Shortly after you get married, everyone starts to ask the same question, “soooo…when are you going to have a baby?” I don’t think any woman is ever comfortable answering that question, but for those of us who are trying to get pregnant, it’s a hurtful reminder of something we want, but can’t have. For as long as Ryan and I have been married, we’ve been asked this question, and as long as we’ve been married, we’ve been unsuccessfully trying to have a baby. After our first 12 months of trying to conceive, we officially joined the infertility club back in 2013, a club I never thought I would be a part of, especially at the age of 23.
Although it’s something women rarely talk about, infertility affects 1 in 10 couples, so chances are, you or someone you know is struggling with it today. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant, but can’t, I made this month’s bible reading plan just for you. And if this isn’t a trial you’re experiencing, maybe you’ll still want to take part in this study to gain a better idea of what other women go through when they’re unable to get pregnant. Or, maybe you’ll just want to share it with someone you know.
Over the next 20 days, we’re going to see how God uses even infertility to accomplish His purposes and bring glory to His name, and how we can rejoice in the midst of our pain. Before we get started, I want to share with you one of my favorite quotes from Warren W. Wiersbe:
“The trials of life are not all alike; they are like variegated yarn that the weaver uses to make a beautiful rug. God arranges and mixes the colors and experiences of life. The final product is a beautiful thing for His glory. My wife and I once visited a world-famous weaver and watched his men and women work on the looms. I noticed that the undersides of the rugs were not very beautiful; the patterns were obscure and the loose ends of yarn dangled. ‘Don’t judge the worker or the work by looking at the wrong side,’ our guide told us. In the same way, we are looking at the wrong side of life; only the Lord sees the finished pattern. Let’s not judge Him or His work from what we see today. His work is not finished yet!”
My prayer for all of us is that we would not judge God’s goodness by our ability to carry a child, but that we would trust His plan and His process for our lives.
Get The Most Out Of Your Bible Reading Plan
- Every day before you start reading, ask the Lord to speak to you, draw you closer to Him, and for Him to reveal Himself to you through His Word.
- Below the bible reading plan printout, you’ll find summaries of all four sections of the reading plan: In His Sovereignty, In His Perfect Timing, In Who He Is, and In My Salvation. Although you’re free to read all four summaries at once, I recommend reading one section overview at a time before you begin reading that section’s scriptures.
- Share this month’s bible reading plan with your friends and family on Facebook and Instagram (with the #organicchristianliving). This way you can discuss what you’re reading and learning with one another.
- Download the 20 day Yet I Will Rejoice Scripture Writing Plan below.
Before We Get Started: Download The 20 Day Scripture Writing Plan
It includes 20 different scriptures that complement and reinforce the Yet I Will Rejoice Bible Reading Plan. PLUS 4 outlined journal pages to write each scripture on. AND 4 hand picked scriptures you can print out, meditate on, and memorize throughout each section of the study! This month I’ve included an extra special gift just for you! Sign up below and I’ll send everything straight to your inbox! Already a subscriber? No need to sign up below, just head over to the Subscriber Only Free Resources Library to access the Yet I Will Rejoice Scripture Writing Plan + exclusive content created just for subscribers!
In His Sovereignty (Days 1-5)
“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:16
I chose to start in the first book of Samuel, with the story of Hannah, for one simple reason: this was the first story that the Lord used to minister to me when I first realized that I couldn’t get pregnant. Although there are other women in the bible who suffered from infertility, Hannah’s story is by far the most intimate. It’s full of personal details and emotions that all of us can relate to. While Hannah is unable to get pregnant, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, is a prolific child bearer who enjoys torturing Hannah over her childlessness. Although few of us can relate to dealing with such a cruel and insensitive woman, we all know what it feels like to see yet another birth announcement on Facebook, to visit a friend’s new baby, or to simply hear that a family member, friend, or acquaintance is pregnant. We all know what it’s like to weep in devastation at yet another negative pregnancy test, another period, and for some, another miscarriage. We have all cried to God out of grief and brokenness. It’s a lonely and heartbreaking place to be, but you are not alone. Hannah knew these feelings, and so have I.
It wasn’t just the similarities in Hannah’s sorrow and my own that ministered to my heart. There is only so much comfort one can gain in bonding over similar heartbreak. It was, and still is, six simple words that have helped me to not only survive but thrive through this five-year trial: “the Lord had closed her womb” (1 Samuel 1:5). The Lord closed Hannah’s womb (for a time) and has chosen to close both yours and mine. Why does knowing this bring me such comfort? Because it gently reminds me that God is in control of my childbearing, just like every other aspect of my life.
