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Trusting God with Your Barrenness

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
September 28, 2020 2:00 am

Trusting God with Your Barrenness

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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September 28, 2020 2:00 am

Author Heather DeJesus Yates talks about her deep longing to have children and the disappointment and despair she experienced struggling with infertility. After years of trying to get pregnant, Yates tells how she came to realize that God wanted to rescue her from a small story so that she could participate in His bigger story, if she would just trust Him. Yates reminds us that Jesus offers us empathy for our pain and is the mediator between us and God. He sits with us in our struggles and gives us the Body of Christ to listen and comfort.

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After months of hoping, praying, trying to become pregnant. Heather DeJesus Yates was sitting with her obstetrician who told her it was time to see a fertility specialist.

My heart sank just as disoriented.

I can even figure out how to begin here. How did this happen and that was the beginning for us at this conversation and I had no context or had never considered infertility. Not really. I had never imagined the red Baron in my story.

I don't think any women really do sit in the chapter of what if we depot down this road. This is family life today. Our hosts are David and Wilson on Bob Lapine. You can find us online@familylifetoday.com.

What does it look like for a husband and wife to begin to imagine a future for themselves as an infertile couple talk more with Heather DeJesus Yates about that today. Stay with us and welcome to family life to the thanks for joining us. I got married when I was 23. Was 25 and I don't think I realized that at the time, but we hadn't been married long when Marian was ready to be a mama she was ready for us to get pregnant and we been attempting to get pregnant for more than a year and it had not happened. I think the classical definition of infertility as if you're if you're having unprotected relations and you're not pregnant. Within a year that your your at least momentarily infertile. You're probably infertile.

Nobody knows, but you follow that category of infertility.

I remember being on a trip with her. We were driving up to see my parents from our home in Tulsa to where they lived in Kansas City and this was the first time I was aware of belonging in my wife's heart because she was crying and mad at God because why would God give her desire a strong desire for a good thing and then withhold it from her and on at this .24 years old.

I don't good answer to that question.

When did you feel Bob was at struggle for you. I was happy-go-lucky ill happen when it happens you know roll with the punches.

Whatever kind of guy I was not feeling at the way that she was feeling.

I was blindsided by the depth of emotion that she was going through. But I remember it and remember how profoundly deep.

This was in her and recognizing that as a husband I needed to be in tune with that understanding that seeking the Lord with her in that it was a significant moment.

I think I recognized then something I heard Dennis Rainey say for years.

He said this is one of those questions. I want to ask God when you get to heaven is why would you put in the heart of a woman in particular desire to be a mom and then not grant that desire biologically for her and that's part of what were to tackle as we dive into this today and we got a friend was joining us to help us navigate this conversation Heather DeJesus Yates joins us welcome to family life today. This is such a privilege.

I'm so excited.

We are thrilled to have you here. You've written a book called the mother of thousands that is part memoir, but it's also a challenge to Everywoman to recognize that God has more for you than you may have recognize God has for you.

Yes, it flows from my personal journey and the winding road that my husband and I walk through with infertility and that became a journey through adoption as well as fostering and the awakening that God did in my own soul and that pitted my eyes and my vision from the small story that I was tempted to be consumed with pregnancy into the bigger story that he was telling through that shadow through what pregnancy points us to as believers and had a this is a topic if women had an experience they know someone who's going through this, or who has lost a baby or who has struggled with infertility and it is gut wrenching and painful walk us through your journey in your story well was 30 when I went met my husband. I'm also a year and half. Almost 2 years older than my husband and we met when I was 30 got married. Actually, I just turned 31. And so I was thinking a lot about having a kid I was looking at a clock and thinking we don't have a lot of time to just wait around and enjoy being married for a long time that because he didn't single for so long and we been praying for God to bring us a spouse, and we had been faithful in that journey that we were so excited to be married.

