BABYSITTING & THE REFINING PROCESS

I hit my first writing roadblock! I have pondered for weeks how to write this next blog. Each attempt I’ve made has been futile and I’ve ended up right back at square one. Why is this so difficult? I’m not even to the most difficult parts of our story. I’ve finally realized that it’s difficult to write because I’m still processing and working through some of the things I’m writing about. In all this, one thing is for certain, as I look back at our story thus far, I can clearly see God’s hand throughout our situation. It literally brings me to tears to think about. As I’ve gone back and read through my journal, I can pinpoint moments where God comforted me and provided for me in the midst of my grief. I can remember being comforted by His presence time and time again! It’s amazing! So, if you are facing pain, hurt, grief, whatever difficulty it may be, look back! I know you will see God standing right there with you every step of the way. He never promised that this life would be easy but He did promise that He would never leave us! 

As I stated in “Fitting In & Silence“, realizing that I was losing connection with my peer group was difficult and I ended up feeling alone and isolated. I remember one time in particular. It was a church night and I was excited to see a friend that was visiting from out-of-town. She just had her baby and I couldn’t wait to see her and meet her new little one. During the time where we greet guests in our church service, I went over to greet her. I gave her a hug and asked some questions but before she could answer, other moms had already surrounded her. Each mom had their own little one in tote. Before I knew it, I was standing outside a circle of moms with their babes with my out-of-town friend’s back to me. I stood there for a moment, not really knowing what to do. I quickly decided to just go back to my seat. Tears stung my eyes. I couldn’t help but think things would have been different if I had a baby in my arms too. Then maybe I could have been a part of the circle and enjoyed the catching-up and fellowship.

I remember feeling so silly, like I was in middle school again. The emotions I felt rush over me seemed so juvenile and I didn’t know if I should even give them the time of day. I felt so alone but I know God was with me! Even in my loneliness, I can look back and see He was there! I remember confiding in a friend and the simple hug she gave me spoke more to my heart than a thousand words could. See…there God was, working through my friend.

The feelings of isolation and loneliness only continued from there. They showed up each time I saw my peers post pictures of their babies together, plan matching baby outfits, and schedule play dates. Now let me stop to say this is not a “Woe Is Me!” blog post, it’s just the reality of where I was at and the feelings I’ve had to deal with. As a person facing infertility, these are all the things you face but try to ignore. I’m just being brave enough to publicly acknowledge them.

My first response was to show that I could still be a good friend without children. I wanted to prove to myself and others that I could still be a part of my peer group without kids. I didn’t need a child to be a good friend! So I set out to do just that! I understood my peers didn’t have time like they used to, but I would still try to reach out to them.

One of the ways I found myself trying to be a good friend was by babysitting. I started babysitting for everyone! It got to the point where people would call me 2-3 times a week to babysit for them, even random people I wasn’t even connected with. At first, I was glad to and rarely said no. I knew it was a way I could serve my peers. But as time went on, I realized that I was trying to earn their friendship through babysitting. I’m not sure how I even got there. It was absurd! I knew I had to put a stop to it! I didn’t want to be known as the church babysitter anymore.

I remember the first few calls I received asking for me to babysit and I said I was unable to. It was hard, but I knew for my own sake it was what I had to do. Eventually, the calls stopped coming. Again, I felt so silly! How did I get to this point? I didn’t have to prove my worth to anyone. But somewhere along the way I let the fact that I didn’t have children start to define me. Somehow my value was being overshadowed by our infertility. Instead of staying grounded in Christ as my measuring stick of worth, I began looking at what I lacked (children) and letting that define me.

It’s funny how a trial will expose all your insecurities, all your fears, and all those things hidden away in your heart. This is where I began to understand even more what the Bible says about trials. I like how the Message puts it:

“Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.” – 1 Peter 4:12 (MSG)

Whether or not I understood our trial and why God was allowing it, I knew for certain that God was using it for good for my spiritual refinement. This trial of infertility was exposing some things in my heart that I needed to work on. I began submitting myself to the refining process and tried to reach for the glory around the corner!

~ Fiona

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