Maintaining a Strong Marriage During Infertility

This blog post on maintaining a strong marriage first appeared here a couple of years ago. This past weekend a friend reminded me that the keys to a good marriage are good to keep top-of-mind during this season, so I thought I’d share this again.


A Strong Marriage Takes Work

Maintaining a successful marriage takes work under “normal” circumstances. It is especially important to work at maintaining a strong, hope-filled, and love-based marriage during the stressful circumstances added by a season of infertility.

Here are some important keys about love as God intended a husband and wife to experience it. Focus on how love REALLY is and not as it’s portrayed on television, in romance novels, and online. Focus on God’s love for you and how He wants you to love your spouse. Get more tips and encouragement in my e-book, Infertility Sucks! How to Maintain Hope in Your Marriage During Infertility.

I know the struggle is real. Which of these keys are you using “on purpose” in your marriage to keep it strong?

 

Strong Marriage

 

Why Feeling Hopeless is NOT Where You Want to Stay – INFOGRAPHIC

Feeling hopeless

3 Powerful Actions if You’re Tempted to Abandon Hope

When life fails to be all that we had anticipated, we find it easier to abandon hope. Sometimes, we tend to think, “What’s the use? It hasn’t happened yet… and it probably never will.” If this is a description of your current life and mindset, I have 3 tips I’d like to share to help you strengthen and retain hope.

Tip 1

Make a Gratitude List. Pause to give thanks on a daily basis. When you focus more on what you’re thankful for, it begins to shift your attitude. Ultimately, you begin to move beyond discouragement. Acknowledging blessings that you’re currently experiencing will give you a better outlook about your circumstances.

Areas for counting your blessings don’t have to all be “big” or “important” in someone else’s eyes. Here are a few to consider:

  • Jesus’ finished work on the cross
  • The Father’s love
  • Good/improved health
  • Steady income
  • Fun relationships
  • Provision of a home
  • Clean running water
  • Transportation
  • Power over the enemy
  • Opportunities to serve others

What would you add to this list?

Tip 2

Ask for wisdom. God is always willing, even eager, to give you wisdom. What He gives, He does not take away. His wisdom about your circumstances will help you to not abandon hope.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
~ James 1:5 NLT

Wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good (Webster’s Dictionary). It points you in the right direction and helps you make good decisions. Wisdom also helps you to be content until circumstances change because you know that God’s hand of favor continually rests on you.

Tip 3

Do one thing. Choose to take one simple step that serves to increase your trust in God. Focus on a promise that He has made that relates to your situation and then take one easy action step based on that promise. You can rely on God keeping His promise.

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? ~ Numbers 23:19 NLT

Commit to doing that one thing by writing it down and placing it someplace where you’ll be reminded of it and then.. do it!


Hope is one of the three things that 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us will always remain as a resource that allows us to tap into God’s grace. We are to always have hope—the joyful and confident expectation of God coming through for us!

Please share… What you do to maintain/strengthen your hope in seasons of discouragement?

 

Infertility Sucks - Always Maintain Hope

Infertility Sucks! How Do You Maintain Hope for Becoming Pregnant?

Infertility sucks! No two ways about it, there is nothing good about the struggle itself, however, good things can come out it when we open ourselves to those possibilities.

Looking back on my experience with infertility, I remember it as a time of a lot of not-so-good-for-you emotions. Some that surfaced during that struggle were:

  • Shock
  • Devastation
  • Demoralization
  • Inadequacy
  • Loneliness
  • Jealousy
  • Confusion
  • Stress
  • Shame
  • FEAR
  • and more…

Those negative emotions each challenged me in maintaining hope for a pregnancy and a healthy baby. It boiled down to making a decision about whether I would give up on God’s love for me and His promises of fertility. I chose not to give up on Him but that was hard! When you’re staring at negative results every month, and listening to the enemy’s whispers about how God is silent and not moving on your behalf, it’s difficult to keep hope alive.