We knew we wanted to get it some time to just be able to be with each other and enjoy marriage and let that really route solid and are in our experience. Before we had children and so it wasn't a huge conversation right when we got married but it was before he got married and I had worked in adoption law and actually already had some really wonderful experiences with adoption and practice that I knew I wanted to adopt some day and I told him he has been at the time only during courtship I said love to adopt Sunday and I said that you know. I'd also like to have biological children is while in and he said you had options great that's fine that's fine for someday but that yeah he was and is passionate about is I wasn't that we are on the same page were on the same page 20 children and we actually done the family life resource preparing for marriage. That was our premarital counseling tool over 12 years ago and it still the best one we've ever found me use it for other couples all the time that really helped us flesh out whatever our expectations were around building our family around having children adopting on so we went we were married about a year year and 1/2. We told ourselves you know with me maybe a couple of years and then and maybe start trying to have family simulating year and 1/2 and I came back to my said to me like a full two years there. You know, maybe year and 1/2 is enough and he's like, you know, we prayed about it, really, just a few more months and we a lot going on just in our lives and vocation in Homan. Ultimately, we trusted God with that and we had prayed to you if I'm missing something over rule. As you know were not trying to be willful and rebellious and self focused. We really want what God wants for us no matter what. And so the two-year mark came in with July, we both began to move forward into preparing for a family and Mikey said infertility.

The traditional definition is the failure to conceive after 12 months of effort and the months went on, we did have a couple times or we thought we were expecting really excited and then it just wasn't the case and so after that first year and went back for my physical and was hoping that this physical was the one where we were doing ultrasound preparing for a very different conversation and it wasn't and I thought maybe I've missed something, maybe in all the articles I read the statistics I ran my doctors and a tummy actually TL and here's the next thing is not a problem at all. You just have to do this about everything skinny fine and cited him a husband and go with me or anything and so when the end of the conversation landed with yeah you need to see a specialist.

You need to go in and see someone who specializes in fertility.

My heart sank. I just was disoriented. I couldn't even try to figure out how did we get here. How did this happen and so I stumbled out to the car, husband and I told him I said well the next step is actually for us to see a specialist and I don't member what he said it was probably you know something positive that he's 1/2 glass full kinda guy, but I remember I had tears just flooding over my face wishing that I had him go with me that he could drive, but that was the beginning for us of this conversation that I had no context for had never considered infertility.

Not really.

I had never imagined the word barren in my story. I don't think any women really do sit in the.

The chapter of but what if we do go down this road and I think we don't put ourselves in stories that we don't want to happen after these maybe magical fears that we have. If I think about it all happened so that this recommendation that you moved to a specialist.

Are you still thinking well okay will be able to diagnose what's going on them and fix things right. Certainly my husband's perspective.

He is like. Check the box get the number let's at the appointment. Let's go do this. What we need to do and that was helpful for me to keep it that clean and that clear and not getting on the bog of emotion. I was just moving around and kind of a shock. And so I did. I set up the appointment went to the appointment and the staff were were wonderful. They are caring people and they sketched out for us what our options were and what those paths could look like and encouraged us to reach out to some people who had experienced each of those paths to find out what that was like and benefits, and skin on it and and so we left and we made plans to start the IUI journey, which is the intrauterine insemination so required a little bit of medication.

It wasn't as intensive as IVF.

As far as medications concerned that you don't know your body. You don't know how things can react so there is some anxiety around that that was our first efforts is IUI and needed to bounce and that and honestly, you know, I said.

I stepped into that starting to get hopeful again thinking will surely do some work now you know. Surely this is what we needed and it will just be really quick and thought it would take the first time and it didn't and thought well you know he does up to three rounds. So maybe the second round. Is it and the second time came and said then I thought well. Third, once a child. This is gotta be it.

And then he called the doctor called and said were were not can it be that third round because were pretty suspicious.

