Where is God in IVF?

Let me preface this post by stating that I do not intend to stir up dissension or debate. I understand that others may have views that differ from what I’ve written below. As always, any comments that are inflammatory or rude will be removed.

There are many people out there who feel that doing IVF, or really any ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology), is “playing God,” and that the very act of IVF takes God and miracles out of the equation. If a pregnancy doesn’t happen naturally, then maybe it’s not meant to happen, right? Or maybe a pregnancy that occurs via ART isn’t as good as one that just happens. And if the embryo is formed in a lab, then it’s all just science and medicine. It’s “weird” and it’s not like it’s actually God answering prayers. There’s no way He can exist in all that science and technology.

Well, I’m here to say that that thought process is utterly and totally wrong.

I struggled a lot initially with the decision to do IVF. I was on board with doing it, because I knew that’s what we had to do. But I was afraid that maybe by moving forward with this option, it meant I wasn’t trusting God to answer my prayers. I would be relying on science instead. I questioned how God fits into this scary, foreign, technical process. After many prayers, conversations with sweet friends, and going through the treatment myself, I can say with total confidence that God is absolutely in that process.

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After voicing my concerns and internal debates to a dear friend who also battled infertility, she said to me, “Whether by medicine or miracle, it all comes from God.” That statement was so powerful and it stuck with me. It was almost as though I could suddenly give myself permission to be ok with my decision to do IVF. It didn’t mean that I wasn’t trusting in God. In fact, after going through the process, I see that I have had so many more situations to be trusting in Him! By saying “medicine or miracle,” my friend didn’t mean that a baby born from IVF is not a miracle, rather that no matter how we get pregnant, that baby will be from God, even if we have to take the medical, scientific route to get there. Just because the miracle is happening in a lab does not mean that God is not in the miracle.

It doesn’t matter whether the pregnancy happens naturally or medically, a pregnancy is a freaking miracle. Having a healthy baby at the end of it is another miracle. SO many things have to align; SO many things have to go right. Even if you get a great embryo, it still has to survive to the point of transfer, and then it has to implant. Then it has to stay there and keep developing and it has to stay healthy and make it all the way to 9 months and delivery. That is a miracle and God is in that every step of the way. It’s a miracle if the egg and sperm even fertilize!

Life happens because of God. Life comes from God.

John 1:3-4: “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

1 Tim. 6:13: “I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things”

Yes, the doctors and embryologists are a huge part of it with ART, obviously, but not every procedure is successful. Science alone does not guarantee me a baby. Of course, I know I’m not guaranteed a baby either way. But I know that if it does happen, even through ART, it still comes from God.

God has provided us with knowledge and amazing technology. If you have a disease, you (typically) don’t hesitate to get treatment. Well, infertility is a disease. And the treatment for my particular condition is IVF. Why would I not take advantage of the amazing things God has to offer? God is in IVF through the knowledge and treatments that are available to us.

God is in the IVF process when He comforts me and when I cry out to Him in prayer. He is there when the IVF doesn’t work. He is there in celebration when it does. God is in the IVF process when your family circles around you and covers you in prayer, when your friends, family, and people you don’t even know offer financial support, when people make you meals, or send you encouraging cards. He is there because He knows how hard infertility is. He gets it. Proverbs 30:15-16 says, “There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’: the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!” He compares the barren womb to things that can never be satisfied. He knows how empty or incomplete infertility can make you feel.

Is IVF a “normal” way to get pregnant? Not really. But does taking things to a lab take God out of the process? Absolutely not.

 

This post is a part of a “link up” with the blog ‘Amateur Nester.’ See the link up here: http://www.amateurnester.com/2015/07/preparing-for-ivf-link-up.html#disqus_thread 

8 thoughts on “Where is God in IVF?

  1. Thanks for linking this up, Ruth. I agree with you and I love how you so thoughtfully explained your thoughts here. Will be sharing this on social media!

  2. My husband and I are now considering IVF I am really scared I am praying to God and guide me I don t want to make a decision that will effect me emotionally its so hard sometimes I just don t want to make the wrong choice. I am praying for wisdom and peace and unity for you and your husband.

  3. Thank you SO much for this article. You have so beautifully stated our ability as a Christian to proceed with ART without feeling like we’re taking God out of the process.

  4. Very well said! I struggled through these tough questions going through IVF and now deciding on gestational surrogacy as well. God is the one and only creator of life! “Whether by medicine or miracle, it all comes from God.” – LOVE THIS!

  5. I know how it feels. I was hesitated for at least one year, especially after I told my church that I’m going to proceed IVF. Some of church sisters wanted me to wait and get pregnant in a natural way. But after 1.5 years trying, my hubby and I decided to take IVF journey because we believe God is everywhere and we believe this journey is from Him as well after our long prayer. Everyday I prayed and fasted when during the treatment and y’day was my egg collection day, the result didn’t come out as good as I expected. There are only two embryos fertilized after received a phone call from nurse this morning, and we all know the chance for only two embryos to survive is very low, but I could’t do much. As God said He makes impossible to become possible. Now my two embryos are on His hand, I focus on Him. I need to trust Him always works the best for us. What we can do is only to pray harder and harder until the day comes.

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