When ‘God’s plan’ hurts the most

Yesterday was a hard day. And so is today.

I didn’t want to write about it. I didn’t want to talk about it. I sat in the bath for over an hour watching the bubbles die and staring at a drippy faucet.

My eyes were puffy–like they are now–because just twenty minutes before that I had bawled into my pillow.

I was supposed to be pregnant this time.

It had been a week, and yesterday was the day I would take a test. It would OBVIOUSLY be a positive. I had all the signs and I was already prepping how I would tell my family.

I was supposed to be pregnant.

But, as if it were some kind of sick joke, the same thing happened. Within minutes, my answer came. No baby this month either.

You’d think that I’d get used to the (-) symbol. That I’d get used to piecing myself back together. But this time was different. I got angry. Why is God turning his back on something so simple??

It’s been almost three years now that I’ve been going through this endless cycle, waiting for two minutes while biting the heck out of my nails only to see the same symbol every month and like clockwork…explode into tears. I’ve been operated on, I’ve been cat-scanned, I’ve been medicated, I’ve been evaluated, I’ve been through boxes and boxes of ovulation kits. I’ve wasted pregnancy tests and I’ve chucked them across the room. I’ve said, “I’m done” more times than I can count but I still find myself tracking the calendar each month. I still dream about our baby.

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It’s the worst pain I’ve ever been through…physically and emotionally.

Not many people see this side of me, though. I walk out of my front door and tell people around me with a smile that we’re trying, that it’s been hard, but we’re excited for the day to come. It’ll just take more time, I say. Diplomatic. Very non-dramatic. Please don’t pity me I say in my head. And so no one sees it…they only see that I’m tough. That I have faith.

No one except for one: My husband.

And it’s like I didn’t notice it until yesterday. He’s always so joyful. Even yesterday, when he was about to burst with excitement at our pending “news”, he looked down at that horrible symbol and just grabbed me and pulled me toward him. I hit his chest and told him to let me go. He held me tighter. I told him not to pity me. He was silent. So I cried and he pet my hair and he covered me with a blanket and got me ice-cream. He told cheesy jokes as I laid there, and even managed to get me to smile. He danced like a weirdo (totally wrecking his ego, but it’s all for the laughs). Unaffected. Or so I thought.

Photo on 12-19-14 at 8

Later that night I came into the room after my bath and he was studying, a serious expression–a sad one–on his face as he stared forward. His face changed as soon as he saw me and he attempted to make me laugh. But I had caught it.

“Are you sad too?” I finally asked.

“This is the hardest thing ever,” he answered, and I believed him.

But you wouldn’t know it. His priority was to be strong for me. To be joyful. To stay put together so I would have somewhere to land when I fall apart.

He’s heartbroken every month too. He wonders what’s going on and he battles with the whole “why” of it. But he doesn’t give up hope for me. He never isn’t there. He never loses joy.

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And I realized–so it goes with Heavenly Father I bet. It hurts him too when we hurt. But his purpose is to give me hope. To give me strength. To be the voice that doesn’t say, “Wow this situation is dire” but to instead whisper to my heart, “It will be okay. Soon enough.” To be joy.

And still, that’s the person I tend to get angry at. The one I can blame and cry to and get utterly pissed at because he doesn’t talk back.

But he feels the pain. Every part of it. ALL of it. And he sees the pain of people all over the world who suffer far greater than I do– pains that I probably couldn’t even begin to comprehend.

Yet he still has–and gives–joy. And hope.

How amazing.

When the night got quiet and my husband fell asleep I flipped through my phone, blankly staring at Pinterest and photography ideas. I stumbled across this picture with the quote below it:

jesus

“Because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice…He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do.” —David A. Bednar

And this is why we need him. It’s why I need him.

There are these moments in life–and I’m sure you’ve had your fair share–where I’m just DONE. I don’t want to move my feet. I don’t want to try again. I don’t feel like laughing or saying “It’ll be ok”. Especially when a righteous desire just isn’t coming to pass for what seems like no reason at all. Especially when I feel like it’s all coming against me.

And somehow, without even realizing it, He steps in quietly and sits with me awhile. He does everything I can’t and somehow gets me to do everything I thought I couldn’t do.

