Oh barren sister, I haven’t forgotten you. I know many women who have struggled with infertility or miscarriages have stumbled upon or been pointed to my blog. You’ve found a suffering sister, crying out in failed cycles and heartbreaking losses alongside you. Even though our journey has taken a different turn, I haven’t forgotten you.
I know the word barrenness can be ugly, uncomfortable. But I use it deliberately, because that’s how infertility and miscarriages feel, don’t they? It’s painful. It’s awkward. If you’re in treatment, it can be embarrassing. The most private parts of your soul and life seem drawn out for the world to see. Infertility and miscarriage is ugly. It’s not the sweet, pretty wipe a single tear away kind of pain. It’s the face gnarled, weeping in the shower until your head hurts kind of ugly. It’s the wake up every day, and the hurt is overwhelming kind of pain. It’s the every month, every treatment, every pregnancy you hope will be different and when it ends with an empty womb, you cry out in despair kind of pain.
There were years of my infertility where I could literally feel the emptiness of my womb. If you’ve never been here, I can’t explain it to you. And now that we’ve grieved and moved on and I know I’ll never get pregnant- it’s different. Thankfully, I don’t feel that anymore. But when we were trying, I could acutely feel the emptiness. It just didn’t feel right. My guest room that should have been a nursery felt empty. I found myself rocking during music at church but for no reason- my arms were empty.
There were so many days the best I could do was jut barely get by without breaking down: days where I would shield my eyes from a pregnant woman on the street because her joy only magnified my pain, where if I accidentally caught the baby aisle in Target out of the corner of my eye I would begin crying. The pain and loss can be consuming. And sometimes if you’ve been in it long enough it can start to numb you as well. You’d rather not feel because you know what you’d feel is the pain I described above… so you waft through your days as if nothing matters and you come home and you numb yourself with TV or Internet because it’s the only things louder than your thoughts.
You wonder if anyone cares, if anyone gets you, if this pain will ever be over.
I know it can feel like you’re alone in your pain, your waiting.
But we are out there. There will always be people out there. No matter if I become a mother 10 times over, I will never forget you. My eyes will alway be open for the woman who answers vaguely when someone asks when they would like to have children, who winces when someone complains about pregnancy symptoms or the one who misses one too many baby showers.
Sister, I am with you.
And even more important than that- the God of the universe cares deeply for you. He loves you. He weeps when you weep and He longs to carry you under His wing, to comfort you. I know it’s so confusing. We say “God you’re in control – if you love me so much, why don’t you give me a baby and keep me from suffering?” I’ve known Jesus for a long time and there were still times I was so mad at Him for finally giving us a positive pregnancy test only to take our babies away. My greatest fear came true- that we would go through all that treatment and come out on the other side not pregnant, without a baby. But His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Even though He answered so many of my prayers with a “no” He answered so many greater ones with a resounding “Yes!”
Jesus has a greater purpose in my life than the short term goals I can see. He longs for me to know Him more, to be changed. I can honestly say I know Him more intimately now than if we would have gotten pregnant easily, than if we would have gotten pregnant in treatment. I empathize with people more. I show love to people better now. Suffering is a refining fire. It’s like growth on steroids.
If you don’t know Jesus and family is all you’re living for… What happens if you never get pregnant? What happens if tragedy hits and your family is taken from you? I don’t mean to depress you or scare you but there’s got to be something more. He is the same yesterday, tomorrow and forever. He is a rock on which we can lean on. He wants to know you. He wants your heart. Cling to Him. He gives purpose to the suffering and comfort to get through it.
Dear suffering sisters, I am praying for you.