Infertility, the Church, and Science

There are two statements I heard from godly people when I struggled with infertility.

“Fertility treatments are wrong…” said by someone who did not research these treatments.

Or…”I look at fertility treatments like I do blood pressure medicine. If you need it take it…”

Inside Explosion. Explosion of the Star. Space Theme Illustration.

Neither answer understands the procedures nor the moral and ethical considerations of such treatments.

Two statements from women facing infertility stand out to me as well.

“How can I love a God who is able to give me the desires of my heart, but won’t?”

And…”I did it all right. I waited to have sex before marriage and so did my husband. Why can’t we have kids?”

This is why I long for a church to take some time to research, understand, and help guide couples facing infertility.

There are scientific options that are both making fertility treatments better and potentially more ethically/morally/spiritually dangerous. Where will a Christian couple turn when they need guidance to difficult questions if the church is not willing to step up?

Pastors I challenge you before you counsel a couple facing infertility to do your research.

Couples I challenge you to prayerfully research fertility treatments and adoption to allow God to direct you.

Here are some questions you must ask before embarking specifically on in-vitro fertilization, but other fertility treatments as well.

Since life begins at conception:

1. What must we as a couple do to protect/give the best chance at life any babies created during IVF?
2. Is our relationship healthy to last throughout fertility treatments and raising of the children created? For example if we have embryos frozen will we remain married long enough to bring them all home?
3. Who will make choices regarding our babies in the freezer should one or both of us (my spouse and myself) die?
4. Will we allow genetic testing of our embryos? Is it worth the risk to the embryo? Would the test results change our devotion to giving each child created a chance for life?
5. How much money can we devote to fertility treatments? Once a life is created we are financially responsible for maintaining that life to the best of our and science’s understanding.

Those of you struggling with infertility I pray God’s peace, wisdom, and comfort will be upon you as you navigate the journey of infertility.

And church, please help those hurting and struggling. Research and think deeply before you speak. It is ok to admit you don’t know.

Angela

How to Rest When You Can’t Do Anything Well

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28

Tension wrapped its fingers around my shoulders and heart.

Messed up again. I can’t seem to remember anything. I missed Grayson’s shower…I nearly missed Glory’s and I still have homework to do, VBS to plan for, talks for a conference in Florida, and a 20 year high school reunion to attend.

My heart raced and my eyes darted back and forth calculating, calculating…There isn’t enough time…Did I tell my parents my family and I are coming in this week? For the reunion?

How to Rest

On the way to pick up a friend for the baby shower I called my mom.

“Did I tell you and dad we are coming this week for the high school reunion?” I cringed as I drove praying maybe I had.

“No…” my mother graciously laughed. “May I don’t remember you telling me, but we are not busy this week. You are welcome to come.”

That is July in a nutshell. CRAZY busy and I MUST make wise use of my time.

But in the midst of the busy Jesus has been whispering to my soul.

“Come to me.”

Come and sit with me. Ask me to help you, trust me to equip you, and know when you serve me I am there working all things out the way I planned.

“I will give you rest.”

All these things you need to do, I have sovereignly planned. Remember you cannot ruin my plan by your imperfect attempts at doing things.

“Take my yoke upon you.”

Don’t make impossible demands on yourself. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Only take upon yourself what I have for you to do.

“…and learn from Me.”

Accept who I made you to be and allow me to refine your gifts and weaknesses as I see fit. Don’t compare your efforts, your strengths, or your weaknesses to anyone else.

“…I am gentle and lowly in heart.”

I am not out to strike you down if you don’t live up to some standard in your head. You will fail, but there is no condemnation. I will forgive you, just follow me.

“…and you WILL find rest for your soul…”

Rest is here for you. A deep abiding rest when you rest in Me – in My sovereign plan, in the work I have for you to do, and in the time I give you to do it. Trust Me with the results, rest in My plan, and do what I have freed you to do.

