirmation that God was with me through this journey and His plan was perfect. Our Dr. even confided that she too had undergone IVF to start her family and I found this comforting.

Over the next few months, we began fertility treatments. In October of 2015 during a prayer session on a Mexican beach the Lord told me He would give me a baby. I picked up a seashell to commemorate the message the Holy Spirit had given me. (It’s still sitting on my bathroom counter). Also during 

October, my mom was diagnosed with the most lethal form of ovarian cancer. So I again struggled with faith. During the next 3 months from Oct-Dec 2015 all hope seemed lost both for my mother’s life as doctors gave us nothing but bad news and my desire for a child.

December 25th came and I found myself sitting in church challenging God. “Still no baby, remember that promise you made? Oh, and now, you’re taking my mother too. Thanks Lord.”

I’m sure you can imagine the sarcasm in my tone! The Holy Spirit undoubtedly heard it loud and clear as I prayed silently during the church Christmas Eve service. But, God is faithful, remember? And a particular part of the Christmas story provides an often overlooked message of tenacity and faith. As I prayed that night, the Lord used the story of Anna the Prophetess (Luke 2:36-40) to bring me comfort. My argument was that He had promised a child, He had provided financially for treatment, but there was no baby, and now my mother was dying.

“Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher”. The scripture went on to herald the introduction of the Messiah to this faithful woman who had a spiritual legacy. I felt a peace once again that the Lord would allow me to pass on my inherited spiritual legacy from my mother and grandmother through a family of my own. And so, again, my spirit was quieted (momentarily) and I surrendered control to God’s even in the midst of indescribable pain, fear and frustration.

For Christmas, I gave the diamond earrings back to my mom (Having learned my lesson, I first took them to be repaired and seriously checked by a jeweler so that we wouldn’t lose them again!!) I wrote a letter to her reminding her of God’s faithfulness, His restoration, and His close proximity. God would be with us through this journey and our shared object lesson was this pair of earrings.  

Three months later, after our first round of IVF, I tested positive for pregnancy. My mother was still undergoing treatments for ovarian cancer but 6 months into treatments she continued to work every day, and stay strong in her decision to refuse chemo (despite the direction of 7 oncologists).

When I found out I was pregnant I felt my conversation with the Lord back in December had been validated. I would indeed have the opportunity to pass on a spiritual heritage to a child, my child! And I would name her Anna for the prophetess in the story…I made the assumption that I must be having a girl, because of course, I would be passing on a heritage of godly womanhood from my mother’s sake…But God has a sense of humor!

A blood test to rule out genetic disorders also revealed that I was having a son! (Again, I questioned the Lord…um hello…you pointed out a prophetess to me, not a prophet! Can you tell that I can be a little argumentative even with the Lord?) But, the months progressed, and multiple sonograms confirmed…It’s a boy! Guess what happened when, in my confusion, I went back to the same scripture reference? I found that within the verse, the name my husband and I decided to use was directly referenced in the scripture verse and I never noticed it.

“Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher” Asher is the name that has been used in my husband’s family for generations. I never even realized until now that this same name was used in the scripture the Holy Spirit gave to comfort me. He revealed my son’s name before I was even pregnant. And, I was too hasty to even notice. (Oops!)

It’s October 2016 now, and my mother’s one year anniversary of her diagnosis was October 7th. October= the 10th month in the year. 10 is the number in the Bible referenced for perfection, completion. God is working out his plan in my mom. He is molding our family through this hardship for His perfect plan. The day of her diagnosis was the 7th. A number known to be associated as God’s holy number. How small are we that His symbolism would be so prevalent throughout this entire journey with us. Even when we don’t stop to reflect and realize what He is doing. “God answers prayers even when we don’t stop to realize it”. That’s what my mom reminded me of just this evening as I’m transcribing these events. (Isn’t God awesome?!?)

We celebrated my mom’s one year survival and God’s faithfulness at a party a few weeks ago. We were reminded that when my mom was diagnosed the doctors told my mother she had six months to live. But our God is greater. His plan is perfect, His ways are not our ways. And where it not for her diagnosis neither of us would have grown in our faith and knowledge of WHO GOD IS over the past 12 months.

Eph 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to HIM be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to ALL GENERATIONS forever and ever amen.  

This has been the scripture I have prayed over my mom. Over her health, over the total healing I’m asking God for on her behalf. And now, it is also the prayer I pray for those I know who are weathering storms that hurt. That don’t make sense. That seem to have no purpose.

Sweet sister, if you are weather a storm and the pain of life is wearing you down, I encourage you to lift your head and seek the One who sees the whole picture. There can be joy in the pain, and hope in the morning. Step by step is enough, when the circumstances are overwhelming and confusing. God wants to and can lead, guide and direct. He has a plan! Even if it takes months or years for His purpose to be revealed.

As I close, let me share just a few more “God Winks” that have come to light during this time. As we continue to look for treatment for my mom, we’ve recently been informed that breast milk is being studied for its effectiveness in treating ovarian cancer. And, that stem cells and genetic cancer treatment options are becoming more and more prevalent. Who’s to say that the timing of my pregnancy might not still be used to help in my mom’s treatment? And that maybe God allowed us to wait for such a time as this for purposes we still have yet to discover. We’re still researching, but you better believe that I’ll be storing breast milk and stem cells if research can be found that says these resources can be used to help my mom!

At a time when encouragement was and is needed the most the Lord God is faithful. He is ever present and at the ready to be near to you. To speak to you in ways only you can understand and process. He will never leave you or forsake you. He knows the innermost desire of your heart. If my mom were with you, I know she would encourage you to take your fears and heartache to God. Lay them at the foot of the cross. All I can add, is to wear your spiritual heritage as boldly as you would a pair of beautiful diamond earrings. Boldly and in full knowledge that our God is faithful.   

**Disclaimer, I am not suggesting to any person that they should ignore doctor’s recommendation for treatment of disease! My mother continues to ask the Lord for direction for her treatment and we appreciate the advances of medical technology available. At this time, The Lord Who Sees has simply not directed my mother to pursue this treatment. It’s her choice and every person has to make decisions for their health as God directs them individually!