You have endometriosis and we really recommend you having surgery because it's not can make a difference for you. If we keep pursuing this path and that was another heartbreak just now here I was a women's ministry director at our church I was ever women's imams ministries I was doing a lot for women who are expecting and to have this feel like a dead-end road and now I'm going into surgery and what does this mean so he let an emotional roller was medicated hormonally. I was hormonally medicated so I don't know if the hormones may be any crazier than I already was. I didn't really need a lot of help. At that point where was God in this. What were you feeling certainly wondered certainly wondered, and I had had a few points in my journey and I shared this in the first that I wrote that really tells more my faith journey hit some crisis of faith moments know where I all that I thought I knew of God met suffering and then got to hear his voice in truth and in love and instability and giving me assurances of his presence. And so this was this was one of those moments where I had to meet him again and had to reframe how I was experiencing him and seeing him in and align it with what is true about him and not let the pain and the suffering shape him into something less than he is your prayer sound like my prayer continued to be the same and it started in my 20s when I was single and I saw my family just shrinking from death and divorce, I was working in a law practice and had found out about another loss in my family and I went and I sat in the park and I saw on the swings and I say can't you know that my longing is for family you know that my longing is to be married and have children and have a big family where we can grow and pass down stories of your faithfulness. I just can't like you're taking them in the dream of being married and having children. It just seems to be getting farther and farther the older than get in a prayer was put in my heart, praying that I would crawl your family in quality and quantity, and that became a prayer I prayed with Crow my family in quality and quantity and that we got married. That was our prayer OS in quality and quantity and so during this time I can bring that prayer back to him you have been faithful to grow me in quantity with with the husband we've been growing us in quality growing in our faith in you, but I feel like I need to push further. In this prayer and it was during this infertility journey that I felt like he shifted that prayer and he said that is my heart that is my heart you chrome.

I think only in quality and quantity. This is what I for my family. I want them to grow you grow my family.

I will grow yours and I didn't feel like it was a quid pro quo that he was promising the children, but I did believe that God was giving me a vision for something bigger than the story I was wanting him to sit in with me that I was wanting him to just give me a baby and he was wanting to give me more than that he was wanting to rescue me from a small story help me see this bigger family. In this figure, dream that he had for his kingdom and from me Internet if I would be willing to trust him yet. At that point you did. You didn't know I had no idea were looking back a little bit but in that moment your wrestling. Now you sorta have clarity. What about take us through crews that didn't happen in one prayer or one day in a park in was a long journey to go on yeah so you know where was God in this. I felt like he was calling me to trust him with no answers. Trust him with no baby. Trust him with no solutions as far as I saw them and I didn't share that with a lot of people because it felt penetrate you know it felt like oh this is a Jesus answer but there's nothing really hear about it. She's denying her pain. I felt incredible pain. I had lots of grief and loss of sorrow going on and that I was getting out with God and with with my husband, but went into surgery came out of surgery was back again expecting this to fix all of our problems reproductively and they said that after that kind of surgery your your most fertile for those next six months. This is going to be the time that you would concede that he did it all in. And so we had hope again that this is gonna happen, and right out of the gates again.

We we thought maybe this is happening. We had some signs of it and then there weren't enough that it was shut down again and and I was talking along at this time with some family members and one of them got pregnant immediately and had other friends getting pregnant and so now it's just like when you want something then you see everybody else has it. It was kind of that dynamic going on to so we went through the six months with no baby and we came back to the table. Okay, now what. And my husband and I began back to that adoption. The story before we got married. I knew that God had put that desire in my heart and my husband was open to it, but I did not want to do anything unless it was a joy overflowing his heart. This wasn't something that I wanted to sell my husband on you know this is something I'd seen in and heard wisdom enough to know to wait until my husband was hundred percent on board excited about it because I didn't want any resentment to be there down the road and I'm so grateful for that wisdom that was passed on to Meeks. It was a huge help for our family for our marriage. But during that time we we came back even to the table to consider IVF and so ironically within the same month April 2013 we had two appointments scheduled. We had one appointment with an adoption agency scheduled to be able to find out for our region. What what do next steps look like for us down that road and we also had an appointment scheduled with the infertility specialist to consider IVF and so we went into the adoption agency meeting feeling pretty confident that this is probably a be a really positive experience and will get a lot of good information and actually ended up being horrible safe horrible experience is very hard on our souls to be in that room. A lot of the families that were in there already had biological children. The language just pinged all over us. It was it a very we had sensitive hearts going into it we were we were tenderhearted we were wound dead we were vulnerable and so it was just it was a very hard environment to be in talking so loosely about adding children to your family and Levi had taken his weight is on at another wine and who has just a heart space and then finding out statistics and weights in and then all of the hurdles we would have to clear it had been a long time since I practiced adoption on a lot of things changed and so just looking at the road had it felt daunting and it felt long it felt overwhelming. Lots of steps along the way just require a lot of you that you know just let things to consider. And so we left there and we went through a Chick-fil-A drive through and I ordered all the French trash all of his yours. Everything that was how I was handling some of my pain during that season so I ate all the French fries that night and and then we went back home and we tabled that and then we had the other appointment for IVF that I just had it seemed the bliss is not gonna go well and it can be super clear respect go back to adoption and and we went to that. It was actually a wonderful appointment. It was very pleasant.

