*IF YOU ARE NEW TO OUR SITE, please read Our Story prior to reading any of our articles (link in top menu bar). Thank you!* This post may contain affiliate links . If you click on the link and make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclaimer page for more information. All opinions remain our own.
As 2019 approaches there’s been a lot on my mind about what the New Year will bring for us and for you, our readers and friends. Although it will be different for all of us, the one thing I’m sure of is life is unpredictable, bringing a mix of exciting beginnings and difficult endings with each passing year.
For us, this is the year we’ll head back to our Reproductive Endocrinologist again, filled with prayerful anticipation for Baby #5. Scott and I were talking last night about God and what He has taught us along the way in our journey with our children and embryos. Although we’re absolutely dedicated to His will, we often need to remind ourselves about His faithfulness and what we’ve learned so we don’t succumb to our fears.
(Are you struggling with what to do with your leftover embryos? We would love to help. Check out our free 10-Step Guide at the bottom of this post.)
Every time we expand our family, it usually never turns out like we’ve thought or planned. Sometimes it’s been more difficult than we anticipated. Sometimes our FET cycles haven’t gone well. There are no guarantees the outcomes will align with our expectations. Expanding your family is certainly a time filled with joy, but it’s also filled with hardship.
However, in the end, it’s been worth it and more wonderful than we could imagine. We’re living with no regrets. But that being said, we’ve had our fill of doubts and worries along the way and we still do to some degree. Although we’re looking toward the future with hopeful and patient hearts, we’re also careful to lean on God to provide us with the courage and strength to proceed forward. Otherwise, our worries would leave us paralyzed and incapable to continue.
If you’re having doubts about expanding your family, we understand. It’s easy to become stifled by fear of the unknown and grow stagnant, pushing off your decision about your embryos for yet another year.
So, we thought it was important that we share with you what we’ve learned along the way. Our prayer is for our words to give you hope and confidence if you have doubts about expanding your family through the use of your embryos.
If you’re a Christian, we highly encourage you to follow God’s lead. Although you can’t predict the outcome, and it can be scary to take a leap of faith, He is faithful when you remain in His will and continue to abide in Him 1. If you aren’t a Christian, this still applies. God cares for you, He sees you, He knows your circumstances, and He loves you. He’s still intimately involved in your life, whether you realize it or not.
So, friends, this is what we have come to know and trust when we sense the familiar pressing on our hearts to have another child.
1) He will prepare your body, heart, and mind for it.
One of the hardest things to envision is adding more children to your family when you feel constantly over whelmed. This is especially true after bringing home a new baby. Not only do you feel depleted physically, but your emotional and spiritual health can take a beating. This can lead to many doubts about expanding your family. However, if having more children through the use of your embryos is in your future, God will prepare you for the road ahead.
With the addition of each child, and especially after having our twins, we couldn’t imagine how we could handle a larger family. We were squarely in the parenting trenches and still are to this day. However, each time, God has whispered to our hearts, softened them slowly, and prepared us for His plans well ahead of our decision to proceed forward. Gradually, He would open our hearts to the idea of another baby, just as He is doing now. When we hear His familiar voice and feel His familiar nudge, we know He is once again paving the way. We can continue to expand our family with less fear and trepidation because He has faithfully kept His promise.
The same is true for you, my friend. It’s incredibly easy to have doubts about expanding your family. Life with many children is tough, and, at times, we’re certainly overwhelmed and poorly rested. But we’re no longer afraid. If more children are in your future, God will faithfully prepare your bodies, hearts, and minds, making you capable and able for the journey. He will give you the strength of mind, courage of heart, desire to obey, and able bodies to fulfill His will for your embryos and your lives.
2) He will prepare your circumstances and provide for your needs.
Another area where you may have doubts about expanding your family is with regards to your circumstances. It’s certainly understandable to have concerns about your careers, your finances, your marriage, your parenting skills, etc when you’re considering bringing more people into the world and into your home. We’ve had a lot of hard conversations around these topics over the years.
However, to our amazement, we’ve learned God will order our circumstances and provide for our needs so we can walk the path He has set for us. As long as we’ve remained in step with Him, keeping close to His desires for our life, the conditions around us have fallen into place, from moving, to jobs, to finances, to support groups, etc. God has faithfully gone before us and prepared the way. At this point in our journey, we can look around us and see our lives unfolding by His design right before our eyes. We can more easily recognize His work, His provision, and how He is once again preparing our current circumstances for the expansion of our family.
Now, you won’t always be able to see the path or the plan. And many times the transitions will be difficult, possibly even painful (read about my job transition here). But over time, your faith will be strengthened as you witness how He opens and closes doors along the way, faithfully sticking to His promises and providing for your needs.
If you have doubts about expanding your family, take heart that God will guide you and orchestrate your life to fall in line with His purposes as long as you’re dedicated to following Him.
3) You have no need to fear when you’re walking in His will.
When you have doubts about expanding your family, it’s easy to let your worries and concerns become full-fledged fears. The “what-ifs” can cripple you and make you question what you’re doing. When you dissect every part of your lives from your jobs, to your finances, to your home, to your ability to stretch yourselves, to the health of your marriage, to childcare logistics, to vehicle choices, and even down to how you’ll afford Christmas, you’ll be tempted to stop right where you are.
But you’re getting ahead of yourselves.
Now that we’re well past our first rodeo, we can easily say that our fears were unfounded. We were scared of the possibilities that formed in our minds, figments of our imaginations that ran wild like stallions. But with time, experience, and deepening faith, we realized we were depending only on ourselves, trying to figure out how it would all work, all the while forgetting to lean on the Almighty God to provide for our needs. He made it clear that growing larger was His desire for us, so why did we think that He would leave us and expect us to go it alone? It’s completely contrary to what He promises us in His Word and opposite of our experiences of Him 2.
