One Son

As a woman with secondary infertility it can be hard to see the blessing of many children given to other families. But I’m reminded of the couples in the Bible who were given only one child:

Abraham and Sarah- Isaac

Zechariah and Elizabeth- John (the Baptist)

In both cases, the couples were considered righteous even as they remained barren. Yet the Lord took away their disgrace (sadness and longing) by giving them the gift of a child. Scripture doesn’t gloss over human disappointment and struggles. Instead, we get to see how God works through these valleys.

The Father had only one Son as well. He did not spare Him, but gave Him up as an offering for our sin (Romans 8:32). Through God’s One and Only Son, all who trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior are given life forever. Jesus Christ is the greatest blessing you and I will ever have. Even if our life circumstances aren’t what we thought they would be, He is enough.

The Lord can lead us to a heart of gratitude when we grieve the dreams that aren’t and look forward with clear eyes and a full heart of what kind of story God IS writing with the life we do have.

God the Father demonstrated the greatest sacrifice by giving us Jesus. When I meditate on the unfathomable depth of His love for me, I settle back into resting in His Sovereign Goodness. And I thank Him for the blessings I do have. Practicing gratitude, like breathing.

I looked up the meaning of my son’s name the other day. It means “Gift”. What a sweet reminder of the blessing right in front of me. He truly is a gift to me and my husband. Remembering our gifts is important, but acknowledging where they come from is the purpose. The Gift-Giver became our greatest Gift. God incarnate.

Grace upon grace,


“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” -John 3:16-17

Disappointment and Hope

An older woman with children grown sat in my living room listening to me pour my heart out. I listed specifics of disappointment I struggle with but it probably sounded more like a child whining. We didn’t know each other, not well anyway, having just met face-to-face for the first time that day. But she was recommended by a trusted mentor as someone who could listen and give counsel. I didn’t hold back, and after quietly listening letting me vent all my frustrations, she wisely directed me to the book of Job.

Here was a man who lost everything. His servants, wealth, all of his children, livestock, and income were gone. Then he was stricken with boils all over his body as the last blow. His wife and friends didn’t provide much help either, urging him to curse God and die, or confess some hidden sin he must have for God to permit all of this.

Job had no answers and he found no comfort.


The last few chapters in Job are some of the most powerful words recorded in the Bible. The Lord decides to speak directly to Job, asking rhetorical questions reminding him (and us) Who is in control of the universe.

God basically tells Job that since He is all-wise and all-powerful, who is he to question the Lord?

My thoughts are so limited, my understanding as vast as the present day. I don’t know what will even happen beyond the end of this sentence. Not really. We learn from past history but God was actually there. Not only that, but He has laid out the future as well. He is there too.


So this godly lady sitting on my couch pointed me to Job’s story to help me remember God’s Sovereignty and Greatness. Just like Job, our lives are one of many stories weaved into History. It’s not that our lives are meaningless, but in comparison to the Lord’s omnipotence who am I to stamp my foot and say “life isn’t fair”? If I know He loves me fiercely enough to send Jesus to die for my sins then can’t I rest in His wisdom for the rest of my life too?

The continued disappointment of infertility sometimes stings. I think I have a handle on it then there’s another pregnancy announcement or baby shower invitation. It’s like throwing cold water over my head. I’m stunned by the swell of emotions that come from a deep place inside me of something lost- something that never was.

Resentment isn’t far behind if I don’t quickly put a lid on the explosion of feelings. So I asked this woman what do I do when this happens? When I’m side-swiped by my own heart?

She encouraged me to go to the greatness of God when I feel jealous, hurt, left out, over a heart desire unfulfilled. That’s why we looked at Job. It is one of the best places to see the Transcendence, Sovereignty, and Wisdom of God. Only God is big enough to fill the gaping hole in our hearts.


If I am not given more babies then He will give me more of Himself by helping me understand that only Jesus satisfies the longings of my soul. I may not understand why I have infertility or why God chose me and Jason to have a special needs son. These are worlds I never expected to enter, but here we are.