It was not as scary as I thought it would be very informative. Very encouraging, very hopeful, and so here it was not what I thought I thought this is gonna be our offramp from infertility treatment on-ramp in the adoption and the data and the experiences were really not making the path very clear, and so my husband and I we decided to table the issue for two weeks and not talk about it at all. I'm guessing it was the talk of every day right Beverly, it every room, every space, every meal to not talk about it was the most uncomfortable thing is, we were just consumed with that conversation, our family, our friends, people skin so when we went into the two week holding pattern to not talk about it to just give ourselves the space to talk about everything but that issue God knew that I probably would not obey our boundaries well and so he took Jonathan far away to a river in the middle of the country that had no cell phone service at all with some of his friends for half of that two week period, and said he was out there on the middle of a river in a boat between two men, and that he's known for years for a good part of our two-week window.

Meanwhile, for me every single day. Everywhere I went. Even though I wouldn't bring up the conversation. The conversation of a steer to adoption in some way, I would hear something, see something someone would bring something up and I wouldn't even bring it up and it would be about adoption is that was happening for me every single day and for him without me knowing is happening for him to even out on that boat between those two men there sitting there fishing and the one guy in the back shows his cell phone and says hey look at this.

This is my son and Jonathan said, your son, you're an empty Nestor retired Mexico over adopting him from Haiti is the beautiful and the guy at the front of the boat that my husband and on forever. He said you don't know this but I'm adopted that is so awesome and Jonathan said I'm out of the boat is like is like everything in me. You know, was want to jump out of the boat. He's like I was surrounded, literally surrounded and so when he came home from his trip. I was sitting there trying to hold my hands and not enough blurt out everything that have been happening to me for two weeks, but he came up from his Japanese unpacking and he's telling me about the drive in time waiting and waiting and waiting and finally says well he's a no one thing he said that Scott is to adopt for me it wasn't just that it was because were in adopt.

It was the fall. Look at what God is done. He has given us direction we were so torn. We had no idea we could not trust the road signs the experiences we were having were telling us conflicting things and he has overridden everything and made it simple for simple people will go back to the cycle that you were in the sum of our blisters are in right now that is the cycle of a month of hopefulness and longing and expectation and the disappointment and grieving that happens month after month after month when you're thinking. I want to be a mom. We want to be parents. Maybe this is the month we think this is the month. Maybe there's through signs and then all of a sudden you have your. Noodle okay this wasn't the month and you're in tears again and wondering how long we go through this. How do you Councilwoman today, who's in that moment to handle the hope of the grief the emotional cycle of treason well and I get those women and they sit in my basement with me on the couch and we cry and we grieve and we cry out like David and how long the Lord how long Lord I think that's a big thing that if I could go back to Heather.

Back in those months when it was just up and down, up and down whiplash of the soul just really having a hard time orienting where do I put my hope. When we hang this thing because of things falling off the rack every month and seeing that I can hang my hope on a God who weeps he keeps with me. I don't have to hold my tears back. I don't have to be a woman of this rocksolid faith that just believes he's good even when everything around me feels bad, I think, is creating that space for someone to really hate it and to say to help her put language to it.

