From the outside, I look like I am living the dream...3 children, a warm home with a cozy bed, and a minivan. OK, so maybe we don't all dream of driving a minivan, but it does symbolize something beautiful: children. I am, indeed, living MY dream. However, there was a time when I did not even know if I would ever have one car seat in my car, much less three. You see, from the outside, one only sees what one thinks is the perfect life...but, inside, I am technically infertile. Inside, I harbor scars from the words of well meaning people who did not understand and whose words stung my already aching heart. I felt alone and forsaken by God. Unless you have walked in those shoes, it is hard to understand the heart of an infertile woman. While my home may now be filled with the pitter patter of three sets of little feet, my heart still hurts for those who are still waiting, hoping, and praying. Five years ago, there were three empty bedrooms in my house. The only sounds we heard in the middle of the night were the gentle purring of our two cats (who would grace us with their presence only in the wee hours of the morning by attacking our feet under the covers). The silence was depressing. My womb...empty. There were desolate times while I waited. It was ironic that I was a Pediatric Nurse and loved children, yet I could not have any of my own. I felt it was a cruel joke and I often questioned God's will for me. I questioned whether my prayers really mattered. I questioned His love for me. I even questioned whether I was "good enough" to be bestowed such a gift.
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward.
If children were a gift and a reward, then where in the heck was my gift?!! Why would God not bless me? Why were unwed teenagers all over the world getting pregnant, some having abortions, yet God would not give us such a precious gift that WE would treasure?
It was a dark time in my life. Most of my friends were working on baby number 2...and here I was just hoping for one. Just one, God!! Please!
There are so many myths about the infertile. I think I heard them all in those years we waited for a baby.
Myth #1: Just relax!
Truth: Stress doesn't cause infertility...infertility causes stress. Most women are not stressed in the beginning. But, after a year to no avail, any person would start to feel stressed and depressed. We feel depressed because our bodies have failed us. We cry because something that is usually made out of love...well, eventually it becomes a chore. It's no longer Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, but cycle day 13, 14, 15, etc.
Myth #2: You should just adopt
Truth: Adoption is such a precious gift for all involved. I truly believe God has called us all believers to adopt...it's not just select people. But, it is also natural for a woman to deeply desire to carry a child in her womb...to look into eyes that resemble her own. We were created to carry children. No woman should ever be made feel bad because she desires a child that grows in her womb. The infertile do not judge the fertile for wanting the same. Our hearts are the same...some of us just have "messed up" parts.
Myth #3: Maybe God is trying to teach you something. (Please, I beg of you, NEVER say this to someone trying to conceive)
Truth: God adores you. He cherishes you. He can use anything for His glory, sure, but He does not like to see us suffer. You are His beloved. He desires only good for you! We can't always understand His timing.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
Matthew 11:28-29I think what I struggled with during those dark days was knowing that just because I asked and prayed did not mean God had to give it to me. I knew the reality was that God may or may not choose that for me. I also knew that I may never understand why...at least on this side of heaven. But I would pray for peace in the unknown...in realizing I had no idea where I was going and what God's purpose for me even was. That is all any of us really want...to not feel pain...to not suffer. The barren woman should always be handled with tenderness. Their hearts are fragile. Every pregnancy announcement, every baby shower, and every baby they see is a reminder that their womb is still empty. If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility, handle them with care. They are precious in God's sight. Remind them of God's insanely deep love for all those who were barren in the Bible. Remind them that it isn't because they don't have enough faith...if anything, God is showing the world how great their faith is indeed. God uses barren women in great ways...what a treasure they must be to Him!
|Photo courtesy of Lisa Russo Photography|