My husband and I are on a journey of infertility that sometimes feels like something brutal, like “The Hunger Games”. Not in the sense that others are trying to kills us but in the sense that in our eyes, well let me just speak for myself. There are times that it seems I were randomly selected as tribute! Not most of the time, but just when a perfect storm presents itself. Like when it’s the second day of my period in month 27 of negative pregnancy tests and I find out about an IVF drawing days after the entry deadline. That is a perfect storm for baby bumps and pregnancy announcements to feel like I am under attack. Like I am alone in the woods being caught by surprise when hearing or seeing things I’d normally celebrate without the struggle of competing emotions. The genuine thoughts of “I’m so happy for you!” fighting against the shameful “I cannot take this right now, please walk away, quickly”. Now, I can look back and recall that a week later I was back to myself, remembering the place of discontentment, frustration and sadness but no longer there. I am now able to see the value in these times of suffering because I know that perseverance is a characteristic that does not come easily. Perseverance is defined as “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”. I used to have the scripture, 2 Peter 1:5-7 on a post-it note in the back of my bible. These verses speak of characteristics that must be added to your faith and the passage in full explains why you should have these characteristics. This is gonna sound crazy but, I can almost hope for another negative test next month. I said almost because of course my desire is to conceive a child and the hope is not so much for a negative pregnancy test but for an opportunity to grow in my knowledge of and dependency on God. I began this post in December 2017 and here I am in July of 2018 just picking up where I left off and even more grateful for those negative tests because the growth of those 2 Peter characteristics would not have happened the way they did without this particular trial. Everyone has their crosses to bear and this was one of mine for a season. I like to think I have a different level of compassion for others because of this, a new sensitivity for the married without children. Similar to my fierce protection of the “older single” when all manner of crazy comments are made, because I’ve been there. I recall sharing with my small group from church that I was frustrated at another post of someone getting married after doing it all their way instead of God’s way. I’m sure I sounded bitter in those moments when I was so upset that another woman I knew had the kids and husband (what I wanted!) while I waited for a godly relationship and marriage. Then in marriage, I obviously still had much to learn because I would again feel some type of way (ya’ll know what I mean) when I struggled with disappointment and frustration, longing for a child when others were so ungrateful for the ones they had been blessed with. Now, as I await the arrival of God’s answer to my longings for a child in the coming week (it is now September), I know there’s just around the corner another season in which I will learn to walk with God, lean on and trust Him in new ways that I’m sure will sometimes be scary and frustrating at times. But I’m all in because I know He is.
I will link to this post a recording of a meditation I did at my church on Hannah, who I’ve learned so much from over the years. Click the word “recording” above and then scroll down to Women In the Bible from May 2018 to find it!
July 2018 (photo cred. Ty Peay)