11 New Year’s SOULutions for the Fertility Challenged

11-new-years-soulutions

It’s January 1st, 2017, and as I sit in my quiet living room nestled underneath a blanket and wishing I didn’t have to take my Christmas tree down, I realize one simple thing and that is this…other than my expanding waistline from last night’s yummy finger foods, nothing really changed when the clock hit midnight and 2016 rolled into 2017.  Absolutely nothing.

I was still me.

I was still with the same strengths and struggles…

My womb was still empty.

The future of whether our foster princess who has been in our home for three years was still in question.

I was still angry with my diagnosis of PCOS as I couldn’t partake in the sugar cookies.

And I was still dealing with the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that come with unanswered prayers and delayed plans.

…Sigh…

You see, the ball dropped but no magic switch was flipped, only the calendar page.

Yet as I look around and see that nothing had changed, I also realize that at the same time, everything changed.  There was a freshness that took over and a renewed sense of hope for what the next 365 days would look like took place.

There was this sudden burst of excitement to dream bigger dreams and have faith to believe that 2017 could be the year the desires of my heart would be fulfilled and my long-awaited prayers are answered.

And there was this new determination within me to face the things I didn’t do so well at in 2016 (cough, cough…my PCOS diet plan) and make commitments to do better.

And there was also this new sense of purpose.  To not just survive, but thrive.  And not just get through my days, waiting and wishing for better ones, but taking charge and seizing the moment, living each one as if it were my last.

And lastly, there was this new desire to let go more…to not be so anxious.  Because sometimes, the anxiety I feel is not about the situation I am facing, but rather my need to control it.

But it was my choice for these changes.

And as you enter into 2017 you have choices too.  You have the power to make 2017 how you want it to be.  No, I don’t mean you can control all of your circumstances, but you do have the ability to control how you will react to them.  And you have the ability to make sure that you don’t just survive the next 365 days, but you thrive in them as well.

But how can you do that? How you can you make the most of your circumstances? You make changes.  Now let me make this clear, while I am not big on New Year’s Resolutions, because let’s face it, I tend to give up or quit by the third day, I am big on always striving to enjoy the journey while trying to reach my destination. So instead of making resolutions, I urge you to make SOULutions.  Find things you can change in your life that will ultimately increase your joy, strengthen your faith, and raise your level of hope. Because aren’t those things needed in order to keep moving forward? To keep smiling? And to keep believing change is just around the corner? I think so! Therefore here are eleven SOULutions I have made (and surprisingly kept) over the years in order to help me…and hopefully now you…do just that.

1-break-up-with-dr-googleSeriously, stop googling!  It’s not that I believe you will never get good, solid information from a Google search, because you can and you might.  It’s just that it could take you hours and exhaust your energy to find it on the 17th page.  And let’s think about it…how many times have you searched the internet for the answer to a medical question only to feel more scared and confused than before?  My guess?  Too.Many.To.Count. So why torture yourself? Why risk the potential of your hope (and sanity) being hijacked by the misinformation you will read? It’s just not worth it.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.  ~Psalm 118:82-dont-set-deadlinesHow many times have you said to yourself, “I need to be pregnant by Easter” or “by Mother’s Day” or “by Christmas”?  I know I am guilty as charged! But the truth of the matter is this: no one knows how long the journey will take (insert ugly sigh). And so by trying to take control and set deadlines, you are not only setting yourself up for disappointment and a sense of failure, but you are also potentially sabotaging your hope.  And sometimes on this journey, you can’t afford to lose even a smidgen of hope. Instead, let go and live in the moment. Trust that God’s plans for your life far exceed anything you could ever hope for, dream of, or begin to imagine on your own. And then have faith to believe that He makes everything beautiful in His time.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  ~ Ecclesiastes 3:113-write-yourself-a-permission-slipWrite yourself a permission slip to not hold a newborn baby if your heart can’t take the pain. Or go ahead and give yourself permission to not attend the baby shower, the kid’s birthday party, or your cousin’s gender reveal celebration. And friend, go ahead and give yourself permission to let go of the guilt and the blame. Because I know sometimes you can’t help but blame your body, blame your past mistakes, blame your food decisions, and blame yourself every single time someone else makes a suggestion that if you prayed harder, relaxed more, or had stronger faith than you wouldn’t still be in this state. But you know what? This negative self-talk, this blame, and this guilt you feel is all based on lies. So give yourself permission to not accept the lies, but rather embrace the truth. And the truth is that you are not only beautiful and strong, but you are doing the best you can.

