Plant Your Tears During Infertility

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This post is a reflection on a podcast of a sermon called “Praying Our Tears” by Timothy Keller. I took copious notes while listening and wanted to share what I learned with you. I highly encourage all of you to listen to the podcast. You can find it for free on iTunes or on the Redeemer Presbyterian website.


Anyone who’s walked down the infertility road long enough has undoubtedly shed her share of tears. I’ve had days where it feels like the tears will never stop, and my swollen, red eyes will stay that way forever.

Some well-meaning Christians believe we should not cry because it signals a lack of faith. Other well-meaning people say we should give in to our emotions entirely and express our feelings.

But what if there’s another way that doesn’t involve denying or emotions or giving in to self-indulgence? What if we begin to invest our tears? What if we plant our tears so that something may grow from them? 

The first step in planting our tears is to realize that our tears belong with God. You only need to read Psalms, Job, or Lamentations to see that crying in the presence of God is safe. God is not turned off or angered by our tears. He can handle our grief and our depression. We are not too much for him.

Next, we need to understand that we plant our tears when we cry with a vision of the cross. What is a vision of the cross? It’s crying to God with the following in mind:

Our tears are not the result of God’s punishment.

Christ took all our sin and the punishments we deserved for it. We can cry with the knowledge that our sufferings and our tears are not a form of God’s punishment. We are innocent.

God has not abandoned us.

Jesus knew what it was like to look to heaven and feel like God had abandoned him. His final words on the cross were complete anguish. So when we feel like God has abandoned or forgotten us, we know that He understands our feelings. And his Word promises he will never forsake us or abandon us.

We know our sufferings are small

This one is the hardest for me to live out, because it leaves no room for self-pity. Sometimes I like a good pity-party. But crying with a vision of the cross means that we realize our sufferings are small in comparison to what Christ suffered for us. This doesn’t mean that we deny or stifle our grief, but we grieve with a larger picture.

Finally, we plant our tears by crying while remembering God’s promise of joy.

“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed but they sing as they return with the harvest.” Psalm 126:5-6


God promises that we will not plant our tears in vain. Planting our tears with Him will result in the harvest of joy and singing. We do not know what form that joy will take. Perhaps it will be a baby; perhaps it’s something else we can’t even imagine now.

But He promises us joy.

What do you think about the idea of planting your tears? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Looking for more encouragement during infertility?  Check out my FREE Infertility Prayer Calendar or my 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility.   
  • I love this – it goes right along with what we were talking about in my Women’s group yesterday! Beautiful 🙂

  • “our sufferings are small in comparison to what Christ suffered for us”… yeah, so that’s crazy hard, but crazy true. I mean, our sufferings are infinitely smaller than that, but also so much smaller than the suffering of so many others right now, in this world, in this day. It’s so hard not to throw ourselves a big ol’ “why me? pity party! These are great insights! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Thanks, Amanda. It really is so hard to remember that on a daily basis, but it’s true. I’m really good at pity-parties, too, so it’s something I have to remind myself of every day!

  • What a great perspective. I love the idea of “using” our tears to hold on to God’s promises. The tears of a mom and a mom in waiting are tough to hold back. I am glad to be walking this journey and pray the harvest is near.

    ~ Ferly
    Gifts We Use {to grow, love and serve}

  • Heather

    I’ve just discovered your blog, and I want to thank you for the stories of inspiration and Godly encouragement that you share- truly a blessing!

    • Thanks so much, Heather. That’s why I blog… I know God can use my difficulties to encourage others.

  • Jenniemarie @ Another Housewife

    Stopping by from the SITS Tribe. I love your willingness to be open and real. I’m sure you have discovered that you are not alone in this journey. I look forward to reading and praying you through this journey.

    • Thanks, Jenniemarie. I’m looking forward to checking out your blog and learning more about you. 🙂

  • This is such a beautiful post, thank you for being open and honest enough to share this. I definitely believe in planting your tears. I’m so glad I’ve found your blog 🙂

  • Planting your tears is a beautiful idea. The idea that something positive can grow out of a painful situation is one that we should all remember when times get tough!

  • This is a beautiful reminder – thanks for sharing this wonderful post!

  • Planting your tears…I don’t know that I have thought of grieving in this way. Thanks for sharing from your heart.

  • Our Creator made us in his own image. He created those tears for a reason. The shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept”. Tears can be for pain, sorrow or even joy. I like the idea of planting our tears, will have to contemplate how to apply that to my own situation. Food for thought. Thanks for sharing that sermon!

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Sometimes it is hard to remember that crying is ok but self pity is not. It can certainly be a trap and the way you talk about it is very thought provoking and a great way to handle it.

  • What an excellent idea and attitude! I much enjoyed this post. Thank you!

  • Psalm 56:8 God cares so much about us and is so concerned when we sorrow He collects our tears into His bottle.

  • Angie Young

    I love that idea. Planting your tears so something good will come from it. I wish I had heard this back in August when my father passed away. It would have helped so much.

  • I like this – a great way to look at our sorrows.

  • So inspirational. Thank you for sharing.

