Every year, millions of women are devastated to learn that they either have difficulty conceiving a baby or that they’re infertile. While being part of such a large group often makes people feel included and comfortable, being a part of this particular group does the opposite. It makes women feel incredibly alone. The desire for a child is so great, the heartache at the inability to conceive so enormous, and the loneliness so intense that anguish often consumes them.
When women and men experience infertility, they may feel as if no one understands the pain. But God does. Many Bible stories tell of women who could not conceive but who then bore children because of the mercy of God. Abraham and Sarah conceived a son at extremely old ages—long after they considered it possible. Isaac and Rebekah also faced infertility, as did Hannah, the wife of Elkanah, who felt intense pain because she could not conceive. One night, she went to the Lord and wept, saying that her prayer “has been prompted by my deep sorrow and misery.” The Lord heard her prayer, and she conceived Samuel. These couples are just a few of the many who thought they could never have children. But God heard their pleas. And He hears yours too.
If you are experiencing infertility or difficulty conceiving, know that you are not alone. God is walking this path with you. While you may take solace in talking with others who are going through the same trials you are, it is only God who truly understands you. It is only God who weeps with and for you. And it is God whom you should trust.
Though it may seem easy to give up when you have prayed so long, God encourages you to continue praying. You may feel angry, yet God’s compassion and mercy can soothe that anger. You may feel hopeless, yet God reminds you that you always have hope in Him.
His words, and the words we find throughout the Bible, are meant to comfort us during times when we feel that we just cannot go on. The people in the Bible experienced many of the same things we experience. They understand pain, loss, sadness, strife, and loneliness. The stories teach that God was there for them. And just as He was there for them, He will be there for each of us.
Below are eight Bible verses that will offer solace when you feel that you cannot pray anymore, that your pain is too much, or that God must be ignoring you. Rest assured, He hears you. The proof is on every page.
8 Bible Verses about Infertility
By faith [Abraham] received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age—and Sarah herself was sterile—for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy. – Hebrews 11:11
We know that, with God, nothing is impossible. But do we truly believe that? Abraham did. He trusted God, and though Abraham never imagined that Sarah would conceive at such an old age, he trusted that God’s will would be done. His faith sustained him—and so must ours. This is not always an easy task, and it’s hard to continue to have faith when our prayers haven’t been answered yet. But we must remember the essence of who God is. He is our loving Father who greatly desires our happiness and joy. In Him, we must have unending trust.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed. – Psalm 34:19
The inability to conceive a child can be heartbreaking. It can reduce us to tears one moment and lead us to angry fits the next. But God does not want us to despair. He knows our sorrows; He feels our pain. When these feelings overwhelm us, He wants us to seek Him in prayer. Even when we feel that He is far, we must hold fast to the fact that He is right there with us.
They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint. – Isaiah 40:31
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.” It goes on to say: “The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man . . . it sustains him during times of abandonment.” We are not the only ones to have ever felt abandoned. Even Christ did. And we know His Father never abandoned Him. That is why we must constantly tell ourselves that God does not abandon His children. He is the one who put hope in our hearts. It is man and society that put doubt in our hearts. Doubt keeps us from attaining the true nature of the relationship God wants with us. Doubt puts a divide between us and God. And Satan wants nothing more than to see God and His children divided. So when we start to feel doubt creeping in, we can look to Scripture and to God’s word. They will fortify us.
Isaac entreated the Lord on behalf of his wife, since she was sterile. The Lord heard his entreaty, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. – Genesis 25:21
It is not just women who hurt when a couple cannot conceive a child. Men struggle too. That’s why it’s just as important for men to have faith, to pray, and to put their trust in God. And it’s equally important for couples to pray together, to talk about their feelings, and to work together to discern God’s plan for them.
Find your delight in the Lord who will give you your heart’s desire. – Psalm 37:4
What does it mean to find delight in the Lord? It means to seek Him and to seek His will. We must focus on God rather than on our wants and desires, for ours come from an earthly place. We know that God wants what’s best for us, so we must surrender to His will. When we set aside our desires and our wants, we will be better able to see God’s desire for us. And then His desire will become our desire.
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.”– Luke 1:13-14
Again, we see a father who has prayed to the Lord for a child. Zechariah and Elizabeth had thought they were too advanced in age to have a child, yet God gave them a son. When we begin to despair, we must have faith that God hears our prayers, just as He heard the prayers of this holy couple. And because we know they understand our struggles, we can pray for their intercession. They will go to our heavenly Father on our behalf.
I wait for the Lord; who bends down to me and hears my cry, draws me up from the pit of destruction, out of the muddy clay, sets my feet upon rock, steadies my steps, and puts a new song in my mouth. – Psalm 40:2-4
Just as our parents picked us up as children after we fell and skinned a knee, God our Father is there to do the same. He knows the burdens we face and the difficulties we encounter. We may feel as though we’re sinking in mud, but we only sink when we do not reach up to grab the hand His is offering.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. – Matthew 11:28-30
God implores us to go to Him when we feel burdened and overwhelmed. He wants us to seek Him out, to talk to Him, to love Him. He wants to take our burdens from us. But the problem is that, too often, we don’t want to give them to Him. We hold onto our burdens thinking that they are ours alone, and we allow them to define us. Then we begin to lose sight of God’s love and His plan for us. We become so focused on what we don’t have that we forget to thank Him for all we do have, and our relationship with Him begins to suffer.
Where Can I Go if I’m Facing Fertility Problems?
If you have been unable to conceive, the staff at the Saint Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Nebraska, want you to know that you are not alone. This pro-life women’s health center helps women understand their bodies and learn why they cannot conceive, and assists them in finding natural ways to treat many fertility problems.
According to its website: “The Saint Paul VI Institute is the only medical Institute of its kind—specializing in research, diagnosis, and treatment of women’s reproductive and gynecologic healthcare within a pro-life ethical framework. . . . The challenges in Saint Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical letter, Humanae Vitae, prompted Thomas W. Hilgers, MD to begin scientific research in the applications of natural fertility regulation and to open the Saint Paul VI Institute in order to build a culture of life in women’s health care throughout the world. The Institute has developed a new approach to women’s health care that embodies the best principles of medicine and offers superior treatments to women and challenges mainstream medicine, which relies on contraception, in vitro fertilization, and abortion.”
The Institute’s truly pro-life approach has led to thousands of women overcoming fertility problems and conceiving babies.
So, if you desire a child, but have not yet been able to conceive, do not lose your hope in God. Believe that He would not put the desire for a child into your heart without a plan to fulfill that desire. It may not be in the way that you want, but God will answer you. Do not cease your prayers. God hears you. And He loves you.