Sarah Casterline
About the Author

Sarah is a lover of Jesus, a wife and a mother to her “fur babies.” She is half-dedicated to running and fully-dedicated to eating anything chocolate.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. Wow, Sarah – what a debut! So moving but so true of what I’ve known of God too: His grace really is sufficient. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement xx

  2. Hi Sarah, we share more than a name. I too have struggled with infertility. Thanks for sharing your story. I find the struggle to be much like forgiveness. I just have to keep giving that box back to God. Over and over again. Like we must forgive 7 times 70 times. Otherwise the Joy in my heart is stolen or lost. He heals yes. He gives me peace yes. It is through thankfulness that the box doesn’t have power to steal my Joy. By giving thanks in all things. Thanks for the infertility. Thanks for the blood every cycle. Thanks giving sets me free. But, for me, it hasn’t been a one time thing. It took me two and a half years to learn to give thanks for every aspect of this infertility situation in my life. For the past almost three years since then…I’ve kept up the practice of thankfulness. I know He has a plan. I know it is good. For both me and you. Blessings Sarah.

    • Gosh, your words are so true! Giving thanks for every part of this journey is the hardest thing I’ve had to learn to do; and yet, it is so freeing at the same time. Learning to give thanks has been a process of constantly giving my sorrows, doubts and fears over to the Lord and accepting His peace and grace in return. The Lord has something wonderful planned for both of us, Sarah, and I take hope in knowing that He holds the plan for our lives in His hands!

    • Thank you so much, Kate! It’s so awesome how the Lord can take the hurt in our lives and use it for His glory!

  3. Hi Sarah,
    I definitely have a black box but I don’t really know what surrender looks like for me. So I’m a little lost? But the scripture you quoted from Habakkuk makes my heart leap with hope!

    • I wish I could give you a step-by-step process of what surrender will look like for you, but I honestly believe it looks a little different for everyone. For me, it was a process of realizing that God was not to blame for my heartache. There were days that I had to repeat to myself over and over “God is good. Show me your goodness, Lord.” As He comforted me on the “bad days” and continued in His faithful love for me, my trust in His goodness grew. I eventually reached the point where I could fully give all of this to Him.

      I feel like I should say this: surrender doesn’t make all the sadness go away. There are still days where I am deeply sad and discouraged. But He is still faithful to hold my heart on those days and comfort me. I truly believe that on those days, He cries with me. Yet He still sings that promise from Habakkuk over me, and He sings it over you as well, Mary-Ann! My heart and prayers goes out to you, dear friend.

  4. I’m so sorry for your infertility disappointment, Sarah. I love how God gently gave you the strength to surrender your “little black box.” “Give it to me, my daughter. I have something better for you. I will take your little black box and put something much better in its place. Just trust me,” He gently replied. This touched an aching chord in my heart. I long to totally trust Jesus and release all the black boxes in my heart that hold the pain that I’m still a bit upset at God for. Thank you for these encouraging truths, Sarah.

    • Thank you so much, Trudy. Someone once said something to me that was so freeing: Go ahead and be upset at God and get all of that frustration and anger out, He can take it.
      For me personally, once I voiced all of my anger and frustration at God for my pain, I was able to start moving forward in the grieving process. He understands those deep, aching parts of our heart, but healing can’t begin until we acknowledge them as well and start talking to God about them.
      Over time, God continued to reveal more and more of Himself to me, and I started to realize that He truly was not to blame for my pain. The more I understood His goodness, the more I was able to trust Him. Hugs and prayers to you, friend!

  5. I like how you compared infertility to a little black box. I too suffer from infertility, and it is so easy to hold onto the pain, and to forget that God has a plan for us. I was able to get pregnant through taking clomid and doing IUI, and had a beautiful daughter almost 5 years ago, but I still longed for another baby. I didn’t have health insurance, and thought I required surgery in order to get pregnant again. Last year I was praying about what I should do because I still desperately wanted another baby, it just didn’t seem possible. The answer was that I needed to be content with what I do have. It still required frequent prayer to feel content, but I gave the burden of infertility to my Savior who suffered for me, not only for my sins, but also for my sorrows.
    I was so surprised in June to find out that I am pregnant, with no medical help whatsoever. It totally reiterates to me that faith in His timing is what is most important.
    Infertility is dark and lonely and hard. But there is light at the end of the tunnel if you will just have faith. Thank you for sharing your journey. I pray that you will be able to have children of your own one day.