4-go-on-a-dietA farmer doesn’t plant tomato seeds and expect cucumbers, right? So friends, we shouldn’t speak words of doubt, fear, hopelessness, defeat, and lack, and expect to experience peace, faith, hope, victory and prosperity. In fact, according to Proverbs 18:21, a person’s life is largely reflected by the words spoken from their tongue. And so this suggests that every time you speak, you are potentially prophesying your future. Exciting, right?  To know that your words could change the course of your life?  I know it sounds like hogwash, but what if it’s true?  It’s worth a shot, right?  If so, make it a SOULution to go on a diet this year…a word diet. Eliminate words and phrases that produce weeds in your life .

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. ~Proverbs 18:21

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity. ~Proverbs 12:21

 {For more on this topic, you can read my post, “Shut Your Pie Hole” by clicking here.}

5-let-go-of-the-jealousy-bitterness-and-angerI know, I know. It’s so hard to not be jealous of your friends and family who get pregnant so easily. It’s hard to not roll your eyes at your co-worker who brags about “just looking at her husband” and getting pregnant. And it’s almost impossible to not have a wave of envy come over you the second you see a beautiful pregnant belly in the store. But the truth of the matter is you never know another person’s struggle. Because the Mama you saw loading up her two perfect kids in the minivan? She might have suffered through six in vitro fertilization treatments in order to conceive them. Or the pregnant woman you saw in the store? She could be a surrogate. And the woman you noticed in checkout lane number three, the one trying to convince the sweet four-year old out of the giant candy bar? Perhaps she is a foster Mama. And soon she will have to send that sweet little girl home. So friend, try not to let the feelings of jealousy, bitterness, and anger steal your joy and rob you of your peace. I know it’s really hard, but like the old saying goes, holding on to anger (or even jealousy and bitterness) is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the only one who gets burned.

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.  ~Psalm 37-7-8

6-make-having-hope-a-habitLet’s face it, in the midst of another negative pregnancy test or hearing of a devastating doctor’s report, hope can be hard to find. It’s not something that will just come naturally to you in those intense moments of heartache and uncertainty. And so one of the best ways to overcome despair, is to remind yourself every. single. day. to have hope.  One way to do this is to write down encouraging words, phrases, or scriptures and place them all throughout your home.  It doesn’t have to be anything long or elaborate. Just something that can be read easily and quickly.  For instance, you can put a small note on your microwave that reads, “Get excited!  God is cooking up something amazing today!”  Or when you open up the kitchen cabinet to get out a glass, there could be a sign that reads: “Your cup…your womb…your life…will soon overflow!  So get ready!  Start making room!”  These small reminders will help you make hope—the confident expectation that something good is going to happen—a habit so that when the bad news hits this year, it won’t knock you down and keep you there.

Then the LORD answered me and said:  Write the vision and make it plan on tablets, that he may run who reads it.  ~Habakkuk 2:2

{To find more of my hope-filled words, phrases, or scriptures to post throughout your home, click here}

7-think-about-what-you-are-thinking-aboutMany times, when infertility strikes a husband and wife, the couple’s focus tends to only be on their inability to conceive.  Proverbs 23:7 declares that what a person continually thinks about is what he/she becomes.  Friends, this means what we put our attention to, or what we focus on the most will expand in our lives.  And so focusing on your present inability to conceive will not change it but may prolong it. That’s why it’s important that you focus on God and not on the problem of infertility.  In the Bible’s account of Abraham and Sarah, Abraham didn’t focus on his own inability and say, “It’s hopeless.  This hundred year old body could never father a child.”  Nor was he discouraged by Sarah’s decades of infertility and completely let go of the hope of having a child with her.  Instead he focused on God’s promise to Him and believed that God would make good on what He said.

