Infertility and the power of prayer

A Christian Science perspective.

I was a mother by choice. I knew my husband had been diagnosed as infertile when I married him. And up until the wedding ring was placed on my finger, I had always been OK with not ever having children. But shortly after the wedding, the day came when I wasn’t fine with it anymore.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, explained, “Marriage is the legal and moral provision for generation among human kind” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 56).

Now, I have never read the word “generation” in the narrow “production of babies” sense that would cast men and women in the role of personal creators. To me, as it is used in this quotation, the spiritual sense of generation speaks to the production of good in individuals, in families, and in society, when a moral and legal promise is made, and a commitment fulfilled, to be a lifelong witness to spiritual growth in another person.

That diagnosis of infertility felt like an arbitrary glass ceiling and an injustice – a limitation on how much good we could witness in each other and the good we could generate in our marriage. So I started to protest this claim of infertility in prayer. I couldn’t see how a productive, creative Mind could be reflected in an unproductive, powerless, stunted creation.

I will admit that those early prayers were often tinged a bit with “I want a baby.” And that self-will had to go. Trading the idea of a thwarted creation for a willful self-perpetuating creation wasn’t the upgrade in spiritual understanding that was needed to bring about healing.

In addition to the Bible, I sometimes find insight in the Gospel of Thomas. For example, one of Jesus’ statements familiar to many Bible readers, “there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known,” (Matthew 10:26) is recorded in the Gospel of Thomas as, “Know what is before thy face, and what is hidden from thee shall be revealed unto thee; for there is nothing hidden which shall not be made manifest.”

This struck me because what was “before my face” was an opportunity to understand God, Spirit, to be unlimited in expression and potential, and to create and perpetuate good only.

I came across this helpful idea in Science and Health: “[T]he legitimate and only possible action of Truth is the production of harmony. Laws of nature are laws of Spirit; but mortals commonly recognize as law that which hides the power of Spirit. Divine Mind rightly demands man’s entire obedience, affection, and strength. No reservation is made for any lesser loyalty. Obedience to Truth gives man power and strength. Submission to error superinduces loss of power” (p. 183).

So I protested on the side of divine Truth, refusing to submit to the belief that material law could violate the natural spiritual law of harmony. Consequently I felt more and more hopeful and less and less willful. I stopped outlining the form that our fertility should or must take, realizing I couldn’t ask God to give me something that wasn’t already there, already created in Mind and ready to be revealed. My prayer was to see and accept good, and to express that good, as it already existed in God.

As it turned out, a baby came along about 10 months later. No one was more surprised by the news than my husband’s physician. But for us, our daughter was better than a surprise. She was a revelation of the good that is naturally generated when one commits to witnessing to the truth of God and man.

From a blog on the author’s website.

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