When we ache over unfulfilled dreams, we can always look to Christ. God proves Himself over and over to us even though He doesn’t have to. As we remember His past faithfulness, His present goodness, and future graces, well, these are gifts to cling tightly to. His love for us is still true, meeting us in the pain. Our Father gives us our Hope in the middle of Disappointment.

There is a song by Lauren Daigle that speaks directly to trusting God when life doesn’t turn out like you expect. I hope you are ministered to today in whatever loss or dream you’re still waiting on.


Grace upon grace,




Upside Down Blessings

Every Wednesday afternoon I sit in a waiting room for close to an hour while my son has occupational therapy. There’s a bulletin board in the front office with their business public Wi-fi password, upcoming events, and articles related to children with special needs. One article in particular caught my eye since it was an interview from two parents with a special needs child. In it, they shared, “We grieve the dreams lost, but not our child”. I remember wanting to shout “Yes!” after reading that small but powerful sentence. Their words echoed something I had hidden in my heart for years but couldn’t even articulate without it coming off like self-pity.


The truth is, no one wishes for a baby with special needs. We aren’t wired to think that way. So when the diagnosis does come, whether in utero or well into toddler years, there IS a grieving process over future hopes that will never materialize.

But we’ve joined a club we didn’t sign up for and we’re here- so now what? Does it change the way I love my son? Of course not. It just means there will be a plan B that isn’t laid out yet, in which there is little control or foreknowledge. I know that sounds very much like parenting a typical child, but I’m convinced there is more of a blueprint for raising children without a disability than with one. It’s not to say that parenting in general isn’t soul-draining- it is.

Yet the future for most children is that they will one day tie their own shoes, converse in complete sentences so that others understand them, and become independent fully functioning adults in society. There is a broad but knowable path laid out here. Autism, Down syndrome, OCD, ADHD, or physical handicap is even bigger. No two special needs persons are alike in their diagnosis which makes parenting feel more like a desert wilderness. It’s harder to swap “what did you do when she was 3 and this happened…” stories to learn from.

I’d like to say that 7 years into this I never get sad. But just as the parents in the article said, you do grieve over broken dreams… and the daily struggles too. And yet, my son is a gift I can’t imagine living without. He teaches me how to see people, to not be so self-conscious and to love unconditionally.



My son is what I like to call, an upside-down blessing. God often teaches us through suffering and disappointment. This is part of the upside-down kingdom effect. I lean more into Him, cry out when I don’t understand, in the times I’m flailing because my faith is shaken.

It stretches my trust in God, the Sovereign Creator. I’ve even lately begun to see secondary infertility in a new light, because maybe my ministry is to take care of the one. Even as he gets older his dependence on me hasn’t changed- so maybe, just maybe he needs all of me right now and God knows that.

In the end, this piece of life and how we respond can be for God’s glory and our good. The growing pains are real, and will probably never go away this side of heaven. For me and my husband our Christian faith keeps us going. We believe that one day our son’s mind and body won’t be disabled anymore. One day he will be fully restored as will we. For the Christ-follower, there is always hope. Because hope becomes sight when we see Jesus face to face; and all the dreams I thought I wanted will pale in comparison to the very thing my heart always hungered for.

Grace upon grace,


So, what now?

cwvDm9asA_Lw9YsGTQNy8vW7ZoQSo what do you do when the dreams you had planned for your life are dashed? What do you do when the life you envisioned for yourself does not come to fruition? For me, part of my disappointment has been secondary infertility. This means that I have one child, conceived without any problem, but for some reason the second time around my body has not cooperated. It is like the factory shut down and my body stopped doing a very natural thing women were created to do- have children.

My husband and I wanted more children, siblings for our son who is now four. We wanted kids close in age, so when our son Jesse, was nine months old we hoped it would not be long before he had a brother or sister. I think the first year I was in denial that there was a problem. I mean the women in my family have never had any issues in being able to conceive. I come from hearty stock, I thought. Then as the months passed by, turning into years I began to wonder what was wrong with me? It was about this time when I became particularly hard on myself that I started receiving advice and comments in how to “solve” my problem. Gain some weight, don’t drink coffee (are they nuts?!), take more vitamins, sleep more, “it will happen eventually”.

