Bad Luck, Fate, Sinister Deities, or God?

I told my wife yesterday that if I didn’t already believe in God, I would at least believe in the existence of a higher power, maybe even a sinister deity, simply on the basis of when the infertility bug has hit us. We’ve been walloped with far too many infertility woes, which have inconveniently interrupted critical life events with pintpoint accuracy. At least for me, statistically improbability leaves bad luck in the lurch and forces me wrestle with the gods of fate, or in my case, the God of the Bible.

Yesterday morning God provided me with yet another inconvenient infertility hiccup that makes me even more of a believer.

I am a minister, and perhaps one of my most important responsibilities is to give a Sunday morning sermon. Even though we’ve been in Madrid almost 3 years, my Spanish lags behind a bit, and so I’ve only just recently launched out with the preaching piece to my ministry. However, now that I am settling in, my evaluations in the first few messages will dictate future responsibilities. In other words, this sermon was important. The last thing I needed was, well, exactly what happened.

So yesterday morning I was set to give the homily at 11:45. At 11:30, my wife scoots by on the way to the restroom. Five minutes later, she slips back in front of me into her seat, shifting her head to the side so as to avoid eye contact. When I finally curl around her bangs and gaze a half second in her eyes, I know instantaneously what’s happened. “Oh God, her period started. This is way too early!” Early as it was, I know how to read my wife and I knew that I was right.

So two minutes before I step up to a podium in an attempt out a rousing message on human depravity, I am expending all emotional energy on trying to ease my own sadness and my poor wife’s disappointment over failed embryo transfer #3. Unfortunately, I know my sermon isn’t going to be good enough to distract either of us from this.

The sad thing is my consolation doesn’t mean that much right now anyway. This is our third and possibly final embryo transfer, because the funds for more transfers are about as depleted as our hopes.

But alas, the show must go on; just like it had to go on when our first miscarriage overlapped with my graduation from graduate school; just like it had to when our second miscarriage blindsided us the very day we were appointed by the church to come to Spain; just like it had to go on when our third miscarriage arrived on the heels of sacrificing everything, saying goodbye to friends and family, and landing in Spain (two weeks in!); just like it had to go on when our fourth miscarriage occurred in the throws of culture shock and sucked the final glimmer of hope from my wife’s eyes for ever having biological children; just like it had to go on when the first two failed embryo transfers caused us to age 5 years in a six month span.

Instead of believing in a sinister god or some other foolishness, I’d prefer to just ask the real God a few questions right now. For example,

“What profit is there in taking my hopes and dreams,

in my descending into the depths of emotional pain?

Can an absolutely devastated man and woman really praise you?

Can they declare your loyalty?”

I give credit to David for helping me formulate this particular query. I figure since God is big enough to choreograph this living hell that my wife and I like to call infertility, He’s big enough to take in the question. 


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  1. #1 by Kitten on March 25, 2013 - 6:39 pm

    I am so sorry this cycle didn’t work out. “I figure since God is big enough to choreograph this living hell that my wife and I like to call infertility, He’s big enough to take in the question.” I wish more believers had that attitude. You deserve answers.

    • #2 by eph525 on March 26, 2013 - 4:21 pm

      Kitten, I appreciate you stopping by and reading my post. At this point, I do believe God is big enough to handle the question. Whether or not he’s going to give me an answer I’m comfortable with for now is probably another matter. We’ll see.

  2. #3 by The Author on March 25, 2013 - 8:27 pm

    I find comfort in a lot of old hymns. If you’ve ever really paid attention to the words, they’re often quite depressing. I think our world, me included, has bought into this idea that God must be punishing us if everything isn’t going our way, but I think the old hymn writers were more on track. It’s not about us, even if that’s all we can see at this time. God is bigger, and we don’t understand his ways.

    Anyway, it helps me to think like that because I’m reminded that a lot of very godly hymn writers also struggled immensely. If they could keep on believing and not feel like God was out to get them, I can at least try to accept the same. God doesn’t promise an easy life or happiness, but he does promise us that he will be faithful and true.

    “Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
    Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
    Leave to thy God to order and provide;
    In every change, He faithful will remain.
    Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
    Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”

    • #4 by eph525 on March 26, 2013 - 4:18 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion. I don’t know if you have any specific hymn in mind? My wife and I enjoy some of the older hymns as well, especially John Newton and William Cowper. I’ve recently found some solace in the lament psalms as well. I appreciate the boldness with which they call out to God and even take Him on.

      • #5 by The Author on April 28, 2013 - 2:33 pm

        Solid Rock (Beautiful version by Page CXVI):

        “When darkness veils His lovely face,
        I rest on His unchanging grace;
        In every high and stormy gale,
        My anchor holds within the veil.

        “His oath, His covenant, His blood
        Support me in the whelming flood;
        When all around my soul gives way,
        He then is all my hope and stay.”

        It Is Well with My Soul, Be Thou My Vision, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Rock of Ages all allude to life being hard if not downright gut-wrenching yet praise God through it all, clinging to His promises of a brighter future. Seriously, check out Page CXVI. They have some very good versions of old hymns that really bring out the meaning behind them.

  3. #6 by newtoivf on March 26, 2013 - 3:42 pm

    I’m so sorry x

  4. #7 by elaaisa on March 26, 2013 - 4:06 pm

    I’m really sorry the cycle didn’t work out. I’m not a believer so I can’t help with your questions. But I hope the future will reserve better days for you.

    • #8 by eph525 on March 26, 2013 - 4:12 pm

      Thanks elaaisa, I appreciate your support and your well wishes.

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