Angela

The Church…Why I Won’t Give Up On Her

“…people who are too spiritual for the church are also too spiritual for the triune God who promises to be present and at work in this all-too-questionable Christian community”

- Shirley Gutherie, Always Being Reformed

I’ll be honest I often look at churches or think about “the church” in general and agree it is all-too-questionable.

Folks fight over wardrobe, worship style, how to “do church,” or even the color of the carpet. Not to mention the high-profile pastors who stumble into sexual sin.

In some ways it would be easier to chuck it all. I would love to find some like-minded and hearted believers and just “gather” with them. It would be easier, but is that what God has called us to do?

The Church

Every church since God began churches struggles because it is made up of a variety of people. People are sinful and people are different. “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12 God made us to work as a body, a body with weaker parts and a body with stronger parts. A body unified in Christ, but has diverse gifts and workings.

Working together as a body is difficult, painful, but completely worth it all. When a diverse group of people unified in the Spirit of God come together to form the body of Christ it is the most beautiful thing to behold. It is a taste of heaven when there will be people from every tribe and tongue and people worshiping God. And Christ – the head – holds the body together.

The members of the church are blessed to discover what it takes to work as a unified body. Not only do they learn to serve in their gifted areas, but they learn to give sacrificially, to think of Christ first, to willingly give of their time, finances, and gifts to further the kingdom work of God.

This side of heaven the church will never be perfect. However it is worth the time and energy to be a part of it…because God has chosen to work there.

Angela

A New Book…I’m Excited About…The Making of a Mom

I am so excited about this new book coming out later this month…I think next week! So I wanted to share it with you…Readers even if you do not have children of your own, this book will help you nurture the children you have influence over.

Have you ever felt like you wore so many hats that it was hard to really enjoy your mom journey? Or like you were so weary and worn out by your never-ending ‘to do’ list that you wanted to bury your head under the covers and get away from it all…even for just a day?

Me too!

Oh…like you, I LOVE being a mom. But for me, motherhood was like this messy experiment and my kids were the guinea pigs.

Motherhood is the best job on the planet!

making-mom-timeline

Moms, more than anyone else, have the opportunity to not only mold the heart of their children but to mold the heart of the next generation. But we get caught up in dealing with the dailies of life and it’s hard to make it our mission to parent on purpose. Sometimes it’s so easy to parent the child they are and deal with the behavior of the moment that we forget about molding the heart of the person we long for them to become.

The Making of a Mom gives you a foundational look at real life biblical motherhood and provides the practical tools and inspiration you need to become the best mom you can.

While we all know there is no such thing as a perfect mom, we also know that WE are the perfect moms for our children.

The Making of a Mom encourages moms to embrace the significance of their calling to motherhood…a role that only we moms can fulfill…a role that God has called us to and equipped us for.

And The Making of a Mom was uniquely written to minister to the hearts of moms while also providing a key resource for the local church and para-ministries.

With venue specific Planning Guides in the back of the book, instructions on how to begin M.O.M. Groups that will help the local church weave mentoring into the fabric of the church and serve as not only an in-reach resource, but a great outreach tool as well. And the questions at the end of each chapter serve as a catalyst for conversation for ministry and small group leaders, The Making of a Mom is the perfect resource for every church!

The Making of a Mom works in tandem with The M.O.M. Initiative as a tool to help the church minister to moms who know Christ and reach those who don’t. Through The Making of a Mom, you can help your local church make mentoring missional and impact your community and this culture for Christ.

The goal of The M.O.M. Initiative is to reach a MILLION MOMS for Christ. The tool is The Making of a Mom. The vehicle is the local church. AND…if only 3 women in 1/2 of the churches in the United States would mentor just 3 other mothers, we could reach a MILLION MOMS for Christ!

To find out more about how you can begin a M.O.M. Group, click this link.

To find out how to sign up to be ONE in a MILLION MOMS who would like to be connected with a mentor and raise your children to know Christ, click this link.

To find out how to order The Making of a Mom.

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Angela