Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Infertility :: Really, Lord?

And the roller coaster of emotions continues...last day of my crazy emotions, I promise :)

Frustration and Hurt
There's another level of frustration in trying to conceive. And that is the "other people" factor. People mean well, I know they do. But there are all kinds of hurtful and frustrating comments...


"So...when are we going to see little McCulloughs running around? What are you waiting for?" {This is not our choice. And it may not be part of God's plan for us, as heartbreaking as that is}.

"When you guys decide to have kids, you're going to be a cute pregnant person/be great parents." {If only it was as simple as "deciding." We appreciate your compliments and votes of confidence, but it's incredibly painful to hear those things, knowing that we may not experience them in the way in which you are referring}.

"Just relax, and it will happen. You shouldn't try so hard." {Just not helpful. A lack of relaxation is not the problem...there's a real medical issue involved}.

"But trying is the fun part!" {Then you obviously have never really had to "try" before}.

"Are you sure you're doing it right?" {I'm probably just going to stare at you blankly for this one, because, really?}.

"You should just enjoy the time you have just the two of you. You will be begging for all the free time!" {We are trying to be thankful for the time the Lord has given us, but that doesn't take away the hurt of what our hearts desire in building a family with little ones}.

"Babies are SO expensive!" {I understand that there are a lot of costs associated with bringing home a baby. If you know that someone is walking through infertility, please do not say this to/around them. Because we are facing the reality of actually having to purchase our baby, not just our baby's stuff- through treatment or adoption. And neither are inexpensive options}.

"You could just adopt." or "You know, once you decide to adopt, that's when you will get pregnant." {We would like to adopt, but we also would like to experience the joys of pregnancy. Adoption is not always the simple, easy answer either; it comes with its own set of struggles and heartaches. And adopting does not increase my chances of getting pregnant. It just simply doesn't work that way}.

"Oh please, take my children!" or "{some other complaint about motherhood}" {I recognize that motherhood is challenging; I am not naive in thinking that everything will be bliss. There's not much to say other than it's just hard to hear you complain about the role I desperately pray for and desire, but know may never be mine}.

"Do you have children?" {No, we don't}. Awkward silence. Sometimes a polite smile and a quick getaway. {Can we really not talk about anything else besides children? Is there not one single other topic of conversation in which you can engage with me?}

Again, I know people mean well and their comments are {usually} innocent. I don't harbor resentment over it. But I have come to understand the harshness of a flippant {and somewhat ignorant} comment in a way that will forever change the way I relate with others. I have been humbled by the Lord showing me how my words carry so much power to either hurt or encourage matter how simple or innocent a comment may be.

Because of our struggle, I think twice about the comments I make and the questions I ask. Instead of asking what someone does or if they have kids, I simply say "How do you spend your time?" or "Tell me about yourself." And then I can press further once I know a little more of where they are based on their answer. Because I have been asked {normal} questions, both in times of unemployment and infertility. So I know the hurt that such a completely innocent question can actually cause. Because of our struggle with infertility, I will never ask a friend if she is pregnant; because I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise she has waited for, or deepen the hurt she carries.

I'm not talking about walking on eggshells; but most people are unaware of how hurtful their words {and really their assumptions} can be. And because of the experiences the Lord has allowed in my life, I want to always be on the lookout for the one in the crowd who just needs relief from the "usual" questions. Even when I encounter this person, I have to try not to assume I know the right thing to say, especially in a situation I have never been in. I haven't always been good at this, but I want to be better. I need to be better. Infertility is our personal struggle/heartbreak right now; but the Lord has reminded me that we are surrounded by struggle/heartbreak. And I pray that my personal experiences will help me love the people around me better.

Confusion, Pride, and Humility
I fight back tears every time I cry out to God, because I can't understand why He keeps saying “no." I didn't realize how much I just assumed that we would have kids. You find a godly husband, get married, and you have kids. That is what's supposed to happen. Happily ever after. A godly, and even Biblically-encouraged model. So when I started to realize that wasn't happening for us, I just couldn't understand.

We were obedient in saving ourselves for marriage. We are trying to follow and serve Him in our family and ministry. Why wouldn't we be granted the blessing of children? We won't be perfect, but we would strive to be loving parents who seek the Lord in our parenting. So why haven't we been given the opportunity? And why on earth would He place this longing in my heart, only to deny it?

I have come to realize how entitled I have felt, how works-based my obedience can really be at times. As if God somehow owed me a baby because of how obedient I have been. Please don't misunderstand me; there are blessings to obedience. But when we obey God with the expectation that He will give us what we want in return, there is something seriously askew about our theology. I know better than this, but sin still finds a way to creep in. And it is part of what I have battled throughout this journey.

It would be so easy to become bitter. I'm not immune to it, and it's something I constantly battle. I daily sit before Him, asking for forgiveness and crying for strength to walk this journey with faith and grace. It's humbling to know I don't have control, and that I may never be privy to the why. Who am I that the Lord would be mindful of me? But I know He is working and that He will accomplish His purposes for His glory...with or without us having biological children.

And He constantly reminds me of the gospel. That where He puts something to death, He always resurrects new life. That He would call me His own and choose to consider using me in any way for His good works...that despite my constant failures, He still says "Mine," hears every prayer, and sees every tear. It's an incredibly humbling thought.

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