How I Overcame Infertility

Thankfully, I had understanding and wise friends who pointed me to the Word to find my solution. That was how I OVERCAME those negative feelings and infertility itself. A particular friend heard from the Lord in her prayer time and encouraged me to learn about the women in the Bible who experienced infertility and overcame it. That was a turning point for me!

If you’re struggling through the emotions of infertility (and I do mean through–don’t get stuck there), you know where I’m coming from–infertility sucks! Please know that you are not alone. Trust in the Word of God. Trust in His love for you. Believe that He always keeps His promises.

Have confidence that God’s promises of fertility are true for YOU. Find and anchor your hope in them.

Which one of His promises resonates with you and helps you maintain hope?

 

You are Forever Royal: Speak Like it with Consistency

You are royalSometimes I need to ponder my royal status in Christ more often and maybe you do too. Revelation 5:10 assures us of our royal status in this life on earth through Jesus: “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

I need you to put on your math cap for a moment. Remember “If-Then” statements? They show us that if one thing is true and it says/demonstrates the same thing as another, then they are equal. For instance, “If 4+1 =5 and 3+2 =5, then 4+1=3+2.”

The Word of a Royal King

In Ecclesiastes 8:4, we’re told, “Where the word of a king is, there is power…” So here’s the “If-Then” statement I’m proposing: IF we are kings/queens in Christ (and we are, whether we live like it or not), and the word of a king/queen has power, THEN our words must have power! In our natural lives, our words have the power to bind us in an agreement/contract, to involve us in a covenant such as marriage, and to change our circumstances, for better or worse.

Your words act as seeds that will grow and be fruitful. But beware, the soil of your life WILL produce what you plant in it. Stay away from the weed seeds, those words that are nothing but negativity.

As a king/queen, you get to choose what kind of word-seed you will speak into your future and then live with its harvest.

Will you consistently speak word-seeds that yield a harvest of Life and Blessing?

God’s Big Shoulders Can Bear the Weight of Your Burden

God's big shoulders - no anxietySometimes we think that we can plan and control every facet of our lives and then realize that it’s too much for us to handle. Are you anxious and feeling the heaviness of the challenge you’re facing? You might be in a financial crisis, or feeling like a relationship has lost its zing, or maybe you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one.

No matter the circumstance, it can begin to feel like it is overwhelming. Is it because you have yet to place that burden on God’s big shoulders?

God’s Big Shoulders

Throughout the Bible, God implores us to believe that He loves us so much that He wants to handle every difficulty that we face. No matter how small or how large the issue is, He is always present to deal with it. But sometimes we forget.

We forget that He’s there– walking through life with us to give us guidance.

Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left. ~ Isaiah 30:21 NLT

We forget that He loves us with a no-matter-what kind of love.

[Jesus said], “You love them as much as you love me.” ~ John 17:23 NLT

We forget that He does not condemn us.

For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins. ~ Hebrews 8:12 HCSB

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. ~ Romans 8:1 NLT

We forget that He never runs out of good gifts to give us after we’ve seen how He has already abundantly supplied for others.

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. ~ Ephesians 3:20

Our forgetfulness can get us in over our heads, causing us to feel overloaded with despair!

The Simple Solution

The solution is simple yet not always easy to implement:

God's big shoulders - rest

Remember He wants you to rely on Him, to rest in Him, and not rely only on your self-efforts to change your circumstances.

For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works. ~ Hebrews 4:10 NASB

Remember He is right there with you, loving you , not condemning you. And then, make a decision to throw your problems onto God’s big shoulders.

Throw your burden upon the LORD, and he will sustain you. He will never allow the godly to be upended. ~ Psalm 55:22 NET

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

Be sure not to let your struggle be the thing you talk about the most. What you frequently think about and talk about will the thing that expands and manifests in your life.

For as he thinks within himself, so he is. Proverbs 23:7 NASB

Be sure not to let your struggle be the thing you talk about the most. Speak life! Click To Tweet

Most importantly, don’t let your struggle become an idol– the thing that gets your frequent focus and attention. That’s God’s place!

Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)—[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life]. Amen (so let it be). ~ 1 John 5:21 AMPC

Offering those shoulders is just one way He shows you that He loves you. No matter what struggle you’re embroiled in, rest assured, God’s big shoulders are strong and broad enough for it.

Will you throw your burden onto Him?

 

 

Battling Infertility? Here’s an Effective Scripture-Based Prayer

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have already been given the victory over everything the devil can throw at you… even if you’re battling infertility. In Him, you’ve been redeemed and made a partner to the biggest winner of all time! Prayer is a means of accessing the victory.

How do you pray? Have your prayers been filled with words of defeat, self-pity, and unbelief? Or do you pray with confidence that God’s promises of victory are for YOU?

Battling Infertility with Prayer

Here’s a prayer that can galvanize you in the belief that you are a victor and not a victim:

Prayer - Battling InfertilityFather, I’m Your child and I stand in the truth of your Word. I am in covenant with You and an heir to all your blessings. My spouse and I desire to have a baby. I stand on Your Word, with expectancy and thanksgiving, that  I receive that special gift from You. In the authority I have in Jesus, I speak to the “mountain” of infertility, “Be dried up at the root, never to affect our bodies again.”

We are redeemed from the curse. I believe that my womb is blessed and is a safe environment for our baby to grow. We look to experience a beautiful pregnancy, with no suffering during it.  Our expectation is a safe delivery that goes smoothly and quickly.

Thank You Father, for loving me.

Thanks for answering this prayer for the precious child you have created specifically for us.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

[Scripture references: Galatians 3:26, 29; Ephesians 2:4-6; Philippians 4:6; Mark 11:12-14, 20-24]

Coach’s Corner:

Here are a 3 questions to ponder. I encourage you to write the answers in your journal (or start one if you don’t have one!) .

  • How satisfied am I about my current level of expectancy and joy?
  • What does God’s Word say about expecting Him to come through on His promises?
  • How can I more effectively “speak to the mountain” of infertility using God’s Word?

If you’d like more encouragement and insight so that you more fully address the spiritual aspect of infertility, contact me to see if personal coaching might be of benefit to you. I’d love to talk with you about it!  🙂  #iHopeCoaching

 

 

Image courtesy of Nuchylee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Real Love

God’s Love for You is REAL Love and He Wants You Well

Every human being is searching for REAL love. When you look to Jesus, you will find it. His love is a certainty. God loves you and He wants you to always be well. There is nothing that can separate you from His love or His healing power.

Jesus was the epitome of love. He never turned anyone away that asked for healing. Everyone who came believing in His willingness to heal them got healed–without exception. Jesus never said, “I won’t heal you because this illness/disease has been put on you so God can teach you a lesson and work something out in your life.” If He didn’t say it then, He doesn’t say it now because He’s the same today as He was back then and He won’t change in the future (Hebrews 13:8). If it was His will back then for ALL to be healed, it’s His will for ALL to be healed now, and that includes you.

REAL Love

Real love heals, it doesn’t cause pain. God is love and only desires to see us enjoy life!

“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16

If you know His love, you know there is no pain or sickness caused by love.

If you believe in His love, you are not fearful that He won’t keep His word and uphold His promises.

When you keep His love at the top of your mind, doubt has a tough time infiltrating your thoughts and making you think that God has brought sickness and failure your way.

REAL love heals, forgives, sets your heart free, and desires to only do good.

Jesus’ love is the only real love. Your search for real love can stop right now as you allow yourself to be the object of His affection, blessing, and power. When you tap into His love, nothing can separate you from it (Romans 8:35,39).

What You Say

Tap into His love by seeing what God says in His Word about your circumstances and then start saying the same thing that He says about them.

What YOU say matters. Use the authority of God’s Word to bring about the good He desires for your life. As you speak His words of love over your life, you’ll see how REAL love works.

If you believe in His love, you are not fearful that He won't keep His word and uphold His promises. Click To Tweet

Did You Know There’s a SPIRITUAL Aspect of Infertility? #NIAW

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week. Are you aware that there’s a spiritual experience associated with infertility?

