Few people who have suffered with infertility have escaped being told, or telling themselves, that maybe their being infertile was “meant to be” or maybe they weren’t “meant to be” a parent. Do you think your infertility was meant to be?
I always think about what people said about infertile people when I was a kid, how they just weren’t meant to be parents or it wasn’t part of God’s plan for them, and they should accept it. I thought it kind of made sense then. Now that I find I’m infertile, I’m really struggling with that explanation. Just because things are difficult, does that mean they’re not meant to be? If a person’s house is blown over in storm, does that mean God wants them to be homeless? If a person’s spouse dies, does that mean God meant for them to be alone? ~ Member of the Creating a Family Online Support Group
Whether you believe that God “gives” you infertility to test you or punish you or that infertility is meant to be your fate is clearly a theological question, well outside of my level of expertise. We each have our own religious or spiritual beliefs, and it’s no one’s business to challenge them. I am eternally grateful (actually I feel blessed) that my beliefs do not include a zapping or punishing God. My faith tells me that bad things happen, and God does not necessarily cause them. God is sitting right with me while I struggle, helping me cope and crying right along with me.
That said; I do believe we are often faced with struggles in life, and we have a choice in how we deal with them. We can choose to remain stuck in anger, self-recrimination, or victimization, or we view them as an avenue for growth. I view these “opportunities for growth” as a “God-thing”.
I can also look back on struggles in my past or my children’s past and see now that the end result was worth the pain–that there was a purpose that I didn’t see at the time. To me, however, that is different from saying that pain was meant to be.
Here’s someone else in our online communities response to whether her infertility was meant to be:
Though I know it is a great comfort to some people, for me, the notion of fate, or “meant to be” or things similar just led to confusion and heartbreak. It implied that I somehow deserved to be infertile, or that I was unfit to be a parent. If I think of it now, it means my son was “fated” to have lost his first family, and his birthmother was “meant” to have to part with him.
I spent so much time wrestling with “why”, my actual life sort of faded into the background. For me, it simply wasn’t a helpful way to look at it. I became a bit of an existentialist, I suppose, through all this. The notion that things just happen, and all we can do is roll with it and do the best we can, is comforting to me. I found that I felt more connected to things, more open and accepting, when I embraced the notion that things didn’t have to have a meaning or a purpose, that they just…were. And it was my choice how to move forward from there.
If you had asked me several years ago what I thought my life would look like, it would never have entered my consciousness that I would adopt, and from a country 7000 miles away. And yet, leaving my preconceived notions behind and taking that leap was the best, most important decision of my life, and has led to joy I could not have fathomed.
Do you believe your infertility was meant to be?
Image credit: Steven