I recently read a blog post that referred to infertility as a beast that eats away at you, changing you and affecting your marriage and relationships. At first I wanted to disagree with this analogy because I felt like it gave infertility too much power and made it sound like I would always be left at the same place that I was when I was in my darkest time. But, the more I thought about it, I had to agree. Infertility does nibble and eat away at the person that you once were. It steals joy and hope and replaces them with bitterness, grief and the deepest aching you've ever felt. It affects your relationships and has, many times, destroyed marriages in it's wake. If it doesn't destroy your marriage, it certainly impacts it.
What I now realize though, is that saying that it's a beast that nibbles away at me is not saying that I will always be in the darkest place that I once found myself. That is what the enemy wants me to think, and where he wants me to be. Infertility has shaped me and our marriage, but it does NOT define who we are. I have been in that dark place where all I felt were bitterness and anguish, but God has restored my hope and I am still working on finding my joy again. He is using this experience to mold me into a stronger person and he is preparing me to be a better mother than I would have been 5 years ago. It has transformed our marriage, in some ways making us stronger and more thankful that we at least have each other to walk this road with, while in other ways breaking us down resulting in us taking out our pain on the one person who fully understands how we feel. We will not emerge from this journey unscathed, but we will emerge stronger and with a better understanding of what it means to choose to love each other "in good times and bad". Infertility is a beast that satan uses to destroy us, but thankfully we have a God who uses it to strengthen us if we left him. A God who will pick us up and carry us through our darkest times he feels most distant. Infertility may have changed me, but there will also be hope in Jesus.