Somehow I have a husband who has faith enough to look ahead with hope and make me laugh. Somehow I have friends who text me at just the right time to tell me they love me. Somehow I get the courage to stand up, wipe the tears, and face another day, another round, another try.

with woman

Somehow He stays in the room, probably holding a hand over mine, even as I complain about His timing and His plan.

This very moment–this unbearable task–is teaching us to be more like that.

Brigham Young once said: “Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation.”

And I believe that more than anything. Although challenging, everything that happens to us teaches us a little bit more about what we need to become and the areas we need to refine.

in gethsemane

I want to have children more than anything. My heart–my soul–yearns for it.

But more than that even–I wish to continue forward.

I wish to be more like my husband, who sings through the silence of misery. More like those of you who suffer through the unbearable and praise the eternal. More like the Saints who buried children and walked through deserts with wounded feet simply to see Zion.

More, Savior, like thee.

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84 thoughts on “When ‘God’s plan’ hurts the most

  1. Thank you for this! We lost 2 pregnancies in one year. I don’t know how we could have planned it, but we ended up finding out on BOTH of our older children’s birthdays. It sucked to put on that face and be that person that seems unaffected. But as the weeks passes we told select family and friends, keeping our stiff upper lip. Meanwhile, especially with the second miscarriage, I fell apart. At our ultrasound, the doctor said that it was “probably” going to end in “spontaneous abortion” (worst term ever, btw). But for the next 2-3 weeks I prayed for my miracle, I watched videos of my church leaders who had preached about miracles, I begged for my miracle. I refused to take it in. I was not going to miscarry again. I kept straight faced. I told no one. I refused to accept the fact we were going to loose this baby. This was spring 2014. The song “Say Something” was new on the radio and I remember driving around in my car with tears streaming down my face every time it played. I knew it was about a relationship with a boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse, but I couldn’t help interpreting it to be my relationship with God. I prayed for my miracle and I waited earnestly for my answer to come. MY ANSWER. Not his. (“Say something, I’m giving up on you”). I refused to hear anything else. I blamed myself for not seeking to be closer to Him until I needed my miracle (“I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you”). Almost threatening Him if I didn’t get my answer. (“You’re the one that I love, and I’m saying goodbye”). Tears. So many tears. Then the night came. We lost the pregnancy. I ended up in the E.R. after loosing so much blood that my 7 year old had to call for my mother to come and get me. I became a shell for a little while. But then from the ashes was born a new faith as well. I was never left alone. I had my family, my husband, loving friends, and the Lord. He never left me. I was blessed with friends with mutual yearnings and heart aches. I learned to appreciate the miracles around me just a little bit more. It wasn’t my timing, it was the Lords. I had to be humbled. I had to learn to appreciate my blessings. There is more than I realized. God gave me more, more life, more gratitude, more love, so much more. And it was by not getting my miracle when I wanted it so badly!

  2. Thanks for great post .. I am struggling as well with having a child. Few years ago, I was told I had Crohn Disease and I would have to wait, to have child. I lost my hearing in my left and right ear due to the disease. I even become depressed gain weight lost my energy due to the auto- immunity disease. Now I am 43 years old got my right and left hearing back, due to the fact Crohn has decreased. I even lost weight from 135 to 109…. I am proud of myself. God has given me the strength to turn things around. Now I have been trying since last year but nothing and same pain experience most women in this blog; frustration and angry towards God. I know it not his fault and there are biological reason,but I can loose faith. My husband been very supportive and willing to adopt if there issue with me having child.. God knows I need to prepare for time.. I wish I knew when everything will fall into place… I guess in Gods time. Thanks for all the post, it has reinsured me I am not only on this journey.. God Bless All!

  3. A couple people have posted this on Facebook and I have now read through your post twice now and it has brought me to tears both times. It was exactly what I needed right now. We are going through the same thing and have been for over 2 years. I admire your faith. You are stronger than you know as you are strengthening and lifting up people like me who are needing it the most.

  4. Great story. Very inspirational, really, it is. Honestly enjoyed your perspective. Is there a way you can change the font to be more readable? I struggled with this small font with the stark contrasting colors :/

  5. Your pain is real and your faith is strong. It’s okay to hurt, that is part of the plan too. It perfects us, it refines us.

    10 positive pregnancy tests…five living children. I’ve been incredibly blessed, no doubt about that, but it’s the “struggles” that have taught me more than I could have ever learned otherwise about God, about his infinite goodness and about compassion and succoring.

