Finding Contentment in Heartache

December’s “Share Your Story” is by, 

Becky Kopitzke who blogs at

They flooded the mailbox that year. Christmas cards—glossy, smiling photos of loved ones far and near. Full-page letters boasted of job promotions, weddings, vacations, and new babies.

So many new babies.

tiny ornaments 

I wanted to be happy for my friends’ blessings, but I wasn’t. My husband and I were grappling with what doctors called “secondary infertility”—the puzzling inability to conceive a second child. According to our timeline, we should’ve painted the nursery that Christmas. Instead, we studied test results and wrestled with God.

“Why does everybody else get to grow their families while we wait?” I whispered through tears one evening when our mail stack revealed more pictures of newborns in Santa hats. “What if we never have another baby?”

My husband patted the sofa cushion beside him, inviting me to sit. Our toddler lay curled in his lap, sound asleep. He smoothed her wispy red hair with his fingertips and said, “We are blessed.”

Surely he missed the question. “Blessed? Don’t you want a second child? I thought we were in this together,” I grumbled.

“We are.” He pressed his hand on top of mine. “Us and God.”

Of course. I spent so much heartache focusing on what we didn’t have, that I lost my gratitude for what was already ours—a beautiful daughter, a Christ-centered marriage. When I lifted my eyes off those happy Christmas cards and fixed my gaze again on the Lord, my blessings appeared too plentiful to count. 


Contentment is not a warm, fuzzy feeling that all is right in the world. It is not defeat, or pretending the pain isn’t real. That Christmas, I learned contentment means trusting God to know best.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you,” (Isaiah 26:3, ESV).

I stopped praying for what I wanted, and started thanking God for his plan. For protecting me from obstacles I couldn’t see. For holding our family—however big or small—in his unshakable grasp.

I started thanking God for saying no.


That’s when something amazing happened. My husband and I grew closer as we trusted God together. And we found renewed joy in celebrating other people’s good news.

The following year, we finally painted that nursery. We named our second daughter Noelle, in honor of Christmas—Emmanuel, God with us—our season of hard-won contentment.

Becky Kopitzke is a freelance writer, devotional blogger and family cheerleader. She and her husband enjoy pushing swings and pulling sleds for their two lovely daughters in northeast Wisconsin. Read more at www.beckykopitzke.blogspot.com

photo by prettyinprint

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  • What a beautiful story, Becky! I am always amazed at what happens when we let go and truly let Him do his work, in His time, in His way.

  • Becky Kopitzke

    So true, Kim! Once I finally let go and thanked God for knowing best – we were blessed with the news of a pregnancy.

  • Stacey Micklevitz

    Thank you for your sincere and candid story, Becky! It’s always when we look back that we realize just how perfect God’s timing really is. Even though I KNOW this, it is so hard to be content and wait on Him. I am grateful for how things worked out in your life, but I am most grateful for the lesson learned and the added bonus of an even stronger marriage. May you and your family have a WONDERFUL Christmas!

  • rboerner

    Being content is something that has definitely taken on new definition in my life over the years. Of course, I always thought that content should be that I am happy with my life because it is going just as I planned. Well, God continues to show me that true contentment means to rest in Him knowing that He has all things under control and His plan is perfect. I have dealt with fertility issues myself and agree that when I became content with who God wanted me to be, He blessed me with a child. I always wanted LOTS of kids but that was not the plan of my husband’s. God didn’t answer this prayer as I wished but He continues to show me how to be content with what I have and has uncovered other plans He has for my life. They are truly plans to give me hope and a future. I am so thankful for a loving God who takes all my hurts and uses them for my good. Thanks Becky for sharing your story and reminding us to trust fully in God! Have a very Merry Christmas!

  • I love your heart in this post, Becky. I can so relate to the yearning and confusion I sometimes feel with God’s purposes, ways and apparent delays. Your willingness to die to your own desires and grasp gratitude is so inspiring, and honestly, convicting too. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, my friend. It’s one that is making a huge difference. 🙂

  • Becky Kopitzke

    Thank you, Stacey! I look at my now two-year-old and thank God he knew exactly how and when to bring her into our lives. I learned how to trust him in the waiting – in ways I would not have learned otherwise. Blessings for a joy-filled Christmas!

  • Becky Kopitzke

    I agree, happiness and contentment may be two very different things. We can be content to perservere through an unhappy circumstance, and thankfully God is with us every step of the journey. Not that I don’t argue with him sometimes 🙂 but that’s all part of learning to trust him, I think. Merry Christmas!

  • I love Becky’s blog 🙂

  • Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging Becky, Crystal!