I hate this chair, helping her lament. Yes, yes, and I think we need that. I mean even the Old Testament says call the wailing women and those women are to train up other women in whaling. I feel sick and if we would wail better if we wailed like Warne yes if we wailed. If we brought our lament to God. She took it to the temple if we bring our grief to God. It's this offering, I want to be yielded to you but this is killing me and that is what's happening, there's a death of South. There's a death of welfare and I are both of you saying don't do this on your own don't don't go through this cycle. In this process on your own. You need someone alongside you who will be the wailing women with you and go through this journey with you and that is not my nature. It is not my nature to experience vulnerability with another woman. I have my own issues man's story like a lot of us. We have our wounds in those moments where kind of feel like I'll never be able to trust my heart in this context. And so for me to come into a space with another woman and share with her this vulnerable grief, this doubt that I have of God's goodness, especially if I'm carrying the sense of failure note.

Failure to conceive, you know that's a heavy weight.

My personality doesn't wear that well and so to come into a vulnerable position with another woman and say hi feeling failure. I am angry and I'm embarrassed and angry. I feel like a Christian woman is not allowed angry.

I feel like I'm wanting to control something and yet I'm wanting to be a woman who yields and I don't even know where to put my hope anymore and I say that Jesus resurrects dead things and yet this feels like it's too powerful for him and so to have a space with another person that I can be that open with in the beginning didn't feel safe, and he didn't feel like they could handle my declarations of doubt in a mature way that they would still trust that I was secure in who God was, but I was in that place a dark night of the soul.

Guess you could say and what are the things as a friend that we shouldn't say in that moment, as were listening to our friend lament to struggling with it as I respond.

What are the things you would coach saying don't say this because sometimes we don't know what to say or how to help our friend who is going through infertility or has lost a child or has had a miscarriage.

One of the beautiful things that Jesus offers us is empathy that he sits in our skin. He feels that with us. He says he's the high priest and that he is who mediates between us and God and he came to be human to feel the heaviness of what we feel, and that he was tempted in every way that he didn't send it so he can sit with us in that struggle, but I think the real gift to the body of Christ gives us is it embodies that incarnation of God that Christ in the body that we get to sit in our skin together that when you come in. You just sit with me in that pain and you listen you attuned to my emotion and you reflect it you say you are so disappointed right now aren't you think with our blisters. They do heroes.

Recognizing is what I started to recognize as a young husband watching my wife grieve this. The pain of this is real.

The questions are questions that we won't get answered on the side of heaven. We gotta learn to be okay with not knowing the purposes of God in some of these situations and ultimately this is a question of do we trust him with the story he's writing or do we say of his stories, not our story.

We reject him because were were committed our story about the historian I will just tell you pursuing your story and rejecting God is not the path to liberation and freedom enjoy. It's a path of destruction that you put yourself on. Ultimately you have to get to a place where you say, even though I don't understand what's going on here even though this is contrary to the lungs of my own heart and soul I will trust God. I think of Job, whose wife came to him and said with all the stuff that's going on in our lives want to just curse God and die and he said, though he slay me still will I trust him and Heather.

We're offering to our blisters. This week your book which is called a mother of thousands from Barringer revolutionary. I'm thinking of listeners who are tuned in on the go. This is not my story but I know someone I'm applying the church or someone in the office who is in the middle of this difficult journey.

Who needs to hear from God on this.

Get a copy of Heather's book, a mother of thousands and give it to your friend as a gift. We are making available this week to those of you who can support the ministry of family life with the donation.

We depend on those donations to be able to continue the work of the stately program. Your support is making these kinds of conversations possible for hundreds of thousands of people every day who tuned in to listen to family life to on their local radio station via podcast on our app wherever they find us. You make that possible when you support the ministry of family life to the so if you can help with the donation. Be sure to ask for a copy of Heather DeJesus Yates book, a mother of thousands from Barringer revolutionary. It's our thank you gift to you when you support the work of family life to you can do that online. The family life to.com or you can donate by calling one 800 FL today, 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today, not tomorrow were going to continue to follow Heather to his associates on the journey God took Laurent from infertility ultimately to adoption will hear more about that tomorrow.

Hope you can tune in for that thinker engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson and Bob Lapine see you back tomorrow for another edition of family life, family life, to use a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas crew industry help for today hope for tomorrow


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