friends – I was floored last week as I heard from so many of you after I posted my “missing out” post. My friend Robin, from back in the day high school youth group, said she was interested in sharing some words with us about infertility. I simply said “yes”, and this is what she sent me 24 hours later. beautiful. I know it will touch you. I’m thankful that she can “visit the ravine” for friends to let us know we are not alone down there.
I would love to share different fertility stories, encouragement and wisdom on the blog. Not sure how often or what that looks like, but here we go for another “fertility friday” as I just named it.
Where God Is.
It’s true. No matter how impressive your imagination is, you can’t really imagine the suffering of a woman longing to conceive a child. When I tried to explain my words, behavior, or feelings to loved ones, this is where I ended up when I couldn’t adequately describe them: you can’t understand. This was hard for people to comprehend who hadn’t experienced it, and I was told I was shutting people out, isolating myself, and being selfish with my pain. Yes, maybe I was, but I think there are different kinds of suffering. Some people have zero human rights, some are abused, neglected, suffer the unexpected or slow and sad death of loved ones, lose jobs, marriages, friends, reputations, and more. I wouldn’t compare the various types, but I will attempt to explain infertility for women – every neuron in our brains from childhood has been wired to care for little ones and/or others, every cell in our physical body is designed to support the development of a tiny human, our very existence – being born to a Mother – suggests this is where we are headed, and to be…thwarted by your own body (or your chosen beloved’s) is a threat to your identity. It’s not the leaking shallow pipes that you’re dealing with, it’s the deepest pipe, the one that is the biggest and hardest to get to in terms of recovery.
Every relationship was affected, whether they knew it or not, but there became “safe” people and “unsafe” people to talk to, depending on their general attitude. For me, the people who reflected my feelings and joined with me were the safe ones. The platitudes, encouragements, and assurances were nothing. I realized after a year that if the infertility lasted forever, I was headed down the rabbit hole and might not have friends in the future. I became someone I didn’t know. Jealousy, rage, anger, isolation, depressed, self-righteous, to name a few of the rotted fruits of my life. I started praying about that, asking God to protect my relationships, and allow them to survive my infertility, and to change my heart. I had no idea how I was going to overcome those feelings.
And then there was God. Where was he, by the way? While I felt alone in the ravine while all my friends were atop the mountain celebrating their pregnancies and babies, I knew God was somewhere. What I was tempted to think were from some idiotic fundamentalist ideals from an unfriendly voice in my head –
Robin, God is teaching you a lesson. You won’t get pregnant until you learn the lesson.
Robin, God has perfect timing. He’s waiting for that time to come, be patient.
Um, no. That doesn’t feel like a loving Father to me. If I HAD a child, what would I be doing through their struggles? I’d be his/her biggest advocate, fighting until I found answers, solutions, peace, something conclusive.
My Mom tells me this story: She and my Dad were driving home in the dark a few years ago. They’re in the country. An animal ran across the road and they hit it, hard enough to kill it. My Mom said it looked like a dog or a wolf. She cried and cried. She decided she could not bear to think that they killed someone’s family pet, but could be at peace if it was a wolf roaming the neighborhood attacking smaller pets and farm animals in their neighborhood. She chose to believe they hit a menacing wolf.
I decided I had the same choice. I could believe that God was at arms length and withholding blessings from me (I did not know that God, and did not want to continue to submit my life to any God who didn’t care about me) OR I could believe that God wanted the same thing for me. God wanted me to be a Mother, He wanted that as badly as I did. So, while my body was a mess of the consequences of chemicals prescribed by former doctors who didn’t do enough research, God found another way through the obstacles of my body. He led me to the holistic physician who recommended the reproductive endocrinologist who figured out all the specific needs I had in order to have a shot at conception. For other people, where there are no answers about their bodies, God finds ways for them to be Mothers and parents, too, like Wynne shared. He works hard for these desires to become gifts.
We live in a fallen world. I probably won’t ever spontaneously get pregnant. Instead, I get to set multiple alarms a day to remind me to take vitamins, pills, take shots, etc. We are limited by so many things, and from what I know about God, while He can work miracles instantly, some miracles have a process, and I choose to believe He’s working very, very hard to help us through the process. One of my favorite quotes refers to the beauty of Heaven: It will all be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end.
So, where is God? Where is always is. With us.
If you would like to connect with Robin, you can do so here: firstname.lastname@example.org