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.  ~Proverbs 23:7

8-pursue-god-more-than-you-pursue-a-babyHow long would you last if all you had to eat in a week was one meal?  Not.Long. Time spent with God, soaking up His word and His Truth is like spiritual food for our soul.  And if the only time you feed your soul is once a week on Sunday Morning, then it won’t take long for you to start feeling weak, burdened, hopeless, and alone.  Just like we need physical food to have energy to get through the day, we need spiritual food to give us strength to face whatever comes our way.  So don’t neglect your time spent with God.  He should be the most important person you talk to and meet with each and every day. Not to mention, when we seek Him, there we will find and be filled with the peace we need, the hope we crave, the answers we are searching for, and the healing we want.  It’s in His Presence that we find His presents of peace, hope, strength, confidence, joy, healing, restoration and fulfillment of your desires.

*More food for thought:  You can still be a Christian and not go to church.  But you can also still be married and not go home.  Both won’t cultivate a good relationship…

 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. ~Matthew 5:6

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”  ~Proverbs 16:3

9-remember-whose-girl-you-areOn the dark days, when you think your body is broken, your life is a mess, everything is hopeless, and your situation is impossible to change, stop and take a few moments to remember who sends thoughts like that…and then straighten your crown.  Because sweet sister, you are the daughter of the Most High King.  And you are worthy.  You are beautiful.  You are restored.  And NOTHING, not even your situation, is impossible to change.

 But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  ~Romans 8:37

10-put-your-god-glasses-onAs long as you are seeing your situation in your life through a natural, fleshly perspective, you are going to be tempted to feel helpless and defeated.  But when you begin to see your life the way that God sees it, hope takes over.  And when you begin to see yourself fruitful, not barren?  Fertile, not infertile?  Hope will arise.  And where there is hope, there is faith.  And where there is faith, circumstances change.  Miracles happen.  And dreams are fulfilled.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you future and a hope.”  ~ Jeremiah 29:11

11-step-out-in-faithYou know that onsie you walked by in the store?  It is the one that caused your soul to cave and your empty womb to ache? I want you to go back and get it. I want you to carry it in your purse. Tuck it underneath your pillow when you sleep.  Let your tears soak deep into the fibers. And your prayers fill it with faith.  Let it be a tangible reminder to hold on to hope for the desire that has been planted in that soft fertile soil of your heart.  A desire that isn’t impossible for our heavenly Father to fulfill.  It might not be the right size and it might even fade, become stained or ragged, but don’t worry because this really isn’t for them; this is for you. Because there is something about stepping out in faith that will ignite a spark. A spark of hope and anticipation. A spark of strength and perseverance. And a spark that refreshes your soul and sets an entire fire of encouragement within your heart. So go ahead and get it.  Take that bold step of faith.  It might just be the one that takes you to your dreams.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  ~Hebrews 11:1

Sweet sister, trust me, I realize doing one or even all of these things will not necessarily guarantee your joy to overflow, your hope to start spilling over, or your faith to become stronger than an ox. But I pray that somehow and in some way it sparks within you to keep striving for your hopes and to keep dreaming the dream. So here’s to the New Year! May it be the year you see your prayers answered, your womb filled, and a healthy baby born.

With Love


I would love to get connected with you on a more personal level, so if you liked this post, pass it on. Then click here to find Waiting for Baby Bird on Facebook, or come follow me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you.

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14 thoughts on “11 New Year’s SOULutions for the Fertility Challenged

  1. Thank you so much for these beautiful and so truthful words! I pray every one in this situation will have their dreams come true very soon! Please pray for my daughter and son-in-law that their dreams will also come true !! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Praying for your family! It is such a blessing to know that you are also praying and supporting your daughter and son-in-law. Not everyone has that kind of special support 🙂

      Like

  2. Yes yes yes! I needed to read this tonight even if it’s already a month into 2017 these all resonated with me and where I’m at in my journey. Thank you for putting together such a thorough well thought out list!

    Liked by 1 person

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