My talk about my fertility journey was winding down, and it was time for the more intimate questions and answers. A young woman in the audience had a perplexed and genuinely concerned look on her face. “Did you give up?” she asked.

My chest felt warm with a rush of joy. “No,” I answered. “I gave in.”

The question floated around me for the nextI knew myself through one lens: a fighter couple of weeks. Did I give up?

I looked at mothers pushing their strollers to shul. I thought of the great women throughout history who fought for their dreams. I was a fertility warrior; what happened? I looked in the mirror, confused by the woman looking back.

I knew myself through one lens: a fighter. I will fight the wars of G‑d, just like King David, I told myself as I fought with doctors to make each hoped-for pregnancy happen. Until they didn’t.

I told myself that this is a holy war; this is sacred anxiety.

The Chassidic saying “just go over” kept me going. The Rebbe Maharash (the fourth Rebbe of Chabad, Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch) said the entire point of an obstacle is to go over it, rise above it and transcend. So why don’t I just go over it in the first place? Why go the roundabout route?

I gave G‑d this advice during my first treatment. “G‑d, anyway, you will make a miracle for me. So you might as well make it now.”

Remembering that moment, I smile at the iconic scene of a Jew negotiating with G‑d, an extended family tradition, starting with our teacher, Moses.

But the same thing kept on happening. I went into each treatment with a mindset of this is it, and each time, G‑d asked me to radically let go.

And so, my motto has switched to: Thank You, I let go; I trust.



The Shabbat before “the big day,” I worried about the dozens of logistics that I couldn’t do a thing about. I sat helplessly on the couch, hugging a pillow. I realized my only control was my ability to let go.

I didn’t give up. I gave in.

I gave into G‑d’s will for me in this moment. In this moment, the path of least resistance is to just be, and to stop the nonstop fertility drugs and the yearning for something that isn’t present.

As I write these words, a part of me screams, Traitor! I thought you were a Chassid; a Chassid is constantly growing. A Chassid doesn’t take the easy path but pushes for what they believe in.

I have pushed and challenged G‑d, and it made me grow. But nothing truly challenged me to invite G‑d into my being like letting go.

The inner work of acceptance was something I wasn’t prepared for. I had to get to a place where the suffering was so intense that I could be a miserable warrior or a humble servant.

I learned that fighting the wars of G‑d are sometimes an inward battle.

As I see my friends reach the milestone of yetThe fight is not external another pregnancy, I want to shame my body and my existence into feeling so impossibly unworthy. I want to call the nurses’ line and take one more go on the fertility slot machines.

The fight is not external, I remind myself.

The true battle is: Can I feel whole in this moment without a child? Can I love this body before it has produced the number of offspring I desire? Can I hold my inner child as I wish to hold a child?

That is waging the wars of G‑d.

So yes, I gave up. I gave up trying to control reality.

I gave up the habit of being miserable and blaming it on G‑d and everyone else’s fertility.

I gave up a victimhood mentality of needing to fight and overcome to feel at peace.

And I gave in.

I gave in to G‑d’s desire for me to experience the sweetness of this moment.

I gave in to how life can feel so simply blissful without my expectations.

I gave in to how I am free, despite what my mind says I should have.



I listened to a room of women at a farbrengen sing the niggun of the Rebbe Maharash, lichatchila ariber. I received the message I needed. “In the first place, go over.” If treatment after treatment was teaching me to let go, why go the long way? In the first place, go over. In the first place, let go.

Thank you, I let go; I trust.I let go; I trust

It would be a grab at control to declare, “I will never do another treatment” or make a concrete grade battle plan of other options.

Right now, I am open. I am open to giving into G‑d’s will for me and enjoying the victory of tasting the sweetness of this moment.