I think God truly enjoys it when revelations dawn on us in light of our own, personal experience. It’s the best way to learn – by internalizing something into your very core. As long as there’s a good reason for something, we are more likely to accept it, embrace it even. Before she died, my best friend Rachel and I were kicking around the idea of writing a book together entitled “Thank God Life Isn’t Fair”. On some as-yet unexamined level, we both knew that there was more to life than just what meets the eye when it comes to the struggles in our lives.
People who, after struggling with infertility, end up adopting their children often point out that they had to have gone through infertility in order for God to lead them to the children that were destined to be theirs. Many adoptive parents don’t realize that they are being called to adopt until after the gift – yes, I said gift – of infertility. They recognize that it was thanks to infertility that their hearts were turned on to adoption.
Alex and I are not yet at the end of our journey. We don’t yet have the benefit of hindsight to reflect on and acknowledge the benefits of our having struggled with infertility for all these years. However, even in the midst of it, thanks to careful discernment, we are starting to realize some of the possible benefits of our struggle.
For instance, the circumstances of our diagnosis have led us to truly consider Alex’s health, realizing that his hypothyroidism may be at the root of the various other health concerns he’s been dealing with. Especially when it comes to weight, it is so easy to dismiss someone as not being dedicated enough because they’re not active enough, or because they eat too much of the wrong foods. It’s funny how these are preconceived judgments people make without even bothering to know what really goes on in a person’s diet and exercise routine, especially when there appears to be no such thing as a single, fool-proof “diet” or “lifestyle change” that works equally well for everyone.
We’ve tried the blood type diet. A friend of ours insists on a raw food diet. Everyone seems to think calorie counting is the way to go. But what I’ve found in my research is that the cause of your overweight is the key to figuring out how to lose the pounds, and what may work for one person will not necessarily work for another person.
With that in mind, we are learning that Alex’s hypothyroidism is preventing him from losing weight NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES. He has spent the past 4 months working with a personal trainer 3 times per week, in addition to a weekly yoga class or time on a treadmill. He has been watching his meal portions, eating breakfast, and avoiding junk food. Yet four months later, he has yet to lose any weight. It must be so frustrating to be working so hard and still have to deal with naysayers who blame him for his bad health.
Yesterday we got our anticipated copy of The Hypothyroid Diet by Dr. Kevin Dobrzynski, and we are learning things there about nutrition and how the body works that none of the countless doctors we’ve seen over the years, for general purposes and for infertility, have thought to teach us. And I, for one, have a lot of hope that we may start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Had we been blessed with a child right when we decided that we were ready, we wouldn’t have had the time nor the motivation to keep digging, and Alex’s health would’ve continued to deteriorate. Hypothyroidism can lead to diabetes, which can lead to blindness and coma, and eventually even death. This condition is no joke. Yet without anyone telling us that it was so serious, we never would’ve thought to address it beyond Alex popping the prescribed pills in spite of not seeing his symptoms improve years into his treatment.
So there you have it: one of several benefits of what on the surface seemed like nature’s cruel joke. Infertility isn't fair.... but if it's thanks to infertility that we will be able to save Alex's life by addressing his hypothyroidism, then that's nothing short of God's grace at work. Thank you, Lord, for giving us infertility and for preventing us from adopting all of these years, because thanks to this constant nagging longing in our hearts for a child, we have finally been able to address one of Your holy temples - Alex's body - with the care and attention that it, and You, deserve.
God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.