Guest Post and GIVEAWAY! “Barren Among the Fruitful: Navigating Infertility with Hope, Wisdom, and Patience”

*We are excited to have Amanda Hope Haley, author of Barren among the Fruitful: Navigating Infertility with Hope, Wisdom, and Patience, as a guest contributor today! Her new book will be officially released October 7, but we are giving away FIVE copies of her book and one each of the necklaces pictured below! See below for Amanda’s post and GIVEAWAY details! 

Inscribed Giveaway!


When I am sick, I do two things: go to the doctor, and ask my church for prayer support. My church then does two things: pray for me, and bring food to my house. Yes, it’s a stereotypical response, but that’s because it works. Unless you are a doctor, there aren’t many ways to help a hurting friend besides nourishing her body and soul.

Infertility is a kind of sick, but the church was the opposite of nourishing in my experience (and Sheldon’s mom never sang “Soft Kitty” to me). As soon as I was diagnosed as infertile, I asked for prayer—but I became the subject of gossip. I needed spiritual support—but I was indirectly told my pregnancy failures were my own fault.

My elder said it, my best friend said it, and—to her absolute horror today—my mother said it. Before I struggled with infertility, I have no doubt that I cavalierly said it to some of my friends, too: “Sarah was ninety years old before she had Isaac.” That seems to be the reaction you get whenever you tell your Christian friends that you’re having trouble getting pregnant. To be fair, there is nothing anyone can say to make you feel better. All your loved ones want to do is bolster your faith by reminding you that you’re in good company, that the heroines of our faith had the same heartache you do. . . .

A few months into your journey, you may take the encouragement as just that. You try to remind yourself that none of the matriarchs knew a successful pregnancy would be the outcome while they were in the midst of their monthly struggles. You think, If I can have enough faith, God will bless me with a child too. (Barren 37, 42)

People compared me to Sarah, Rachel, Hannah, and even the Virgin Mary one time. (Yes, that last unwanted conversation—with a male church elder—was exactly as bizarre as you would imagine it to be.) They said, “God answers the prayers of His faithful daughters with miracles, so He’ll do that for you.” But as I suffered multiple miscarriages, I began to hear, “You aren’t faithful enough for God to answer your prayers. Your spirit is too sick, and your body is too broken. God won’t let you be a mother.” The intensifying feeling of spiritual inadequacy was no one’s intention, but it was the result.

We are too quick to “solve” everyone’s problems with a scriptural platitude.

When we learn someone is suffering in any way, we want to fix it. But even in church, we don’t take the time necessary to empathize and learn how we can serve her. Maybe it’s because we love her; more often, I fear, it’s because we don’t want to be bothered for longer than a three-minute chat. Walking through suffering with a friend is a commitment.

So you want to know what to do, what to say when a friend tells you she’s infertile? Listen to her. Hold her. Cry with her. Pray for her. Love her for as long as she’s suffering—be it months or years—and tell her so regularly.

You could even sing “Soft Kitty” to her. (It’s what Sheldon’s mom would do.)

*See below to find out more about Amanda and for GIVEAWAY details!

Amanda Hope Haley


Amanda
 enjoys hosting people in her home for small group studies and serving her church community however she can. Amanda loves cooking, crafting, and party planning; but she’s happiest when exploring new places with her husband David, and spoiling her godchildren Elijah, Jack, and Lily.

Amanda has a bachelor of arts in religious studies from Rhodes College and a master of theological studies in Hebrew Scripture and Interpretation from Harvard University. She contributed to The Voice Bible translation as a writer and editor, and she has been an editor and curricula ghost writer for popular Christian authors. Amanda maintains a blog, Healthy and Hopeful, where she encourages women to live whole lives in community with God, family, and each other. Her first book, Barren among the Fruitful: Navigating Infertility with Hope, Wisdom, and Patience will be released by HarperCollins Christian Publishers on October 7, 2014 as part of the InScribed Collection. Amanda and David recently moved to Denver, Colorado, and look forward to new friends and new adventures out West.

