6 Ways to Survive the Grief of Childlessness

By March 31, 2018 No Comments

In a time of loss and lament, here’s how I found spiritual solace.

When I was 19, a doctor said words I hoped never to hear: “You won’t ever be able to carry your own child.” I was too stunned to cry; all I felt was numbness. It took a few days for the shock to turn into myriad emotions—sadness, frustration grief, shame, anger, and loneliness. As I processed my diagnosis, my mind was assaulted by self-doubt and lies from the enemy. I thought, “If I can’t even fulfill the basic duties of a woman, what good am I?”

Childlessness touches the lives of many women and the precious people who love them. Infertility alone affects approximately 12 percent of the US population—that’s over one in ten couples. According to estimates, roughly 15 to 20 percent of all pregnancies in the US will end in miscarriage. The risk of miscarriage in known pregnancies under 12 weeks is one in five. This data doesn’t encompass couples who have lost children to illness or accidents, nor does it take into consideration single women who desire to be mothers.

Even though I have experienced only one of the forms that childlessness can take, I’m well acquainted with the grief of being unable to have a biological child. For women like me who want to be mothers, childlessness contradicts what we know about the created order of the world. We have godly desires to parent. Our physical composition tells of this truth. We have breasts to feed a newborn; we have a uterus to grow a fetus. Our bodies were intentionally designed to fulfill God’s mandate to “be fruitful and multiply.”

However, the fall continues to taint; things aren’t the way God originally designed them to be. Women who can’t bear children often choose redemptive alternatives—fostering, …

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