Monday, September 9, 2013

Take Two

It's been almost 3 years since I sat down at my computer and wrote this post:

On Monday, January 3rd of 2011 I found out I was pregnant. I remember a feeling of relief rush over me. Since I was 15, when I was diagnosed with PCOS, I had this sickening feeling that I would never be pregnant. God is good. On Monday, August 29th of 2011 I gave birth to Lindley Belle, the sweetest pea pod. God is good. Yesterday, we received the news that our 4th round of fertility treatment for our second child had failed. God is good.

Last week, I was with a small group of friends. We were sharing prayer requests. I shared that we were most likely about to get news that the 4th round didn't work. I was asked how I wanted to be prayed for. I was so grateful she asked. I know it's easy to assume that someone who is battling infertility wants you to pray for patience & God's will. And yes, those are right, but here's the thing: Everyday I am searching for God's will and begging for patience. Those things are easy to pray for, because I want them.

What I'm not praying about is my anger, disappointment and extreme sensitivity to what others say. Those things are hard to pray about. To pray for those means I have to do some admitting. Ouch. By this friend asking specifically how she could pray, it softened my heart and gave me an opportunity to admit & share, in a safe place, and be prayed for for the things I struggle praying for for myself.

I know several people who have battled infertility, or currently battling it for the first time, or battling it for the second time, like me. I have friends who's infertility journey looks like mine, and others who's journey has been much longer with deeper pains and disappointment. But, in talking to these ladies, there is 1 thing that we all have in common: our sensitivity to what others say when they're trying to help. We know without any doubt that people are trying to help. We know without any doubt that people care about us and deeply want to say the right thing. And we are so thankful for these people. Truly we are!

The painful truth is this: if you have not been thru a journey of infertility, the less you say, the better.

I have a few close friends who have been so wonderful in their support and encouragement. I have learned that it's because they don't tell me how they think I should feel...they validate my hurt, they tell me how sorry they are, they hug me, they ask for me to keep them updated so they can pray. They are aware that they have not experienced it themselves and so they don't try to act like they have.

Yesterday I received this text:

"I'm so sorry to hear your news today. I have not experienced that but I do 
know pain and disappointment. I will pray for you".

3 very short and to the point sentences. But it was perfect. It's OK to tell someone that you have not been thru what they're going thru. If anything, that frees you up from the pressure to "say the right thing". I am very grateful to that friend for her text.

I have another sweet friend who occasionally will send me scripture and song lyrics. Perfect for my soul. So thankful for her too.

* I know that by putting my infertility struggles "out there", I am making it hard to deal with my sensitivity to what others say. If no one knew, no one would say the wrong thing, right? Probably very true. But that's not how I function. I have felt a calling from the Lord to be open and honest about my struggles. It's great therapy for me personally, but more importantly, I pray that I can offer other women a place of comfort. I want us to know we are not in this alone. And that there is no shame or embarrassment here. I want to hurt when you hurt, and be happy when you're happy.


Ashlea Pate Benz said...

Having dealt with recurrent miscarriage myself, I know exactly that feeling you're describing. You want support from your friends and family, but I remember being frustrated many times with their "encouraging words".

Jeremiah 29:11