God’s sovereignty shouldn’t scare us, or cause us to become angry with Him when we go through difficult seasons, or when life doesn’t turn out exactly how we want it to. Why not? Because we know who our God is, and how much He loves us: “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32). We also know that the Holy Spirit makes “intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:27-28).
To learn even more about God’s love for us, make sure to check out the Finding True Love Bible Reading Plan here.
The Lord allows or shields us from certain trials in life so that we can become more like Christ, and in doing so can point others to Jesus. That is after all what this life is about. This is what God accomplished through Hannah’s life, and what He wants to accomplish through yours and mine.
During one of Israel’s lowest points in history, when moral and spiritual failures permeated the land, God raised up Hannah’s son, Samuel, to be the last judge, a prophet, and to anoint Israel’s first two kings. Samuel became a pivotal leader who helped the nation turn back to God. The Lord ordained a God fearing woman to go through a season of childlessness in order to prepare her to become a mother and spiritual example to Samuel. A child who would one day become a great man of God, and who would influence countless amounts of people. This wasn’t a coincidence, this was God’s sovereign plan from the beginning of time. Hannah wouldn’t have been the same woman she was when she gave birth to Samuel if she never had trouble conceiving. I’m not the same woman I was before I started trying to have a baby, and I know neither are you. Trials have a way of either breaking us or transforming us into stronger women of faith.
There was always purpose in Hannah’s pain, and there is a purpose in ours as well. One of God’s purposes for Hannah’s season of infertility was to comfort you and I, and countless other women throughout the generations: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Hannah’s infertility has beautifully affected countless people and has brought God glory for generations. I wonder how God is (and will) use our infertility to bring glory to His name and fulfill the purpose He first placed on our lives when He formed us in our mothers’ wombs.
As you read through this first section of the reading plan, rest in knowing that our inability to have babies, although a surprise to us, was never a surprise to God. I also want you to trust His process and know that He is weaving together His perfect plan for our lives even through our pain.
You can get this FREE framable Yet I Will Rejoice printable that I made just for you by signing up for the Yet I will Rejoice Scripture Writing Plan below 🙂
In His Timing (Days 6-10)
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Most of us are fine waiting on the Lord…as long as we don’t have to wait too long. When the weeks turn into months, and the months turn into years, we can start to question why God answered the prayers of Hannah, Sarah, and Elizabeth for a baby, but hasn’t answered ours yet. Although it may be easy (and relatively quick) to read in the bible of these women’s seasons of infertility, it wasn’t easy or a quick process for them when they lived it. They waited on the Lord, just as we are. However, some were more patient than others.
On days 6 + 7, we will read of Abraham and Sarah, who although they loved and trusted the Lord, they ran ahead of His schedule and brought great sorrow into their marriage. Sarah was 75 years old and Abraham 85 years old when they decided it was time to take matters into their own hands. It had been 10 years since God promised to make Abraham a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3), and decades of trying to have a baby on their own. Although the Lord promised to give Abraham as many descendants as there are stars in the sky (Genesis 15:5-6), Sarah allowed her culture and human wisdom to influence her decision making instead of trusting in the word of God.
Sarah was well past childbearing age, and taking a concubine to assure a male heir was both accepted and legal in the ancient Near East (although never part of God’s plan for marriage). We’re not told of the feelings Sarah felt in making this decision, we only read of the idea when she first presents it to her husband, “See now the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go into my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her” (Genesis 16:2). This couldn’t have been an easy decision for her to make, and as we will see, it was also a hard decision for all parties involved to live with.
As we learned in the previous section, God is sovereign over everything. What He has planned will come to pass. However, as we will see through Abraham and Sarah’s actions, we can cause ourselves, and others, unnecessary pain and damage when we try to stray from or speed up the plan God has for our lives.
Think about how much heartache Sarah inflicted on herself by jumping ahead of God’s plan and giving Hagar to her husband. She knew her husband was intimate with another woman. She had to see Hagar quickly become pregnant and then watch as her belly grew with Abraham’s baby. She had to watch her husband raise another woman’s child as she stayed barren; can you imagine? And on top of all that, she had to deal with the jealousy, strife, and anger that both women no doubt felt toward one another and which also affected her relationship with her husband. God never wanted any of that for Sarah, Hagar, or Abraham. He loved them all and had better plans in store than what Abraham and Sarah orchestrated. If they had just waited on God’s perfect timing for their promised son, they would have avoided a lot of pain.