  • To quote my BFF…Pain is Pain. And we should all be allowed to feel our feelings. Pain is what makes us stronger although it’s hard to remember that at the moment, isn’t it? Nice post, thank you

  • I won’t pretend I know how you feel, as my husband I were fortunate enough not to have any trouble starting a family. But I think tears are important because they show humility, sensitivity, emotion, and sometimes they even reflect empathy. I don’t know if there’s any moment where I’ve learned more about my husband, than the moment our son was born, and he was looking at me while tears of joy were streaming down my face, with our newborn son on my chest, and for the first time ever… he shed just a few tears of his own. It was incredible to see that emotion, that vulnerability, that sensitivity in him at that moment. Sometimes he’s not the best with sharing his emotions, nor am I. But that’s once of those cases where we are opposites! I tend to hide the bad stuff, and he tends to hide the good stuff. As you can imagine, it can cause some conflict sometimes ;). But at the end of the day, what we share does matter. And sometimes it’s tears.

  • Thanks for sharing dear. I was reminded yesterday of just how good God truly is when a co-worker of mine shared that she is a breast cancer survivor. She is only 37 years old and was diagnosed at 35. She survived and despite being told that having a baby was very unlikely she is now 6 months pregnant. I was in tears. God is good all of the time and in everything.

  • Sarah Barker

    I’ve been a Christian all my life, but somehow this verse has escaped me – so a sincere thank you for sharing this. I love the verses that talk about trials and persevering. This world would have us believe that getting through those difficult situations will make us “stronger” and that’s our reward, but the Biblical truth is that it all leads to HOPE, which is way better than our own strength. Some of the “worst” times in my life are the times when I felt God the strongest – to a practically tangible point – like I couldn’t have even held myself upright without Him. But that’s also why I am so confident in who He is, those are the times that prove it, not make me doubt it. Thanks for sharing!

    Sarah’s Fare recently posted → <a href=””>Eggs in a Nest</a>

    • I’m so glad God used the post to speak to you, Sarah. You’re absolutely right that hope is way better than our own strength!

  • This was such a wonderful post. We went through years of infertility. And now I plant tears at being overwhelmed with two small children. The irony! God meets us where we are at, however, and always provides enough grace for the day. My heart prays that you will know the joy of parenthood, but am so thankful you are a providing a blessing to the many women whose hearts are still yearning. Thank you for your honest words and heart.

  • The part that stood out most to me from this post was about grieving with the bigger picture in mind. We all have our frustrations, our struggles. But if we recognize that these are just a small element of living life, we can find the strength the move past the hurt and pain and find happiness and strength. Thank you for sharing this very personal struggle and for the encouraging post.

  • Jessi

    Thank you for this post! I just downloaded the podcast and I can’t wait to listen! I love how you bring to light that it is okay to cry. I’ve been told in the past that you shouldn’t cry but it’s totally okay and normal. I appreciate your honestly and the candid way you approach this! Thank you so much for this beautiful reminder.

  • I love Keller, and I really like the fact you picked this in particular.
    I think, what I need to do, is apply these principles to so much more in life.

    Crying is normal, and I wish I was at a place where I could do that, because it’s totally renewable to your energy level.

  • Ignoring our feelings doesn’t make them any less valid and can even make them fester and affect us in adverse ways. I like the idea of planting our tears. But either way, sharing emotions is what makes us human and able to connect as a community.

  • I love the reference to Psalms.

  • I am so glad that I can share my true emotions in the presence of God. I have cried many tears to Him. I lost my first child when she was 2 1/2 year old. We tried for another and it took a year to get pregnant that time. We named her Hope. I also have a wonderful son. They are both teenagers now. I pray that God will continue to hold you close while you share your tears with Him. It says he collects all our tears. I love that Psalm!

  • Planting tears… what a beautiful phrase. It took us a few years to finally get pregnant so we had many tears along the way. I feel so blessed to have my beautiful daughter!

  • What a beautiful way of looking at it. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  • I have many friends who have dealt with infertility…thank you for offering this perspective!

  • I wasn’t able to read your whole post. I miscarried in the late spring/early fall and the baby’s due date would have been Feb 27th. Miscarriage and even the hope your pregnant really can weigh a person down. I have miscarried many times and though I am blessed with two children the ones who were born into the hands of God are never forgotten, instead they live in my mind and they grow. I think about what their birthdays would have been and I mourn. It’s my natural and I don’t fight it. I don’t think there is any one right way.

    • Marisa, I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I pray God’s comfort and blessings for you. Hugs.

  • Thank you for sharing your heart. I believe God is using you to bless others who also struggle. I love your strong Faith and positivity in the midst of your pain.

    • Thanks. I do hope God uses this blog to bless others. I know he has used it to connect me with other women who inspire me and help strengthen my faith every day!

  • I pray your harvest is abundant and your song is sweet.

  • Thank you for sharing! I believe that God has something amazing planned for you!

    • Thank you, Nikki. I know he has something amazing for all of us. I’m just learning how to trust as I wait for it!

  • Sometimes planting tears is a necessary thing.
    You are so strong for sharing this, thank you.

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  • Oh, I love this. Especially your comment that our tears belong to God. Pinning for sure.

    • Lisa Newton

      Thanks, Betsy!

  • Anna

    This is beautiful and encourages me! Thank you!