Time to be a Risk Taker

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.

10 thoughts on “Time to be a Risk Taker

  1. Kelly says:

    Wow! You really are great at writing and voicing your thoughts. As I was reading, I seriously was nodding my head with EVERYTHING you said. I could never write it so eloquently, but I truly felt that way too! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  2. Julie S. says:

    I was wincing at the things people have said to you! And yet, they sounded so familiar, so I know they must be common. I am sure I am not immune to insensitive comments to someone out there, so in general this just helps make me more aware. First put yourself in that person’s shoes, then think, “would I want someone to say that to me?” I was single until I was 29 and really hated the “advice” – “You know, when you stop looking for someone is usually when you’ll meet the right person.” Or something to that effect. It seems to be very similar to the “you’re trying too hard” comment. Anyways, very helpful to share these Chels! Probably feels good to sort of publicly declare them “insensitive” too.

  3. Katie R says:

    Oh my goodness! This cracked me up! I can totally relate to all of these “words” of advice that people give. I’ve heard them all and I’ve felt the sting of them all. Chels, I’m glad that you put this out there, letting people know that these “words” do not help. My favorite one is… “oh but you’re young!” Drives me CRAZY.

    I believe the worst part of this whole infertility battle that my husband and I face is that it’s a constant emotional roller coaster EVERY month. Good ol’ Aunt Flow coming to remind me that once again I have failed to do what even animals can do… procreate. Though, I have really grown in my relationship with the Lord through all of this. I used to find myself putting hope in things, people and circumstances. “Hope” in the fact that the infertility doctors would fix me. “Hope” that this drug will work. “Hope” that if I eliminate all caffeine from my diet I’ll get pregnant! “Hope” that surgery will fix me.

    A good friend told me this a few months ago and I believe that no matter what struggles you are going through you need to hear this. The only thing that anyone should be putting their “hope” into is Jesus Christ. Not “hope” in what I think He can give me or what I feel I deserve. Because when the Lord does bless me with children, He could take them home to heaven in a heartbeat (God forbidding). It has taken me almost 3 years to realize that my hope lies in God. Having faith and trust that He is in control. Because when it’s all said and done, only Christ is the one that can fill the void in my life. I just told my mom today when I was on the phone with her, that going through this trial makes me long for heaven. This world is not fair, life is not always easy, and the only one who can make it make sense, is God. Don’t get me wrong. Giving it to the Lord is a constant battle, but when you’ve reached a place of submission to God, peace and unexplainable joy quickly follow.

    So for all you beautiful princesses of the King, know that God loves you sooo much and He is the only one who knows how you feel, even in the pain.

    Anyway… these are just a few of the things that I have learned.

    • chels819 says:

      Katie, I absolutely love your reply! Your openness and candidness about your struggles, as well as the truth in the message that the only “hope” we can really have is the hope is Christ. Can you imagine going through all this without Him? I totally agree that there are sooo many ups and downs throughout all of this. Each day of the month has a different “meaning” and with it, comes its own stresses. You are an incredibly strong, beautiful woman! I love you so much! Can’t wait for our date on Saturday. :) XO!

    • chels819 says:

      Great question! Here are a few things that have really helped me:

      1) “I am so sorry you are going through this.” I have found the simple acknowledgement that this sucks, to be one of the most encouraging things. Simple validation that it isn’t easy makes a world of difference. But there is a different between saying the above sentence and bombarding me with your pity. I have had women cry before because they can’t understand why I have to go through this. It then awkwardly becomes by place to comfort you, when all I want you to say is “That stinks.”
      2) Something along the lines of “I’m here for you whenever you need to talk about it. Let me know if you want me to wait for you to bring it up or if it’s okay for me to check in on you.” A lot of people want to avoid the subject because it is uncomfortable or they think it makes me uncomfortable, but honestly, when someone asks “Hey, hows this month going?” or “How is the {med name} treating you?”, it allows me time to vent or process what is going on. If I think you are uncomfortable talking it, I will never bring it up, and then I feel like we are dancing around the major topic in my life.
      3. “What can I do for you?” Most of the time I will say “nothing” and mean it. But there are some moments where I have a sincere, specific prayer request to share, or tell you I have no energy left at the end of the day thanks to day 7 of {med name} and that offer to pick up a pizza and come over and visit sounds amazing.

      One time I had someone buy me a baby present that made them think of me and give it to me with such a definitive “This is for your future baby that you WILL be having.” gave me so much hope and encouragement. (Now granted, please don’t all run out and buy me a onsie.). Having people that talk positively about this journey and share their go-go rally support is great.

      In summary, just being willing to be a part of the journey, not try to offer a solution.

      I hope that helps! :)

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