GIVEAWAY! 

Giveaway winners were announced Friday, October 3, 2014. The winners included: Jennifer Parrish, Anna, Jennifer Teske, Allie Penny, Rebecca N, Brooke Edge, and Liz. Thank you to all who participated in this giveaway! 

If you are interested in the chance to win one of FIVE free copies of Amanda’s new book, Barren among the Fruitful: Navigating Infertility with Hope, Wisdom, and Patience,  or one of the necklaces pictured above, we’d like to ask you to do three things:

  1. Subscribe to the Missional Motherhood blog via e-mail at the top, right corner of our site.

  2. Share this post on Facebook or Twitter.

  3. Comment below this post letting us know why you’d like to win a copy of Amanda’s book!

We will choose the winners Friday night, October 3, using a random number generator based on the comments below.

26 comments

  1. Jennifer Parrish says:

    My husband and I struggle with infertility–we have tried for about 9 years to have a child. We’ve looked into fostering and adoption and it either didn’t work out, didn’t seem to be right, or we werent able to financially. We would love a copy of the book for encouragement and hope–it has been a very difficult journey. Thanks!!

        • missionalmotherhood says:

          Hi Anna! We e-mailed the winners in order to get mailing addresses. We sent several e-mails to the address you listed in your comment, and didn’t hear back after a couple of weeks of trying, so we had to give it to another participant. I’m sorry we were unable to get in touch! Wonder if it went to your junk mail? Again, so sorry we were unable to reach you! -Lindsey

  2. Jennifer Teske says:

    I’d love to win a copy of this book, for two reasons. First, to read it for myself, for encouragement. I can’t relate to the title, but I am still waiting for God’s timing, in experiencing marriage. Watching everyone move forward with their lives, while you are not, is very hard. Secondly, I would love to share this book with others, that have been struggling with infertility. I want people to be encouraged that they’re not alone, and that God is faithful.

    I also love the necklace, that you’re going to give away. People need to be reminded that God loves them, that he cares, and that they’re not alone. That when we put our trust in the Lord, He’ll always be there for us. He’ll never leave us ot forsake us. He’s our constant help and best friend. ❤

  3. Allie Penny says:

    Thanks for an amazing post! Would love to win the book to read for myself to be able to help several that I know in this situation, and then pass it along to them! Also, LOVE the necklace. What a constant reminder to trust the Lord, who cares about us more than we will ever comprehend.

  4. Jenni rust says:

    I need this book. Being on the old side of fruitful years, it’s a daily challenge to find hope in my secondary infertility. I know God hears us, but it seems pretty quiet in the response department. Thanks for offering the giveaway! I would love to win the book and the necklace. 🙂

  5. Brooke Edge says:

    My husband are currently patients at a fertility clinic and are about to try a second attempt at in vitro. We have struggled with infertility for 4 1/2 years. Although we have been through multiple miscarriages and failed attempts at pregnancy, God is good and has shown us that He will continue to give us strength and bless us throughout this difficult journey. The emotional roller coaster of infertility seems unbearable at times. I appreciate the fact that someone has taken the time to create this book and look forward to reading it. Would love to win it

  6. Liz says:

    I would love to share this book with close family & friends who struggle with this. Also to have a better understanding of what they are going through. Your necklaces are beautiful too!

  7. Brenda Richter says:

    I would love to receive your new book: Barren Among the Fruitful. It would be a great tool to equip me to know what to say when I encounter a precious woman who might struggle with infertility. I have been receiving your blog through missionalmotherhood.com. I really love the necklaces and our church had 3 they gave away at our Bible study. I didn’t win one, but maybe this time! 🙂 Blessings to you!

  8. Brenda Richter says:

    I would love to receive your new book: Barren Among the Fruitful. It would be a great tool to equip me to know what to say when I encounter a precious woman who might struggle with infertility. I have been receiving your blog through missionalmotherhood.com. I really love the necklaces and our church had 3 they gave away at our Bible study. I didn’t win one, but maybe this time! 🙂 Blessings to you!

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