    • Such a beautiful story, Katie. Congratulations on your new blessing! I love your words, “I gave the burden of infertility to my Savior who suffered for me, not only for my sins, but also for my sorrows.” That is so true and brings such peace when I let those words soak in!
      Thank you for your encouraging comment. I hold onto the hope of holding my own sweet babies one day! 🙂

  6. Your words are beautiful and very familiar to my heart. I struggled through 15 years of miscarriage, stillbirth, and secondary infertility. It was a painful time, but God did major works in my heart during the process of healing. I just released my first book telling my story entitled, Nothing to Hold but Hope .
    I love your words and honesty. Women need to know they are not alone.

    • That is so true, Jennifer. Infertility, miscarriage and stillbirth are more common than we realize, yet somehow when we are going through that ourselves we feel so isolated and alone. For a long time I felt like I was the only one in my circle of friends/family/acquaintances that had ever experienced infertility. It wasn’t until I started opening up to others that I realized I was not alone. I’m so glad you had the courage to write your own story so that others would know they are not alone!!

  7. Sarah, thank you so much for sharing your story. Your post encouraged me…..and I would like to share with you a snippet of my own journey in hopes of encouraging you 🙂

    “I am not the person I was when this journey started 5 years ago. God has molded me, shaped me, chiseled me, and refined me. And as I promise to praise Him through this storm, as I commit to serve Him, worship Him, and seek Him while I wait, He is doing something amazing. He is empowering me to praise Him in the midst of the storm, yes, but even more difficult, He is empowering me to praise Him FOR the storm. Yep, you read that right. He has actually brought me to a point where I can praise Him for my struggle with infertility. Because without it, my heart would still be divided between what I want and what God wants. But because of it, my heart is aligned with His. And I am peaceful. I am hopeful. I am joyful.” from my blog

    • I love this so much, Nichole, thank you so much for sharing that with me! Just a few weeks ago during my devotion time, I had a very special encounter with God where I realized that I should thank Him for this story of mine. Had I never walked the path of infertility, I would have continued believing my relationship with Him was fine when it actually was not. I have such a deeper relationship with Him as I’ve learned to trust Him and fully look to Him for peace. It’s such a perfect example of His promise found in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”

  8. Thanks for sharing your story so honestly. I have been down the same path, and I think the feelings of hurt and loss are so deep that only Christ can bind up these wounds, comfort and heal us.

    • Sara, you are so right. I kept looking for someone to say things to “fix” the pain I was feeling, but I quickly realized that they could not offer me the healing I was looking for. Only Christ is capable of extending that level of compassion and peace that we need!

  9. Isn’t our God amazing! Not only did I struggle with infertility but he brought healing through the adoption of our beautiful daughter 17 years ago. More recently, I struggled with a tense relationship with my mom and to compound that situation we realized she had dementia which made it challenging to separate her personality traits from the characteristics of the disease. Many nights and days I cried as I knew I should honor my mother by caring for her despite years of hurt. As time transpired and I became focused on her care and needs, The Lord did something marvelous. Where once I thought reconciliation was all but lost, The Lord stood in her place for me and brought reconciliation because He knows the desires of our hearts even if it comes in ways we least expect or deserve. The disease is progressing and much of her verbal communication is gone but there is joy and healing because I handed him my black box. Blessings for sharing!

    • That is such an amazing, beautiful story, Gabie! I’m so glad the Lord has brought reconciliation for you and your mom. Goodness, He is just so faithful and good! I’m so happy for you!!

  10. Sara, you are so right. I kept looking for someone to say things to “fix” the pain I was feeling, but I quickly realized that they could not offer me the healing I was looking for. Only Christ is capable of extending that level of compassion and peace that we need!

  11. Wow! I am currently dealing with all of this now! I have 2 daughter 7 and 3. We have been trying to have another and have had 7 miscarriages with my most recent one on Aug. 04, 2014. I have completely lost all faith and just hit rock bottom! I am lost! Your blog is really encouraging. Thank you for sharing this story!