Many people ignore the spiritual aspect of infertility.

It is so easy to lose focus on the spiritual nature of infertility when the physical aspect consumes your thought life and begins to overtake your daily life. You and your spouse can become so obsessed with finding the cause and the cure for your situation that it can rob you of your peace. When you’re not experiencing peace, you’re likely to ignore the one thing that can bring about the solution you’re looking for.

Spiritual Unrest

Some studies have shown that the degree of severity of a physical disease is often related to the degree of emotional and spiritual unrest being experienced by the patient. That unrest must be addressed. This is why it is important to strengthen yourself spiritually while dealing with infertility. Acknowledge the need to ask God for wisdom when faced with overcoming the enemy called “Infertility.” It may seem like a Goliath-sized enemy to you, but for God, “Infertility” is already a defeated foe because of what Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection.

Infertility is not too hard for God to break or destroy. God said so when he defeated infertility in Sarah’s life:

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” ~Genesis 18:14

The story of each woman in the Bible that struggled with infertility ended with her becoming an overcomer and giving birth, no matter her age, socio-economic status, or how long she had been infertile.

Stay WITH God

Luke 18:27 shows that Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible WITH God” (emphasis mine). That preposition, “with,” is an important word because it means “in close proximity to”.  You can come close and join yourself WITH Him by asking Him for help and for wisdom in the decisions you make, by reading His word, and by speaking and meditating His Word.

Even if you feel as if God has turned his back on you and no longer hears your prayers, look to Him. When is seems like God is ignoring you (He’s not), look to Him. Even though things haven’t changed after you’ve begged, cried, and pleaded in your prayers, look to Him. And yes, when you find yourself thinking, “I’ve had enough of this. Let’s just throw in the towel and give up,” look to Him. Why? Because the bottom line is, He has never left your side. He loves you immensely and wants His best to be demonstrated in your life. You have an enemy but it is not God, it’s Satan. Jesus is the One who has the power to eradicate this issue and He desires to do so. He needs you to know that He is there with you, standing with you in the face of this enemy. Then you can have faith that He always keeps His promises.

Make a Decision

Make a decision to consistently address the spiritual aspect of infertility.  It will make a positive difference! Trust that God’s Word is true for you. Keep your focus on His promises of fertility. Ask for a fresh revelation of His love for you. It will bring you guidance, comfort, and ultimately, greater peace.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You.”
~ Isaiah 26:3

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: but not as the world gives… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” ~ John 14:27


Find more direction about how to spiritually address infertility… check out my fertility devotional, A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility.

spiritual aspect of infertility-A Seed of Hope

The Struggle of Infertility is REAL but So Is His Grace–Don’t Give Up!

The struggle of infertility may seem insurmountable but God’s grace is bigger AND more powerful. Here’s help so you don’t give up.

Many times during infertility, you feel like you’re about to fall apart (usually monthly). There is probably no one else in your life who truly understands what you’re going through, so talking to others about it can be difficult, unproductive, and very frustrating. That frustration can make you choose to just suffer silently. THAT is not a good choice! When you’re trying to hold all that emotion inside of you, it’s only a matter of time before you start to feel like you’ll explode. That explosion is sometimes expressed in anger, self-pity, sadness, bitterness, self-condemnation, depression, and many other destructive ways.

BUT, there is One who can help!

The struggle of infertility is NOT too big for Jesus.

In the midst of the all the pain and asking, “Why me?”, Jesus is the One who is capable of understanding this situation and helping you to get through it without falling apart. Colossians 1:17 [NIV] says, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. ” His love and grace are available everyday to comfort and guide you through the struggle so the negative emotions don’t overtake you and make you feel like everything is falling apart.

Look to Him today and on a daily basis. Trust His hands to hold you and to keep things in your life held together.

Let Him hold your whole world in His hands.

You can find more encouragement, comfort, and peace in my book, A Seed of Hope: God’s Promise of Fertility.

In the struggle of infertility He holds your world in His hands
Photo courtesy of Microsoft / Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis