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.
“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.
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?
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?