    Your time will come. The Lord does have a plan for you and your sweet eternal family. I have no doubts about that.

  6. Dear Sister, I too experienced this heart break for many years. An although my journey was long ago, I still remember the pain and the heartache. I remember the hiding my true feelings from everyone but my sweet husband. I am praying for you, for your husband and I thank you for sharing your story. Whatever decision you make and however you are blessed, I know the Lord will always come to you in your hour need.

  7. My wife and I went through this same experience and did it while at BYU. Everyone around us was having babies and month after month it was the same thing. Five years into our marraige, we adopted a beautiful little girl and the joy we felt was surreal. We were told that we would never have children and to accept that adoption was our only choice, so we continued to hope for a second adoption. Our duaghter was and is the joy of our lives and now, some 42 years later, I can’t imagine what our lives would be without her.
    The rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say, is that after nine years, out of the blue, my wife got pregnant and our son was born. I just about lost both of them, but both survived.
    If that wasn’t miracle enough, another daughter came three years later and three years after that we ended with twin boys.
    Now, we have a wonderful family with five children and 19 grandchildren. Was it because of our great faith? I don’t know, but what I do know is that our oldest daughter was supposed to be part of our family and the only way for that to happen was for us to get to the point of being willing to consider adoption. The rest happened after we just relaxed and accepted the tender mercies of our Father and our Savior.
    So don’t give up. Relax and enjoy the time you have and the tender mercies that are available to you in the here and now. The Lord knows you and loves you, and he will bless you in this life and through the eternities.

  8. This is so beautiful! You are so brave and so gifted to share your story in such a painful yet positive, meaningful and deeply inspiring way! As someone who knows, and it seems there are many who can relate.. I know this as certain as I know my testimony is true- if you will remain faithful, continue to share your beautiful story and lighten the pain of others (which requires such personal sacrifice from you I’m sure).. Gods richest blessings are in store for you! I have no doubt you will be one of the faithful ‘Mothers who Know’! More happiness than you can take in.. Whether it be the most incredible adoption and temple experiences coming your way.. A Miraculous birth of a biological child.. a combination of both.. Or something entirely different- You and your husband will be richly blessed !! You’re righteous example is actually wonderful missionary work too! Thank you! Thank you!!.. for sharing!

  9. Beautiful!! I loved reading this! I have been waiting for my babies for 5 years and like your husband mine is strong and patient through it all! I wish you all the best for your children that you’re waiting ever so patiently for! Your relation ship with your Savior will pull you through, He WILL bless you! Thank you for sharing your testimony, your trials, your strengths and experiences with us! 🙂

  10. Thank you so much for this post. I have been struggling to get pregnant for over a year and sometimes it is hard to remember that God knows best. Thanks for the reminder!

  11. I’ve been there. All SIL got pregnant some twice while we tried and failed. There are miracles and discoveries meant just for you. For me it was temple work, for others adoption. But always He will find blessings. And after the after you will be grateful to see that it could have been nothing but a miracle and you will rejoice to be the instrument through which makes His miracles seen.

  12. My husband and I tried nine years for our second child and lost four during the first two years of trying. We had no problems getting pregnant the first time so it made no sense. But I learned a lot during that time that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I had to learn to have a lot of patience and trust that Heavenly Father knew who I was and what I was feeling. We eventually were led to adoption and had 3 more children of our own. I know that we never would have adopted without that big space and our family wouldn’t be complete without our daughter. I also am able to be there for others who are going through it which is another reason I went through it. Be strong you have a lot of people and prayers on your side.

  13. I loved this today. I needed it. We have a hard secret at our house right now and I can’t talk to people about it, but I know who I can talk to. We tried for 4 years on my last one. One day it just happened. It was horrible Trying though. I wish you the very best.

  14. I cant imagine the pain of not being able to conceive.I buried my baby at 3 yrs old. The last time I ever held her in my arms is when I took her out of our totaled car and I knew she was gone. I went from mommy one day to alone the next. I hope your pain subsides and in time ur able to find a way to get your baby. There are children who need mommys so maybe u can open your heart to other options. Good luck!

  15. Thanks for sharing, It brings back a lot of memories. I have been married for almost 20 years and I have not been able to get pregnant for unknown reasons. I remember those days of getting excited when my cycle was late only to be discouraged again month after month of hoping and praying. I remember feeling like I was being punished. 5 years after being married I ended up adopting a beautiful girl and 4 1/2 years after her we adopted another beautiful girl. I know without a doubt they were meant to be in my family. My prayers are with you through this hard time.

