This week, April 20-26, is National Infertility Awareness Week. Many blogs and websites explode with articles throughout the week to educate and inform those who may not realize that 1 out of every 8 couples in the United States struggle with infertility.
They attempt to bring to light that this is a much more wide-spread problem than many realize.
Some even interview doctors and nutritionists as they try to pinpoint a possible cause for “unexplained infertility.”
Some take this opportunity to share their own stories or tips on how to deal with someone you love who is enduring this very private battle or things to say or things not to say.
They talk and talk and talk…because in the end, that’s all they can do. There is nothing they can do to fix the problem.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I think it needs to be talked about sometimes, if for no other reason than to perhaps help someone else think before they speak. I’ve talked about it some for that very reason.
But if this is something you’ve never struggled with, no words will make you understand.
I have opened up about our own struggles in the past, and it was an extremely difficult thing to do.
It goes against every fiber of my being to discuss something so intensely personal.
“Infertility” and “barren”are words that can cut a couple to their very soul.
Something that should be very private suddenly becomes invaded by doctors, nurses, lab technicians, receptionists…and well-meaning friends and family.
And it’s heartbreaking.
I shared what I have because many, many women suffer alone.
I did it for several years.
I searched for someone who knew how I felt and who had experienced the world-shattering reality I was experiencing….and realized I didn’t know anyone who wore my shoes. Sure, there were people who spent a few years hoping and praying for children, and God eventually answered that prayer and blessed them with babies.
At the time though, that wasn’t what I needed. I had no assurance that I would ever get my “happy ending” and I needed to know that if the children I so desired never came that I would still be okay. I needed someone who never had a baby remind me of the faithfulness of God and for them to say, “I know how you feel, and I understand.” That’s what I needed.
So, I wrote. I shared in the hope that I could let someone else know that they aren’t alone.
I have told the Lord that if He never gives me children of my own so that I may be that person for another young lady one day, I’m okay with that, because it is needed. There are many women in the world who never had children and are bitter and angry today. Young ladies need to see the sweetness that only Christ can give in the life of one who has endured the reality of an empty womb.
The way we picture our lives is rarely the way things work out, but God is faithful.
We are approaching 6 years of marriage.
Six years of happiness, love, laughter…and six years of disappointment, tears, and negative pregnancy tests.
We love being “Aunt and Uncle,” but long to be “Mama and Daddy.”
We live in a constant state of grief over what may never be.
And we aren’t the only ones.
There are so many out there who are silently suffering this same battle.
If you know someone who is dealing with their infertility by needing to talk about it, please be the friend they need and listen.
If you know someone who deals by not talking about it, please respect them and don’t ask a lot of questions or pressure them to talk.
Everyone deals with grief in different ways. There isn’t a right or wrong way. Just be patient, compassionate, love, and pray.
I had originally intended to take each day this week and write about each of the women the Bible describes as “barren” and how their stories ended.
As the time drew closer, I’ve found myself in a place where talking about it isn’t really beneficial to me at the moment.
There is one woman especially, however, who has been resonating in my heart and mind, and I’ll share her story tomorrow.
In the mean time, please make it a point to pray for those you love who may be carrying a burden too heavy for them to bear.
We need you.
Will you help?
Prayer can make all the difference in the world.