I have my all time favorite guest sharing his story today on the blog! My sweet husband Taylor has agreed to let me interview him on what this journey of infertility has been like for him. I’m giddy with excitement to have him as a guest, because he is full of wisdom and encouragement. Not very many guys open up about this subject, so I’m thankful he is willing. Ladies, grab your husbands and read this together!
Tell the readers a little about yourself (besides how awesome your wife is!)
My wife is somewhat awesome. 😉 My name is Taylor. I grew up in Gatlinburg, TN. I went to Clemson University for undergrad. At Clemson, I walked-on the football team, and that’s also where I met my wife Ashley. After graduation, I got my graduate degree in Real Estate Development, which was also at Clemson. Right after I gradated from the real estate program, Ashley and I got married and moved to Nashville. I worked with a commercial real estate firm for two years in Nashville. About a year ago, Ashley and I moved to East Tennessee. I’m now working at my family’s real estate development company. I’m also a part-time student in Seminary at Dallas Theological Seminary. I have a devotion that I write every Friday in the fall called Seeking Truth. I was led to start Seeking Truth because I wanted to be able to discuss with other believers, or non-believers, questions people have about our faith, our God, and how we should view things going on in our culture. It’s a place where people can ask honest questions, and feel comfortable doing so.
Some of our readers may not know that you actually wanted kids way before I did. We thought as soon as we both agreed we were ready, it would happen very fast. Describe the moment you realized having a child may not be as easy as you thought. What was that like?
I would read articles on the internet about the typical timeframe it takes couples to get pregnant. I remember reading an article that said most couples get pregnant within 6 months or so. I never really thought much about it until we exceeded that time frame and started going to a doctor. Infertility is a unique challenge. The reason being is that usually things get better, or easier with time. Infertility is different. It’s one of those things that honestly gets harder with time. When we first started trying, I didn’t think much about it. Now I think about it a lot!
What has been the hardest part of this infertility journey?
I’d say the hardest part of infertility has been the “why” question. Scripture tells us that children are gifts from God (Psalm 127:3.) Scripture also tells us that God does not withhold good things from those who are blameless (Psalm 84:11.) I know I’m not blameless, but the fact is – none of us are. So, it can’t mean that being blameless means being perfect. Otherwise, this verse would be good for no one, which in fact would be totally ironic. However, I believe it is directed towards believers who are walking uprightly. In other words, followers of Christ who are trying to live for Him each and every day. If that’s the case, to tie it all together, why hasn’t God blessed me with children? The fact is, I don’t know. But, I do know that I just have to trust Him, and know, for a fact, that He is working for my good.
What good have you seen come from this journey?
Hands down, Ashley and I have been able to grow so much closer together from this struggle. I played football my whole life. I don’t care if it was middle school, high school, or college – there was always an incredible bond between my teammates and I. Why? Because we went through the gauntlet together. We cried together. We bled together. We lost together. We won (a lot) together 😉. There were moments during training where someone would fall down, not thinking he could make it any further. In those moments, his teammates were there to pick him up. Why do I say all this? When you go through a struggle with your spouse, who is your ultimate teammate, you are going through the gauntlet with them. Those hard times are what creates a stronger and more powerful marriage.
I’ve also been able to draw closer to God. This has caused me to rely and depend on Him for everything. It’s given me patience. All this time I thought patience meant waiting, being calm, and not being in a hurry. While that is the typical meaning of patience, I’ve learned another side of patience. To me, patience has a lot to do with the “giving of your time.” To me it’s not so much of sitting and waiting, as much as it is the ability to give time. If I really want to practice patience, I need to give Him time, because I trust His time.
If you were having a really hard day, what would you want someone to say to you?
On the hard days, the best thing someone could say to me is just a simple “I love you,” or even “I’m here with you.” Infertility is in God’s hands, so advice doesn’t really help during the hard days.
What are some bible verses you’ve leaned on during this struggle?
The one verse I always continue to go back to is 1 Peter 5:10: “ In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” I prayed this over Ashley before her surgery. It’s such a great promise that we can lean on, especially during times of suffering and hardship. We are going to suffer, but it’s only for a little while.
There are a few observations from that verse that I’d like to share:
God called us – called is past tense. God is back in time saying, “I want you.” How did he call us? By getting involved with Christ – by bringing us to His Son. Suffering brings promise– Whenever God is working to restore us, strengthen us, and support us, He is working in the present time. God is currently acting towards building us up and placing us on a firm foundation. What has He guaranteed for us in the future? Eternal Glory and a firm foundation. That one verse tells us God was there in the past, He’s working now, and He is going to be there in the future.
So, the takeaway – Where is God in the midst of suffering? He’s at the front end. He’s at the back end. He’s all over it. And last but certainly not least – suffering is temporary, but our blessings are eternal.
Being a man, and a husband, sometimes it can seem like you get the short end of the stick. I know there have been times where you’ve had to stay strong because I’ve had a hard day. How has this affected you and what are some things as a wife that I could do to encourage you?
Where do I begin? Just kidding ladies. Yeah, this situation is pretty unique from a guy’s perspective. There’s a part of me that says I need to always stay strong, and I shouldn’t show my emotions. Then there’s another part of me that says I need to figure out how to share my emotions, because it’s not healthy to keep stuffing them in. The moments I show the most emotions are usually when I’m by myself. That’s nothing against Ashley, but more of just being the husband. If Ashley is having a good day, and I’m having a bad day, the last thing I want to do is turn her good day into a bad day.
I’ve come to realize that I just have to be open and honest. If I’m having a bad day, I just need share it. That’s the only way we’re able to grow and connect. By doing so, as a man, I’ve had to learn to lay my pride and my ego aside and be vulnerable. Being open and honest has really helped my relationship with God and with my wife. It tells God that I can’t do everything on my own, and I’m fully relying on Him.
To answer your second question, one of my favorite ways that you’ve encouraged me is by leaving me notes around the house and in my office.
What piece of advice would you give to other husbands walking through this?
Be the spiritual leader of your home. Pray with your wife. Pray over your wife. Encourage her.
Be open and honest with your wife.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so practice patience by giving God time.
Find other guys who have struggled with infertility and hang out… become friends. This has been huge for me.
Enjoy the ride. It’s long, it’s tough, it’s frustrating, it’s confusing, and it’s just flat-out hard. Try to see this time as a way to grow closer to God and your wife.
If you enjoyed today’s post, I have some exciting news for you! I’ve asked Taylor to take over the blog for the rest of the month! He will be sharing two more posts in the next few weeks that go a little more in depth on our journey and some lessons that he’s learned. Our prayer is that this blog can help anyone and everyone walking through this journey, and that means the men, too.
Lots of love from both The Ogles…..