  16. Thank you for this! I too am suffering from infertility but have 3 children in which my fertility trials have made me a better person and mother for it. Thank you again and I pray you are able to experience the joys of motherhood! God bless!

  17. It took 5 painful years to get our miracle baby who came so close to dying after birth. The pain is so real and my heart broke as I read your story. Miracles do happen and my little family is proof of that. Right before my baby was born, I found a quote by Neal A Maxwell that says this, “Faith in God includes faith in his timing.” He has a special plan for you, you’ll see. Big huge hugs!! You are not alone. Ever.

  18. Thank you. I have been there and know the pains of that single line. I also know that it was meant to be for me. I needed the time and the growth, and the ability to rely on God’s time every time. I pray you continue to have the faith and strength He is granting you!

  19. Thank you for your courage in sharing. We have not been trying as long as you and your husband to have a little miracle, but I think that ache is the same. It is something as women that we feel so deeply. The need to create and nurture is within us, ingrained in us, it is the very core of who we are. We are creators. We are Mothers. Every time my monthly visitor comes I weep for the first two days. It is the messenger that I have come to resent. It has one message… “You are not pregnant.” Its voice seems to mock me and disregard my tender feelings. So, I fall apart and my sweet husband is always there comforting me, not fully understanding why, but seeing the need.
    I know that Heavenly Father does have a plan and I know that children have their own time to be here on Earth, but yes sometimes that knowledge makes me bitter, or it would if I fully let it. As I have been struggling with this issue I have found great, profound peace at church. I look forward to Sundays when I can sit in that chapel and receive peace and comfort, as my Father and Big Brother bind up my broken heart. Someone shared something during sacrament meeting once that penetrated my heart and has helped me since. They told us how we all want that view from the mountain top, and we want to reach it, and stay up there, but nothing grows on the mountain top. It is in the valleys of our lives that we grow the most. I heard it and I knew that Father was just telling me to hold on, carry on, and keep trusting Him. Somehow it will work out, maybe not the way I think it will, but it will.
    It is in those valleys that our Savior is with us every step of the way if we allow Him. That is the key though. Is He enough as we are going through these trials? Or will we forsake Him and not allow Him to help us, which is all He ever wants. He knows exactly how we feel and He has perfect empathy. We must go to Him and drop our burdens at His feet, and depending on what we need at the time, He will either take away some of that burden, or He will strengthen us to carry that burden. I believe that every trial we go through is helping us learn and grow, and become who we are meant to be. He is helping us learn and be prepared to be Mothers. Maybe we all need is to glean the little precious nuggets of truth, knowledge, light , and wisdom that He gives us in our trials. I just try to hold on and “trust and step”. My dear sisters, I hope and pray that you will be able to do the same.

  20. I feel your pain. It took four LONG years before I was graced with my sweet baby boy. And how it happened was an accident. But we didn’t know what made the difference until my daughter was born less than two years after him. In February of most years in Utah, I had a terrible cold (or maybe it was that winter inversion?!) Anyhow, that year, I started taking Robitussin round the clock just to breathe. And a few weeks later, we were pregnant. I didn’t make any connection. But two winters later, the same congestion hit, and again I took tons of Robitussin. And again, I was pregnant. I mentioned the Robitussin to my midwife (because I wanted to know if I needed to stop taking it while pregnant) and she got a big smile. She said “we call these Tussin babies!” Apparently the medicine thinned the cervical mucus, making it easier to get pregnant. I was shocked, because baby number two wasn’t planned. But baby three? Yup, another Tussin baby…planned this time. (And no pregnancies in between, when I wasn’t taking the medicine.) I know it’s a long shot, but it just might help so I had to share. My midwife swears by it.

  21. Wish I could just give you a hug! You’re own secret confidant who understands that kind of longing and pain. May you continue to find strength from Heavenly Father, your hubby and others who know you and love you. God bless.

  22. I fortunately haven’t ever felt this kind of pain, and I wish you all the best!
    But I know what it feels like not to know how to get the strenght to go on. To ask God “why me?” To smile, when you want to cry all day, in order to protect your beloved ones.
    And in these moments it’s my faith that put me through. It’s God and his “signs” that help me.
    Thank You to remind me of that with your wonderful and hearttouching article.

