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The following was written by Rachel Sheffield for To read the full article, click here

It’s hard not to cry when I talk about the struggles with infertility my husband and I endured. I felt hopeful. I felt like a failure. I felt gratitude for the physicians who worked so hard to help us. I felt shattered with each failed treatment. I felt loved by my family and friends. I felt lonely and desolate in my pain. It was a difficult time.

As I searched the scriptures during this time, I noticed there were many couples who suffered from infertility: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Elkanah and Hannah, and Zachariah and Elisabeth. This surprised me. The Bible covers only a tiny piece of a vast history. Why would God inspire prophets to include so many stories of infertility? This felt like the beginning of an answer to my prayers; there was something here for me to learn. So I decided to study each of the women in these stories, and as I studied, I learned four important lessons that helped me grow and find peace despite my struggles with infertility.

1. Infertility is not a reflection of our worthiness or capability

When faced with infertility, I found it hard not to feel like it was my fault, that God didn’t trust me for some reason. Was I not faithful enough? Would I not be a good enough mother? I would lie awake at night after my husband fell asleep, aching to know what characteristic I lacked. My brain said I was being unreasonable. My heart kept me awake. One of the greatest lessons I learned from studying these women in the Bible is that my infertility was in no way tied to God’s trust or lack of trust in me.

The amount of information I could find about each childless woman varied, but they all had certain things in common.

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