I wanted to be a wife and a mother ever since I was a little girl. I was the 8 year old who would beg my mom to let me serve in our church nursery with her (which she did!). I was the 12 year old who loved babysitting and would do it at every chance I got. I was the 16 year old who had never had a boyfriend and worried my two biggest dreams in life would never come true. I was the 20 year old who shrieked when I found out about new pregnancies and rubbed bellies like it was my job.
And now I’m the 26 year old who can’t get pregnant.
There has been a lot of soul searching and identity finding over the past almost 3 years. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all struggle with finding our value and worth in other things. Maybe we’re passionate about our job: we feel superior when we get a promotion but our week is ruined by not completing a task. Maybe we desire to be a good homemaker: we give ourselves mental high fives when the house is clean but have a panic attack when people are coming over and we overcooked the chicken.
What we value can easily become our god. This is the definition of idolatry.
I have seen that multiple times in my life, but it has taken the spotlight in our infertility. As we’ve seen years of barrenness it’s been easy to believe dark lies such as “I don’t have worth as a woman if I can’t get pregnant.”
This lie can permeate your soul and devastate you. In the thick of this belief I started to ask myself – why do I ascribe parenthood with my ultimate worth? I realized I was placing all of my value and significance in whether or not I could have a baby. That revealed idolatry in my heart. I was making an idol out of getting pregnant, having a family and being a mother.
These are all valuable things and blessings from God- don’t get me wrong. I am the first to tell you that parenthood is a high calling. All of these things are good things!
They’re just not ultimate things.
Jesus Christ – who is one with the Father and Holy Spirit, who put on flesh and walked on this earth, who lived and died and was raised again – HE is the ultimate thing. He is the one who loves us enough to die for us. He is the one who weeps with us and carries us through our darkest days. He is the one who is reigning and ruling for all eternity.
I’m walking through this with you – I know it’s easy to put all our hope in being a parent. I know it’s easy to feel like we’ve lost our dignity when we’re prodded with needles and faced with negative pregnancy tests after negative pregnancy tests. But we have value and worth because of the love of Jesus Christ. He gives us significance. There’s nothing we can do on our own to give us value. Christ himself gives us His righteousness when we become his children.
Seeking to be a parent is a good thing. It’s just not an ultimate thing. And the beauty of it is when we know Jesus we already have the ultimate thing. So we can trust Him that even when it hurts, He has our best in mind. He is drawing us closer to Himself and His cross and making us more like Him.
And so when our identity becomes wrapped up in finding a spouse, being a good worker or becoming a parent, remember that our worth is not based on these things we do. It’s based on the One who loves us. Praise God for that.