As I study the story of Hannah in the Bible, I am reminded of my own journey through infertility. I notice several things about Hannah that can be encouraging to those of you who are in the midst of this trial.
What was Hannah’s response to her barrenness in 1 Samuel Chapter 1? She turned to the Lord. It is appropriate to seek the support of friends and family members, but most importantly, we need to seek God and draw near to Him. Pour your heart out to God just as Hannah did. “Let your requests be made known unto God, with thanksgiving, as the Scripture commands us to do in Philippians 4. When we do so, “the peace which passeth understanding” will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
After Eli blessed Hannah by saying, “May the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him”, the Bible says that her face was no longer sad. What an example Hannah was to us! She was able to leave her request at God’s feet. This is quite a difficult thing to do, I will admit. However, it is possible to have joy even when enduring infertility if we cling to God’s promises given in His Word. Don’t look at statistics or other women’s situations. Don’t look at someone who has tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant for years, get discouraged, and think, “that is going to happen to me, too.” Instead, fix your eyes on Jesus and claim the promises of his Word. The message of Philippians 4:6 is “don’t worry about anything, but instead pray about everything with thanksgiving”. Whenever we are tempted to worry about anything, instead of thinking those negative thoughts and turning them over and over in our head, we should “reroute” those thoughts that are circling in our head and send them up toward God as a prayer. When you start thinking, “I’ll never get pregnant”, force yourself to “take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). Then turn the thought into a prayer such as, “Lord, please, if it is within your will, let me get pregnant very soon. Thank you for the privilege of praying to you about this.”
Here are some verses I would always read when I was infertile. I am not advocating “name it, claim it theology”; you must study the context of these verses. Consider when they were written and to whom they were written. Print out these verses several times and place them in prominent places like the inside of your Bible, the refrigerator door, and the bathroom mirror. That way, you can read and pray them often. I have a huge list of these “prayer promises” (about 35 verses or passages), but I am only posting a few of them here to save space. If you would like to have the entire list, please contact me through this website, and I will be glad to send it to you.
I was relentless in my fervent prayers for what I wanted. I have often reminded God of His promises to us. As I continued to go over and pray these verses, my faith grew. (See Mark 11:24 below!) As my faith grew, my joy did, too!
Ps. 84:11 “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Jn. 15:7 Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. . . .” 1 John 3:24 says, “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him. . . .” Notice how these two verses relate to each other, and notice that both were written by the Apostle John.
Also take note of the fact that fearing God and obeying Him is a requirement in the last two verses. (There are several more verses I could quote here that say the same thing.) We must be walking in obedience to the commands of the Bible in order to claim these promises.
Mk. 11:24 “. . . all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.” The condition given in this verse is faith. When I read this verse it often prompts me to say, as the disciples did, “Lord, increase my faith!”
Ps. 37:4-5 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.” We must be delighting ourselves in Him to claim this promise. To me, that means, spending time with Him often, enjoying being in His presence, praising Him, thanking Him, etc.
Luke 11:5-9 ” . . . even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs . . . ask, and it will be given to you . . . ” I love this story! It shows us that we must persist in prayer if we want to receive that for which we ask.
–Matthew 18:19 “If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” Find a prayer partner, either your husband or a sister in Christ. Pray together on a regular basis for a baby.
I encourage you to go to other women’s baby showers to celebrate their babies with a hopeful heart. You’ll want those ladies to celebrate with you when God answers your prayers. I prayed that God would make me stop wanting a baby if it was not in His will. I believe that since God’s Word is true, if you keep delighting yourself in the Lord, and He doesn’t change your heart about wanting to be pregnant, then you will get pregnant. If you keep delighting in Him, He might change your desires. Ask Him to make you desire what He wants for you.
Some of the best advice I can offer is this: Go ahead and proceed toward adoption, but continue also to pray for a pregnancy. If your husband is not in agreement with this, you could pray for God to change his heart. There are literally hundreds of thousands of orphans in the world who need a momma like you. God’s Word encourages us to minister to orphans.
After Hannah gave birth, she praised and thanked the Lord eloquently. Look forward to the day when you can thank Him and praise Him as Hannah did! = )