2012 is when the real challenge began for me. Right away two people from my peer group announced that they were pregnant. As Phil stated we celebrated with them and were genuinely happy for them. But each announcement brought that unspoken sting to our hearts. A sting, I was learning, that some people just couldn’t understand unless they’ve personally felt it. Throughout 2012, six of my friends were either expecting or delivering their little bundles of joy. Each announcement and delivery, I grappled with the feelings I talked about in “Big News & Putting on a Happy Face”.
I still remember wanting to share the same experiences with my peer group. They would talk about all things babies and pregnancy. At first I joined in enthusiastically. I wanted to be a part and learn as much as I could while I was waiting for “my turn”. I asked tons of questions and talked from the little experience I had helping raise my brother. I would listen as they talked about having their kids together, as they shared mommy advice, etc. I longed to be a part and prayed that God would allow me to be. I loved this group of people and wanted their kids to be my kids “best friends”. I wanted all the things any girl would want. I wanted to continue to be a part of this community. This was the group that I entered marriage with and now they were shifting into parenthood. I wanted to shift too!
Sometimes I questioned, “Would I still be accepted and welcomed without children? Would I continue to fit in?” At first it didn’t bother me and I even continued to be a part of the baby shower planning committee! I held on to hope that it would be me….soon. Surely the Lord would perform a miracle so we could join in with everyone else in the parenthood adventure! Surely the Lord wanted to bless us! He is no respector of persons. If He blessed them with children, then why not us? Right?
And then as my husband shared in “Finding Answers”, we found out we were unable to have children. It was on his side of things and all my hopes of shifting into parenthood and dreams of being a mommy were crushed. Now I will say that each person who faces infertility handles it differently but for me personally it was gut-wrenching.
I actually didn’t want children for a long time. I understood that parenting was a serious job and I didn’t take it lightly. That is a major part of why we waited to try to have children until after I graduated college – we felt it would be a better season. As it got closer to our planned time to try, I began to feel a growing desire in my heart to be a mommy. As I read more about what it meant to be a woman in the Bible, I couldn’t help but feel called to motherhood. It seems God put it in a woman’s nature to mother and I sincerely wanted to enter this next phase of my life.
But here I was looking infertility straight in the face. Was God playing a trick on me? Was He teasing me? Why would He give me this desire to be a mother and then choose not to allow us to have children? Then, I started to think of all the children who are aborted and all the parents who have kids they could care less about and it really challenged my thinking. We were good people who wanted to love children of our own and we couldn’t have any? It didn’t make any sense. All of these thoughts and questions began to brew in my heart and mind. But…I had a hard time acknowledging them and chose to hide them away instead. I didn’t want to disappoint God with my “bad attitude” or perceived “lack of faith”. I feared that if I even utter any of these questions to God, I would be struck with lightening. So I kept them hidden in my heart.
During this time, I slowly felt myself losing touch with my peer group, something I greatly feared. I needed friendship and fellowship, especially as a minister’s wife. The last thing I wanted was to be “alone”.
I remember talking to a well-meaning friend who had a friend who couldn’t have children. She didn’t understand why her friend was so hurt and upset and said something like, “I don’t see what the big deal is. If I couldn’t have kids I would just adopt.” I remember trying to explain to her it wasn’t that easy as I watched her feed her own little bundle of joy. Everyone handles infertility differently. I knew until she experienced it for herself she could never understand. And I couldn’t expect her to.
After that moment, I began to question whether or not I could ever share how I truly felt about my infertility with anyone. Could I trust others with my feelings, or would they judge me or belittle my feelings? I didn’t want to be a burden to others, or complain, or make others feel bad for having beautiful children of their own, or be misunderstood. I hate being misunderstood. So I chose silence. It seemed like the best choice at the time.
P.S. Stay tuned. God has done so much through this situation and has been with me and ministered to me in ways I could never imagine. Although this is the reality of my feelings at the time, through infertility God has revealed Himself to me in a deeper way! I can’t wait to share those moments with you! Be encouraged!