A Million Doors

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine wrote a blog that was simply amazing.  I know I’ve said it so many times, but I’m constantly surprised at how identifiable and interchangeable every single emotion that women battling infertility feel are.  I read/hear/watch stories and I think “That’s ME!”

Another thing that we all have in common is that person (or those people) that says things with the best of intentions, but end up hurting us anyway.

hurting woman

“That wasn’t my intention”.  “I say it with the best of intentions”.  We’ve ALL heard it before – and not just those dealing with infertility.  But that’s the thing about intentions – even when you have the most sincere heart, when there’s an open wound it’s going to hurt.  It may not make the statement any less true, but it certainly doesn’t make it any less painful.

There’s a certain stigma when it comes to infertility that is hard to get past.  “Why don’t you just adopt?”  “If you just relax, you’ll get pregnant.”  “It’ll happen when you’re not thinking about it.”  Usually followed by – “My best friend’s aunt’s cousin’s neighbor’s daughter dealt with infertility and as soon as she gave up, she got pregnant!!”

While I’m so happy for the couples that beat infertility, I can GUARANTEE you that no amount of relaxing is what caused them to get pregnant.

A woman can be as relaxed as can be, but every time her and her husband share an intimate moment, it’s followed by the thought “Was that it?!”

And often, those that struggle with infertility for many years have a LOT of medical issues to overcome, and just like relaxing won’t make cancer go away, it won’t treat infertility.  But I’ll blog more about that next week for National Infertility Awareness Week!!  (I know, two blogs in as many weeks!!)

People think that, when they hear stories of infertility that they have to say something. It’s human nature to want to fix something when it doesn’t work the way it should and I certainly don’t fault anyone for it.

hammer-and-nails

But sometimes…  I just want to vent or rant or cry or scream – and I just want someone to listen.  To remind me that it’s okay to not be okay.  That it’s okay to be frustrated.  That it’s okay to cry when I read a story about a woman who killed all of her babies.  That it’s ok to feel a twinge of jealousy when I see that telling bump.  That it’s ok to feel like life just isn’t fair sometimes.  But to know that just because I’m feeling that way, doesn’t mean I’m going to live there.

This journey can feel so lonely.  So, what can you do – as a friend, sister, mother, aunt – for someone who you know that is dealing with something that you just aren’t sure how to handle?

BE THERE.

A text, card, Facebook message that simply says “I’m thinking of you and praying for you.”  If you want to be particularly brilliant, try saying  What can I do?  How can I help?  Do you want to talk?  (And that doesn’t just apply to infertility!)

There are some days that there is nothing to be done.  And other days you may get the answer “I don’t want to talk about it.”  Please don’t take it personally.  It’s not that we don’t want to talk to YOU, it may just be that we are balancing precariously on that ledge and talking about anything may send us spiraling into the dark hole that we just clawed our way out of.  When we are ready, we will remember that you asked and we WILL come find you!

It has meant so much to me when someone I haven’t heard from in a very long time – or even someone I talk to daily – reaches out to just say “I see you struggling, and I’m praying for you.”  Nothing grandiose there, but so very meaningful.

A while ago, I found myself saying  “I’ll pray for you”  when I saw a status update or got a text from a friend requesting it.  But then after some time passed, I’d see their name again and think  “Crap.  You blew it on that one, D.”  After reading a devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministries, I was convicted about saying those words and not following through.  So I promised myself – if I was going to say those words, I was going to stop right then and there and say a prayer for that person, so that I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to bless them!

Every day we are given the opportunity to brighten someone’s day.  A smile.  A note.  A kind gesture.  Jason Gray says in his song, With Every Act Of Love, “God put a million, millions doors in the world for His love to walk through.  One of those doors is you.  With every act of love, we bring the Kingdom come.”

Will you commit with me to speak no more empty phrases?  To say what you mean, and mean what you say?  Will you open one of those million, million doors and let His love walk through?

doors

 

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The Difference Between Strength & Courage

The Difference Between Strength and Courage

It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to stand guard,
It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt.

It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide your own pains,
It takes courage to show them.

It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another.

It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.

-Author Unknown

As most of you that have been reading my blog know, this is the first month in many that I’ve been doing NOTHING to actively try to get pregnant this month.  These last few weeks have been a painstaking crawl and a fast-paced blur all at once.  How is that even possible?  I have been doing many things to keep myself distracted – but if you asked me what, I couldn’t tell you.

I did look into some adoption agencies and my husband and I have our first consultation with an agent next Wednesday.  Moment of truth?  I’m NERVOUS.  You don’t have to go through an interview process to get pregnant (even though some women SHOULD!).  It rakes me over the coals to think that someone who we don’t know has to “study” our home like it’s a math test and then give us a pass or fail.  But it’s exciting, too!  They are sending a packet in the mail with a DVD to kind of let us know what to expect through the process and it will be very interesting to watch!  The woman I spoke to today suggested that we start a list of questions to ask the agent – WAYYY ahead of ya, sister!

steps

I follow Resolve on my Facebook page and they post random questions throughout the day.  Those questions often make me think!  Today they asked “What have you learned about yourself during your infertility journey?”  I’ve learned that while it’s hard for me to be disappointed each month, that it’s just as much if not more disappointing for my husband. He feels his pain and watches me feel mine also.  I’ve learned I’m stronger & weaker than I thought I was… All at the same moment sometimes.  I’ve also learned that all the years I prayed for my future husband, that God gave those blessings to the right man, and shared those blessings with me when He sent my husband to me.  I’ve also learned that even the SMALLEST things can tick me off!  But the FASTEST way is to hear a pregnant woman complaining about being pregnant!

middle fingers

The other morning, I woke up late for work.  I had to stop and get gas and the gas attendant was standing there talking to some random person about how she was “soooo sick” because of her pregnancy and then continued to talk about how IF she came back to work after she had the baby, how on EARTH was she going to get a 2-year-old AND and infant ready at 5 am, but her husband made $700 a week “under the table” so she could still apply for food stamps.  As I stood there, FORCED to listen to this woman complain about the gift she had, it became VERY hard for me to keep my mouth shut.  But I did – mostly.  I only made a few comments.  And only maybe loud enough for her to hear.  Whoops.  And then today… someone who I used to work with that KNOWS about the struggle that we’ve been having to get pregnant (because I’ve TOLD him) comes into my store and proceeds to yell down the aisle, “Hey Dacina! (while mimicking a round belly) Are you pregnant yet?!”  Oh.  Em.  Gee.  Infertility Etiquette 101:  If a woman is struggling with infertility, LET HER TELL YOU WHEN SHE IS PREGNANT!!  Asking only reminds us that we aren’t!  *sigh*

I have a devotional delivered to my email every day from Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Some days I can’t get through them without crying.  The other day, the title was “Should I Quit?” by Lysa TerKeurst.  One line in there screamed at me.  It was “Where our strength ends is the exact point where His will begins.”  Whoa.  You mean when I think I’m at the end, He may not be done?  You mean when I’m lying in a ball sobbing, He hears me?  You mean when my heart feels so broken that I don’t know if it will ever mend again, He has a plan?  Let that sink in for a minute.  I had to.  I hear it more than I expected to and certainly more than I feel it – “You’re so strong!”  I always think to myself – “You wouldn’t think I’m so strong if you saw the meltdowns!

I want to have strength & courage.  I want to conquer & surrender.  I want to be certain & have doubt.  I want to survive & live.  Some days I think I’m doing both.  Others, I know I can only manage one.  And that’s ok.

rough days