Friends, you have no need to fear if you’re walking the path with God. He will come beside you and faithfully carry you through each and every joy and heartache, calming your thoughts and speaking peace and comfort to your hearts. He has your best in mind 3. When doubt and anxiety begin to creep in, remind yourselves of the love, power, and sovereignty of God. Slowly, your fears will begin to fade away.
(Feeling overwhelmed? Our 10-Step Guide helps you process your thoughts and feelings around your embryos while slowly and gently helping you come to decision that will bring peace to your hearts. The guide is available in our free resource library – get the password at the bottom of this post).
4) You will be equipped by Him and able to give more of yourself.
Another reason you may have doubts about expanding your family could be that you’re scared you have a maximum capacity for parenthood. You can only take so much. Or maybe you feel ill-equipped for the job. With the addition of each child, it’s likely you’ll feel stretched to the max and overwhelmed, especially at the beginning. You may wonder how you’ll ever be able to give more of yourselves when life is filled to the brim.
However, as you expand your family, you’ll find you have exactly what it takes to continue to thrive and pour into each of your kids. God will increase your capacity for parenting in proportion to the demand. As you walk out the Lord’s will for your lives, you’ll discover this is yet another way He is faithful to come alongside you on your journey 4.
To our pleasant surprise, with every baby that graces our family, we’ve actually become more able and more equipped to give of our time, energy, and love. This is a combination of leaning into God and relying on Him for our strength, patience, and energy coupled with our growing experience as parents. The demands and stresses are more, so we look to God ever more frequently for provision. At the same time, we’ve become more efficient and effective along the way. We’re simply better at parenting.
Now, we still have A LOT of room to grow in this area. We make many mistakes, as all parents do. But overall, we’ve been amazed at how God has equipped and enabled us to manage life with a large household and successfully provide for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of each of our kids.
5) The fit is just right.
Sometimes you can have doubts about expanding your family because you’re concerned about how another child will impact your family dynamics. You may wonder if you or your children will be able handle the transition or how your newest child will fit into the picture. We often wondered this ourselves.
However, our children have seamlessly integrated into our family and claimed their place as if they’ve been here all along. Our twins welcomed our third son with excitement – and suddenly we couldn’t remember life before him. A few years later, all three boys greeted their sister with pure joy and we reveled in delight that we finally had a daughter. To our surprise, each time we’ve expanded our family, we’ve simply moved forward with more love, one step closer to feeling whole. Life wouldn’t be right without them – they’re each uniquely crafted and an integral piece of our family puzzle.
Even now, the Lord whispers to us that our next child belongs here. He or she is specifically designed to fit with us 5. The boys often talk about our next baby even though we haven’t told them about our plans. They, too, can sense the missing pieces – so we will continue on until one day He calls us complete. We’ve felt peace in our hearts each time we’ve proceeded forward, just as we feel it now.
If you have doubts about expanding your family, rest assured that any child you bring home belongs there. God alone knows how many members make up the whole of your family and He has set each one apart for a specific purpose 6. He will go before you and create special spaces for them – and they will just fit. The transition to a larger family will come gradually and naturally.
6) Its worth it.
At the end of the day, you may have doubts about expanding your family because you wonder if it’s really worth it. You wonder if you’re capable of making the sacrifices necessary to add more children to your family. You wonder if it will change the life you’ve come to love.
With an open and honest heart, we can say it’s been completely worth it. Although we wouldn’t have known any different, life wouldn’t be what it is. We’ve never regretted expanding our family, never wished we hadn’t taken the leap of faith God was asking of us. On the contrary, we’ve always said our only regret would be if we let fear steal our opportunity to experience God in our lives and realize the magnificent blessings He has for us. The children He has entrusted to us are precious and our lives are richer because of them and because of each other. He’s given us a new love with each one that we simply can’t contain.
Friends, trust and surrender precede God’s abundant blessings – to make the first move requires faith. But, His blessings are powerful. The Bible says He moves mightily in the lives of those that believe in Him, trust Him, and follow Him into the great unknown 7 – it is truth. We’ve seen Him move mountains and we’ve experienced His love and power for ourselves.
Therefore, we can testify without a shadow of a doubt that any growing pains that accompany the expansion of your family are worth every moment. There is abundant joy to be had through the blessing of another child, the courage to step in faith, and the opportunity to experience God in the process.
So, friends, we hope what we’ve said today is helpful to you. Of course, you must discern for yourselves what God is calling you to do, one way or the other. Follow His lead. But, if you sense He’s calling you back to IVF to use your frozen embryos, our prayer is that you’ve received a word of encouragement and your fears and doubts about expanding your family have been challenged. If you feel the promptings of the Spirit to proceed forward with this option, please know…
You are capable. You are able. It’s more than possible. And it is so worth it in the end.
Are You Struggling With What To Do With Your Leftover Embryos? We would love to help.
Get our free 10-Step Guide to help you take the next steps on your journey with your leftover frozen embryos and begin to live with peace in your hearts. We’ve personally followed each step in this guide on our own journey – and over time we’ve received discernment, clear direction, and hope.
Kindly fill out the form below to get the password for our Resource Library so you can access the guide. We hope you find it helpful, encouraging, thought-provoking, and full of inspiration for your journey.
P.S. If you need additional support or guidance as you consider what to do with your embryos, please join our private FB community, Leftover Frozen Embryos Support Group. Here, we talk in real time with other parents about the difficulties of living life with leftover frozen embryos and the options we have moving forward. You can also join our email list to receive support, encouragement, and updates on new content and our personal journey.