    • Oh Tara, I am so very sorry! My heart breaks for you. I’m so honored to know that something I wrote could be an encouragement for you. I wish I could give you a huge hug right now, but know that I will genuinely be praying for peace and comfort for you and your family as you walk through this time of sorrow.

  12. I was literally torn apart by infertility in the first four years of my marriage. Then, without knowing it, I became pregnant, but had a miscarriage very early. In 1960, 1961 and 1962 I had 3 children within 2 years and 12 days. Sixteen years later, I had a second son. I had a second miscarriage after he was born. My second daughter was not able to have a child, but she and her husband fostered several children and adopted a boy and a girl. My firstborn daughter died of a brain tumor at 35. My second son suffers from conditions that are painful and debilitating. “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart,” Jesus said, “I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b

    • Gerrie, I admire you so much for standing firm despite all of the sorrow you’ve walked through in this life. It is such a wonderful thing to know that no matter what we go through here on earth, it is all only temporary. There is an eternal place of peace, rest, and pure happiness that we can enter into thanks to the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior!!

  13. Thank you for the encouragement that so many need. My hubby and I dealt with infertility, secondary infertility and miscarriages. We also had our foster daughter that we cared for and loved as our own placed with birth mom instead of us being allowed to adopt her. Our grown daughter almost didn’t survive during my pregnancy and delivery. We are truly blessed having her in our lives. I want to say that years later that the pain and heartache aren’t there, but I can’t. It just seems to be different. I know that the Lord held us in his arms during our times of feeling rejected, lost and sadness. We could not have gotten through it without Him. Many blessings to you and yours Sarah.

    • Lori, thank you so much for sharing a piece of your story. I’m right there with you in saying “we could not have gotten through it without Him.” I can’t imagine walking through this without Jesus by my side! Even those times when I felt like I would drown in sadness, He was still there…and He always will be.

  14. Wow Sarah! I have that extract same black box. One of the most painful things I have gone through, continue to go through. I have been hiding by black box for almost a year now. Thank you for sharing your story. For sharing what you have gone through helps to know that I am not alone (hiding it). And for sharing how you surrendered to God. This was something I needed to read…maybe it will help me. Blessings to you!

    • Amy, I am so glad that this encouraged you. You are definitely not alone. One thing I’ve learned through this journey is that there are so many women around us who have similar stories, but we have all learned very well how to hide our pain. There have been countless times when I’ve entered into church and smiled and pretended like I was fine while I was crumbling on the inside. I’m praying for peace to your heart as you walk down this road, and that God would send someone your way that you can share your sorrows with.

  15. I am dealing with this black box right now. I am encouraged by your story and the verse you posted. I have been praying and gotten so depressed over the past 16 years, after my son was born, because I never have been able to stay home with him. I have always worked full time. I missed out on SO much, and feel so much hurt that God never answered my cries and prayers. My son has pulled away a lot since he is trying to gain his independence as a teen now, and sometimes I feel like he hates me. I feel so down and want to cry all the time, because it feela like I lost a child…like grieving for the little boy he used to be. I cannot get any of those precious minutes, hours or years with him back. I have told God about my anger with Him, and repented, and surrendered…but I think my black bix is still hidden inside. I pray to get to a place like you are now…someday.

    • Oh Karen, I am so sorry for your pain! Please don’t believe the lie that your son’s actions are a result of how much time you were able to spend with him, or that your son hates you. That is only the enemy trying to discourage you and drag you down. I am certain that God hears your cries and that He has a very special plan in store for both you and your son. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to tell Him exactly how you feel and to ask for His peace in this situation. He can handle our emotions and longs to offer us His joy. I’m sending up prayers right now for you, dear friend!

  16. So many black boxes. Years of infertility, finally adopted three children. I’ve never let the pain and hurt go though. I love my children, but they have not been easy. Now I am trying to surrender my 19 year old to Jesus’ hands. Aspergers, depression, drugs, mental illness. Tough love? Can I live if he is cut off and ends up killing himself or dying from overdose? I don’t know how to give the pain and suffering to God. How my relationship with God has suffered. I know one thing, it is a full time job keeping these black boxes buried inside me.

