To my friends in the sisterhood of wannabe mommies,
I know your pain. I know your struggle, your wrestling and your fight. I’m in the trenches with you, and together we’re fighting a battle than only a few will ever fight. And I want you to know this truth: you are not alone.
I know that sometimes you don’t want to get out of bed because your dreams are happier than your reality. Sometimes my dreams are happier than my reality.
I know that sometimes you go grocery shopping in the middle of the night because you know you’re not likely to see moms and babies. And it seems a bit easier to get through a mundane chore if you can avoid young families. I’ve done that too, that hiding in plain sight in a desparate attempt to protect my heart.
I know that sometimes it’s easier to hide friends on Facebook so you are not daily reminded of their baby bumps and newborn pictures. I know your love for their babies is strong, and your joy for them is genuine. I understand that you live with two emotions constantly at war within you: joy and pain. Many will not understand that paradox: that you want to see their babies grow, that you pray for their children and for their journey through motherhood, but that sometimes the pain you feel for yourself is stronger than the joy you feel for them.
I know that you avoid the baby section at Target, I do too. It’s right there in the middle of the store, an unavoidable reminder of what we do not have. And as you check out you wonder if anyone noticed that you were the only one who did not stop to look at Easter dresses and little boy overalls. You weren’t the only one, but it feels like, doesn’t it?
I know you skipped Sunday School for five straight weeks after another baby was born, before she was big enough to go to the nursery. I’ve skipped Sunday School too, I’ve averted my eyes, and I’ve sat with the elderly couple at church because I can depend on them to ask about my week, what I’ve been up to, and how I celebrated the 4th of July.
I know the tears your cried when your cousin, sister, friend announced she was pregnant. They were tears of joy – joy for a precious life that is growing and will be loved by so many, including you. But they were tears of pain, frustration, and maybe jealousy, because that precious life is not yours. I’ve cried those tears. I’ve wept before the Lord and sought His face, and I’ve ignored His healing touch when I knew the familiarity of grief would be more comfortable than the newness of heart that He offers.
I know that sometimes the father of lies whispers words that make so much sense, and we forget they are lies. We think that this season of waiting is never going to end. This e-mail from a reader that I received yesterday epitomizes the communication I receive from many of you:
“I have been made to feel like I am not a real woman because I can’t have children.”
And I know that sometimes our friends and families offer cliches and platitudes instead of speaking truth into our hearts, and that when you’re in the thick of wrestling with God it’s hard to hold on to truth.
Oh sweet soul, I can stand with you in solidarity. I can come alongside you in your grief, your hurt, your hopelessness. I’ve been there, and sometimes I’m still there. I think this journey is one where we see two roads, peace and pain, parallel and sometimes cross each other. And sometimes we feel that peace and we don’t know if it is the calm before the storm, or the quiet peace that comes after a storm.
But I would be remiss if I failed to tell you two things that I have learned on my journey of infertility.
Jesus is near to the brokenhearted. I know for some of you that is no encouragement at all. I know because for a few years I recoiled at His closeness. I rebelled against His relentless pursuit. I hurt because of His persistent pruning. I want you to know that the Lord knows your pain, He knows your tears, and He is near. What I learned is that the Lord is near whether we accept His comfort or not. He is close, ready to wrap us in His healing embrace, and the choice is ours as to whether or not we accept that embrace. And sometimes we just need to be still.
Seeking joy is an exercise in futility. Oh ladies, I know that we look to so many outlets to offer joy and happiness. From comfort foods to sappy movies, from retail therapy to overly enhanced expectations of our husbands, friends, and families. We seek joy in all the wrong places. And I think that for some of us, joy eludes us no matter how diligently we seek it.
But I can choose joy. I can choose to delight in the smallest of things, like the hummingbirds that fight over my glass feeder, or my $2 lime tree that is filled with ripening fruit, or music that thrills my spirit, or an impromptu lunch date with my husband. Choosing joy is tough, and it is a day-by-day (and sometimes moment-by-moment) journey. Choosing joy in the midst of pain takes resiliency and strength, it is not for the faint of heart. And sometimes it takes a pep talk in the bathroom mirror, a truck-load of Holy Spirit-given grace, and your mama and best friend praying for you. But it can be done. Stop seeking joy and choose it instead.
Are you ready to be an inspiration? (To find out the purpose of the Desire to Inspire community, please read this post.)
- Please visit the others who link up and leave kind, encouraging words for them. This is about encouraging, inspiring, and building up one another.
- If you tweet about linking up, please use the hashtag #desiretoinspire so we can find each other.
- Link up your own quality, read-worthy posts.
- Focus on how you can be an inspiration, not what inspires you.
- You do not have to follow ARD, but of course I’d love it if you would.
- Link up your specific post, not your blog’s homepage.
- Please do not link up giveaways, blog/social media hops, or shops.
- Please link back to A Royal Daughter in your post (using the button below, or a text link back) or add this linky party to your linky party list.
- If you would like to join the Desire to Inspire Facebook community or group Pinterest board, please e-mail me: royaldaughterdesigns(at)yahoo(dot)com.
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