Jul22TueJuly 22, 2014
Have you ever felt like you are a magnet for pregnancy announcements? You see a friend of yours walking down the hall at church with that special smile on their face and you just know what they’re going to say. They’re having a baby. They only want to share their joy with you and the only thing you want to do is find the nearest bathroom stall to lock yourself in before the tears begin to fall.
For a very long time, I struggled with hearing how all of our friends were having babies while we remained childless. I knew they weren’t attempting to hurt my feelings when they were sharing their joy. I would be just as excited if I had been the one with the pregnancy news! Nonetheless, it was a constant reminder of all I was missing out on and it made me question if I would ever get the opportunity to be a mother.
Speaking of mothers, have you experienced your first Mother’s Day while struggling with infertility? It has to be one of the hardest days of the year for those who are childless and desperately desire not to be. I recall one Mother’s Day that I spent visiting with my parents and that included joining them at their church. I figured it would be a difficult service to sit through but I prayed for strength and reminded myself that I was there to celebrate my mom whom I love dearly. I successfully made it through the sermon and then the pastor closed the service with a prayer for the moms in the audience. I tried to think about other things. And then he went there; he prayed for those in the congregation that desired to be mothers but were unable to. My defenses collapsed and the searing hot tears poured down my cheeks.
I am thankful for family and friends who came alongside me during my infertility journey and did not judge how I dealt with my sorrow but allowed me to grieve as I needed to. Grief is indeed a very large part of an infertility journey. We grieve the (perceived) loss of our ability to have children. We grieve the loss of our dreams for ourselves and for our family. It is a most painful time in which we as women take on the majority of the burden and try to keep pressing on.
I’m sure at this point I must sound like a broken record, but let me remind you once again that our Heavenly Father has very broad shoulders and can carry our burden with us. He does not intend for us to walk this road alone. He has blessed us with our spouse, our family and our friends who only want to love and support us through the darkness of the journey.
One of my favourite poems that I learned as child was written by a woman named Mary Stevenson. Entitled “Footprints in the Sand”, the final portion of the poem reads: “Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?” The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you.” I love the picture that this leaves in my mind of a strong father carrying me, his weak and weary daughter, through the difficult times. This is our God. He is our refuge.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28