Today, if you’re tired of waiting, are on the brink of making a major decision concerning your fertility (whether going to a fertility doctor or adoption), and haven’t sought the Lord in your decision making, I urge you to do so before you do anything else. Although it may seem extreme to us today, the decision that Sarah made was logical in her time. When a woman couldn’t have a child on her own, it was common for her to procure an heir through another woman. Today, after you’ve been trying to conceive for 6-12 months, if you haven’t become pregnant, the logical and socially accepted next step is to go to a fertility doctor or to adopt. However, that might not be what God’s plan is for your life or at this time.
Now, I don’t know what God’s plan is for you. He may want you to continue to wait to take any next steps, He might want you to seek medical intervention (or not), He might want you to adopt now (or at a later time), or (and you’re probably not going to like this next one very much) He may call you to a life without any children. However, whatever the Lord has in store for you, it’s going to be more beautiful and fulfilling than anything you could have ever imagined or hoped for. Trust Him, seek Him in prayer and the Word, and continue to wait if that is what He has called you to do in this season of your life.I want to share with you the short prayer that I’ve prayed too many times to count (and continue to pray) to make sure that my husband and I stay on the right path in our decision making when it comes to having a baby: “Lord, help me to know whether we should go see a fertility specialist, adopt, wait, or if you’ve called us to a life without children. Whatever Your plan is for our lives, give us discernment and confirm it to both Ryan and I. Mold our hearts to want what You want for our lives. I ask that Your will be done, not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
In the first few years of praying this, when I would say, “Amen.” God would bring to mind one verse, Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God”. He was speaking this verse directly into my heart and onto our infertility. Ryan and I have never felt led to do anything other than to wait when it comes to our infertility. However, something beautiful happened throughout the years of seeking Him in prayer. Although my fertility hasn’t changed, my relationship with God has. He has molded my heart to fully trust in Him, and want Him above all else. God has used that trust and desire to give me abundant hope, peace, and patience. If you’re struggling today, pray. If you struggle tomorrow, pray. If you’re still struggling next year, pray! Prayer can transform your sorrows into rejoicing. God did it for me, and He will do it for you!
In Who He Is (Days 11-15)
“He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4
It’s so easy to get caught up (and consumed) in trying to have a baby. How can we not, when our days are full of ovulation predictor kits, basal body temperature charts, tracking changes in our bodies, doctor’s appointments, and special fertility vitamins, herbs, or medications? Every month, we invest so much of our hopes and dreams into these products and techniques, but there is never a guarantee that any of them will work (and they never do…at least for us). The only consolation we receive at the end of yet another failed cycle is the thought that maybe next month will be the month it finally happens.
Month after month, when we reach the middle of our cycle, we can’t help but be filled with excitement and possibility that this could be the month. However, when that cycle ends, and another begins, those first few days are filled with sorrow, disappointment, and countless tears. Then, the process starts all over again. We can either let this roller coaster of emotions defeat and define us, or we can look to Christ who will give us the strength to not only endure this season of life but abundantly thrive. And in doing so, we will no longer be defined by our circumstances, but by the faith we have in God.
Open your bible and read the first passage for day 11, Luke 6:47-49. When we build our faith, and foundation for life, on Jesus Christ, nothing will be able to shake us, not even our infertility. On days 11 +12 we will look to a great example of a godly woman who didn’t let her inability to have children shape her outlook on life or her perspective of God, but rather rested in who her God was. As both the daughter and wife of a priest, Elizabeth was raised with a strong foundation in God and relied on the Scriptures to retain an accurate understanding of who He was. We are told that her and her husband, Zacharias, “were both righteous before God walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no children because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advantaged in years” (Luke 1:6-7). As she waited for God to answer her prayers to become a mother she could have grown bitter toward God and her faith could have waned, but she didn’t.
She knew who God was, that He is righteous, gracious, full of compassion, faithful, that the works of his hand are truth and justice, that He is good to those who wait for Him, and that He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone (Psalm 111; Lamentations 3:22-41). She trusted in who He was regardless of what was happening around her or to her. Even though she was passed the age of childbearing, and it seemed like she never would become a mother, she still trusted God, His character, and the plan He had for her life. She trusted God and God rewarded her, not just with a son, but many other blessings.