    • Oh Joan, I am so sorry. My heart is heavy for you this morning. I wish I could give you an answer on what you should do exactly, but I cannot. I would recommend you find a trusted Pastor or friend who might be able to offer some Godly wisdom for this, or maybe even reaching out to an organization like Teen Challenge. Sometimes we do have to step back from a situation and surrender it to Jesus, and other times we need to stay and fight. One thing you never have to stop doing though is intercede. God hears your prayers and He sees your suffering, and He will offer you the strength, wisdom, and peace you need to carry on. Know that I will be praying for you and your son as you navigate this difficult time!

  17. Thank you for sharing your beautiful and intimate story. I too went through this struggle for 8 1/2 years and it had broken my spirit. I finally prayed that the Lord would close that door if it was not meant to be. He did just that and answered my prayers so specifically. I knew I had to place my trust in Him, in His plan and in His time. This was so very hard to do and then once I had surrendered this to Him we were hit with many family illnesses and the loss of two parents. It was the most difficult time in our journey. Once we came through the darkness though our Lord showed so greatly how He makes beauty from the ashes. He led us down the next road to the adoption of our then 23 month old son. And let me tell you this….. He showed up BIG time. And we are so amazingly blessed by our son every day! The hardest part is surrendering the dream…..yet what is so great is that His dream for us is so much better than ours. That is where our trust comes into play and our faith in Him to lead our lives. God bless you on this journey!!

    • Kieren, I love your story! God is so amazing and so faithful to work all things for our good. Adoption is such a beautiful thing and I’m so happy for you and your family! You are so right: His dream for us is so much better than ours!!

  18. Thank you so much for this Sarah. I clicked on my “” email tonight needing some solace and here it is. So much on incourage is written for women with children. The stories are beautiful and I always walk away having learned something but many times they nurture those seeds of sadness in me that we don’t have any children yet. Today I am experiencing my fifth miscarriage and find myself wrestling with God. Why would he let this happen? There are so many who don’t deserve the children they’re given, why can’t I have mine? But I know that this isn’t being done to me and as you so beautifully wrote- I can give this pain to him. This pain we have to hide and swallow with each insensitive comment or question, well meaning as they may be. I can cry out for Him instead of just crying. Your story will help me hand over my black box. Thank you for sharing and I wish you peace on this journey.

    • Melissa, I love your comment so much. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched people have children and cried out, “why them instead of me??” And oh goodness, the comments that people have made to me over the last two years! Many of them don’t mean to be hurtful, and I’m awfully good at hiding my frustrations, but sometimes they still really get to me. I am so very glad that I have a Savior I can cry out to instead of just crying as well! And let me just say that I am truly so very sorry for the loss of your fifth precious child. I’m praying right now that the Lord would be so present in your life and wrap His arms around your soul today, dear friend.

  19. Beautiful, Sarah! I so understand. At 29, I stepped out in faith to adopt. I have two girls through adoption. My heart is so content. God is so good. He just had a different plan for me … for my girls.

    I wouldn’t change a single thing.

    Praying for you, sweet girl. Keep trusting Him.

    • Thank you so much Shelli! My husband and I are praying right now about whether or not to pursue adoption, so we definitely appreciate your testimony and your prayers!

