In the publishing wing of my current denomination, there is only a single title concerning infertility. Just one.
Moreover, the spiritual advice in this single title is almost entirely about enduring IUI and IVF and other treatments. There isn’t a line anywhere in the book that confronted the primary question in my mind when I was diagnosed as infertile: what, under God, are my moral and ethical boundaries for treatment?
I want to follow Christ, and His calling on my life. I thought this meant marriage and motherhood. If it doesn’t, however, I’m willing – however painful – to bend to His yoke, to follow His path. This perspective has left me even more lonely on the already-isolating journey of infertility. I’ve begun to feel like a freak of nature, since I am constantly philosophizing about my plight rather than getting on with “treatment” or adoption. All of the infertility books I’ve seen start with the question of how “women” in general yearn for motherhood. The only question is what a woman wants – and what she can do to get it. It’s a valid question, of course, but where am I going to go for support and encouragement if I’m making the difficult choice NOT to pursue my own ends – to do nothing?
The only place I have found real spiritual comfort is in Thomas Kempis’ Imitation of Christ. It is not trite, it is not simplistic; it reminds me that my goal is to love and follow God – everything else must be subordinate. I may be totally alone in my pursuit of non-pursuance. I may be a freak of womanhood. It doesn’t matter. Only my obedience counts.
“Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess, who should cut off all anxiety and place all his confidence in God!” — Thomas Kempis (1380-1471)