Sometimes our bodies just do not work the way we want them to and it is insanely frustrating. So, two years into trying for baby #2 my husband and I went to a fertility specialist. Apparently I’m fine and he’s fine and there is no known reason as to why we should not be able to have more children. Don’t you just love when doctors tell you that? I think I might be able to take it better if I had a reason or something to answer my question, ‘why?’

To top it off I see friends and family expanding their tribe and I am hurt that the Lord has seemingly passed me by. I do not understand and I have so many questions. Just to clarify, I am thrilled to pieces God gave me my son. Sometimes I just look at his face and I am in awe that I get to be his mom. I want to be particularly sensitive to the precious couples that battle primary infertility. My heart goes out to the woman or man who is hurting or angry. I cannot completely understand your grief, but I do get it on some level. I can sympathize with you and cry with you.

Any couple experiencing infertility whether it is primary or secondary, usually journeys through it silently. Even though this issue consumes a lot of your time, money, thoughts, and emotions you do not talk about it. Maybe it is the subject of the trial- making babies, or maybe you feel like a failure (you shouldn’t). Perhaps your heart is so tender you feel you might cry at the mention of a baby. Sometimes you just want someone to “get it”, that your heart breaks into a million pieces every time you hear another pregnancy announcement or receive a baby shower invitation. It is not that you are not happy for those folks it is just hard to swallow sometimes. Let me state that because God creates life, all of life is beautiful and resentment should not have a permanent place in your heart.

I have no doubt whatsoever Who is in control over the womb. I have seen some women struggle with primary infertility and have fertility treatments work. Later on, those same women have “surprise” pregnancies, ‘miracle blessing babies’ I call them. Other times treatments fail to respond. How we respond to those disappointments is crucial to our faith.

I heard a sermon recently by a guest speaker who said, “Jesus is worthy of worship at all times by all peoples.” He was speaking on missions, but if Christians really believe that Jesus is worthy of our worship at all times, even in the hard moments, then this should be our response. I never really considered that Jesus has lovingly placed secondary infertility in my life for His purpose. I know Romans 8:28 and quote it for other things and to other people, but infertility? The hard answer is yes.

Fellow sufferers, God can make beautiful things from your sorrow. He can take your desire for a baby and lead you down a path for your life otherwise impossible without this “roadblock”. Jesus is infinitely better than my hopes and dreams that I had planned. His plans are generally different than mine anyway because He can see the whole picture. I only see what is right in front of me, another failed month with fertility treatment, and another negative pregnancy test. God will keep you too. He will hold your hand as you journey through this season. Trust in God’s goodness and sovereignty in those moments of sadness and frustration. He has not passed you by. The Lord may be using for you even greater things you cannot even fathom. That may include children someday. Truly, our loving and wise Father has purposed this for you to deepen your faith. Spiritual growth is richer and greater than getting what we want when we want it.

The compassionate Lord saw Hannah’s tears and heard her prayers. He set His purpose for a miraculous pregnancy through Sarah. He sought out Hagar when she was turned away from Abraham’s home, with Ishmael, in her most desperate hour. God used Esther to save a nation. He redeemed Ruth, a Moabitess. Almighty God permitted divine conception for both Elizabeth and Mary! He is a God who sees our tears and hurts. He hears our prayers. He knows our desires. He weaves His power throughout history for His glory and honor. There is purpose in your story.

So, what now? How will you respond to infertility? Friends, others are watching how you respond. They may not know the details of your situation, but hardship has a way of seeping into every aspect of our life, affecting daily living. Whether you realize it or not they are seeing if you live by faith. Maybe it is an unsaved co-worker or a new sister in Christ and they need to see you worship Jesus even when everything does not go your way. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (NIV). So even though I may not always feel like it and it can be really hard to do so, I choose to trust the Lord with this day. I choose to bow down and worship my beautiful Savior in the face of infertility.

Grace upon grace,


For added support and encouragement for infertility, miscarriage, or child loss a site I have found helpful is