    Best wishes

    Maria

  23. One of my FB friends shared this on their time-line a few months ago and I saved it. I even made reference to it while visiting teaching the message of the month pertaining to “patience and long-suffering” (February and we are now into May). I could relate to it despite our circumstances being a bit different. I had just found out I was pregnant when I originally read this and I saved it in fear that I’d need it if I miscarried … Again.

    Your message has carried me through the last few days of my 9th miscarriage. I won’t begin to pretend to know exactly how you feel or the exact pain you’ve been through. I have been blessed with 4 children with large age gaps between them due to the multiple miscarriages between them. However, I too have sat in my tub, eyes puffy from crying, hiding myself to cry in private, so my kids and husband wouldn’t see me falling apart, trying unsuccessfully to not get too comfortable or too excited till at least 4 months (as all my miscarriages have hit before the 16 week mark). With close friends and family I try to hide my despair, fear and frustration with the best half-hearted smile I can attempt and respond, “I don’t understand, but believe there is a reason.” Half the time I’m trying to convince myself, not them. It doesn’t take the pain away. I know they see my suffering despite trying to hide it and they know they can’t fix the heartache. I love them more for trying. As for my husband, I selfishly did not realized how much of a toll it’s taken on him. Last weekend, when I started showing signs of impending miscarriage, I remembered what you had wrote and conscientiously focused on his reaction when I approached him to tell him that I was showing signs of another miscarriage, I watched him and finally asked, ” Are you okay?” He responded, “I don’t know if I can go through this again.” He too has tried to be strong and carry me through these losses that are his losses too. My love and appreciation for him grew so much stronger in that moment.

    I have prayed in anger and frustration as to the “whys and what’s.” Why me, why is my body not strong enough, why doesn’t the loss get easier, what is wrong with me, what I have I done to deserve this happening again? Why did I even get pregnant if it was to end like this?” I love my husband and children more than anything and I have wonderful friends and family who say, “… But you have been blessed with 4” and that is true, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve loved and lost 9.

    Again, I cannot express my gratitude and love for carrying this complete stranger, with your words, through a very difficult time. I sincerely thank you and pray that your “righteous desires” will be fulfilled.

  24. I stumbled across this post accidentally doing a blind Google search on faith through infertility, and please know that it was a very on-time post. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for over seven years. After the initial doctor visit for myself and a preliminary visit for him, we got some okay news and some not as okay news. I realized in that moment that I knew God gave us the desire for children and that He would be the one to give them to us. As difficult as it is, we are solely relying on him for our conception, consciously steering clear of the medical route. Though it isn’t for everyone, and I probably wouldn’t have even chosen it for myself, I’m learning to lean fully on Him and trust that nothing is impossible for Him, even giving us a baby. I want only God to get the glory from this trial He’s given us. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments. I’ve cried, begged, pleaded, shouted, fussed, wept, and prayed relentlessly. God still has us in waiting, and though it is the hardest thing we’ve ever done, He’s showing me that despite how I feel, i am not alone. He’s here, but there are also others who are facing the same struggle, letting us comfort each other as the Bible says. I pray for every woman on this thread who longs for children, that one day our prayers and dreams will come to fruition and we can all bring Glory through the hardest testimony a woman may ever face.

  25. Pingback: When God’s plan hurts the most – ZERU7ZERU7

  26. Your a very good writter. It’s a damn shame how a intelligent person can believe in the boogie man in the sky. Undeniable proof that God doesn’t exist and not a damn thing that he does. I understand you may be brain washed since you were a kid and WILL NOT seek out the real truth. It’s there. A term paper in my Catholic High school got me started on the truth. Researched it for years. All religion is fantasy. Made up by man to control the masses. It’s all right there. Just research. You’ll feel alot better.

    • Dang. I am so sorry you’re so bitter. If you choose to not believe in a Creator, that it certainly your business. But to attack a stranger for sharing her struggles within the context of her faith is just so sad. I would guess that there’s a lot of pain behind your anger and lashing out, and for that I am sorry.

  27. Thank you for this post. While I’m not struggling through not getting pregnant, I am struggling. Today is the first time I have been exposed to your blog, and I’m now hooked. Thank you, thank you, thank you for teaching me how to have the courage to keep going and look forward to what could be in the future.

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