I just got back from vacation, and missed National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). I find it interesting that first there was Easter, then NIAW, and now this coming Sunday is Mother’s Day. These three events mean so much to me, but the holidays can be hard to handle. So since I didn’t get a chance to share my “busted myth” during NIAW, I find it fitting to share how in the mist of all that may seem wrong, there can still be joy, hope and renewal ahead for all who seek it.
When we celebrate Easter and Mother’s Day many mothers dress their children up in frilly dresses, or little man suits while others still hoping for that little one to come along just try to make it through the church service without shedding a tear. For someone longing to be a mom, it can be hard to even walk into church when you know families are celebrating and you’ll be constantly reminded of what is missing. We want to go, know we should go, but somehow seeing all of the happy families, little girls in their beautiful dresses, little boys in their Sunday best, being asked when we’re finally going to have kids, or being what seems like the only woman in the room without the honored rose or carnation given to mothers when they walk in the door can really take away the joy and worshipful experience we so long to be a part of. Now, I’m not saying this is right, and I acknowledge this is Satan’s way of trying to tear down the celebration of Christ’s accomplishment through His Son, but the ugly truth is this is reality.
Infertility is a painful experience that hits you both physically and emotionally. If you share your battle with others many times you will receive ridicule, and often times people will try to be supportive by offering their advice or suggest you simply adopt. Their words come nonchalantly, and usually only make themselves feel better. You’re constantly reminded of the child missing in your life as family and friends continue to get pregnant all around you. Years pass and as I’ve remained barren I’ve seen friends get married, pregnant, celebrate their children’s birthdays, get pregnant again and start the cycle all over… multiple times. It’s like they are living the life I always thought I would have right before my eyes, and with every pregnancy announcement, growing belly I see, Facebook sonogram picture or update, baby shower invitation, birth announcement, or birthday invitation it’s like they are trying to remind me of what I’m missing. Now I know that’s not their intention and don’t get me wrong, I love to see pregnant people enjoying their pregnancy and moms enjoying their children. I really don’t think there’s anything worse than having a friend complain to me about her morning sickness, not being able to fit into her clothes, having a back ache, or not being able to sleep because of her newborn, but when you’re dealing with infertility, something that most likely never crossed your mind until a doctor mentions you should begin testing, it can all be very overwhelming.
But through this overwhelming frustration, pain, sorrow and confusion, I’ve oddly been able to find hope, joy and a sense of peace. I remember all that Christ has endured and accomplished and it reminds me that there is nothing He can’t handle. I know that no matter what comes my way, Christ has been through so much more and has the strength to walk me through it. He never promised life would be easy, or I would get everything I wanted exactly the way I wanted it, but instead He promised to never leave or forsake me. I’ve seen time and time again how when life seems to be full of chaos, and I can’t fathom why things are the way they are, there is a later point in life where I can see how I was able to grow through the experience, reach others because of that time of uncertainty, and in the end it all somehow worked out even if it wasn’t the way I expected or even wanted.
So as Mother’s Day now approaches I’m busting the myth that you have to have a miserable one. If you can’t muster up the courage to walk into church then simply use this Sunday to enjoy your own worshipful experience on your own and thank God for staying with you even though things don’t seem to be going as planned. Thank Him for the mothers and women in your life that have been there for you, offered a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on. They haven’t been there by coincidence. And finally, plan something special with your husband so you can look forward to this day with anticipation and excitement, after-all, you both deserve to enjoy this day just as much as the next person.