She was able to experience firsthand that nothing is impossible with God; even though she was once called barren, she became pregnant, and her relative, Mary, even though she was a virgin, was pregnant with the Son of God. Through her trial of infertility, the Lord also grew her patience, perseverance, character, and faith. All of which enabled her to became a mentor to the young (and newly pregnant) Mary as they both awaited the birth of two promised sons, one a prophet, and the other the Messiah. She had the honor and blessing of giving birth and raising a child who would prepare the way for Jesus! John the Baptist was the prophet whom Jesus said, “among those born of women there is no one greater than John” (Luke 7:28). She was able to receive and experience countless other blessings throughout her life, and also now in eternity because she was obedient and trusted the Lord.
Just like Elizabeth, we have two choices as we wait on the Lord:
- Become bitter and angry toward God.
- Cling to who God is (good, loving, for you, and not against you), and believe that He has a purpose for the pain.
What decision will you make? I pray that you would cling to who God is. I urge you to be in your bible every day studying the Word of God and getting to know your Savior more. Just like with anyone, the more time you spend with Him the better you will get to know Him. You will become confident in His character and will know that He is always trustworthy, loving, and faithful. He is working something good, and eternally lasting out of all your disappointments and sorrows (Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:18). Believe Him when He says, ” For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Even though our infertility has brought Ryan and me heartache and disappointment, I am so thankful for it! These last five years have been filled with a growing understanding of who God is, and a deeper relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. Out of my pain, I sought God more than ever before through prayer and the studying of the Word. For the first time in my life, I’ve read through the bible from cover to cover and I still haven’t stopped reading! As I read, and continue to read, I am reassured of God’s character: that His works are perfect, that He loves me, that He is good, and that God has a plan and purpose for my life. I am in the Word of God every day, and sister, you need to be too, so that we can retain a true perspective of who our God is. He never ceases to be compassionate, merciful, gracious, loving, and faithful; it is who He is regardless of our circumstances (Psalm 86:15).
In My Salvation (Days 16-20)
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls-yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.” Habakkuk 3:17-19
A few years ago, when I was in the middle of doing the dishes, not really thinking about anything other than what I was going to clean next, out of nowhere, a word from the Lord was spoken into my heart. He sweetly and reassuringly said, “If you don’t have a baby, you’re going to be okay. You’re going to be more than okay, you’re life is going to flourish and be fulfilling, and I’m going to use you for great things.” Even though this was spoken to me, I can confidently say that He has the same message for you today. Our lives, and who we are as women, are not defined by our ability to have children, but rather on who we belong to. We belong to Jesus, and our worth and purpose need to be found in Him alone.
Ultimately, one of two things is going to happen to all of us: this God ordained trial of infertility will end with the addition of a child into our family (whether through pregnancy or adoption), or the Lord has placed a calling on our lives to never have children. I know all of us want the first option and that it seems like the better outcome. However, one calling from God isn’t better than the other. Whatever calling God has placed on our lives, whether that is childlessness, adoption, or pregnancy, that is God’s will for our life, and there are unique blessings in each one that cannot be experienced by people outside of that group.
We must remember that as Christians, our lives are not our own:
“I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:34-35).
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
Now, I couldn’t always say what I am about to say. But after seeking the Lord all these years, I can honestly say that I don’t want anything less than what God has planned for my life, whether that includes children or not. This doesn’t mean that I don’t ever cry about not having a baby, or that Mother’s Day isn’t hard for me. Because I still do occasionally cry, and it takes a lot of strength to put a smile on my face at church and at brunch on Mother’s Day. What it does mean is that I’ve completely surrendered my life over to God, that I trust Him to direct my life, that I believe His Word and the promises found within it, and that I know that His plans are better than mine.
As this reading plan comes to a close, I want to leave you with a song that I know will encourage you because it has encouraged me often:
A Few Reminders/A Little Encouragement
This reading plan is by no means meant to replace your own study of the bible, take the place of your women’s bible study, or even church. If you want a deep meaningful relationship with God, you will need to be in His word for more than 10-15 minutes a day. These mini topical studies are meant to be added to your current study of God’s word, not a replacement.
Also, don’t give up or feel bad if you fall behind a day or two of the reading schedule! You’ll quickly be able to catch up and get back on track by bundling two days together. You can even bundle every two days together, and make this a 10 day reading plan instead of a 20 day one!