Wow, what a blessing it has been already in starting this blog! Here I thought that in doing so, I would encourage others, but had no idea the encouragement and blessing it would be to me. Thank you sincerely for all of the kind words and encouragement from those reading these words. I can only hope and pray God continues to use us and our story for His glory. (It also makes me wish I paid better attention in English and Creative Writing classes …)
I was talking with a dear friend today about the risk in taking this step of “going public” and the quote she shared with me is still running through my mind. “”The biggest risk you take is not taking one.” I thought about the word risk and how it relates to the Bible. The more I thought, the more clearly I saw that some of the greatest biblical characters were know to be “risk takers”. When fear, uncertainty, danger, or consequences were in from of them, they still pushed forward, often times giving up their comfort, reputation, security, or prestige, and at times their lives. All to do what God called them to do. When I put a blog in perspective to that, it seems silly that fear was holding me back. Is God calling you to take a risk today? I encourage you to pray about that – where is the nudge? Of course it won’t be comfortable, risks rarely are, but I promise you, it will be worth it.
Back on topic – so I promised I would share with you something NOT to say to someone going through infertility struggles. I hope my fellow IFWOG (Infertile Friends Waiting on God – I totally made that up) will agree with me! To my non-IFWOG friends, while these may seem like a “normal” response, I feel it’s my duty to share “our” side of these comments. Of course, I will preface this with the understanding that I know the intentions of these sentences are to be kind, or reassuring, or to downplay the stigma. I appreciate that, I really do. But with that said, here is my list:
1. “Ohhh, you just need to relax.” or “You’re trying too hard!” or “Don’t think too much about it”
Really? In the words of a fellow blogger “Telling me that I need to relax sounds like you’re blaming me. Infertility is a kind of illness, a malfunction of one of the body’s systems, so please treat it that way. You wouldn’t tell a cancer patient that she’ll get well if she will “relax”, would you?” These comments make me think you are judging my approach or life choices and am responsible.
2. “You should just adopt.” or the infamous “I know someone who tried for a long time and as soon as they adopted, they got pregnant.”
Here is the thing, I truly feel some people are called to adopt and for others, God simply doesn’t put that on their heart. We are the latter. The mere fact that we haven’t adopted or haven’t strongly considered it does not mean that we “really don’t want to have children”. The inference that can be made in that statement is hurtful. And it’s not the job of all the infertile couples in the word to take on all the unwanted kids. Our goal is to have children of our own. To some that may be selfish, and I won’t say that somewhere down the line we wouldn’t consider it. But please don’t try to make it sound like it’s just as simple as adopting. (Side note: Plus, can you imagine that conversation with our adopted son when he asked Mommy and Daddy why they wanted to adopt him? “Oh yes son, because we were shooting the dice hoping that we conceived because we adopted you.”) I’m just saying, the heart for adopting needs to be truly from God.
3. “It’s okay, there must be a reason.”
Granted, I completely understand and trust that God does have a bigger plan and picture for this. And my soul feels incredible peace on that. But sometimes, it does just suck and please affirm that.
4. “Well, you are sooooo young, you have time.”
What does my age have anything to do with my struggles? Do you think because I am 26, it’s any less painful to try for years to have a kid? Don’t invalidate my frustrations simply to say something. I would rather the sad eyes.
5. “Oh, I wish I had that problem! I just look at my husband and BOOM! we are pregnant.”
Yeah … thanks for that … that makes me feel wayyyyy better. How would you like it if you were struggling paying your mortgage that month and someone said to you “Oh, I wish we had that problem! We are just rolling in cash and can’t figure out what to spend our money on!” It’s just insensitive and is probably one of the most difficult things for me to hear.
6. “The cost of all of these doctors’ appointments will be so worth it when you are holding your child.”
You don’t think I know that? I understand that in order for us to have a child, we may have to go into some debt and live more conservatively to make this possible. This is a sacrifice we are willing to make, but please don’t make it sound like I am not comprehending how worth the bills this will be. The sacrifice of going through all of this – to my body, to our brains and souls, to our bank account – clearly we are fully aware of the reward at the end because we are doing it. No, insurance doesn’t cover a penny of it. Yes, we are paying a lot to go through this. But I completely understand the worth of a child related to money.
With that being said, I want to close with this. Sarah Young, in her book Jesus Calling (side note: If you have never read this, go to amazon.com and order it. You won’t regret it), wrote this: “I have designed you to need Me moment by moment. As your awareness of your neediness increases, so does you realization of My abundant sufficiency. I can meet every one of your needs without draining My resources at all…I share your joys and your problems; I help you cope with whatever is before you.” I think this journey for us has made Josh and I realize each day that our plans, our wants, our problems – they are not up to us! God has a larger plan and He promises to be there and meet the needs we have. Now granted, they may not be the needs we think we need met; they are the needs that He knows are true needs. “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14) Isn’t that what we are called to do? What a blessing it is to wait. To realize our complete need for Him. To turn to Him for comfort. To take heart and know that He is God. Be willing to wait on Him. This, my friends, is what keeps us going and keeps our hearts filled with joy.