  20. Hello everyone. I’d like to share my story in hope that it might help someone. You sdis I went from never wanting children and wondering what was wrong with me, to intensely wanting children on my 34th birthday. So we got a late start. 6 months later, I actually became pregnant. I felt pregnant but yet I wasn’t. It was something called a blighted ovum. My body had all the pregnancy signs but the embryo never grew. Prior to knowing was the happiest I have ever.been in my life. And so began our infertility journey. We embarked on procedure after procedure…for 8 horrible, silent and dark times. I joined a “name it and claim it group” out of desperation.. That led me down another dark path. Feelings of guilt consumed me..if I had more faith, less stress etc…if I only believed really and truly I would receive. Well, of course it didn’t “work”. I had my tummy annoited with oil..nothing. I had people tell me..this time they just knew it would work. Nope. We tried an egg donor and guessed it..nothing. There went $15,000. Just like that. After 8 years and a dozen procedures and no success, my path became crystal clear to me whereas before it had been something I was afraid of..didn’t want to do..but literally I hung up the phone after.getting our last negative and it was like again a switch went off…we will adopt.
    Adoption had always been our ” plan C..not plan B but plan C” as our fertility doctor.called it. So we jumped in full steam ahead. Adoption has its own set of huge challenges. I used to secretly scoff at the term “miracle of adoption” haha little did I know. I can now is a miracle. First you have to get accepted into the program. You are put under a microscope. References, psych tests, physicals, etc. Then you have to be selected by a birth mom. This is an agonizing process. What happens when nobody picks you month after month after month? Silence, yet again. You start to feel so rejected. You question “why don’t they like us”? What is wrong with us”? And finally..a quiet fear and panic sets in..what if God doesn’t want me to be a mthert? Even your Christian friends.seem to have given up..not all but most. After all its going on 10 years now. You hear some suggestions like ” maybe you are meant to support an child in Africa once a month..maybe this is how God wants you to be a mother”. And sadly…you…I..lost hope. It wasn’t until looking back did I see the hand of God in all this.
    So, our agency has a 6 month average match time. This means that a birth mother should select you within 6 months. Well, 19 months went by with once again, nothing. Every month we got an email saying that nobody had selected us. I was very depressed and discouraged and without hope. But..and this is a big but..we never quit or gave up. In fact I was so discouraged that the phone I carried everywhere with me in the beginning had long been not carried. In fact I let the machine pick up the call, thinking the agency was just calling to check in. is where the happiness begins!!! Because once again, in the blink of an life would change. Someone had picked us!!! In 3 weeks our son would be born by C section. And just like that…our life began anew. I will spare you the details of the trip, the drama, the fear..will she go through with it..will she change her mind. Will she like us?? You see, with adoption, nothing is final until those papers are signed. My husband said he wouldn’t be excited until we were on that plane and flying home. We were terrified. But, it all worked out. It truly was a miracle..truly. We were told of one episode of drug use by his birth mom while pregnant. We accepted this. After we got home we learned that she had done daily harsh drugs for every single day of her pregnancy. I always a way..I’m so glad we didn’t know because we might have turned down the situation if we knew of daily drug use!!
    I will wrap up now. Here is where I see the hand of God. I now thank God for my infertility. For without it, I wouldn’t have my son. I’m 45..with a 2 year old. Life is son has lots of challenges. I’ve gained 90..yes 90 lbs from the stress. But with my whole soul I believe God hand chose this boy for me. He needed me and I him. Thank you for allowing me to tell my (long lol) story!

  21. Oops Sarah, I just saw you are thinking of exploring adoption. I hope I didn’t scare you off!! I wouldn’t have gone into so much detail if I had read that first. Please don’t let my experience discourage you. Adoption is usually much quicker. Most get matched much sooner than we did. Its a wonderful way to build your family. The love is exactly the same. My son is intensely bonded to me and the love of my life. I firmly believe our experience was so challenging and long because God wanted me to be a mommy to my son and he wasn’t ready yet. I know many people that have had a much smoother path through the adoption process. For me its been the best thing that ever happened to me.

    • Kerry, it’s totally fine! You didn’t scare me off! 😉 Thank you so much for sharing your story with me and all that God has done in your life! I’m so glad that you and your son have such a great bond and that you are able to say “its been the best thing that ever happened to me.” It’s such a blessing to know that!! 🙂

  22. Sarah,

    Thank you for this uplifting open and honest post! I believe everyone has a little black box of some sort. Mine is my current job. I get frustrated at myself, mostly, that I went into this field. I just want God to “fix” it and either give me a different job someplace else or a way to semi retire early!

    I know that in prayer and praise to God for ALL that he has given me I will be blessed by sticking it out and waiting on His perfect timing! It’s just hard some days to give up the box!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Oh gosh, I so get that, Beth! I had a job that I felt so frustrated in as well. It can be so difficult to wake up every day and go in to a job that you do not enjoy. I stand in complete agreement with you: the Lord will bless you for your perseverance! I’ll be praying for you!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!! 🙂 🙂

  23. Thank you so much for your post. I hate that anyone is also going through infertility like I am, but at the same time it comforts me to know I am not the only one. What a long and painful journey this is….I pray the Lord provides a child for each of us, whether biological or adopted, or creates peace in our hearts and contentment.

    • It is comforting to know you aren’t by yourself. Walking through infertility can be such a lonely road. I’m praying the same prayer right with you, Lisa!!