I love disclaimers. Mitch always teases me because I am obsessed with using them...
Disclaimer #1: I have shared part of this thought recently in a testimony meeting, so anyone in my ward who reads this may find it repetitive.
Disclaimer #2: I’m not sure many people will be able to relate to this post, but I have had this feeling pressing on my mind that I need to share this, even if it is only meant to help one person out there somewhere.
A few months ago I had the wonderful opportunity to travel with my mom to Portland for a Time Out for Women conference. There were many fantastic speakers and talented artists who performed that weekend and the spirit was felt so strong. That evening one of the singers shared a touching experience about the struggles she used to have involving infertility. Her heart reached out to all those in the audience who were facing the same trial.
I believe that sometimes we are given trials so that we can be there to comfort others who later go through similar struggles. And I know this to be true with this individual sister because she was there for me when I needed her.
The other night I was feeling down and heartbroken about not being able to have children. I was pondering if I was missing something, if there was something God was trying to teach me that I still hadn’t figured out yet or if there was anything I could do to make it better, and I felt a strong impression that it was finally time. Time for me to share exactly what I am going through and be there for somebody the way this lady was there for me.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, if you are wrestling with this trial of infertility as well, I want you to know that I love you and I am here for you and I know exactly how you feel. You are not alone.
Yes, I know. I too have scrolled down my Facebook newsfeed and seen four different ultrasound picture birth announcements in the same day. I have congratulated my pregnant friends that got married after me with their first child… and second… and their third. I have watched my friends who struggled with infertility along side me move on and have children of their own.
I know how it feels to sit at church where every moan of a baby slowly scrapes at the inside of your heart. To miss someone before you have even met them.
I have been there too at the grocery store or at work when the impatient parent who is having a hard, tired day verbally abuses their son or daughter and I am screaming on the inside thinking, “You have NO IDEA how lucky you are to have that precious child in your life!” It has frustrated me too.
I have felt the pain of the stinging hope that disappoints you every month when you receive that negative test. Every time. You always know it will say no, but you allow that vulnerable “maybe” to take over your emotions and shatter you. Again and again and again and again.
I’ve felt the emotional pain that is so overwhelming that you physically just want to throw up, desperately searching for any way to get rid of the heavy unhappiness that weighs down on the organs inside of you. I too have soaked the blankets in tears as I pleaded in prayer beside the foot of my bed.
I have always had wonderful support from my amazing husband, my friends, and my family. Like this experience with the sister at the women's conference, I have always been grateful for the comfort of those who have gone through this trial in the past and have shared their similar stories, telling me how “someday your turn will come.” I wanted to be one of those people. I have tried to keep this inside of me so that in the future I could be that mom who is there for someone in a similar experience and share with them how someday their time will come.
But I feel like I need to share this now while I am still experiencing it. Because I want whoever that someone is out there that might be going through this with me to know that there is still so much joy, even now, while we are here. Life is so beautiful. You can feel it when you look up at the dazzling stars or hear it through the twittering birds of springtime. Even though we don’t want to admit it, we can catch a glimpse of relief when we get to sleep in or spontaneously leave on a weekend trip without a care. Or the awesomeness of having guests over with kids and maybe they will destroy your living room in that 24 hours while they stayed, but as soon as they leave you can wipe up the mess and vacuum the spilled Cheeros and relax again in your fresh home. We can enjoy what we have now.
Find a passion that distracts you from the pain, close your eyes and enjoy the peace, smile, count your blessings out loud, write them down even, SERVE OTHERS. There is no better way to be happy than by losing yourself in the service of others.
These have been the hardest years of my life. But with that, I have never been closer to my Heavenly Father.
Let me tell you the second part of my experience at that women’s conference… When this sister was speaking and telling me the same thing I am telling you right now, I was crying like a baby. Like, UGLY crying, where you let your hair drop in front of your face to keep the people next to you from seeing how gross you look.
While I bawled and listened to this speaker, my mom was sitting beside me and when I looked over she was weeping too. As far as I know, it was never hard for my parents to have children. This moment meant so much to me. Even though this wasn’t her trial, her tears were for me. She was aching because of the pain I felt.
I can’t help but think we are given parents in this life to catch a glimpse of the love our Heavenly Father and Mother have for each one of us.
I don’t believe God is up in heaven, sitting on his throne looking down on us and thinking, “Suck it up! Everyone has been given adversity so just deal with it!”
I think He aches for us too. I think it brings Him sorrow when He has to watch us in pain.
I KNOW that our Savior knows our pains. He knows EXACTLY what it feels like to be going through what you are going through. If my words don’t help bring you comfort, at least let the Savoir into your heart and know that He can bring you peace. He can give you strength when you are trembling and feel there is no more hope left. He loves you, your Heavenly Father loves you, and my heart aches for you too. I pray and wish you happiness, whoever you are out there. If I could reach out and give you a giant bear hug I would. I would love to be that shoulder for you to soak your tears into. Know, please know, that you are not alone.
You are not alone.