Eleanor Margesson and Sue McGowan
Inter-Varsity Press, 2010
Reviewed by John and Debbie Nickerson, a young married couple from Pine Rivers Uniting Church who don’t currently have children, but would like to.
The subtitle tells most about the focus of this book: "Help and strength in the struggle to conceive".
It talks about how God works in our lives without children, and what he has promised to us as believers, as well as what he requires of us.
The book is clearly targeted at Christian couples struggling to have children, but also speaks about being unable to have a second or third child after one successful pregnancy.
Couples like this, or their friends and family, will find the book useful and will likely see many familiar sentiments and emotions expressed in the stories.
The style is easy to follow, even in the chapters with a more medical focus.
Each section and chapter is followed by discussion and reflection questions that help to process the information.
The book is careful to avoid mentioning whether any of the stories they tell ended with children, because that’s not the focus or message here.
The authors are not trying to say “have faith and you will have children”.
Overall, the message is positive, and readers are encouraged to re-evaluate their focus: what are we here for, as Christians, and how can we serve God with or without children?
Advice is also offered on maintaining relationships during the struggle to conceive and coping with the powerful emotions it raises.
We found the book very helpful, raising the right questions at the right time and giving us new focus and perspective when we needed it.
Many times during our reading we found ourselves saying “this is exactly how we feel”, which helped us recognise we are not alone in this.
We would recommend the book for anyone in the same situation, or if you know someone else who is struggling to conceive.